Exclusive: Lily Aldridge on her Bulgari gig and the pressures of modelling
While she may not be the first person to pop into one's head when asked "which model would you take advice from?", but trust us, Lily Aldridge knows what's up. If there was any model you'd want to take advice from, it's her. Why? It's in her blood. Aldridge is not only a Victoria's Secret Angel, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue model and a constant hair muse for us here at Buro HQ, but she is also the daughter of an artist and a Playboy Playmate. Her half-sister, Saffron was a famous face of Ralph Lauren in the 90s, her half-brother, Miles, is a fashion photographer who was married to supermodel Kristen McMenamy and her sister, Ruby is also a super-successful model. The family not only clearly has excellent genes, but a great wealth of fashion experience between them.
This week, the brunette beauty was announced as the new face of Bulgari; a fitting placement if there were any. Following this announcement, we sat down with the 30-year-old to talk about jewellery, her heritage and her biggest tips when it comes to being navigating the industry.
How do you feel being the new brand ambassador of Bulgari?
Bulgari is really the jeweller to the stars, so I feel privileged to represent this exquisite maison; to be one of the sparkling stars in the Bulgari constellation. It is such an inspiring brand. Bulgari was already familiar to me because I feel somehow connected with its daring spirit, and to its unmistakable charisma. Bulgari's Italian soul infuses joy and life into the world, and I sincerely hope to honour its distinctive approach.
What does the brand mean to you?
To me, Bulgari is not just a visionary brand, it also represents a Roman way of life that balances glamour with indulgence, and enjoyment with exuberance. For Bulgari "living larger" is the only way to live, it is about living the love for extravagance, the joy of audaciousness, the desire of unique and individual self-expression, a life in bold full-colour.
Do you have any special relation to Rome and to Italy, Bulgari's hometown?
My mother side of the family comes from Italy so I feel very attached to Bulgari's Italian roots. Jewellery is something very personal that should feel familiar and at the same time, let you live extraordinary emotions, and this is the same synergy I have with Italy, especially with Rome and why I feel my association with Bulgari is so personal and exciting!
Tell us about your relationship with jewellery.
I simply love jewellery! It is always my favourite part of getting ready for an event or even for an everyday occasion, it can completely transform a look. I adore to build my style around a piece of jewellery, especially when I am dressed very casually with my favourite jeans, an oversized white shirt and a necklace or pair of earrings. It makes me feel glamorous and beautiful in the most natural way.
Which traits of character does one need to make it in the modelling industry? Is being stress-resistant required?
I think to make it in the modelling industry, you have to be very confident in yourself, a very hard worker and professional. I'm very blessed, I get to work with great people and usually never try to feel stressed or think negatively.
Do the requirements to runway models and models doing more commercial things actually differ?
I think that now runway models and commercial models are very similar- it has kind of merged. The business has changed so much. They used to be very separate roles, but now I think it's all blended in to one industry.
What helps you cope with the pressure of being a supermodel?
Just living, I don't live in New York I live in a smaller town and I have my family and that keeps you very grounded.
Have you ever thought of quitting what you do? Do you plan on modelling forever?
I do plan on modelling forever [laughs], until I'm 100.
What is your favourite part of modelling?
All the amazing people I've met along the way.
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