Lucky Blue Is Redefining the Male Supermodel

Lucky Blue Is Redefining the Male Supermodel

Model, musician, and social media sensation Lucky Blue is adding a new credit to his resume: author. Here, the millennial wunderkind opens up about doing it all as one of V's four September cover stars

Model, musician, and social media sensation Lucky Blue is adding a new credit to his resume: author. Here, the millennial wunderkind opens up about doing it all as one of V's four September cover stars

Photography: Mario Testino

Styling: Paul Cavaco

Text: Nick Remsen

This story is taken from V103, on newsstands September 1, available for pre-order here

You know that feeling when you’re asked an on-the-spot question and your memory fails you entirely? Lucky Blue Smith, the model, musician, social media wunderkind, and soon-to-be author, does not have this problem. Following an admission that he prefers “old school beats” to anything in the top 40, I ask him, bluntly, to tell me his single favorite song. “Brick House,” he replies without hesitation. His sister, Pyper America, 19, is in the room. “Really?” She eye-rolls hard.

As it happens, the fact that Smith is an 18-year-old who favors the Commodores over Drake or Rihanna isn’t the only appealingly divergent thing about the guy. Another is that he’s in a band, the Atomics, with his sisters, all of whom are also models—and said band was his original concern in life (more on this in a moment). Furthermore, he is a legit Adonis, and not in the over-tanned, hardbody way normally associated with the term; Lucky Blue might be one of the best-looking dudes on earth, with a face that’s somehow both one-of-a-kind yet marketable, and eyes that can only be described as the flesh-and-blood version of a Game of Thrones White Walker’s. Think: iciest sapphire. His style, too, is atypical; Smith’s look is millennial rockabilly—he digs a narrow Bowie suit and a Saint Laurent leather jacket. There’s a clear logic as to why he’s been booked by such antipodal brands as Tom Ford, Levi’s, Calvin Klein, and Balmain: just about everyone finds him attractive, and the magnetism is even stronger in person.

So how did Lucky Blue, the youngest of four in a Mormon family from Spanish Fork, Utah, who used to “spend summers flirting with the lifeguards at the pool” become Lucky Blue, the globe-trotting heartthrob with an audience numbering well into the millions? It started with an hour drive north to Salt Lake City nearly a decade ago, where his sister, Daisy Clementine, 21 this September, had a fateful casting. “I think I was probably grounded that day, so my mom made me go,” Smith says. The agent who would ultimately sign Daisy asked to see the tagalong again in a few years. A few years later, at age 12, he too was signed. In short order, he was photographed by Hedi Slimane for the pages of Vogue Hommes Japan. Few model achievements, even after many years of work, beat getting lensed by Slimane. His beginning is an exceptionally rare story.

Smith’s rise through the ranks since then is notable in the sense that male models don’t often get known beyond small menswear circles. Sure, Sean O’Pry was in a Taylor Swift music video, but the real fame game now requires tangible numbers—and Smith has approximately 2.4 million followers on Instagram, a bankable statistic to be sure. He navigates his social media life with a chill resolution, labeling pictures with captions like, “this is just a photo of me enjoying life,” or, “yo?” and he’s slightly in awe of its power: “I didn’t realize how much people could care about you through social media,” he says. “That itself is kind of shocking, but really cool, actually.” “Care” is an understatement; when Smith publishes that he’ll be somewhere, his followers flock.

Now that he has firmly established himself with multiple covers, runway jobs, and campaigns, Smith is looking forward to getting back to his original pursuit, music, and jumping into a new one, publishing a book. This fall, the Atomics are launching their first EP. Smith plays the drums—he cites Johnny Rabb as an influence, as well as the Black Keys, Wu-Tang Clan, and Mobb Deep—and calls his and his sisters’ sound “surfy.” He dreams of returning to the library steps back in South Fork where they first played, only this time for an “insanely large crowd.”

“Music for us was the biggest priority,” he says, “but modeling took off faster than we expected. So, that’s taken the lead for a little bit, but we’ve been writing and practicing the whole time.” I ask if he’s much of a songwriter. “That’s more my sister Starlie [Cheyenne], the vocalist,” says Smith, “and my dad. I’ll weigh in on the bass and drums.” (Starlie, who turns 23 this September, sounds vaguely like Lana Del Rey.)

Smith’s father is helping him to write the book, too, which is due out this November. “It’s a biography and it’s also advice, but it’s not overpowering, like, ‘Let me preach to you.’ It’s more like, ‘This tip helped me, maybe you should try it.’” Smith also says that the tome will have never-before-seen pictures from his upbringing, including BTS shots from a Moncler shoot with Annie Leibovitz in Iceland and childhood photos. He has a title, but he wouldn’t divulge it at press time—“I’d have to kill you,” he says with a deep snarl. “Lucky Strike?” I suggest. Politely, he replies, “I don’t think I’ve heard that one yet.”

In April 2015, Smith was a guest on Ellen DeGeneres’s talk show. He looked and sounded nervous, understandably. But in the tumultuous year and change since, he’s matured immensely—in our conversation, he demonstrated total confidence and an articulate graciousness. Somehow, he makes you want to get to know him for him, and not because he’s a celebrity in the making. It makes sense that being in the fast and furious arena of fame and fashion in this day and age would force one to develop more quickly. But let’s go back to earlier in the interview—what exactly would Smith have been grounded for? “Hm,” he says. “I would shove clothes or stuff under my bed and my mom would be pissed if I did that. Then she’d say I couldn’t hang out. It was stupid minor stuff like that. I never got in any real trouble.” It goes to show that Smith isn’t where he is because he’s, well, lucky; it’s because he’s smart (even if Pyper does mutter something unintelligible soon thereafter, which prompts Smith’s agent to say, “She’s trying to ruin his career”). “I look at it this way,” he says, laughing, “Don’t do anything you wouldn’t wear depicted on a T-shirt. My agent told me that. It’s good advice.”

LUCKY WEARS JUMPSUIT ALEXANDRE VAUTHIER ON FACE L'OREAL
Credits: Makeup Dotti (Streeters)  Hair Christiaan  Models Taylor Hill (IMG), Lucky Blue smith (Next Models)  Manicure Lisa Jachno (Aim Artists)  Tailor Hasmik Kourinian  Traveling Producer Philip Bode  Executive Producer Kat Davey  Production Managers Jude Spour (MT+) and Suzy Kang (GE Projects)  Production Coordinator Chris Cowan  Producer Gabriel Hill (GE Projects)  Digital technician Jacob Storm Photo assistants Alex Waltl, Rasmus Jensen, Andrew Rogue  Stylist assistants Amanda Merten, Angelina Vitto, Jennifer Yee  Makeup assistant Akiko Owada  Production assistants Beau Bright (GE Projects), Ryan Pienkos, Tyler Ofstedahl  Onset retoucher Liam Black  Location Smashbox Studios

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