Photographer: Luca Khouri
Stylist: Emily Mazur
Lily Stewart may have captivated fashion fans at the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2016 show, but that was hardly her first time in the style spotlight. At just seven years old, Stewart was cast (via a family friend) in a Mario Testino shoot for Vogue, starring Gemma Ward and shot at the iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall. "I was too young to really understand what was going on," the Los Angeles native, now signed with The Lions, says. "I was just very excited that this beautiful woman in a cool outfit was talking to me while someone took a picture of us!"
Like any modern model worth her fangirl following, fashion has never been Stewart's top priority. Instead of pursuing a career after that first shoot, the 'It'-girl-in-the-making cultivated other interests like playing the cello, horseback riding, and fine art.
"Every since I was about two years old, I have been drawing and painting and [been] an avid art fan. I love German expressionists like Egon Schiele and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner," the now-18-year-old says, going on to name-check everyone from Willem de Kooning to Ai Weiwei. "Every time I go into a museum, I find out about so many different artists. It's exciting how much there is to learn."
Her Instagram is still filled with visits to museums - from The Whitney in New York to the Victoria & Albert in London - only now they appear amongst major fashion editorials, cameos by fellow models, and throwbacks to the sixties icons to whom she's often compared. "I'm definitely influenced by the Sixties," she says of her mod aesthetic. "I love women like Jane Birkin, Bianca Jagger, Catherine Deneuve (especially in Belle de Jour) and Françoise Hardy."
Stewart's expertise doesn't stop at art. She lists Nicolas Ghesquière, Alessandro Michele, Miuccia Prada, and '70s Halston as her favorite designers and remembers studying magazines in her early teens. "I loved looking through editorials and seeing how cool and beautiful they were," she says. "How the models' attitude and body language contributed to the clothing and story."
Stewart's wealth of knowledge is impressive, but she's no know-it-all. When asked for her secret for keeping her iconic bangs in check, she doesn't pretend to know the best products or tips or name drop an expert. Instead. she answers honestly: a great hairdresser—all the time. When all's said and done, she's poised to have a breakout 2016.
Model: Lily Stewart at the Lions NY. Makeup by Cedric Jolivet at See Management; Hair by Shinya Nakagawa. Photo Assistants: Tess Ayano and Josh Marten.