Liberty Ross may not quite be a household name, but there’s no doubt you recognize the black-haired, impossibly high-cheekboned British beauty. At the age of nine, Ross appeared on the cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s album No Rest for the Wicked; her star rose throughout the late ’90s and early 2000s as she fronted campaigns for the likes of Burberry and Dior—along with many major magazine covers. She also, of course, happens to be the ex-wife of Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, he of the infamous (and short-lived) Kristen Stewart affair—and since then, she’s rocketed back into the fashion industry limelight, making her runway comeback at Alexander Wang‘s Spring 2013 show. Now, she’s trying her hand at design by launching a six-piece capsule with premium jeans brand Genetic, priced from $176 to $576 and inspired by both ’70s-’80s disco and ’90s grunge.
Born out of a friendship with Genetic’s founder and creative director Ali Fatourechi (the two first met at a dinner party, and quickly bonded over their California roots), Ross’ collection includes skinny jeans with plaid patches, a blazer-and-pant set covered in a cool geometric print and one particularly awesome overall dress. Last week, I sat down with the model to discuss her first foray into the design world, her exciting bicontinental lifestyle (you thought being bicoastal was cool?!) and the roller skating rink her family used to run. Read on for the scoop—and click through the gallery above to shop Liberty Ross’ entire Genetic collection!
Lucky: Tell me a little bit about how you got inspired to design this collection for Genetic.
Liberty Ross: I didn’t want to give Ali blue jeans, or even black jeans! I wanted to make them as bold as I could, but still do something that made sense. So I decided to grab all of my favorite bits and bobs—poems, pieces of fabric, pieces of jewelry—and just throw them in a pile on the floor for inspiration.
So this geometric disco print—was that inspired by one of those scraps of fabric?
Actually, it was more inspired by my LA days. I’ve always lived in the double worlds of Los Angeles and London. I was born in England, but my parents moved to LA when I was six months old. They opened a roller disco there that was, like, the spot. I have these incredible photos of that time in LA that was so poignant for the city—you know, when LA really had a heartbeat, which it kind of doesn’t anymore.
I take it that the plaids are inspired by London, then?
Yes—I moved there when I seven, and started modeling when I finished school, in the age of ’90s grunge. I was such that girl, and I wanted a fabric that would reflect that time in my life. I like that it’s subtle. It’s a very "street" pant, though—I’ve always loved X-Girl and Hysteric Glamour and those types of streetwear brands, so I wanted to tie that in somehow. And gold is my favorite—so all the hardware is gold. The buckles, the zippers, everything.
As someone who’s worn pretty much every denim style under the sun, which do you find the most flattering?
I just love a skinny and a straight leg—that’s what works on my body type, personally. But the reason I loved Genetic even before I met Ali is that his fabric is so soft and comfortable, yet has great recovery. I’d always say to Ali, "I can wear your jeans on my flight from LA to London and get off the plane, and my bum is still perfect!" That was a major selling point for me.
Finally, you’ve been in the fashion industry for some time now—and many say that we’re experiencing a sort of "supermodel renaissance" at the moment, largely brought on my social media and models being able to actually show their personalities to the public. Any thoughts?
I’m really happy to see models back on magazine covers—I think it’s refreshing, and something that was a long, long, long time coming. I’ll be interested to see what happens. I mean, social media has changed the world, and because of it, the modeling industry is a whole different ball game.