Seventeen-year-old Tali Lennox is the progeny of the Eurythmics’s Annie Lennox, so her kick-ass sense of style and dynamic, engaging personality are genetic. Always tallest and lankiest in class, Lennox was first scouted in her early high-school years. Wisely, though, Lennox deferred modeling until she was done with her primary education. Now signed with Next Models, the Patti Smith fan just debuted at the spring 2011 Acne show in London; Lennox also modeled for Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane. She then flew to Milan and Paris and had a strong, short season, walking for Prada, Roberto Cavalli, Missoni, and Miu Miu. Currently, the cerebral beauty is featured in Topshop’s holiday campaign, shot by Josh Olins. Soon, she’ll be the face of her country’s most powerful brand: Burberry. Sweet dreams are made of …okay, we coudn’t resist. Click ahead to read a Q&A with Lennox, and then visit her new model profile to see loads of on- and off-the-runway pics.
Tell us a bit about your childhood.
I was quite introverted, but also opinionated. A lot of the time I felt a lot older — and taller — than my peers. I was a girly girl who loved Barbies and anything pink! Yet I also had a morbid curiosity and was fascinated by gruesome stories and serial killers.
How did you get discovered?
I had been approached about modeling for a long time, but I waited until I finished school to pursue it full-time. Since joining Next Models, I haven’t looked back!
What do your family and friends think of your newfound career?
My family is very supportive; they have a lot of faith and trust in me. I talk through every aspect of my job with my mum, and she’s given me a lot of self-belief and wisdom. I don’t talk about it that much with most of my friends. It’s nice to be with people who are detached from the industry.
Describe your style in three words.
Nostalgic, experimental, and temperamental.
If not modeling, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be in school, studying English literature, art, and drama. But in my head I think I’d be in a far different place. I have been doing full-time modeling just over six months, and the amount I have learned and developed about myself during this time has been vast. I still try to keep my intellectual interests stimulated by sketching, writing, reading, and watching lots of documentaries.
Share some of your interests with us. What bands, artists, writers, directors and so forth do you like?
That is not a good question to ask if you want a brief answer! I love films and documentaries. Some of my favorite filmmakers are Harmony Korine, Nick Broomfeld, Tim Burton, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, Danny Boyle, Gus Van Sant, and more! Documentary-making is something I’d definitely look into doing as a career after modeling. I’m actually going to ask for a video camera for Christmas so I can take it out with me and start experimenting with filming the things around me. Hopefully a project will unfold.
Music is another love. I did a lot of singing at school, but my sister Lola is the real musical talent; she has an astoundingly powerful voice. I like music that elevates the mind and evokes emotion, not empty sugar pop. Radiohead, Elliot Smith, Lauren Hill, the Strokes, Bob Dylan, Queens of the Stone Age, David Bowie, Iggy Pop, TV on the Radio, Jimi Hendrix, the Arcade Fire, Nirvana … the list could go on.
Reading and writing is a great hobby. I keep a journal which helps clear my mind, and try to read as much as possible. Recent good books have been In Cold Blood, The Memoirs of Nick Kent, and Pamela Des Barres books by Bret Easton Ellis. And Patti Smith’s Just Kids was so beautiful and inspiring.
Art is a big passion. Recently I’ve been doing very detailed pencil sketches of faces and eyes, something so real and bare, yet mysterious. I like dark and strange art and photography, such as the works of Diane Arbus and Richard Bacon. In school I did things like sketch and paint self-portraits with my face distorted using ham and sellotape, a reference to how we view ourselves and plastic surgery.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
The family tale goes that I could be strangely related to royalty a few generations back … but I shall never know!
Most memorable experience from this past spring 2011 show season?
Speeding through Milan on a motorcycle in heels and a minidress, trying to get from the Missoni show to the Versus show, being over four hours late. I rushed in and had four people doing my hair, two people doing my makeup, and another two on nails and toes all at the same time. I heard an Italian woman repeatedly calling “Tali, Tali! Where is Tali?” I finally make it to the backstage line where all the other girls are already lined up and see that the woman calling for me is Donatella Versace! The show set was like a playground, and I felt like the naughty girl at fashion school!
Favorite thing about being a model?
Playing different characters and being part of a collaborative and creative team. Finding yourself in the most fabulously random situations, from being in a field at two in the morning being brought tea and ice cream from Sir Paul Smith, to being on an airplane 90 percent filled with models. Each week brings a new experience, and most of them are absolutely bonkers!
Worst thing about being a model?
The instability of your schedule
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