New Model Army − Glass meets Ella-Rae Smith

Name: Ella-Rae Smith

Agency: Next London

Age: 19

Nationality: British

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Ella-Rae Smith. Photograph: Camilla Glorioso

How did you become a model and why?
I was first scouted when I was 13, walking along the Champs-Élysées on a school trip to Paris. I signed with my first agency at 16 and then moved to Next when they scouted me in London a year later. I saw it as a way out of what felt like a very neatly planned-out life.

Being a “high achiever” at school, feeling the pressure of A+ target grades and the looming prospect of three years at university, modelling was a way of escaping that system, getting out and seeing the real world instead of sitting in classrooms questioning Mrs Monaghan over whether or not I’ll actually ever use Pythagoras’s theorem in real life. (I haven‘t).

Have you always wanted to be a model?
When I was a kid I was often told I could model, so it had always been an option in my mind. As I was super shy growing up, I saw it as a way to embrace my gangly long legs, see the world, meet interesting people and be a part of the art of fashion.

_ONO2795_webElla-Rae Smith. Photograph: Camilla Glorioso

Who are your heroes in life and modelling?
I love artists like David Bowie and Wes Anderson. Though I’m not sure I have a modelling hero, to me fashion is all about the beauty of individuality.

What is your present state of mind?
Excited − life is too exciting not to be!

What is your idea of happiness?
Love.

_ONO2770_webElla-Rae Smith. Photograph: Camilla Glorioso

How would you like to be perceived by others?
Approachable, fun and goofy.

If you were not a model, what would you be?
I’m also an actor, so if I wasn’t modelling too then I’d just be doing that. I can’t imagine doing anything else!

What do you miss most when you’re travelling?
Mostly my partner, but also the huge choice of good vegan and organic food we have in the UK.

What is your favourite song or songs to walk to?
My favourite songs change literally every fortnight but right now I’m listening to a lot of TOPS and Homeshake, there’s a great song by Mons Vi called Want Me Too. Dreamy floaty sounding stuff. Or Chic − always great for a morning boogie.

_ONO2804_webElla-Rae Smith. Photograph: Camilla Glorioso

What would you say is the biggest myth or misconception about modelling?
That our lives are perfect. I feel like there’s always been a strange admiration for models but social media has intensified it so much more. I love how it means that a model has a platform to share their work themselves (along with showing their personality, interests and beliefs) but, ultimately, we all only show a small fraction of our lives online and those little squares of pretty pictures are never an accurate representation of what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. I guess I’m saying that I find it concerning how easily we can idolise and compare ourselves to others, rather than being content with our own lives.

by Camilla Glorioso

All photographs: Camilla Glorioso

Ella-Rae is on Instagram here.