Betty Adewole carries herself with a serene demeanor that belies her age and enhances her beauty. In addition to shooting recent editorials for V and French Revue de Modes, the Brit turned quite a few heads in Paris this past season, walking for Issey Miyake, Emanuel Ungaro and Maison Martin Margiela and closing Loewe. Watch out for Adewole Stateside next season as she makes her first New York appearance.
Birth sign: Aquarius
Home country: United Kingdom
How did you get into modeling?
“I was first scouted on Tottenham Court Road in central London’s West End. I’d been out shopping with my mum when an agent approached me. I was surprised and really excited at the time because I’d heard of these model fairy-tale stories before and couldn’t believe that I could ever have one myself. I didn’t start [modeling] full-time until I finished school last summer.”
You have a brother who is just 11 months older than you. Is he protective of you?
“My brother and I are close. I’ve spoken to him every day that I’ve been here. He looks out for me — even more so now — as I’m being exposed to more things. He advises me as appropriate. He can be a bit funny with pictures that are more revealing, which is only natural. I’m his li’l sis.”
What does your family think of you being a model?
“My family is supportive of my career choice, but if they had their own way, I’d be in university right now. As I’m the baby of the house, they can be very protective at times. But they see I’m a young lady now — old enough to make my own decisions. No one in my family has ever gone down this route before — everyone goes to university — my parents are quite old-fashioned. They love seeing my pictures, especially my mum. She bought about 10 copies of the first magazine I was featured in.”
You’ve been spending a few weeks in New York making the rounds. What’s your impression of the city?
“I love it! It’s exactly how I expected it — the business and commotion. What I love the most is just watching the different characters I see out and about. People are so expressive and entertaining. The interactions are so funny!”
What’s your favorite part about modeling?
“The traveling! In the space of a year, I’ve been to over five different countries — places I wouldn’t have imagined, like Sri Lanka. Sometimes, it just feels like one big road trip. I love being exposed to different cultures.”
You walked several shows in Paris this past season. Is the runway experience what you expected it to be?
“I love doing runway. I get such I buzz from it, which I thrive on. I’m an adrenaline junkie. I never realized how much of a build-up there is to shows, but it’s massive. It’s a mini event and, then, it’s over so quickly, and I’m kind of like, um, OK what now?”
February will mark your first New York Fashion Week. What are you looking forward to most?
“I’ve been waiting to come over here and see what the big deal is. Everyone has told me I must go New York!”
We hear you skateboard. Tell us more.
“I picked it up around the same time that I started modeling, because I had free time on my hands and I’ve always wanted to try it. I saw it as a challenge. I did mess around with skating when I was younger, but didn’t have my own board. I’m not a pro or anything, I just ride to escape into my own world.”
How would your friends describe you?
“Well, my friends would say I’m unpredictable because I do the unexpected at times and can be very random. They say I’m funny, too. I like making people smile. It’s good for you.”
Can you describe an ideal first date?
“It would have to be something simple, but thoughtful. It doesn’t even have to cost much — a picnic, somewhere open and relaxed to chill or hang — because it’s all about getting to know someone. I don’t get why people on first dates go to the cinema, where you just sit in silence and don’t totally connect.”
In your photos, you possess a serene demeanor. Does that translate into your real life?
“I am a quite chilled-out person, so it does come through in pictures. I’m not easily provoked, which is one of my better qualities.”
What’s your favorite song right now?
“Kanye West’s ‘All of the Lights.’”
What do you wear when you’re not working?
“I like to wear loose, comfortable tops, like sleeveless, white printed T-shirts, and woolly jumpers and cardigans with black skinny jeans. I rarely wear heels. It’s all about being comfortable for me. I love my Dr. Martens. I have a little collection of them.”
What do you want for Christmas?
“I just want to spend time with my family, the people that love me the most. That’s the best gift.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about modeling?
“Feel free to be myself and let my personality shine through, because no one can do that better than me!”