Having been named on Debrett’s list of the 500 most influential people in Britain, you could say that Cara Delevingne’s year has already gotten off to a pretty good start. She’s a little under a year older than me – 21 years old – and yet she’s been making headlines for a while now. Justin Bieber is also roughly the same age and he’s been making headlines for all the wrong reasons; so I guess fame and fortune at a young age isn’t everything.
Cara, however, seems to be doing okay for herself.
As the younger sister of model Poppy Delevingne she’s been well-versed and well prepared in what to expect. Her Storm model management profile denotes her as a tiny size six and a height of 5”9.5’. The .5 on the end couldn’t help but make me smile slightly – Delevingne is a little on the short side for a catwalk model, so clearly if the powers that be can round it up slightly then they might deign to do so. Being smaller doesn’t seem to have done her any harm, however, as she walked no less than 47 catwalks in the Autumn/Winter 2013 shows in London. Her name was suddenly everywhere – you could barely open a fashion magazine without seeing her face in an ad campaign or on an editorial. I took to counting the ad campaigns with her in them in my monthly copy of Vogue. I think at a high point there were about six. Personally I always enjoy looking at Cara’s shoots and campaigns because they’re about far more than the clothes; of course this is also down to the director, but I always feel like she’s telling a story within the still. She isn’t just an interchangeable clothes hanger. When a shoot has been done by Cara, I tend to stop and flick back – take in the stance, the clothes, the make up, the scenery, the photograph. It interests me. More to the point she interests me as a model. It seems like she’s done something pretty rare; made the speechless face of modelling have a loud – and sometimes entirely unconventional – voice.
Even if you don’t take much interest in fashion it’s been a little difficult to dodge Delevingne as of late. Best pals with the likes of Rihanna and Georgia-May Jagger, if one goes anywhere near Twitter or Instagram there’s usually a shot of Cara floating somewhere nearby. Her social media presence is exceedingly transparent for someone who moves in a world where everything is scrutinised. It’s her Vines I’m drawn to the most however, because they reveal a Cara with no make-up, no stylist, no fabulous hair. The Cara who in reality could be “just like us”. She’s actually been fairly vocal in the past about not wanting to wear make-up unless she has to, dressing down on all occasions possible and generally being fairly down-to-earth. It makes her likeable. Yes, down-to-earth. It makes her likeable. Yes, to the cynics out there it could be considered a well-crafted campaign to reel in the gullible, I’m sure it hasn’t escaped her brand manager’s notice that she now nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter, but if you take it at face value she comes across as a fairly regular person. This is worlds away from the aloofness of your typical supermodel, you can expect it from the likes of Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell; they too had their own particular draw – somehow being unattainable was their thing. But Cara is the ultimate girl-next-door. To put my case in a point, one of her latest Instagram pictures is of a slogan: “Eat whatever you want, and if anyone tries to lecture you about your weight, eat them too.” I don’t know about you, but I’m fairly sure that Delevingne is one of the first supermodels who has been this upfront about bucking the trend.
Moving once more inside the fashion world, she has worked for countless names, seemingly having close and personal connections with houses such as Chanel, DKNY and Burberry. But whether Cara actually likes it has always been a question that’s floated around. She’s been quoted as saying that Fashion Week is her worst nightmare, and that her true passion has always been music and film. She seems to have been becoming more active in the latter things as well recently, moving from bit parts to supporting roles, and also a successful music video duet, she manages to find time for other talents as well. Whatever happens next for Cara, I think she’s cemented herself as one of fashion’s greats. Most models have a shelf life, but I think she’ll long outlive hers and I think she deserves it. Without dusting off the cliché terms of “quirky”, “inspirational” and “eye-catching”, it’s a little difficult to round up Cara Delevingne, because she is all of those things.
I’m just excited to see where she heads to next.