Model Stella Maxwell, who appears in Seven For All Mankind’s fall 2018 campaign, was the guest of honor at a celebratory dinner at The Beverly Hills Hotel this week, a fete she called “my last hurrah” before the madness of New York Fashion Week.
The 28-year-old, who landed in New York today, sat down with WWD to share her thoughts on model individuality and how to survive the runway marathon. Maxwell may be willing to talk about her work, but not her personal life. While her gal pal Kristen Stewart has been spotted backstage at her runway shows, and the two don’t exactly dodge the paparazzi when out and about in Los Angeles, she says, “I keep everything pretty private.”
WWD: What sort of look and attitude were you channeling for the SFAM shoot?
Stella Maxwell: We shot it in downtown L.A. and I think they wanted that California look but with a more city vibe, like grunge. I’ve worn Seven jeans personally for so many years, so when I saw their collection for the season I was like, “Oh yeah, I would wear that, I would wear that, I would pair it with this…” My friend Sally Lyndley styled it and it was very collaborative. Billy Kidd shot it and he also was very free, saying, “It’s kind of up to you, do whatever poses you think, whatever feels kind of natural and right.” I think they really wanted personalities with this campaign so they cast us all specifically for that. Even the hair and makeup, I just did my usual look, just like tonight.
WWD: Do you feel the trend in modeling now is more personality-driven than adopting the brand’s persona?
S.M.: I think models have really started to own their own space within this world of projecting an image. You can really kind of control how people perceive you and you can show your whole personality through Instagram and social media. It gives models a little more power and makes you more defined and you can stand out easier. Before, modeling was much more just how tall you are and whatever shape you are; there were all these stats and rules, and now they’re all broken.
WWD: Does all the social media and media in general get invasive when it comes to your life outside of work?
S.M.: That is kind of in your control, too. I can control how much I answer on questions and I keep everything pretty private. I just do my job, so that’s what people see.
WWD: You don’t have an accent for someone who grew up in New Zealand.
S.M.: I was actually born in Belgium and lived there until I was 11, then moved to Australia for a year, then moved to New Zealand, so I only lived there from when I was 12 to 18. Then I moved to Paris, then New York and now here. But I always went to American schools; my dad was a diplomat so I was always moving around.
WWD: How did you spend your summer?
S.M.: Summer happened so fast. I feel like it’s been two weeks and I’m back at work. But honestly I’ve been relaxing this whole summer. I haven’t gone anywhere; I’ve stayed in L.A.
WWD: What are you doing to prepare for New York Fashion Week?
S.M.: I’ve been getting facials and going to the spa. I do sweats at this place Shape House. I’ve been doing IV drips of vitamins and B12 shots. I do a lot of self-care because you get pretty fried from all the flying and everything, so it’s nice to take some time and rejuvenate. I also eat pretty well-rounded and do yoga.
WWD: What’s your go-to food item during fashion week?
S.M.: There’s some really good vegan protein shakes you can get, and I’m a big fan of matcha lattes instead of having espresso. I’m really into oat milk. I’m kind of over almond milk now.
WWD: What does NYFW symbolize for you?
S.M: New York Fashion Week is the first one and it’s important for a lot of models who do all the shows. If you are a new model and you are starting fashion week, it’s kind of like where you want to nail it because you want to go in strong. You get that confidence boost at the beginning and kick off your season well.
WWD: What do you see as the strengths of NYFW?
S.M.: It’s nice to be somewhere English-speaking, and you know all your friends are there, and you know a lot of people backstage because you work in New York a lot and the same faces come back around. I’ve been doing it for a while now so I know a lot of people.
WWD: How many years has it been?
S.M.: I don’t even know, and some years I’ve skipped it….It’s probably been like six or seven.