In a world where there seems to be a line of division, fashion allows us to transform into any type of person we want to be. Its fluidity of artistry and craft allows a person to showcase their true selves through all forms. While fashion was once known for its impenetrable rules and so called “Mean Girls” facade, it’s now morphing into a union of change that is accepting of all identities and allowing us to wear pink on days other than Wednesday. Although the fashion industry is slowly changing on its own, one model has helped kickoff the movement by flipping the switch in the modeling world.
You might know Elliott Sailors due to her multiple media appearances from the past few years because of her newly found androgynous style. Back in 2012, Sailors made the decision to cut her signature long locks to a chic, masculine-esque pixie cut with long bangs, and ever since then, her life has turned right-side up. Due to Sailors’ “manly” style, she has become one of the first female models to be cast for men’s fashion shows and campaigns. But while her looks might have brought her extra media attention, her forward-thinking view point is truly the winner here — she has not only become an activist for the LGBT community, but a role model for so many as well. Her 10-year-old modeling career has been nothing short of amazing, and while she has already accomplished so much, we can’t wait to see what she does next.
We got to hang with Sailors at Freeman’s Alley to discuss her modeling career, where she sees herself in 10 years, and her favorite emerging designer. Meet the undeniably beautiful, Elliott Sailors.
I’ve moved A LOT, but I’m originally from Tucson, AZ.
I love heading down to Macao in TriBeCa!!
Last great meal you had in NYC:
Home. My girlfriend is Italian and the best cook ever! She buys all her ingredients in Little Italy in the Bronx.
Ultimate dream vacation:
I sing opera.
Song you can’t get out of your head:
“Top of the World” by The Carpenters
5 items that never leave your bag:
I don’t really carry a bag, but I always have bottled water, Smith’s Rosebud salve (I use it for lip balm and even under eye cream sometimes), wallet, keys, and phone.
You have zero obligations on a Saturday, what do you choose to do all day?
I’d probably grab a cappuccino and croissant at Lenox Coffee, walk down along Central Park, either yoga or Soul Cycle on the Upper West Side, brunch in the sun at Isabella’s, visit a museum or gallery and dinner at Mole in the West Village!
Favorite emerging designer and why:
Tom is Not A Boy – uses all recycled clothing to make cool new pieces with amazing details.
Who’s your role model?
My mom! She’s the most loving and respectful person I know — even to those with whom she doesn’t agree.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into the modeling industry. Did anybody or anything influence you to go down that route?
My dad brought me to a model search when I was only 9 or 10 years old, but I didn’t really start my career until moving to NYC when I was 19 to do it full-time. The travel is what interested me most!
You’re one of the first women to start modeling for men campaigns. Tell us a bit about how that happened, and where the industry is now.
In fall of 2012, I cut my hair to start working in menswear — it was entirely my choice and my creation. I didn’t switch over to menswear I just added it to the womenswear I was already modeling. Yes, it was an opportunity to expand my career, but more importantly it was an opportunity to expand the industry as a whole. It’s truly amazing how much more welcoming the fashion industry now is of women in menswear, men in womenswear and genderless clothing. It isn’t new, but it’s certainly more prevalent. More people now get to feel represented in the world.
We all know the modeling world has a bit of a bad rap. How has the industry treated you? Any horror (or uplifting) moments you want to share?
I do my best to forgot the horror stories, but what’s been incredibly uplifting is the male models’ response to me working in menswear — they have been the most supportive! It’s so cool how easy-going, fun, and friendly I’ve found working with male models to be.
What do you think is the key to thrive in such a competitive industry?
Working as a model is not a competition, so don’t ever let yourself think or feel that way — because it will bring you down and limit your opportunities. And don’t take anything personally!
Best advice you’ve ever gotten pertaining to work:
I read a wonderful quote the other day by model Amy Greenhough in High Snobiety, “When you’re a model some people will treat like you’re the most important person in the room and others treat you like you’re not even human. The best thing I’ve learned is that neither is true.” Keeping that in mind I think is wonderful advice — do whatever you need to do to stay grounded!
In a dream world, what will you be doing 10 years from now?
Living somewhere green, outside the city, with a lot of space! I’ll continue to enjoy my singing, acting and writing.
Words for wisdom for future Boss Babes?
Be the kind of person people want to work with and have around! And always tell people when they look nice.
Photography via Vanessa Granda
Moisture Foundation: Kohgendo Cosmetics
Shirt: Mother Denim
Earring: Marlene Juhl Jørgensen
Necklace: Marla Studio
Jeans: Mother Denim
Boots: Sam Edelman
Scarf: Heidi Wynne