This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Her face has launched a thousand makeup products. She can sing “Call Me Maybe” better than Carly Rae Jepsen. She’s an ardent marriage equality activist.Vogue cover girl. Sports Illustrated swimsuit star. Soon-to-be Nike front-woman.
In our eyes, supermodel Hilary Rhoda might as well be superwoman. And, because we love a multi-tasker who’s got inspring style and the brains to back it up, we tapped Rhoda to show off a quartet of copy-now looks on the NYC streets and sit down for a frank chat on everything from the whole model weight thing to what it’s really like to walk down a runway. Of course, no shoot with the classic American beauty would be complete without getting the scoop on her hair and makeup secrets — and we’re already putting what we learned into effect. We hate to say the F word, but c’mon, this chick is flawless.
Your name has come to be recognizable with classic American beauty. Who are yourAmerican beauty and fashion icons?
“I really admire Cindy Crawford and the long career she has had. She has that timeless American beauty that we have all grown up with and loved. She is a role model to me because of the way she’s made a brand of herself all while being a great mother, wife, and philanthropic figure.”
What are your favorite beauty products?
“Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is my savior during the craziness of Fashion Week. My favorite mascara has to be Sumptuous Extreme; it makes your lashes look insanely long and lasts throughout the day. The perfect fragrance for fall is the brand’s Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang scent. I even spray it around my house! I am obsessed with the smell.”
Who are your go-to designers — do you mix high and low?
“In almost every outfit I wear! My go-to designers are Alexander Wang, rag & bone, Isabel Marant, Monika Chiang, and Rebecca Minkoff. Zara has great pieces that are affordable and stylish, but won’t fall apart after one wear. And I love roaming around Topshop; I always walk out of that store with a few purchases.”
How would you describe your personal style?
“It’s pretty classic, but I love to mix it up with funky jewelry or accessories. I am all about good tailoring and wearing things that flatter me — so, I won’t wear something just because it’s a trend, if it doesn’t work on my body.”
You walk the coolest shows! Do you ever get nervous on the runway?
“It’s funny because back when I did the whole circuit of shows in New York, Milan, and Paris, (I would do some crazy number like 60 shows) sometimes I would totally forget I was on the runway. I’d catch myself daydreaming as I was walking in front of hundreds of people under those bright lights. However, since I only do a handful each season now, I’m definitely more aware of what’s going on around me and it makes me really nervous right before I go out. Once I’m out and about halfway down the catwalk, I become comfortable. I have more fun doing it now, though, because I can really soak in the whole experience.”
What are your most genius tips for surviving NYFW?
“Trying to get enough sleep and fitting in a foot massage.”
What’s the best beauty trick you’ve picked up backstage?
“For the super-early morning shows, the makeup artists would always take time to prep our skin before applying the makeup. They would thoroughly massage our faces for a few minutes with cream, which really helps get the circulation flowing in the skin and get rid of any puffiness. I do that all the time now when I wake up. I’ll give my face a good long massage before doing anything else.”
What’s your biggest beauty struggle — and how do you deal?
“I have no idea how to style my own hair. I am great at doing my own makeup because I know my face and what looks good on it, but hairstyling is so foreign to me. I have no idea how to blowdry or maneuver a curling iron. I usually just let it air dry because of all the heat styling it’s exposed to during shoots.”
Have you picked up any good hair tricks?
“I’ve noticed that hairspray just seems to solve all hair problems across the board!”
We saw your “Call Me Maybe” video! Any fun new pop music suggestions?
“Oh, Rebecca, Leandra, and I had so much fun making that video! Rebecca’s son, Luca, is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen. We were just goofing around in the hotel suite, having some champagne and getting primped for the CFDA Awards. It was a really great night. I wonder if there will ever be another pop phenomenon like “Call Me Maybe”?! I’ve never seen anything like it. Even President Obama did one!”
Do you get caught up in the whole weight thing in the fashion industry?
“No. I think the key to not feeling that pressure is to be happy with your body from the inside out. I work out every day and that makes me feel strong and confident. It’s about maintaining your body all year long, not doing crazy crash diets or juice cleanses. It’s about the constant maintenance of your body. I have always been athletic but the last few years I’ve really changed my outlook on exercise. It’s a mental thing for me as well. Ya gotta feel good to look good!”
We know your mom is your manager. How is it working so closely with her?
“It’s amazing! I am so grateful to have my mom as my manager because she’s looking out for my best interests 100% of the time, and has quite an impressive business background as well. She’s been so supportive of what I do since the beginning. She moved up to New York with me when I graduated high school and we lived on the Upper East Side with our dogs. It was so comforting to know that if things didn’t work out, that was okay. There was none of that pressure, and that gave me the opportunity to focus on my goals. Plus, my brother lives five blocks away so we hang out all the time. It’s nice to have that inner circle here; it makes New York feel like home.”
It’s certainly a big moment for gay rights, and we’ve seen your tweets about the vote in Maryland; Why is this issue so important to you? And what do you want people to know?
“I think it’s so crazy that it’s still an issue in our country. Living in New York we meet all different types of people, from all different places, that have different sexual orientations. That’s what I love so much about NY. I can’t believe that in some states, people are still fighting this! It’s so close-minded.
Being that Maryland is my homestate, I wanted to do anything I could to bring awareness and get that law passed so that my friends in Maryland could have the same rights we do in NY. I’ll be attending a fundraiser on September 13 for Marylanders for Marriage Equality at the James Hotel in New York City, to benefit the campaign for same-sex marriage in Maryland.”
Any cool projects coming up?
“I shot a campaign with Nike coming out in September that’s pretty exciting because they have recently signed a deal to design all of the uniforms for the NFL teams. The campaign will also feature five players from different NFL teams and it really shows how you can be stylish and fierce wearing the jersey of your favorite team. I wore a Washington Redskins jersey, which is my home team, and it was an honor that Nike and the NFL are tapping into the fashion world and want me to represent that.”
Photographed by Michael Flores
Hair: By Sasha Alekseyeva;
Makeup: By Fere Shirvani for Estee Lauder
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