Taylor Hill is the Ultimate Millennial Model

Taylor Hill is the Ultimate Millennial Model

Where Victoria's Secret meets Givenchy sits Taylor Hill, one of four September issue cover stars. Here, she bares all...

Where Victoria's Secret meets Givenchy sits Taylor Hill, one of four September issue cover stars. Here, she bares all...

Photography: Mario Testino

Styling: Paul Cavaco

Text: Nick Remsen

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

Taylor Hill is that special type of model who straddles what’s considered “high fashion” (see: campaign spots for Michael Kors, Miu Miu, and Jimmy Choo and runway appearances at Balmain and Chanel, among many more) and gen-pop appeal (she’s a Lancôme spokeswoman and a Victoria’s Secret angel). She is beautiful in a .0000000001% of the global population kind of way. That is, her beauty is particularly major, with deep-set, aquamarine eyes, bee-stung lips and Cara Delevingne-rivaling eyebrows, and her 4 million plus Instagram followers only buttress her appeal. Essentially, Taylor Hill is pure gold for all brackets of brand types.

Though born in Palatine, Illinois, she grew up in Colorado. She’s admitted to being nerdish during adolescence, but all of that changed at age 14, thanks to a fluke exchange that happened while hanging out with her sisters. (Hill and all of her siblings, sisters Logan, 22, and Mackinley, 19, and brother Chase, 17, are signed to the modeling agency IMG.) “Okay, so, we went on a horseback riding trip—my sisters rode side saddle,” says Hill from New York City, taking a break from packing for a summertime trip to Barcelona. “Someone was doing a photo shoot at the ranch, and he mistook us for the models, and we were like, ‘Um, no.’” Hill laughs, as if still a bit dubious about the encounter. (I want to tell her, “That’s nothing, Gisele was discovered in a McDonald’s.”) “He told my mom I should move to New York and start modeling and all that stuff, and that’s how it all started.”

TAYLOR WEARS COAT MIU MIU PANTS CALVIN KLEIN COLLECTION BELT (WORN AS TOP) BURBERRY ON FACE LANCÔME LA BASE PRO HYDRA GLOW

Hill is part of a new wave of mannequins that are also burgeoning celebrities beyond the pages, catwalks, and billboards: they’re millennial socialites (social media-ites?), who, with varying degrees of strategy, use the power of the digital world to perpetually build their personal brands. Others in this vortex include Kendall Jenner, the biggest, Gigi Hadid, the second biggest, Gigi’s sister Bella Hadid, Karlie Kloss, and Hill’s fellow cover star here, Lucky Blue Smith. The difference between them and other social media A-listers is that even non-tweens and non-fashion people know their names. They kind of complete the pillar of rapidly evolving fame; they’re multi-hyphenates, repping the fashion ring, but very much of interest beyond it. What’s especially slick (if not intermittently maddening) is how easy they make it look. Obviously, good genes help—people like looking at good genes—but they’re all also seemingly cool customers.

“I’ve just learned to be myself,” says Hill of her electronic persona. “Social media is a huge part of my life, but I don’t post a steady rhythm of pictures. I don’t post at a certain time of day to get the most views. You learn to live your life with it.” It’s compelling and terrifying all at once to realize that people her age and younger, for the most part, enter adulthood grafted inextricably to social media. If there are any red flags, Hill is pretty much past the point of no return. Her audience is only going to snowball from here, and too, her book-ability. Good on her, then, for going about it organically.

When not online or in front of the camera, Hill is ostensibly like any other 20-year-old. She loves music. “Lemonade is my shit,” she says, lauding Beyoncé’s latest album. Later, she’ll add: “I was in Las Vegas for my friend’s birthday, but she wanted to see Guns N’ Roses and I was like, ‘No! We’re seeing Britney Spears,’ but my friend is Danish so she doesn’t understand the Britney hype. ‘(Hit Me)...Baby One More Time,’ that was my jam” (Hill was two when the song was released). Anomalously, though, she says she’s only ever been to one other concert: the Jonas Brothers at age 12. “You know what, though? I consider the performances I saw when walking in Victoria’s Secret to be concerts,” she adds with another laugh. She debuted at the lingerie giant’s 2014 London show, where Taylor Swift sang. Hozier took the stage, too. “I didn’t know what ‘Take Me to Church’ was,” says Hill. “Now I know, like, every word to every song of his.”

TAYLOR WEARS SHORTS GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI ON EYES LANCÔME GRANDIÔSE WATERPROOF MASCARA

She misses the mountains, as any loyal Coloradan would. “I’ve been snowboarding since I was eight years old. I love it because it’s a family thing. We used to go up to a place called Winter Park every weekend. Now, I don’t get to go as much.”

Another anomaly compared to other 20-year-olds (okay, maybe she isn’t really similar at all to her peer group) is that Hill can afford designer fashion. “I really like it,” she says. “It’s kind of what keeps me going. I’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, I’m finally going to get this pair of Saint Laurent boots I’ve been dreaming about.’” She also smartly injects: “Usually I buy expensive bags and shoes—I like to keep my clothes more affordable. The nice accessory dresses them up.” The business, as it turns out, has also helped Hill on a deeper, internal level. “It’s a confidence booster,” she says. “I wasn’t always super confident or sure of myself. But growing into my own while being in the fashion industry—it has really forced me to find out who I am, and to not be afraid.”

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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