A STAR IS BORN: Suki Waterhouse
Text by Kee |
Cotton mesh embroidered dress, calfskin leather saddle belt, and rubber Diorcamp lace-up boots (Christian Dior)
Cotton coat and brassfinished metal earring with resin pearl (Christian Dior), and wool jumpsuit (Hermès)
Cotton coat (Christian Dior), and wool jumpsuit (Hermès)
Cashmere pullover, brass-finished metal choker, and brass-finished metal hoop earring and ring (Christian Dior)
Chiffon embroidered dress, straw hat, and rubber Diorcamp lace-up boots (Christian Dior)

It is easy to hate on the picture perfect world of Suki Waterhouse. She’s that attractive golden blonde-haired girl with the megawatt smile, cheerleader personality, adorable British accent, sassy personal style, and those sculpted abdominal muscles that look like a work of art. And just to make you feel worse about sitting on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon, this 27-year-old juggles more than a few careers at once as though she is on borrowed time. She’s been modelling for high-end brands since 19 and still agrees to the odd gig; she’s making baby steps towards an early retirement as the co-founder of highly successful millennial-focused accessories start-up Pop & Suki; she’s learning to better her guitar skills during downtime; and you probably already know that she has a legit Hollywood CV to speak of. It is this venture into acting that Waterhouse deserves plaudits for as she courageously chose to take a step back at the peak of her modelling career to pursue the bright lights of Hollywood, probably around the same time as her close friend and model pal Cara Delevingne. If you think she’s slowing down anytime soon, think again. 2019’s already looking stacked.

On her birthday plans in January:
“I don’t have any plans yet but I usually I have my birthday just after Christmas so I will try to go on a holiday around then. So I should be somewhere hot, I think. But I’m hoping for a good surprise from someone. I want a good surprise. It has to be something I haven’t thought of. But there is a place I want to go in Utah: The Amangiri.”

On the best and worst birthday gift she has ever received:
“I think [the best one was] a Rolex watch. The worst was probably a jacket that my mom bought when I was like 11. I had to wear it to school and all the boys were also wearing it. It was a boy’s jacket. She knows about this because I didn’t want it anymore after that.”

On whether she identifies herself as a model, actress, singer or entrepreneur:
“It really depends. I’m really lucky and I’m someone who wants to be doing everything at the same time. Sometimes when I take on a film project, it would be my life for three, four months. And if I don’t have a film then I’m usually at home writing all the time, and practising my guitar. It’s what I want, I think. I want a big, vast experience in being in different industries and Pop & Suki is the newest thing that I’ve done recently and that’s so exciting for me to go into a new arena, starting a business with my friends, and seeing people wear your clothes.”

On her initial expectations of being a business owner:
“I expected it to be really horrible and for it to fail. I actually expect everything to fail. I think it’s my defence mechanism to expect the worst. I was so shocked when we were sending the stuff out for celebs to wear. I was thinking, ‘Oh no, what’s the point? No one’s going to wear it.’ But they did.”

On being hands-on with Pop & Suki:
“I live next door to the office in LA. So, whenever I’m in LA, I would hang out in the office all day and go out with our creative director for some vintage shopping and looking at materials and styles that we like. Everyone in the company is my really close friend so I’m proud of it. It doesn’t feel like going to work. There is Poppy [Jamie], Alexandra [Cronan] our creative director, and Leo [Seigal]… we’re all good friends and we’re all British who are living in LA. So, it’s all very special.”

On the chemistry with Poppy Jamie:
“I think the good thing about working with Poppy is that we’ve not known each other our whole lives. We have only known each other for five years so we don’t have that kind of friendship where I’ve got grudges against her since I was like 10. (Laughs) It is more of a grownup friendship and we’re very different but somehow complement each other. As soon as we met, we knew we wanted to do stuff together and make stuff together. I think we are the sort of people who wants to be in friendships where we are doing stuff together. We are the kind to go home early from the party together – though I’m not always like that – but we like to go for walks and talk about ideas. We are much more interested in making things happen. We are work-oriented people. And we have a nice contrast because she always believes that everything will work out.”

On what she has learnt from the business:
“Never be too comfortable. Never think that you have reached the end goal. You’re never certain. I think making sure that the alchemy of the whole business is to treat people well and I think we have been lucky in that area. You have to really pay attention to everything. You know how when things are going wrong, you sometimes don’t say something? I feel like you got to address matters right away with people even if it is uncomfortable because it might blow up in your face later.”

On her relationship with social media:
“I feel like I do have a nice relationship with social media. I don’t feel the need to post stuff every day. I posted something today and it has been 10 days since I did so. A lot of the time I’m just at home and doing stuff in private and I wouldn’t want it to be on social media. I know it is better to interact with people there but I don’t really do so. I love having it though and sharing stuff. I think I found the right balance in which it doesn’t bother me and I have enjoyed some of the interactions.”

On how Hollywood has treated her:
“I think I’ve been really lucky in the way that I’ve came in to it because I was modelling before. I had some really nice head starts and the way I came into the industry was probably luckier than most people. I mean, I’ve had a pretty positive experience. I think it is still a cutthroat industry because it is really difficult to get a part and you audition for so many things and you don’t get most of them. But I wouldn’t expect it not to be difficult. I’m used to it as I’ve been a model for so long and went for thousands of castings. I know that it isn’t easy but I didn’t choose the easy road.”

On a movie role she really wanted:
“Of course, I’ve had a few but I couldn’t even remember what they are now. You always get so attached to them that when you do the auditions and you always think, ‘Oh, this was written for me.’ (Laughs)”

On the people she hopes to work with:
“The people that I’ve been working with are already so incredible. I just worked on Assassination Nation with Hari Nef, Odessa Young, and Abra. And I also just worked on Pokémon with Ryan Reynolds and Kathryn Newton. I’ve been so lucky and I get to learn so much. I would love to work with Andrea Riseborough, Tilda Swinton, Matthias Schoenaerts, and maybe someone like Adam Sandler. That would be fun.”

On the films she is currently obsessed about:
“I’ve been watching Ghost, the one with Demi Moore. I’ve been watching French movies such as Fat Girl. And a weird one called My Father the Hero that stars Katherine Heigl.”

On Nicki Minaj and Cardi B:
“I’m obsessed about Nicki Minaj and Cardi B. I was at the party where the fight was and saw the shoe being thrown. It was crazy. And I like to pretend that I was right there but I might not have been there-there.”

On one thing people don’t know about her:
“I’m really good with kids. I don’t know if I want kids someday but I’m really good with playing with them. I can act like a five-year-old and I can play hide-and-seek for hours and not get bored. I have some favourite kids that I’ve babysat for but I can’t say their names.”

On her present life and career:
“I think everything is working out for me. I think things went better than expected. Obviously, I’m happy but I know there is so much more to do.”


Photography: Jumbo Tsui
Fashion Director: Jonathan Yee
Hair: Isaac Yu
Make-up: Yuka Washizu
Agency Support: Next Management

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