Model by Number: Cara Delevingne
By Joelle Hyman
My senior year of high school, I lost the Best Dressed superlative to a girl who wears silk halter tops. This isn't me holding a grudge—I'm actually relieved. To have my So Low-wearing, faded denim-loving peers actually approve of what I wore would mean I was doing something wrong. Aside from that, I'll also admit to not being the most popular. I don't know if the fact that I'd rather discuss Proenza instead of prescription pills made me a social pariah, but I'm sure it didn't help.
The truth is, fashion doesn't have to be an in-crowd game. Whether it’s high school halls or runways, there's a group of fresh faces ready to become the next household name, even to those buried in suburban obscurity. Amongst them is Brit-import Cara Delevingne. The 20-year-old face-about-town turned model debuted as an exclusive to Burberry for their Spring/Summer 2011 campaign. This season alone, meaning September 2012 for Spring/Summer 2013, she walked 37 shows, including opening for DSquared, Burberry, and Matthew Williamson.
Much like Cindy Crawford and her iconic venture into the mainstream via Pepsi, Delevingne has lent her face to fast fashion chain Zara and even walked her first Victoria's Secret fashion show last week. Her appeal as this season's underdog lies in her height: While most assume that you just have to be tall to be a model, Delevingne proves that good things come in small (for a model) packages. She, apparently, stands at only 5 feet 8 inches, despite selling on her agency card as 5 feet 9.5 inches. Her tomboyish charm and infectious carefree attitude have lead designers and casting agents alike to throw her height to the curb. It proves having a personality will get you far—maybe even plucked from London society and dropped into Terry Richardson's studio.
Delevinge sports her pre-school backpack before a designer tote and favors a crude T-shirt and gang signs—saving her "face" strictly for the runway. If she's getting prepped in next season's clothes, you'll most likely find her rolling her eyes to the back of her head or pulling a monkey face. She's not your typical model, but she puts on one hell of a show.
Walked: 59 shows in 2012, between the F/W '12 and S/S '13 seasons.
Covers: Style.com Print Spring/Summer 2013, Russh September 2012, i-D Pre-Fall 2012, Tush Summer 2012, Jalouse February 2012, S Moda January 2012, and Vogue UK supplement November 2011.
Campaigns: Burberry, Burberry Beauty, H&M Collection, Dominic Jones, Blumarine, Zara, and Chanel.
In the News: One high profile relationship rumor (thank you, One Direction cougar-catcher Harry Styles), and over 10 publications—including Elle UK, The Telegraph, Style.com, and Vogue—declare Delevingne the most in-demand model of the season.
Street Staples: Boxy tanks and T-shirts, chunky boots, and beanies. Cara's favorites include tanks and hats by Dimepiece Designs, Rag & Bone jeans, Mulberry kicks, and Burberry leather jackets.
Shop Cara's look (and look-for-less) below and browse her career highlights. With the way things are going, it won't be long before Cara inspires other crazy, sexy, cool (like the TLC album!) girls to ditch the "We won't wake up for less than $10,000 a day" attitude and keep it real. If it worked for Kate...right?