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Feb / Mar 2017
Sitting Pretty

WRITER: Bethan Holt /The Telegraph/ The Interview People PHOTOGRAPHER: Mert & Marcus

She’s the new face of Lancôme and the brand’s youngest ever ambassador, but 20 year-old model Taylor Hill’s rise has been slow and steady, and now it’s paying off. 

Taylor Hill landed one of the most coveted gigs for a model last year: an ambassadorship at the French beauty giant, Lancôme. The 20-year-old Colorado native with wonderfully natural and unaffected eyebrows joined a growing list of young models claiming beauty contracts – think Bella Hadid at Dior, Lily-Rose Depp at Chanel, Gigi Hadid at Maybelline and Kendall Jenner at Estée Lauder – and, like her contemporaries she’s social-media-savvy. In fact, she broke the news of the contract’s signing via Instagram to her six million followers.

“I am so excited and happy to announce that I will be joining the Lancôme family as their newest face!!! This an amazing day and I cannot believe one of my biggest dreams has come true!! Thank you so much to everyone at Lancôme for believing in me and having me a part of your amazing family.”

If you’re not already familiar with this brunette model whose brows give Cara a run for her money, allow us to fill you in. She was discovered on a ranch – where else? – while taking riding lessons when she was just 14 by Jim Jordan, a fashion photographer and agent, who immediately spotted her model potential. Her catwalk debut came when she was 17, in September 2013, when she was cast to walk for the likes of Roksanda Ilinčić and Ralph Lauren.

Hill’s career has been all about the slow burn, which is an excellent sign in these days of flash-in-a-pan model moments. A year after her catwalk debut, Victoria’s Secret came calling and Hill, a former gymnast, appeared in their 2014 show. In 2015, Victoria’s Secret awarded Hill her ‘Angel’ wings, meaning she joined the exclusive club of toned and tanned supers with the likes of Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Lily Aldridge in their midst.

 

 

Cleverly, Hill has kept up with the high fashion side of things too. Last fashion week she walked for Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi and Versace among others. She also scooped up a spot in Miu Miu’s autumn/winter ad campaign, and most recently she even tried her hand at acting, playing the role of a model in The Neon Demon, a movie by Nicolas Winding Refn (of Drive fame). It’s little wonder then that Forbes recently ranked her in the top ten highest earning models on the planet.

“We are delighted about this new collaboration with Taylor, who represents a modern Lancôme, in harmony with its time, with a subtle mix of sensuality, ingenuousness and sweet yet striking beauty,” said Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme international general manager, in a statement. “She is a very inspiring young woman for her generation: She is immensely curious, open-minded and has a positive outlook on life.”

Hill has a sweet, good-girl vibe but can also pull off sultry goddess (owning the runway at the most recent Victoria’s Secret show in Paris) and is capable of surprising edginess (see her punk look at the Marc Jacobs Spring 2017 runway show, or the super-faux pixie cut she rocked on her Insta feed), which works well in today’s all-seeing social media climes. She has said that in her downtime she loves nothing more that snowboarding in Colorado (with her model siblings, Chase and Mackinley Hill, and actor boyfriend, Michael Stephen Shank) and often appears on Snapchat with her super-cute labradoodle Tate, who featured in her ‘Day in the Life’ film for Topshop.

But what makes Hill so compelling is that she has a good head on her shoulders. “I would say that anything is possible, because I didn’t always think that I was beautiful and I didn’t always believe in myself” she told Teen Vogue last year, “people have told me a million things in my life – and especially my career as a model, like, ‘Oh she’s too pretty, she’s too tanned, she’s too short, she’s too tall, she’s not skinny enough’ – and it’s crazy! You can’t listen to any of it and you have to remember who you are, what you do, and what makes you happy. That’s my message: happiness and positivity are such a huge thing for me.”

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