When Erin Wasson was 15, her father sent her picture into a Dallas Morning News model seach. "I ended up being one of the finalists and that involved a photo shoot that we shot at Northpark Mall in Dallas," says Wasson. "I ended up winning the whole thing." In the past year, at 31, Wasson is the current covergirl on Vogue Netherlands, appeared in Muse’s music video for "Madness," and has made her film debut in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. In between that, she is in her third season as Rockport’s spokesperson, in her 12th year as a spokesperson for Maybelline, and on her 15th collection for her personal jewlery line, Low Luv. The busy model says, “I think sometimes you don’t even realize your dream jobs…" until you’re in Curacao riding on wild ostriches and swimming with dolphins for a Vogue cover shoot (which she did). "Only in this business," she says. "You really get to collect these incredible memories.”
At Studio 59 at Chelsea Piers, while on break at the photo shoot for the new Rockport campaign, Wasson curls up on a couch and lights an American Spirit. Her nails are unpolished, but her hands are weighted with statement rings and bracelets. Her hair is curled in soft ringlets and she’s wearing a cream blouse with a long blue trench coat, green leather pants, and (of course) Rockport boots. "It’s interesting for me to be with this really authentic, American-rooted brand as an American model and to be a part of this revival of sorts,” she says of the 42-year-old company. Like any good spokesperson, she begins to gush about the company. "They work with Adidas and they have this thing called Adiprene and it’s a thin layer of sport technology," she explains. "Shoes usually suck. You usually have to break them in and deal with it and have blisters and use band-aids.”
Wasson’s favorite fall 2013 style for Rockport is the sensible Jia Penny Loafer in blue. "They are dumb comfortable," she says. "It feels like you went out in your Isotoner slippers… And they do a simple black pump that are just easy. You can wear them with jeans. You can walk for miles.”
Aside from Rockport, Wasson loves to shop at Spanish Moss, Nasty Gal, Scout (her favorite store in LA), and Narnia (a vintage shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan). The model dresses simply, usually in jeans and a solid tee, but also admits that she’s “a really big fan of Western wear." She adds, "It’s that perfect combination between bohemian and cowgirl. That’s why I’m always living in boots.”
We sat down with the spirited Texan to talk about her modeling career, her jewlery collection, and her recent film debut. Read the interview to find out more on that, why women should be happy in the skin they’re in, and the surprising spring trend that’s got Wasson pumped.
Lucky: Do you have any beauty secrets you can share with us?
Erin Wasson: I’m still searching for that beauty tip that’s going to rock my world, but at the end of the day, I’ve learned that the only secret out there is just simple sleep. I know that I’m going to be more confident and be more beautiful if I have a good night’s sleep.
You walked at the 2007 Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. Would you ever want to do it again?
It’s just not for me. I did it once and it was the first time that they had taken the show from New York to LA. I just don’t think that I’m that girl. I think that I’m much more comfortable in a three-piece suit than I am in a bra and underwear, not because of body situations. It’s just the way I want to be projected as a woman. I’m in my 30s now. I want to project myself a certain way.
What has it been like working for Maybelline for the past 12 years?
Everyone knows that a beauty contract is simply the Holy Grail in the industry because it’s security, and to be with a company for as long as I have—they’ve watched me go from girl to woman, and we’re kind of like a funny little family. I’ve seen women within the company have their own kids. We all kind of know each other’s lives.
What’s a typical, non-work outfit for you?
I’m a jeans and a t-shirt kind of gal. I always joke that I’m always channeling a version of Johnny Cash at all times…The older I get, the more utilitarian I think I become. I appreciate trends and I see things in stores that I find to be very intriguing, but I know myself well enough at this point that I know that I like to keep things pretty simple. I’m an accessories kind of girl. That’s why I love jewelry and that’s why I make jewelry. For me, give me a white tee shirt and jeans and deck me out in jewelry. That’s where I find myself channeling my creativeness—through accessories.
Where do you get inspiration from when you’re designing your jewlery collection, Low Luv?
I find a lot of my inspiration in architecture. I think in architecture, what’s interesting is that there’s always a lot of negative space involved. That’s the beauty about working in jewelry—it can be very abstract. You can take a very abstract idea and turn it into something very tangible. You don’t have to worry about how it fits the body or how it drapes the body, you can find something very obscure and manipulate it in alchemy and metal and turn it into something totally wearable.
Do you have a favorite piece or collection that you’ve worked on?
There was one collection that I did that was all based on bones…It was close to me because I had a dog that I had to put down. I buried him in my rose garden and I actually dug up his body three years later and used some of the bones from him to cast as the bones in that jewelry collection, so it was like an ode to my dog.
What was it like fliming for your first movie role as Vadoma in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter?
It was the most growing experience I’ve had, simply because I was doing something that was very much out of my comfort zone. I think everyone feels most comfortable when they feel capable in what they’re doing and, for me, it was such a fluke that I ended up in the part and I’d never had any acting experience outside of doing commercial work in the fashion industry. Every day I got onto set, it was the first time that I felt true fear, in a weird way, that real semblance of fear…I think you grow so much in moments of fear. It’s very easy to stay complacent and do things that you’re comfortable with and that’s why people get bored, because you’re not provoking yourself in any way.
What Spring trend are you looking most forward to?
I’m totally going to be rocking a one-piece bathing suit with sweatpants. There was that whole look on the runway, Lanvin, that was a bathing suit with a chic pant.
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