We Photographed Model Maartje Verhoef in an Ice Cave for Our October Cover

When I ask Maartje Verhoef how she ended up in modelling, she gives the exact response you’d expect from a five-foot-10.5-inch doe-eyed Dutch beauty: “I’m really lucky—it all just kind of happened to me.” You may never have read Verhoef’s bio, but this small-town-standout-turned-international supermodel story is one you’ll likely recognize. “A friend of mine asked me to shoot a project he was working on,” she says. (Sounds a little familiar already, doesn’t it?) “Then he sent pictures to Micha Models, and I signed with them. After that, everything went quite fast. I met [casting director] Ashley Brokaw, and she booked me as a Prada World Wide exclusive!”

In September 2012, when Verhoef was just 15, she opened the Prada Spring 2013 runway show in Milan. When she was 17, she was crowned the most popular model of the Spring 2015 season after walking 66 runways. Back then, having a six-figure social media follower count was rare. Today, Verhoef has 160,000+ Instagram followers—a by-product of her seemingly glamorous job, famous model friends and enviable eyebrows.

Although she’s a seasoned globetrotter, this was her first visit to Canada—not to mention the first time she’d ever flown in a helicopter to an ice cave on the top of a mountain. “This shoot has been a dream,” she says. When Verhoef’s not in the air jetsetting from one exotic locale to another, she stays grounded by surrounding herself with people she cares about. “These are the people who love me for the person I am.”

See her star in our October issue’s fashion editorial photoshoot, shot on location in an ice cave in Whistler, British Columbia.

Special thanks to Destination British Columbia, Head-Line Mountain Holidays, Tourism Whistler and The Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.