One could say that he’s had quite a “lucky” career.
This story first appeared in the March 20, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Lucky Blue Smith, model, musician and an Instagram superstar — he has 2.8 million followers — has redefined what it means to be a top male model. The 6 foot, 2 inch, 18-year-old American with the platinum blonde hair and piercing blue eyes has fronted campaigns for fashion houses including Tom Ford, Moncler, Calvin Klein Jeans, Philipp Plein, H&M and Gap, and walked the runways of designers Michael Kors, Versace, Fendi, Balmain and Moschino, to name a few.
That’s not to mention the array of fashion editorials he has appeared in and the magazine covers he has graced, including French and Spanish Vogue, V, Harper’s Bazaar, CR Men’s Book and GQ, which anointed him as one of the most stylish men alive in 2016.
Hailing from the small town of Spanish Fork, Utah, he was scouted along with his three sisters when he was 10, and began his career two years later. Upon being signed with Next Model Management, he and the entire Smith family moved to Los Angeles where, shortly after their arrival, Smith and his siblings were photographed by Hedi Slimane for Vogue Homme Japan, a project that generated immediate attention.
There’s no place for people-watching quite like the entrance to a fashion show. But the models who walk in the shows are usually fairly anonymous; they slink from one job to the next with their backpacks on, unnoticed.
But at the men’s wear shows in Europe during January 2015, something changed. This was the moment Smith’s career turned from model to Insta-star. He would post to his social media fan base, mainly teenage girls, about meet-and-greets outside the show venues for the houses he was walking for that day. His fans flocked to the show in droves for selfies and to catch a glimpse of the newly minted star.
Outside Versace in Milan, for example, dozens of girls lined the narrow streets. At Bottega Veneta, a cluster of teens stood by the entrance, craning their necks. At Etro, the excitement peaked as more than 200 teenagers packed the road, phones in hand shouting: “Lucky!” The fashion world quickly took notice.
To add to his rock-star status, Smith for years has been in a band called The Atomics with his model siblings. He’s the drummer.
In the world of male models, Smith’s rise through the ranks is notable since most of his counterparts are generally not well-known outside of small men’s wear circles. There are exceptions: Sean O’Pry appeared in a Taylor Swift music video, and Noah Mills has made cameos in films such as “Sex and the City.” But the real fame game now requires tangible numbers — and Smith’s Instagram success has turned him into a bankable star.