“Models are some of the most insecure people in this world.”
– Lexi Russell
There’s a lot more to modeling than what we see on the runway or in the pages of our favorite glossies. And there’s a heck of a lot more to the models themselves than just fit figures and fierce struts. Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s newest series gets up close and personal with some of Dallas’ most recognizable faces.
Today, we’ll meet Lexi Russell. At the tender age of 20, her career has taken her to Europe and back, and she’s learned a thing or two about staying grounded and getting the job done – even under stomach-churning conditions. Click here to read more Face Time model interviews!
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Tell us about your first job.
Lexi Russell: “At 17, I helped open Lure Salon in Dallas. My mom brought me [to the opening], and I was the last girl to get my hair done. The main hair stylist told me, ‘I saved you for last. You’ll have the best hair of them all.’
“As he was finishing my hair, everyone at the opening party was watching him make me beautiful. It was amazing standing up out of that chair, turning around, and hearing everyone clapping. He said, ‘She is my masterpiece! Now let the celebration of Oribe and Lure Salon begin!’”
What do you think is the biggest misconception about models?
“I’d say the biggest misconception about models is that we are overly confident in our beauty, and that we are rude and stuck up – which isn’t always true. There could be a language barrier and the model doesn’t understand, or she is under age, or just focused. Models are some of the most insecure people in this world. We have to worry about our skin, our weight, our wardrobe. Impressions play a big role in this industry.”
Describe your most unusual assignment so far.
“I got food poisoning, and my booker in New York told me that I had a casting in six hours. He told me I had the choice to go or not go, due to how sick I was, even though it would be a really, really great opportunity for Calvin Klein. When it came time to leave, I called my booker to tell him I was going. I was feeling a bit better, but still a little nauseous.
“I got to the casting and signed in. There were other models in front of me in line, so I took a seat and waited to be called. I was the last one to be seen. At that point, everyone in the room had gone home, and it was just me sitting in the waiting room. I started feeling sick, and I looked for a bathroom. All the doors had to be opened with a key card, and the only door that didn’t have a key card entry was the fire escape. I started to feel my throat getting tighter, my mouth started to water, and I started having hot flashes. Before you know it, I turned to the closest corner and threw up!
“I was super-nervous at that point, and the client came in and stood right in front of me and asked, ‘Are you ready to leave to go to next door?’ I wondered if he didn’t even notice the corner. We went next door, and I met everybody, and they seemed to love me, even though my face was pale as a ghost. Everyone thanked me for coming, and told me they would see me soon. A month and a half went by, and I was living in London. I got a call from my booker in New York, and he told me to pack my bags, because I was going to Milan tomorrow. He said, ‘Do you remember that Calvin Klein casting you went to in New York? You booked the job.’ Months later, I had another casting at that same building. I sat down [in the waiting area], looked up in the corner of the room, and saw a camera that records everything!”
How do you prepare for a job?
“Depending on the client or casting, I choose my outfit, plan my route, and figure out my contact so that I arrive to the job and know who to request. I always have comp cards, my book, and heels.”
What is the craziest thing you have done on a job?
“The weirdest thing I’ve done was in London. I had a job to where I had to look just like Barbie – blonde hair, rosie cheeks, and, yes, drenched in baby oil all over my body.”
What is your dream modeling job, or who would be your dream client?
Name a model you admire. Why is she a role model to you?
“My role ‘model’ is Joan Smalls. I met her and she was sweet, beautiful, and confident. She didn’t act like the number one super model in the world; she was herself. A lot of girls lose who they are in this modeling world. Joan was eating frozen yogurt in Williamsburg with her mom, just like anyone else, willing to let me take a picture of her with my best friend!”
Are there any “deal breakers” for you when it comes to job requirements?
“Not really. There’s a lot of crazy stuff you end up doing on-set, but the crazy stuff sometimes gets you even further.”
What did you have for breakfast?
“Hard boiled eggs, three strips of turkey bacon, and a whole avocado.”
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
“I like to spend time with my friends and family.”
All photos courtesy of Wallflower Management.