• Fashion
  • Beauty
  • Lifestyle
  • Men's Style
  • All
  • Trending
  • Style Stories
  • Style Tips
  • The Edit
  • All
  • Beauty Review
  • Beauty Trends
  • How To
  • All
  • Food
  • Home Decor
  • Gift Guides
  • All
  • Trending
  • What To Wear
  • Iconic Men
  • Mr Jones
David Jones

Jesinta; frankly

GRAZIA image Photograph by Tane Coffin

In one of her most honest interviews to date, Jesinta Franklin discusses her rising career with David Jones, the realities of the modelling industry, why women get better with age and how she knew Buddy Franklin was her key to contentment


- By Team GRAZIA - 


Jesinta Franklin Photograph by Tane Coffin
If the eyes are the window to the soul, Jesinta Franklin is one sparkly, content woman, or “settled” as she says. Irrespective of the shimmer smeared across her cheekbones, the flash of the photographer’s lens or even the iPhone light as she posts an Insta-story of today’s shoot, the model is glowing and makes a firm case for the eyes definitely having it, her baby blues emitting several beams of smileage with every take.

There’s a lot to be happy about. It was in February of 2015 that the now Mrs Franklin (nee Campbell) was in talks to ink a six-figure deal with David Jones, a move that would instil new blood into the department store’s marketing armoury. By January 31 the following year, the news became official and access to then 24-year-old model became a challenge for publishers alike as her star rose exponentially; the hair became darker, the labels higher-end, the contracts lucrative.

Today, Franklin is a different woman and owes her mature-beyond-her-years demeanour and that extra twinkle in her eye to not only a burgeoning career but to her one true love Sydney Swans player Buddy Franklin. “I’m much more settled within who I am and am so much more confident,” she says. “I still get nervous sometimes being on set or being on a runway but I think since my relationship with Buddy became serious – when someone loves you on that level, it’s not about the way that you look, it’s not about the clothes that you wear. I think that having him love me as a whole person made my self-love and self-worth grow which is really hard to explain but I think sometimes someone showing you it’s not all about that [and those material things] can add a different value to life.”
Photograph by Tane Coffin Photograph by Tane Coffin
Always putting her relationship first – she won’t consider a move overseas since her husband is based here in Australia – Franklin’s second love is fashion. Sitting down exclusively with GRAZIA, the model – sleepy from a big week – chats honestly about her marriage, her career and her latest design venture with Stuart Weitzman.

GRAZIA: BEING A DAVID JONES AMBASSADOR MEANS YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE BEST LINE-UP OF LABELS IN THE COUNTRY, WHAT DO YOU LIKE ABOUT STUART WEITZMAN?

JESINTA FRANKLIN: “I think for me Stuart Weitzman fits seamlessly into my wardrobe. They’ve got a great boot, they do a great heel and a nice statement piece as well. But it works back with every staple in my wardrobe. They’re really good quality too. I think with a shoe, you want to be able to get something that’s going to last and not just wear a couple of times and have blisters, it’s good quality. And the fact that Gigi Hadid is the face of the brand…well, that’s a drawcard! [Laughs]”

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR HERO SHOE…

“I like the Stuart Weitzman MOREPEARLS because they are something a little bit different. If you want to just wear a classic stiletto but you want to spruce it up a little bit, it’s perfect. Your shoes should be your accessory and you should be able to make a statement with them. They don’t always have to be plain or work back into your outfit. Your outfit can be plain and you can jazz it up with a heel.”

WHERE COULD YOU SEE YOURSELF WEARING THIS SHOE AND WHY?

“Probably on a day-to-day look like this with jeans or a t-shirt and a jacket. I feel like because of the height of this shoe, for me personally because I’m used to sky-highs, this is a real daytime shoe. You don’t really need anything else, maybe a red lip.”

GIGI HADID IS OF COURSE THE FACE OF STUART WEITZMAN OVERSEAS. YOUR STAR HAS RISEN SO MUCH AND QUITE EXPONENTIALLY OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, WOULD YOU/HAVE YOU CONSIDERED A MOVE TO THE U.S. TO WORK AS A MODEL THERE?

