Stella Rising: A Moment with Stella Maxwell

by Eddie Roche

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From the runways of Chanel and Versace to the pages of W and Love, Stella Maxwell’s arresting look is captivating the fashion set and the Instagram-obsessed masses alike. The model, represented by The Lions in New York, has more grand plans ahead.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GIAMPAOLO SGURA

How do you typically spend your summer?
I wouldn’t mind finding a nice shack somewhere on a quiet stretch of beach with a perfect wave out front. Get up early and eat fresh fruit. Surf all day and hang out on the beach. And watch the sun set into the ocean while drinking some fresh juice, or maybe a mojito. Then spend the night just staring up at the stars and just wondering about the universe and thinking about where we actually are on this earth. It’s just to have time to clear your mind.

Sounds nice! Any idea where you’ll be for Memorial Day?
Any idea where I will be tomorrow? No! I can say I am thankful to all those who have laid down their lives for their respective countries. It’s hard to imagine what their families and loved ones go through, let alone what they go through as individuals. I know people look at Memorial Day as a holiday, and I love that. And I try to always remember what that day is about.

Where did you grow up?
Both my parents are from Belfast. In Belfast, you are both an Irish citizen and a citizen of the U.K. I was born in Belgium, and I actually grew up in New Zealand. I love it there. That’s where I went to school and spent my formative years so, for me, it’s such a beautiful memory and special place.

What were your summers like as a kid?
Full of family, fun, and friends. I remember one time at the beach in New Zealand—it was a perfect day of relaxing and enjoying ourselves. Then suddenly, a herd of sheep that had obviously wandered off their pasture came strolling down the beach. It was amazing. I am not talking like 20 or 30 sheep—I’m talking two or three hundred!

Did you have a summer job?
Yes, I worked in a newsstand. I would sell papers and bubblegum. I really loved it. I liked talking to the customers. I love to work. Don’t get me wrong—I am looking forward to the day when I can sit back and spend time not working, though.

What are your favorite places in the Hamptons?
The first time I went to the Hamptons, I loved it. We hung out and barbecued some corn and made juice and took a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Now, I go to Montauk to surf and eat lobster rolls. I don’t think the lobster rolls are going to happen this summer, though—I am going back to being vegetarian.

How did you first meet Jeremy Scott?
When I did his show for the first time a few years ago. We clicked immediately. I love interacting with all the amazing designers I work with. It’s great to understand their energy and vibe.

Have you worked with photographer Giampaolo Sgura before?
We shot Vogue Spain together a little while ago. It was a really cool story, full of energy and edgy clothes. We had a great day.

What kind of atmosphere does he create on set?
He loves sexy, strong women, and encourages his models to exude confidence and energy in front of the camera. His photos are amazing, and he made me feel so good while shooting.

What designers do you typically wear?
It’s all over the place—anything from Jeremy Scott to Chanel to Libertine to Balmain to Topshop to Alexander Wang to Marc Jacobs.

What else are you working on?
I’ve been working on some music projects for some time now. I have also been working on setting up a charity to help raise money for research on brain cancer. That is really one of my biggest dreams.

Career goals?
I would love to be in a David Lynch film.

What did becoming a Victoria’s Secret Angel mean to you?
It meant a lot. As a model, you go through a lot every day—so many emotions and ups and downs—so to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel was a really special moment.

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve done lately?
I went kayaking down the Colorado River. It was so gorgeous and so intense. Nature is so powerful and so beautiful.

Do you have a 10-year plan?
To live another hundred after the next 10. I really love life, and I just want to enjoy and appreciate and be thankful for each day.

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