Model dynasties are commonplace in the fashion world – think of the Jaggers, the Hadids, the Waterhouses, the Delevingnes and the Campbells. Good genes run in families, so it comes as no surprise that Taylor Hill’s family are equally genetically blessed.
Her younger brother Chase, 17 and sister MacKinley, 19, are both models represented by Taylor’s agency, IMG. The two – who have been bestowed with the same high cheekbones and wide blue eyes as their sister – are often pictured by their eldest photographer sibling Logan Rae, 22. It’s an ad campaign waiting to happen.
But by the sounds of it, Taylor Hill is already on the case. Like many Victoria’s Secret Angels before her, she wants to be known as a businesswoman in her own right –preferably utilising the skills of her talented family.
Related article: Exclusive! Backstage At Max Mara’s Fall/Winter 2017 Show
“Lifestyle is what I’m thinking,” she told us. “I have a big family and it would be cool to incorporate them in what I do. It’s so important to stay together and work together. So much of what we do makes it easy not to talk to each other, so it’d be really cool to do something with my family one day. We could start an empire.”
The start of her business has already begun. In seven years, she has become a favourite among fashion heavyweights including Chanel, Topshop, Versace and Givenchy. Then there’s her role as a Victoria’s Secret Angel. It was only a matter of time before she launched her first fashion collection and now we have it in the form of a denim range with US brand Joe’s Jeans, featuring 16 pieces. Highlights include a denim playsuit ideal for summer festivals, the perfect cut-offs and cropped frayed hem jeans.
“I love jeans; I love denim and every single pair of Joe’s Jeans that I’ve tried are so soft,” she said. “I’m really interested in the business side of fashion. I’ve been modelling this for seven years now, so for me it’s cool to grow up in it and see different sides. This is an interesting process to see how something is designed, learn about cuts and colours and how something is made.”
Related article: Get Her Style: Taylor Hill
The fashion world has seen Hill make the transition from teenager (she was scouted in a barn aged 14) to young woman. The industry is not, as you might imagine, always kind and nurturing to its youngest recruits and Hill was told to follow a seen-and-not-heard approach when she first started her career.
“A lot of the time, at the beginning, they tell you don’t talk too much or act a certain way because casting directors can be really touchy,” she said. “But now, I just don’t think that’s true. I’ve grown up in the industry and I’ve realised that the reason I keep getting rebooked is because casting directors and designers know who I am. I make it relevant.”
So what advice would she give her younger siblings who are still carving out their way in modeling?
“I’m always telling them ‘don’t listen to your agent.’ Tell them that you’re related to me, they want to know who you are; they want to see your personality,” she said. “They’re going to work with you all the time so they’re going to want to make sure that you’re easy to work with.”
In fact, it was Hill’s authenticity and natural charm (coupled with her considerable aesthetic good fortune) that cinched the Victoria’s Secret deal.
“I’d just turned 18 and I’d never done lingerie in my life. I was scared out of my mind,” she recalled. “But when I asked Ed (Razek, Victoria’s Secret president and chief marketing officer) why he took me on he said, ‘You just have an energy about you. You seemed nervous but you didn’t hide it. You did this weird thing where you actually were working your nervousness. You were just being yourself.’ Then it clicked for me, I just need to be be myself. Why do people always tell me to shut up? I should start talking. So I did.”
Victoria’s Secret has long been criticised for being anti-feminist – for some the idea of women wearing just lingerie on the catwalk is a little too similar to the archaic beauty pageants of the 70s. But you get the impression that for Hill, featuring in the brand’s shows is a testament to how she’s come. This is the woman who once said that she was bullied at school for being “too pretty”.
“There are so many different versions of feminism, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it means,” she said. “So you have to take it as it what it means to you. I feel empowered and strong that I am confident enough to show my body or be who I want to be. Just because I’m tall and skinny, it doesn’t mean that I’ve always felt proud of myself. All women no matter what go through a period in their life where they don’t feel right or uncomfortable.”
Almost despite itself, the fashion world has helped Hill to find out who she is; that really being true to yourself will get you further than conforming to the norm.
“No matter what, where you come from or how you look on the inside, it’s about how you see yourself,” she said. “That’s what counts.”
From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK