lucky blue smith's star is on the rise
You may think he sprung out of nowhere less than a year ago, but Lucky’s career has been leading up to this moment since he was discovered at the age of 12...
Lucky wears Bandana vintage. Bracelets (worn throughout) Luis Morais.
"I don't get why people like me so much," says Lucky Blue Smith, furrowing his perfect brow. Standing tall at 6ft 3in with eyes as blue as the ocean, hair as white as snow, and the face that launched a hundred thousand likes, who wouldn't be in love with the 17-year-old superstar who spends his free time cuddling up to cute animals and says perfect things like, "The most beautiful thing about a girl is her personality." Even his clothes are made out of boyfriend material.
Born into a family of equally beautiful and exotically named people (there's his dad Dallon, mom Sheridan, and sisters Starlie Cheyenne, Daisy Clementine and Pyper America), Lucky spent his childhood in Salt Lake City, pouring over surf mags and chasing the sun on his skateboard. As a kid, with long, lanky limbs and big buck teeth, Lucky was nowhere near the teen dream heartthrob he is today, but after emerging from the chrysalis of puberty, he transformed into one of the most beautiful creatures the internet has ever seen. It's something Alexis Borges, head of LA's Next Model Management, must have foreseen in his crystal ball when he discovered a 10-year-old Lucky wandering around Utah with his older sister Daisy. Two years later, the whole of the Smith family were signed to Next, and they set sail for the hills of Hollywood -- the land where dreams come true.
Today Lucky Blue Smith is a fashion phenomenon. "Modeling came to me when I was 12, but I didn't actually care about it," he says in his signature deep drawl, the kind that makes you think you're listening to the voice-over of an aftershave ad from the 60s. "They were just like, 'You're signed. We really like your look. We think you're going to be big.' My first shoot was with Hedi Slimane for Vogue Japan and they did a little interview or whatever, but I didn't even know who he was, I just wanted to go to the beach. Looking back it's like, 'Wow, that was your first shoot!'" Since then Lucky has stalked the catwalks of Versace, Moschino, Marc Jacobs, Dsquared2 and Balmain; graced the pages of American Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, V and Jalouse; and starred in campaigns for Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Moncler, and Tommy Hilfiger, to name but a few. It's pretty respectable for a young male model, but by no means out of the ordinary. So why is he so unbelievably famous?
A quick flick through the marriage proposals and declarations of undying love that clog up his Instagram, and instantly it becomes clear. While the fashion world has certainly fallen at his feet, it's the world of teenage fandom -- population 1.2 million and counting -- that have fallen feet first for Lucky. Calling themselves his Lucky Charms, hordes of hysterical girls flock from all over the world to meet him. Think Beatlemania turbocharged through the power of social media. He's the James Dean of the digi generation, but where James Dean embodied that old world sense of stardom -- that cool air of rebellious mystery -- Lucky represents a new era of all-access celebrity. His fans know everything about him, right down to his current location (because he routinely posts it on Twitter). Whether it's during his live video chats or at one of his impromptu fan "meet ups", which look more akin to the final scene in Perfume (where Ben Whishaw's character smells so good that a crowd of people literally devour him), Lucky and his Charms are never far apart.
While celebrities such as Cara Delevingne and Kendall Jenner have recently made headlines with complaints about being hounded by frenzied fans and prying paps, Lucky seems to relish being famous. It was only the other day that a girl tried to stick her hand down his pants, and he barely batted an eyelid. "I love my fans," he says, to the sound of every girl's heart thumping. "They support me so much. They're so emotionally invested in me." The only downside, however, is that he can never have a girlfriend. "I did have a girlfriend and I posted a picture of her, but then a kissing picture got out and my fans just went insane," he says. "But I don't want a girlfriend right now anyway."
Does he ever find it all too much? "I like being really accessible," he reflects. "It means that the relationship between you and your fans is stronger, and they'll be there no matter what. But people say that if you give too much of yourself they won't see it as, 'Oh my gosh! It's Lucky!' They'll just be like, 'Oh yeah, it's Lucky, we're always hanging out.'" But something tells me that there is no danger of Lucky Blue Smith ever becoming commonplace. Behind the scenes he has a team of people micromanaging his every move. "At the start my agent was really specific with what I did, she only wanted me to do cool stuff," he says, referring to the leading lady in his life, Mimi Yapor, his mother agent at Next Models LA.
One gets the feeling that Lucky's meteoric rise to fame has all been part of a careful plan, a slow-burning release starting with the Slimane shoot, followed by a GAP Holiday campaign, the bleaching of his hair, his catwalk debut, and the meticulous marketing ever since. His image so far is squeaky clean, and he never discusses his religion (the Smiths are Mormons) in interviews. But that's not to say that Lucky is some manufactured superstar who acts, sings, or dances, depending on which string you pull. To think that would be to grossly underestimate him. "There are a lot of famous people out there who are trashy," he tells me, "I'm not trashy." Not only is Lucky very much in control of his career, he knows exactly the kind of star he wants to be. He's already landed himself a lead role in romantic drama Love Everlasting, which comes out next year, and he's currently working on a debut album with the band that he's in with his sisters, The Atomics.
"Do I want to be famous?" he says, his blue eyes sparkling, "Yes, because I like inspiring people. I want to be famous for a lot of things. I want to play sold out shows, star in amazing films and then do really cool shoots. I want to help inspire people to not be insecure, and, if they are, to help them get over whatever it is they're insecure about. I went from Utah to LA, not knowing what was going to happen, if I would even take off. It was a huge risk and I want to show people that if you take a risk, it's going to be fine, even if you don't make it." With the world already at his feet, Lucky Blue Smith is living proof that risks really do pay off after all.
Text Tish Weinstock
Photography Matt Jones
Styling Deborah Watson
Hair Italo Gregorio at Bryan Bantry
Make-up Maria Seccia for Mariaseccia.com
Model Lucky Blue Smith at Next