September Cover: Model-of-the-Moment Lindsay Lullman
Lindsay Lullman’s effervescence and classic, girl-next-door look evokes the great supermodels of eras past—think Cindy Crawford or Stephanie Seymour—with a charming, Midwest personality to boot.
Discovered by Jeff and Mary Clarke of Mother Model Management at a Borders bookstore in St. Louis when she was just 13, Lullman—then a self-described “super-shy tomboy”—already had that special something that would kick off her high-fashion career.
Fourteen years later, there have been campaigns with Cole Haan, Les Copains and Perry Ellis; covers with L’Officiel and Velvet; a Stella McCartney exclusive at Paris Fashion Week; editorials shot by renowned photographers like David Sims and Patrick Demarchelier; and countless appearances in national and international glossies. Splitting her time between on-location jobs and her residences in New York, London and Barcelona, Lullmann is still as active as ever in her career as a model while embarking on a new chapter—as a swimwear designer for her new line, All Swim.
ALIVE: You began modeling at a pretty young age. What was the moment that—in your eyes— your career really took off?
LL: I didn’t know that this was big at the time because I knew absolutely nothing about fashion, but my first shoot with United Colors of Benetton, shot by the legendary David Sims, was a really big thing for me. I was jumping on a trampoline [during the shoot] and clueless as to how big of a moment that was. After that, my career went right into Abercrombie and German Vogue, and experiencing all of those things at such a young age was really cool.
ALIVE: What other notable moments helped your career take off?
LL: I was an exclusive for Stella McCartney in Paris a few seasons ago, and I really admire her. That moment really opened up doors for me and enabled me to break into so many shows and develop really great relationships with several designers.
ALIVE: You’ve been around the world and back but still remain in close contact with your Mother agents, Jeff and Mary Clarke. How would you describe your relationship with them?
LL: We are still super, super close and we always have been. They have been like another family for me. I’m grateful for them, especially because they prepared me for what I was going to go through when I started to model. They were the calming forces even when I was freaking out.
ALIVE: With your family and the Clarkes still in St. Louis, do you come back to visit much?
LL: It used to be not so much because I split my time between New York, London and Barcelona, and my schedule was just so hectic, but now I have it down to a science and try to visit as often as possible! My family still lives there, so whenever I am in New York, if time allows, I try to sneak away for long weekends. I’m a horseback rider, and I love to come back and spend time with my family and ride my horse.
ALIVE: Your time in Barcelona has been really influential in developing your recently launched All Swim line. What is it about the city that captivated you?
LL: I first came to Barcelona for a job, and it was supposed to be an in-and-out trip, but I ended up staying for a month. I don’t even know why— I was by myself—but the people, the food and the energy just attracted me to it, and I stayed. I ended up meeting my boyfriend at the end of that trip. It’s a very inspiring place: the vibe, the architecture. To me, Barcelona is heaven.
ALIVE: What was it about being there that inspired you to do the swimwear line?
LL: I met my [business] partner [Andy Gimeno], who is actually the cousin of my boyfriend, and we had been talking about doing something because of all of the amazing fabrics that are available [in Barcelona]. We were unsure of how it would go at first, but people have really responded well to it.
ALIVE: What about All Swim makes it stand out in the swimwear industry?
LL: The craftsmanship is very local to Barcelona. We source all of our fabrics here, and we found a small factory about an hour away that hand makes each piece of the collection. It’s a very personal touch.
ALIVE: What’s next as far as developments with the brand?
LL: We are looking to develop a men’s and kids’ line in between collections. We are also looking to expand into the US (California) and Brazil, tropical places that would be a great market year-round.
ALIVE: How are you able to balance both a modeling career and your new venture as a designer?
LL: In the beginning, I was kind of worried about that, but actually, it has worked out pretty seamlessly. If I get a job, I go and travel, and if I need to do something with All Swim, I fit it in. We are to a point now where the company is still very new, but we are in a few stores in Barcelona, Ibiza and Greece, so now our focus is really on the next steps and getting the word out about the brand as much as possible. Plus, I love to be busy.
ALIVE: What are some things you do to relax?
LL: I am a big horseback rider. I have a horse in Missouri and also one in Barcelona. It’s a big stress-reliever for me. I also love to be by the beach—I just got back from a trip to Greece. Any time spent by the beach is really a dream.
ALIVE: What advice do you have for those interested in becoming a model or for those looking to create longevity in the industry by breaking into something new?
LL: Just don’t doubt yourself. There’s a lot of competition in this industry, and you really need to have thick skin and confidence in yourself because that’s everything. When I first started, I was the shyest person in the world—I spoke to no one—and it took me a long time to get out of that. But if you really love it, you can drag yourself out of that and move past it.
Styled by Sarah Stallmann | Photo by Attilio D’Agostino
Hair: Valerie Brown for Talent Plus
Makeup: Kat Hinkle for ABTP
Assistants: Christopher Williams, Jeremy Gatzert, Kayla Meyers, Jenna Carlie, Tim Probst
Cover: Theory turtleneck and Tess Giberson skirt available at Saks Fifth Avenue, Plaza Frontenac, 314.567.9200. Roni Blanshay earrings available at Vie, Ladue, 314.997.0124. Citrine gold cuff available at Byrd Designer Consignment, Ladue, 314.721.0766. Via Spiga “Tarot” heels available at viaspiga.com. Left: Wai Ming jumper available at waim- ingstudio.com
This story appeared in the September 2015 issue.