Part Irish, part fairy, part lab coat, Just Kids model Stella Maxwell tells i-D online about her wig collection, travelling the world and science experiments gone wrong.
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Loved by the fashion world for her boundless energy, supermodel features and natural charisma in front of the camera, Stella’s a photographer’s delight. Born in Belgium, of Irish descent, and having spent her formative years in New Zealand, Stella’s been globe-trotting since birth, yet seems to have remained firmly in a world of her own. It’s not just Stella’s looks that are straight out of a fairy tale; she’s a wig fetishist, with a penchant for disguises and a collection of alter egos. When not on catwalks and the pages of magazines, Stella spends her time dressing up and dreaming up new aliases, wandering around Paris and taking road trips with her favourite people.
Where are you from? I’ve been travelling my whole life, my home is in the UK now where I’m originally from, but my teen years were spent in New Zealand… an awesome country.
How were you scouted? I was studying in New Zealand at the time, and fate came
knocking… definitely rocked my world in the best way possible.
What’s your earliest memory? Restaurants… my parents work schedules meant we ate most of our dinners out at restaurants when I was young.
What was your favourite childhood pass time? There was a forest right behind my house when I was growing up so I would go there with my friends and we’d spend the day in our imaginations, inventing stories and becoming different characters… I have way too many home movies of us acting really really weird in that forest.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? I never had a single dream, everyday I would change my mind, but I always had a mischievous streak and was regularly caught in my attic with my brother’s chemistry set making potions (once in a while causing miniature fires…). I liked experimenting and was always curious so for a while I wanted to work in science.
What was it like shooting with Terry Richardson and Charlotte Stockdale for i-D? It was more like hanging out. Charlotte S unpacked these massive suitcases and decked Terry’s studio with all these mad cool clothes. It was like waking up on Christmas morning. My eyes went wide and we all started trying on pretty much everything, multiple times. I can’t really stand still while I’m shooting, I guess I have slight ADD in front of the camera so my specific style of moving compliments Terry’s style of shooting, it was just easy and cool. He’s an awesome person.
What’s the best thing about being young today? The best thing about being young today is… being young. Having the time to dream, dress up and express ourselves. Only today do we have the freedom to live without limits.
Are you in love? Yes.
What quality do you like most in others? A person’s energy attracts me. Everyone’s transparent through their energy, it’s honest, I like that. I fall in love with people through their energy.
What are you up this weekend? Spending the week in the City of Angels, then to NYC. Lately I’ve been abusing my wig collection, I have a wig fetish. I love wigs. so I intend to transform into my different aliases and hang out with my
favourite people in our favourite local spots.
Text: Alice Louise Wadsworth
Images courtesy Stella Maxwell and Ford Models NYC. Images 5, 6 and 8 backstage Terry Richardson and Charlotte Stockdale’s Just Kids shoot. Image (bottom) Terry Richardson for The Just Kids Issue.