Welcome Generation V: Kelsey Asbille

Welcome Generation V: Kelsey Asbille

Welcome Generation V: Kelsey Asbille

They may be young, but their creative energy knows no bounds. Meet Generation V.

They may be young, but their creative energy knows no bounds. Meet Generation V.

Photography: Doug Inglish

Styling: Andrew Vottero

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

This year, Louis Vuitton’s cinephilic Pre-Fall lookbook captured various LV ambassadors in movie-poster mise en scenes. Among them was rising-star actress and activist Kelsey Asbille, whose cameo seemed a case of fashion imitating life: “Starbound: The Sky Used to be the Limit,” Asbille’s caption declared. Her on-set encounter with Nicolas Ghesquière, Artistic Director of Womenswear at Louis Vuitton, echoed that superheroic enthusiasm: “He was at the shoot, [which] was kind of mind-boggling [in itself]: having him in front of me, just altering my clothes,” she recalls. “Then he says, ‘Kels, are you working on Fargo? I love that show!’ I was like, ‘You do?!’”

Like the studious Monica Dutton, whom Asbille plays on Paramount Network's Yellowstone, the actress's Fargo character shares her Native American heritage. But whereas the former is a respected academic with strong reservation roots, Asbille's still-unnamed Fargo character is an escaped convict. “She’s an outlaw, through and through, [but] I can’t help but root for her...There is something really exciting in her rejection of the idea of the American dream,” says Asbille, who is no stranger to questioning such ideals herself. Between projects, she studies indigenous human rights at Columbia. “My graduate studies and my [acting] work often intertwine,” she observes, pointing to a history lesson within her forthcoming Fargo arc: the forced integration of Native schoolchildren by the U.S. and Canada in the ’60s and the ’70s. “[They] were taken from the reservation and sent to white boarding schools,” explains Asbille, who also works with Indigenous Women’s Alliance of South Carolina and knows real-life survivors of the system. “It was a cultural genocide, in a way: You weren’t allowed to speak your language or wear your own clothes.”

Ironically, Asbille’s character on Fargo, which returns to FX on April 19, found a physical model in film Americana: “Specifically, I based her on the little girl in Paper Moon,” Asbille says, referring to the on-the-run protagonist (Tatum O’Neal) from the Oscar-winning classic. “[They both] live totally on her own terms, while also being quite child-like...And it doesn’t hurt that we basically have the same haircut!”

V124 is now available for purchase. Click the link here to get your copy.

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