American model Erin Wasson has graced the covers of Vogue, Elle and Esquire magazines and walked for designers from Armani to Balenciaga and Victoria’s Secret. During a visit to Australia to launch Re: Denim into David Jones, the 33-year-old chatted to me about growing up in Texas, the best beauty secret she’s learned, and her biggest pinch-me moment.
What is a day in the life of you?
It depends on the week. I’m mostly based out of California now and I live in Venice … I’ve got my office at my home so I try to work out of my home as much as possible. But for the most part, if I’m not working, I have a horse so I ride as much as I can.
What are you doing while in Australia?
I’m here for the launch of RE: Denim here at David Jones. It’ll be a new brand for them to be carrying in stores. Anybody that knows me knows I’m a diehard denim fan. So I’m happy to be here and to be the face of the brand.
Tell me about the label.
RE: Denim is eco-conscious. It’s all sustainably sourced cotton – all of the actual cotton fibres come from plastic bottles, which is so the way to the future.
If you could only own one pair of jeans, what style would they be?
I really like the skinny [leg] cut.
What was it like growing up in Texas?
I lived outside – we would actually come home when the streetlights came on. We’d be outside playing or running around the ditches and in big open fields. I had just a simple, normal upbringing.
How did you get your big break into modelling?
My dad turned my picture in for a modelling contest for the Dallas Morning News when I was a kid at 15. He didn’t tell me about it. And I got a call back and I ended up winning the local contest there in Texas. I worked locally in Texas for a couple of years and then moved to New York at 18 and the rest is kind of history. The first photographer that I met was Mario Testino. He gave me my big break and one of my first jobs was for American Vogue with Mario Testino. I got really lucky, man!
What was it like when you first met Mario?
I had no clue who he was. I walked in, I handed over this piece of paper with four Polaroids [as my portfolio]. A couple of weeks later I was in LA shooting with him for American Vogue. He really took a chance on me and I owe a lot of my career to him.
What has been your biggest pinch-me moment?
The day that I signed with Maybelline was huge because not only is it prestigious to be the face of a brand but it also gives you quite a lot of financial stability in a very finicky business. I’m very proud to say that I was with them for 13 years. They were with me from the time that I was 18 until I was a grown woman, so they became a family and they watched me grow up and watched me come into myself.
What’s your top beauty secret you learnt while modelling?
Just f—ing sleep, babe! (Laughs.) Honestly, it’s one of those funny things; there are no tricks that I know that nobody else doesn’t know. I just know that I will always look my best if I get a good night’s sleep. No amount of concealer can hide it [if I haven’t].
What has been the best advice that you’ve ever been given?
I always tell people; “You’ve got to check out to check in.” It’s really important to take time for yourself. It’s important to check out and get off the grid and just don’t look in the mirror and don’t think about you as a “face” or as anything. I always tell girls, “Don’t forget those things you really loved to do before you got into this industry.” You’ve really got to continue to have hobbies and things that you are passionate about. When I’m not working, I’m out at the stable and riding my horse. While I’m on my horse I don’t think about anything else. I just think about me and her and that relationship.
What’s something that people don’t know about you and would be surprised to find out?
I’m a really f—ing good cook! (Laughs.) I love to cook. I’m far more domesticated I think than people realise. I think over the years, people think “Oh my gosh. She is so rock’n’roll.” I hear all these funny things. I’m really a homebody. I love to cook. I love to entertain. I love to be home. I’m kind of a lot less crazy than I think people paint me out to be.
What is the biggest misconception people have about you?
According to the world, I live the most interesting life in the world. According to most, I’m out there living a crazy good life. [But really] I’m sitting on my couch reading a book. Everyone thinks that I go to one rock concert after the next and I’m always out at some bar slinging beers back. I mean, there’s a time and a place for that, but at the end of the day I’m far more relaxed I think than my public persona portrays me as.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
More patience, being less reactionary. I don’t look at the things that I would like to change about myself on a physical level. It’s more metaphysical and psychological. I want to become more empathetic. I want to become more patient. I want to become more kind. All those things … we’re all striving for as we get older.
What’s next in the pipeline?
I’m launching my fine-jewellery collection. And I’ve been designing a clothing line for a brand called PacSun, which is sort of like a younger demographic company that has got a bunch of stores and malls all over America. So between that it keeps me pretty busy. [And] I’m working on launching an equine company. I want to do the street version of equestrian wear. I want to call it Buck Off!
If you hadn’t become a model what would you be doing?
I would have been a chef. I would have some amazing little restaurant, maybe a little bed and breakfast somewhere, near the sea where people would come in and I cook for them and they tell me their stories and we play records … Who knows, there’s still time!
WE WENT TO St. James Station, Sydney CBD
WE ATE canapes of hand cut truffle fries with shaved reggiano, charred kingfish tortilla with chilli, lime and toasted corn salsa, buttermilk popcorn chicken with chilli and cilantro.
WE DRANK Chandon Brut and San Pellegrino Water.
ERIN WORE RE: Denim, Witchery sheer jumpsuit & Sandro Jacket.
I WORE A Dion Lee dress, Balenciaga leather jacket and Alaia boots.