Instagram sensation Cindy Kimberly on Justin Bieber and life in the spotlight

By Silvia Castillo

It took just a few short words to make shy Spanish student Cindy Kimberly, 17, a social media sensation. Of course, it helped that the author of the fateful words was none other than Justin Bieber, who spotted her among his online followers and posted her picture on Instagram last December with the comment: “OMG who is this!”

The 22-year-old pop star’s 65-million-strong army of Beliebers got sharing and the identity of the mystery girl who’d captivated Justin was soon revealed to be Cindy, then living at home in Denia, Spain, working as a babysitter for less than $5 an hour.

TAP TO VIEW ALL THE PHOTOS OF CINDY FROM THE BEAUTIFUL SHOOTRising star Cindy Kimberly wears gowns by Spanish bridal designer Rosa Clará. Known for timeless designs with feminine styling, the brand is ideal for a modern, fashion-forward bride.

Since then, she’s modelled in a string of fashion campaigns and has captured Hollywood’s attention - her smouldering looks have even been compared to Irina Shayk. Still, while her number of Instagram fans has soared to a staggering 1.2 million, Cindy is taking her newfound fame in stride and trying to stay grounded.

She also hopes to continue her studies. “I’d like to get a degree,” she explains. “I’ve always been interested in psychology. Or I’d like to study fine arts or maybe to be a vet. I love animals. I’m into so many things and you can never learn too much.” The books will have to wait, though, as the job offers continue to pour in. Here, Cindy poses like a princess for Hello! in dreamy bridal wear for Rosa Clará’s 2017 collection.

How did you feel when Justin Bieber commented on your photo?
It was incredible. So much happened and it was all so fast that I didn’t have time to take it in. Even after all these months, I find it hard to believe everything that has happened to me.

How has your life changed?
It’s changed quite a lot. I used to live in Denia, helping my mother, looking after my cats and painting. Now I’m living in Barcelona and working hard. A lot of labels have shown an interest in me and I’m very grateful.

Had you ever thought of being a model?
I’d done a few things before, but not like this, not so professionally.

What did your parents say when all this started?
To be honest, I can’t really remember. I was on Cloud 9. Just imagine: your favourite singer uploads a photo of you! That’s not something that happens every day.

What’s the most important advice you have received?
That I have to seize opportunities and enjoy this moment – and I repeat that to myself every day. Even though I sometimes get nasty comments, I’m doing what I want, and I love it.

Suddenly you’re famous.
I wouldn’t say I’m famous, really, I’d say that I’m known. And I hope it doesn’t go to my head and that I can keep my feet on the ground.

So, has Justin written to you again?
[ Laughs] I prefer not to reveal if he has written to me or not. Anyway, it’s not particularly difficult to send a private message on Instagram.

Will you try to meet him in person when he comes to Spain in November?
Maybe, anything is possible. No matter how famous stars are, it’s not impossible to meet them.

You’re said to be undergoing a tough training and diet regimen.
Yes, that’s right. I’d never been on a diet before nor had I trained daily, so it’s all completely new to me. But I’m being very disciplined and I’m achieving my goals.

What models do you admire?
Whew! A lot. Of the top models, I’ve always loved Adriana Lima, ever since I was a little girl, and Magdalena Frackowiak. Right now, I really like Barbara Ferreira, I love her attitude and what she has to say.

How did you feel dressing as a bride for this shoot?
It’s fantastic to see myself as pretty as a princess.

Would you choose Rosa Clará for your future wedding?
Yes, of course! At the Rosa Clará runway, I saw a dress that I would love for my wedding day.

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