V’s Class of 2018: Lili Sumner

V’s Class of 2018: Lili Sumner

The model is making her way up the ranks, and asserting herself while doing so.

The model is making her way up the ranks, and asserting herself while doing so.

Text: Staff

Lili Sumner was born in New Zealand, but she became the Lili Sumner the world knows today because she traveled to London when she was 17 years old. has selected her as a member of the Class of 2018 for her distinctive style and modeling, but Sumner doesn't want her career to end there. Read what her dream project is, and much more of what she had to say, below.

What's your vision for the industry you work in for 2018? 

Full steam ahead on the advances that have been made in calling out abusive and outdated standards. In terms of fashion, I’d like to see more care taken in educating models (especially young ones) on their rights. I’m happy to see rules being changed or broken in terms of the status quo of how this industry is run. Bad behaviour is getting called out, and not just in our industry. It’s an exciting time to be around and it’s about time. I’d also like to see the fashion world being less wasteful. Stop giving out a thousand plastic water bottles on every shoot and show!

What's the best advice you've ever received and why? 

Anything my mother says. She’s somehow absolutely right every bloody time.

What social/political issues or causes resonate with you most, and why? 

There are so many because there is so much wrong with how our society is run. You can fall into a well of frustration being mind-boggled by the lack of empathy of the powers that be. Or you can do as much as you can in your corner of the earth. Volunteering at a soup kitchen is a fun thing to do. If you can, donate to a woman’s refuge. Stop buying crap you don’t need and spend wisely. If you’re privileged, be mindful of that and be generous with what you have. Call out bad behavior; call out sexist, racist, transphobic behavior when you see it. Question yourself. That’s what 2018 is about.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? How did you overcome it? 

Learning how to live my life for myself and not getting caught up with the not-quite-right guy.

How did you get your start?

I went to London at 17 with a couple of good friends. That’s when I really started thinking about all the possibilities of my life. In terms of actual work, it wasn’t until I met Hedi at Saint Laurent that things started to kick off.

How do you define success for yourself? Is it different than happiness? 

Success to me is getting to a place of balance. It’s input and output. Creating and being stimulated whilst making a living. Success is being happy. Happy in your work, in your creative outlet, in your physical body, in your love; being active and present in your life.

When and where do you feel most creative?

Alone at home sitting at my desk with my salt lamp and my pens.

Who is your dream collaborator, in any field (music, art, fashion, etc.) and what kind of project would you love to do with this person?

I’d like to direct a film and have Christine Vachon produce it. I just read her book, she’s great.

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V’s Class of 2018: Ella Bales