Saffron Aldridge is the face of Ralph Lauren. After 13 years in the industry, she has recently begun a contract for the launch of his new line, Lauren.

"I WAS working in Camden Lock market from the age of 13 to 16, and people often suggested that I should be a model. I knew a girl working on a stall who was with Take Two model agency, so I decided to go along, and they took me on.

"Aged 17, I had a lucky break on the first job I ever did, which was for Ralph Lauren. I was brought in as an extra because a friend of mine knew Bruce Weber, who was shooting the campaign. It was this job that gave me my first contract with Ralph.

"I worked for him for four years, after which I travelled the world doing the major shows. At 24, I took time off to have a baby, and ever since, I have been juggling modelling with motherhood.

"Ralph has been my main client throughout my life. He built up my career, and gave me a name. I'm 30 now, and to use a girl who has advertised for you before is unheard of.

"When I started, people were doing stuff that was more individual, nowadays it seems to be dominated by advertising. The money machine drives fashion more than it did 15 years ago.

"To be successful, you have to put in the effort, be able to take knocks, and learn not to take rejection personally. If you can keep your head together and remain grounded you can really make it work for you. Which is why, 14 years on, I'm still modelling."

Lucy Williams