Photographer Sylvain Blais
Fashion Editor Kathia W.
Shot with Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera

She wrapped up the cover shoot for our Spring 10th Anniversary Issue like a furnished veteran, but this was in fact Emm’s first cover ever, and she couldn’t help but feel “so excited.”

By Brenna Dixon

Emm started modeling after she was spotted in a photograph, but that’s all just history now. Emm Arruda was born in Mississauga, Ontario and grew up, as many did, dabbling in a variety of activities, like “soccer, swimming, dancing, theatre,” you name it. Now, she’s gone from sports to walking for Louis Vuitton in Japan and for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior in LA, to just landing the M for Missioni ad campaign. This porcelain-skinned beauty has just walked off the set of her cover shoot with us, and judging by her professionalism, you would think this was beyond routine.

The inspiration behind the entire shoot was supermodel Gia Carangi, glamour of the ‘70s, and upping the ante on sensual femininity. Before arriving on set, she confessed that she “actually watched the movie ‘Gia’ the night before to really capture what she was all about.” Channeling the essence of another persona is quite a challenging task, but she enjoyed that she got “to be strong and sexy throughout the shoot – it made things fun.” Surpassing all expectations, she couldn’t contain her excitement anticipating the cover release; she exclaimed, “I can’t wait for people to see it!”

On the surface, everything seems utterly divine: walking for Louis Vuitton, shooting covers, big hair, and supermodel glamour. There is, however, another side to this natural beauty that she has chosen to speak publicly about via social media. Emm Arruda battles scoliosis. Bearing a 15-inch scar down her back that was created to adjust a sideways spinal curvature, she recalls “being very nervous about posting my story on social media.” Although she was fearful of the backlash and negative commentary, her agent prompted her to share her story. “I remember her saying that seeing me succeed and rise above would inspire others who [also] struggle,” she recalls. Following the reveal, she considers herself lucky to have received “nothing but support and positive feedback.” To this day, Emm’s courage is truly inspiring and she continues to instill hope in everyone who crosses her path. “People contact me with questions or ask advice constantly,” she says.

Emm isn’t one to take a challenge lightly. Her career has been no less than a whirlwind of success since debuting for Proezna Schouler at NYFW post-op in 2016. There have, of course, been difficulties along the way. She explains that people have told her that she “can’t do something. It’s hard sometimes, being in a room of people telling you something is wrong with you.” Disbelief and judgment are not easy pills to swallow, but for Emm, “it’s all about how you rise up and overcome it. It makes you stronger,” she admits gracefully.

Her experiences have undeniably made her stronger, as she has travelled the world since her post-operation debut. “Travelling is the best part for me. It’s a dream,” she states. Her two most memorable moments were walking for Dior in LA and Louis Vuitton in Japan. She attributes her success to her team, “I am really lucky to have the management team that I do! It’s all about the energy you give off to others and the people you surround yourself with.” The entire experience is still somewhat surreal for Emm, as she never imagined any of this to happen to her. “I still don’t think the reality of it all has hit,” she says.

From working with some of the world’s most famous luxury brands to walking off a mega-glamorous shoot, this stunner remains down-to-earth. Emm is as beautiful as they come, but she reveals that she feels “the most beautiful when I’m around the people I love – the ones who make me feel good, confident, and happy.” With her delicate frame and rich chocolate curls, she can’t go unnoticed. One thing people don’t know about her, however, is that she has the “biggest sweet tooth ever.”

With her first cover under her belt, Emm adds it to her phenomenal list of accomplishments. Looking to the future, she dreams big, assuring us that “the sky is the limit.” Truthfully, there is no limit for Emm. Her astonishing willpower and story, and watching her channel an icon from the ‘70s so flawlessly makes her an inspiration for us all. Gifting us with gorgeous imagery as well as motivation, she offers one last piece of advice: “Just be you and be confident in yourself. With that, you can do anything.”

Photographer Sylvain Blais 
Fashion Editor Kathia Cambron
Makeup Michael Goyette at FOLIO
Hair Steven Turpin at TEAMM MGMT
using SHU UEMURA and KERASTASE
Hair Assistant Amy Stollmeyer
Nails Naomi Misu at TIPS NAIL BAR and P1M.ca

Model Emm Arruda at CIOTTI MODELS and CHANTALE NADEAU
Assistant Stylist Alan Trujillo
Digital tech Spencer Robertson
Fujifilm assistant Jerry Julien
Set Assistant Alvin Sun
Shot with Fujifilm GFX 50S Camera

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