“No, I haven’t because of my darling husband. I’m a married woman now so I’ve definitely pulled back on the travel and the amount of time I’m away from him. My career is so important to me but so is my relationship.

"You know, when I’m 99-years-old, I’m going to value my relationship and my friendships over covers and the photoshoots I did." 

I place great value on my work and I work so hard and I love it but for me, Australia is my home-base now and Buddy has a contract for six years so I’m not going anywhere, I’m here. If he was more flexible, I’d love to travel a little bit more but he’s my main priority in life.”

WOULD YOU LIKE TO DO MORE RUNWAY STUFF?

“I really love the runway with David Jones, it’s a lot of fun but I’m really happy just doing two a year! There is a thrill of being on the runway and I really enjoy it but I’m not a typical runway model.

"I mean, the fashion industry is changing a lot but I’m not the right size to be able to walk on a big international catwalk, you have to be very, very small." 

So for me, I’m just really happy doing the David Jones shows and I love them and they’re always really entertaining and there’s so many amazing and different outfits that I get to wear and it’s in front of a home-crowd, too, which is really nice.”
Photograph by Tane Coffin Photograph by Tane Coffin
WHEN YOU LOOK BACK TO THE EARLY YEARS OF YOUR CAREER, HOW DIFFERENT DO YOU FEEL AS A WOMAN?

“I feel very different as a woman. I always felt confident and always valued myself but now knowing my husband loves me without any makeup on and he loves me when I’m straight out of the ocean, I definitely feel more settled within who I am and what I’m comfortable with and what I’m not comfortable with. I know what I stand for and my main values. I think as you get older, you just learn who you are and you get to know yourself.”

AND I FEEL LIKE AT 30-YEARS-OLD, YOU WILL FEEL DIFFERENT AGAIN AS YOU EVOLVE AS A WOMAN…

“Exactly. And I think women get better with age. And I think it’s actually when your own insecurities change and your start to see yourself differently. I think it’s just this year that I feel really settled and I think it is because I am married and I feel very settled in my personal life and so it translates through to everything else.”

THE TABLOID NEWS IN AUSTRALIA TENDS TO MANIFEST FROM VERY SMALL RUMOURS OR VERY SMALL HAPPENINGS. AS SOMEONE IN THE SPOTLIGHT (AND AS SOMEONE WITH A PARTNER IN THE SPOTLIGHT), HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH UNSAVOURY HEADLINES, DOES THE ATTENTION BOTHER YOU?

“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t challenging at times because it is hard not to read things and it is hard when people are talking about it or people will mention something that they’ve read. For me, I know who I am, I know who my husband is, I know what our relationship is, all our friends and family know who we are so if anything negative is ever written that is unwarranted, sometimes it’s quite comical because it’s so ridiculous and so far removed from the actual truth or someone hasn’t done their research. So it is water off a duck’s back and I wake up every morning knowing I’m a good person, I’m a good wife, I’m authentic with everything I do with my work. The attention is part and parcel, I wouldn’t be able to have this life and do what I do if the media wasn’t part involved, it’s just one of those things.”

HOW DO YOU PREPARE FOR A RUNWAY?

“For spring/summer, there is a lot of work. In general, every day I endeavour to be healthy and move my body and look after myself as best as I can. But before a runway show, you do do an extra hair treatment or get your nails done and you’re so busy sometimes, I have to schedule things into work, like maintenance things, sometimes I forget to shave my legs!”

WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF EXERCISE EQUIPMENT YOU’VE USED WHERE YOU’VE SEEN A REAL CHANGE IN YOUR BODY?

“The skipping rope. I box a lot and I’ve just started muay thai, it’s like kickboxing. You punch and you elbow and you knee and you kick and that’s been amazing for overall fitness. But if I want to increase my fitness really quickly or I want a really good sweat, I put my wireless headphones on, I blast some music and I’ll skip for half an hour. I’ll put 2.5 kilo ankle weights on and you sweat and you sweat and you sweat, it’s amazing. I don’t enjoy running but I can skip like a boxer!”

