That hair. In all of its beautifully unruly, can’t-miss-it glory, Luz Pavon’s voluminous curls prompted several agents to stop her on the street when she landed in Manhattan almost six years ago from Mexico City. Can’t blame them. (Pavon shrugs it off, insisting that she’s always had this hair, despite the rest of her family having stick-straight locks.)
At 23, the Brooklyn-based model has developed a diverse set of skills — she’s dabbled in photography, activism, DJing and acting — as well as running a clothing and production company, PAVON NYC, with her older sister, Victoria. As for modeling, she’s racked up Uniqlo campaigns and editorials in Marie Claire Mexico, Nylon, Elle U.K., Vogue Italia, Dazed & Confused and Bullett — as well as an appearance in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming Seventies rock drama series for HBO. Newly signed to Wilhemina, Pavon’s 2015 outlook seems bright as ever. “We all come here with our dreams,” she said of New York in heavily-accented English. “This is gonna be a good year.”
WWD: How did you start modeling?
Luz Pavon: In Mexico, I was always the tallest one in my classroom and really skinny. People would always tell me, “You should try modeling.” But when I came to New York, I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t know anything about it. I came here because I loved fashion. Every time I used to walk in the street, [agents] would stop me and be like, ‘Oh my God, your hair! You’re so skinny and your hair is so big!” All my life, I’ve had this hair. And that’s how I started modeling.
WWD: Do you remember your first job?
L.P.: My first job was for Ryan McGinley, for his black-and-white photography book, “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.” It was not a traditional job, but it was cool and I learned what you had to do to make a picture. It was pretty interesting because it was my very first shoot, and when I got there, they said, “Okay, this is for an exhibition — you have to be naked.” I had to dance around naked. It was like, “OK, welcome to modeling!” [She laughed.] The picture [used in the exhibition] was just a close-up [of my face], so it was fine.
WWD: Does your family support your career?
L.P.: They always support me. I will go to the left, and they say, “OK, go to the left — you have our support. But keep your eyes open, don’t trust everything you see and be careful.” My sister and I live together near Prospect Park. We get along well and I think that’s super important. We work together; we have a company together. If we don’t get along, then nothing will work.
WWD: Tell me about your clothing line and production company.
L.P.: I’m busier with modeling, but the other 50 percent of my life is my clothing brand and my whole PAVON NYC world. We are mostly a non-seasonal company; we make new items every month. We sell in New York and online worldwide. We’re starting to distribute to other countries because we want to be massive. We put NYC in the name because everything is designed in New York City. One of our best-selling items was a ruffled tube dress in a lot of prints and colors — Patricia Field was our first client. We also started a production company and produce shoots for magazines; we work a lot with celebrities.
WWD: The collection is very playful and colorful from what I’ve seen. How would you describe your own style?
L.P.: I’ve always been interested in fashion and with modeling I get to see the clothes up-close, touching the textiles and everything. I enjoy seeing everyone’s different styles. My style is random — sometimes I’ll dress up a lot and other times I’ll wear really simple, low-key stuff.
WWD: What do you like to do for fun?
L.P.: I love to travel whenever I have a chance. I love to spend time on the beach; I love tropical places in general. My next destination will be in Polynesia. I love it there. I also like to be on film, in motion. I made a really small appearance in Martin Scorsese’s upcoming HBO series.
WWD: What are some of your goals?
L.P.: I want to be super successful. I want to be super healthy. I want my clothing brand everywhere, and to see my face randomly.