"I’m a California girl, born and raised. I was born in Hollywood, and then we moved to Pasadena, then Bel Air, and then Venice. So I’ve kind of lived all over the city. I’m going to college next fall, not sure what I’ll major in. I like art, I like drawing… I like design, too, and I actually interned at YSL last summer.
I first met Hedi [Slimane] when I was in, like, 8th grade, and it was my first year at Coachella. I was just walking around with my friend and her older sister. Usually there are a bunch of photographers there always pulling people aside for fashion blogs or something— they’re always taking pictures. And I guess there was this photographer that pulled me over and he was like, ‘Oh, can I take a couple pictures of you?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, why not?’ And after he gave me a card and walked away, my friend was like, ‘Oh my god, do you know who that was?’ And I was like, ‘No.’ And she was like, ‘That was Hedi Slimane!!!’ [Laughs] She was freaking out and everything. I guess my friend knew who he was in 8th grade; she’s really into fashion, so… [Laughs] And then a couple months later, we got in contact and we did a shoot and we’ve kept in touch ever since. I was about thirteen or fourteen when that happened… It's cool how he works. He catches, like, ‘off’ moments; like, if I’m not really paying attention, he’ll just take a picture of it. Or, we’ll be talking and he’ll just take pictures; it’s not posed at all with him. I fell into the modeling thing pretty much just from Hedi taking pictures. And then I interned for Hedi at YSL last summer, which was fun, but I didn’t really get to see him because he was in the middle of designing the first collection, so everything was really hectic and busy.
It was super easy how it happened: I just emailed Hedi and I asked, ‘Can I shadow you over the summer, just to follow you on some shoots and see the production behind everything?’ And he just emailed me back, ‘Yeah, sure I’ll send you over intern papers,’ for my school to sign. My school signed it and I went to Paris. I was mostly helping his design crew, which was fun. But I definitely felt American just walking down the street on the way to the design studio with, like, Converse and skinny jeans; I definitely stood out at work. Everyone was really fashionable and I was, like, in a sweatshirt and my Converse. I didn’t change my style—I should have gotten like a nice pair of boots or something, but, no, I didn’t. It wasn’t a big deal.
My style is relaxed, maybe kind of tomboy, maybe a little androgynous. And I think my beauty routine is pretty un-girly, too. First, I use Alba Botanicals Deep Pore Wash and then I moisturize with Cetaphil. I like it because it’s moisturizing and it works. I’m always blushing, so my skin is always pretty red—or in some places it’s oily or dry. It’s kind of all over the place, but I can’t complain. I’m seventeen, so sometimes it will be fine, and then other times it will be a disaster.
My mom is really into all-natural everything, so I have Tom’s of Maine mouthwash and I was using Tom’s toothpaste for a while, which really sucks—I don’t recommend it [Laughs]—and Tom’s Lavender Deodorant, which I think makes me sweat even more. So, I don’t like it. I use Egyptian Magic for everything—hair, body, and face. It’s pretty cool. It’s not what the kids are using these days, probably not. The only hip thing in my bathroom would be, like, the Cetaphil lotion or maybe even like that Lush Bath Bomb…but I feel like I’m behind the times. I do have a Burt’s Bees Rosewater Toner that I actually really like—it just closes up your pores after you wash your face, and it smells like roses.
In terms of makeup, I’ll usually wear mascara. But my makeup drawer is pretty pathetic. I’ve got CVS lipstick. It’s a bright red called Are You Ready. And I have a black Wet n’ Wild lipstick called Fantasy Makers. I do not wear it. [Laughs] One day, I hope I'll wear makeup. I just need to work up the courage to learn how to do it. I think I'll watch some YouTube videos...
I don’t color my hair. I mean, in the summer, sometimes I’ll put lemon in it before I go surf; I think it works. I’ll occasionally use Lemon Sun-In, too. But my hair kind of turned into a piece of straw, all crunchy and wrinkly, I think from putting in lemon and hydrogen peroxide in it. Yeah—me and my friend India would put hydrogen peroxide and a little water in a bottle and spray it on our hair right before we went surfing. I would just dip the ends of my hair in the bottle, which is probably, like, horrible. But I guess it worked.”
—as told to ITG
Sidney Williams photographed by Emily Weiss in Venice, CA on January 6th, 2013.