GOING FORWARD – YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN THIS INCREDIBLE PLATFORM WITH DJS – HOW DO YOU PLAN TO REALLY GRASP ONTO THIS AND SPRINGBOARD FROM THIS AND ONTO YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE?

“I see myself continuing a long relationship with David Jones which is really exciting. For me, Buddy and I are working on a philanthropy project at the moment which does utilise his platform as a well-known sportsperson and my role with David Jones in the fashion industry. We can’t quite say what it is yet but in the next three months, we’ll be announcing something.”

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST FASHION LOVE?

“My first fashion love would had to have been a pair of man pants. I was a bit of a tomboy and I grew up on property out the back of the Gold Coast and mum’s best friend Cynthia was a really stylish woman and would wear her husband’s ties as a belt and she started wearing her husband’s pants – before the man pant was a thing. She took my sister and I op-shopping when I was about 15-years-old and we got to pick out our own man pant and that’s when I started to view fashion differently. You can really experiment with things and how you see things isn’t necessarily how you should wear them. Fashion is a great expression of your personality and who you are as a person so that was probably my first love. I probably only chucked them out a few years ago!

OUTSIDE THE CONTEXT OF FASHION, WHAT’S YOUR ONE TRUE LOVE?

“My husband!”
GRAZIA image Photograph by Tane Coffin
THEY SAY THE FIRST YEAR OF MARRIAGE IS THE HARDEST. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNT DURING THIS TIME ABOUT LOVE?

“I’m still quite perplexed by that saying. I think ‘Shouldn’t it be the easiest? You’ve just gotten married and there’s still a novelty of saying, ‘This is my husband’ or ‘This is my wife.’’ I think back in the day, people hadn’t lived together before, they were probably still living with their families and after getting married would move in together and maybe get pregnant quickly and I think that idea comes from adjusting to a lot of big changes really quickly. For Buddy and I, we bought a house before we were married, we had lived together for a couple of years and we had a long engagement too. Marriage has been the best thing ever. We are both so happy just being married. I love being a wife and Buddy loves being a husband and we’re just like this little strong team and it just feels really good. I’m loving it, I’m still waiting for the honeymoon phase to disappear! But you know what?

"We’re not perfect, we do argue, we have our disagreements and we have our ups and downs and challenges like every single couple." 

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO ON DATE NIGHT?

“Usually we plan a date night and then we’re both so tired, we just look at each other and say, ‘Should we just order in?’ and we’ll sit on the couch in our track pants. I think just being with each other is key, we packed a picnic the other day and just went and sat on a beautiful patch of grass in a park looking over the harbour and the sun was setting. Fancy restaurants and bars, to me, they come and go but if you can have fun where ever you are and enjoy each other’s company irrespective of the setting, that’s probably my favourite thing.”
Image of shoes Photograph by Tane Coffin
WHAT’S YOUR TIP FOR GETTING THROUGH A RELATIONSHIP DURING A TOUGH OR ARGUMENTATIVE TIME?

“Definitely being completely honest with one another and keeping the lines of communication open is important. Often when you hit a road-bump or a rocky time in your relationship, it’s because one of you isn’t communicating how you feel to the other person. It’s as simple as it sounds, you can bottle things up and not want to talk about things but if you are open and honest and have a chat and say, ‘This is how I’m feeling’ or ‘I’m feeling a bit down today and I need extra support’, that’s really important. Allow the space for each other to come and know you’re not going to be judged no matter what you say. And listen to each other. A lot of the time we just hear things to respond and we don’t actually listen. Also, seek to understand the other person. And my other thing is to find a third alternative. So it’s like, ‘OK, this is what’s going on for you’ and ‘this is what’s going on for your partner’ and ‘where’s the alternative where you both benefit?’”

HOW DID YOU KNOW BUDDY WAS THE ONE FOR YOU?

"When I first met Buddy, I felt totally at ease."

“I had never met him before, we didn’t have any mutual friends, he makes me feel so comfortable in my own skin. I think that’s true love, when you can love someone unconditionally and allow them to be the best version of themselves. Besides being incredibly handsome and funny and charming and all the rest [laughs].”
Product images Photograph by Tane Coffin