An Afternoon With Alewya Demmisse

An Afternoon With Alewya Demmisse

Model and artist Alewya Demmisse lends us a sunny afternoon in New York City to discuss fine art and fashion, and offer us a look at her original paintings

Model and artist Alewya Demmisse lends us a sunny afternoon in New York City to discuss fine art and fashion, and offer us a look at her original paintings

Photography: Laura Coulson

Styling: Coquito Cassibba

Text: Adair Smith

Left: Artwork by Alewya (throughout)  Right: Alewya Wears Top Ryan Skirt Carven
Left: Top Calvin Klein  Right: Top Edun

How were you discovered?

I was discovered on the set of a movie by another model.

Have you always wanted to be a model?

I didn't think it was possible. I was told I was tall and slim so naturally people think that, but I didn't think it could happen until I actually got scouted.

What would you be doing if you weren't a model? 

Probably trying to pay the bills while doing art or university.

How did you enjoy this shoot?

Shooting for V was honestly in my top three most fun shoots, the team was actually so familiar to me and I could not have asked for anything more. I'm not very good with words but I think pure joy describes that day!

What was your favorite look of the shoot?

My favorite look of the day was the purple velvet look, it was everything  dreamed of and more.

What is your go to look for every day?

My go to look is baggy jeans and a jumper or a T shirt and my platform docs.

Top Edun Dress Ellery Shoes Dr. Martens
Left: Coat Lacoste Pants Lacoste Top Calvin Klein Shoes Dr. Martens  Right: Dress and Jacket Celine

What are your wardrobe must-haves?

My wardrobe must-haves are T shirts and hoodies usually.

Who are your favorite designers?

I don't have a favorite designer, I kind of just like what I like, but usually Vivienne Westwood hits the spot.

Who are your greatest influences in fashion and in general?

My greatest influences in fashion, I would say is my brain and who's around me on a daily basis. Fashion for me isn't thought about, it's more so an expression of how I'm feeling on the day. Natural.

What is your inspiration for your art?

The inspiration for my art is really actually fueled by the frustration of not being able to articulate myself. Very rarely is it planned and after I've done it I am able to make sense of things and read it like a book.

When did you start creating?

I started creating two years ago.

What is your favorite medium?

Well right now it's spray paint and oil pastels and gold acrylic paint markers. But I have room to experiment some more.

Left: Coat Lacoste Top Calvin Klein  Right: Shirt Miu Miu Pants Matt Dolan Shoes Dr. Martens
Jacket Matt Dolan

What is the concept behind the pieces that we shot for V?

Naturally, the concepts behind the pieces are to do with pain and frustration. They explore the idea of spirit, and how deeply its felt by me and how it drives everything that is done to me and done by me.

Who are your favorite artists?

My favorite artists are Chris Ofili, Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst. I really like surrealism and dadaism, they were really into their imaginations, and I like that.

I understand you have an exhibition. What can you tell us about it?

I do! I am really excited about my exhibition at the WOM Townhouse in New York. It will be my first and it's an exciting thing.

Do you have any upcoming projects or future plans you can share?

I do have plans for the future, but we will cross that bridge when I get to it!


Hair Takashi Yusa  Make up Allie Smith  Alewya Demmisse (Women Management)  Styling assistant Ryan Charlie 


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