Sidney Williams, Student


"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.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Raquel DiNunzio

    One of the top "Top Shelf" articles

  • Nina R.

    She's adorable and has quite a backstory but...I don't know why she felt out of place in Paris wearing converse and skinny jeans...that's what all the kids there wear!

  • Suzanne

    Cetaphil is hip?

    • Doutzen

      Classic items can be hip.

  • Hels

    I love that she sounds like she's 17 and has the products to match. that's the way it should be.

  • Silvy

    Really great! I use Egyptian Magic too; it's one of the few products that doesn't make me break out. And I love her hair. It does look a little dry, maybe, but it looks like real hair, not super styled like most on this blog. Good story!

  • Doutzen

    A light peroxide treatment at home is fine. But hopefully she doesn't do it more than one every two or three months. She is essentially making her own shade lifter. And then she aggravating the process by immediately doing out in the sun. I was cringing whilst reading this because I just wanted to give her a good deep condition. The week after you lift or color, you should do a pretty strong moisturizing conditioner. Neutrogena Triple Moisture Mask is great and cheap. $7.99 or less. And for the holy grail you should use Kerastase Maquintense for thin hair. Both options will seal the hair cuticle, moisturize, and rinse clean.

  • fairytalesandcoffee

    I like her top shelf. Doesn't have to be the most expensive, or the most abundant products, just give me a real routine that. I agree about the Egyptian Magic - it can be used for so much. Didn't have body moisturizer and decided to slather body in it. Wanted to soften my feet a bit and slathered it on and added socks. Went nuts with the tazorac and I don't have to be anywhere, or don't want to use up too expensive oils - crisco my face in egyptian magic. This is the new "windex" or "crisco" - slap it on anything and it works.

  • Couteau

    A youth that is youthful.

    Why is that so rare (outside of California)? It's like we spend half our lives trying to look older and half trying to look younger.

  • katie chambers

    sid models for scout in la, always loved her pictures! so cool to know she's a real person as well. :)

  • Lesley O.

    I love her perfect messy surf hair! I try so hard to get that look and never really achieve it when I am away from the beach!

    A new post on Oscar fashion is up on Local & Opulent.

  • Paulina

    When she looks so good without much makeup and cosmetics - why would she use them? However, I'd reccommend some SPF protection in California and better treatment for hair ;)

  • Natalie Lane

    What a cutie!

    Ive always wanted to try Egyptian Magic...

  • Lauren

    I love how comfortable she is with herself. I would have loved to have that at 17. Back then I would have done anything to be older. I wish I had her sense of self.

    Great post!

  • Esther MK

    makeup isn't about NEEDING it (see gorgeous Emily and Alessandra for proof), it's about wanting to change things up

    • Whatever


  • Angela

    I think she meant Lush bath bomb and not balm.

  • Wha?!?

    Surely I have lots to learn with this girl... Laughs

  • Agreed

    Well apparently they have connections so it's all good

  • McKenna Rishmawy

    Whenever I see Egyptian Magic at Whole Foods or any market, there's always a product right next to it called Medicine Mama's Sweet Bee Magic. It is literally the EXACT same ingredients for HALF the price. You're just paying for the name with Egyptian Magic. And I've been using Tom's for years now ... it's great stuff! No smelliness for at all, and I've asked EVERYONE just to be sure.

  • bluesky557

    My take away from this is the Pedro's Tacos bumper sticker. I live near San Clemente and Pedro's is the best Mexican food ever! This girl could say whatever about beauty, but she's already rad in my book.

  • Ada

    She's got cleanser and lotions across her counter though! Sometimes people wear minimal or no makeup - The Top Shelf is about what's on the shelf. There is room for her I think!

    • Lera

      Agree. When I was 17 I didn't even have a lipstick, so she's well equipped as far as I am concerned.

      • Ada

        Same! I'm in my mid twenties now, but when I was 17 I hardly knew anything about makeup!

  • Diana Delgado

    Yes, I understand, that was my initial reaction too as I find the Top Shelf's with people who barely do anything at all extremely boring but then I read it and she is barely out of high school and a surfer, so it fits her age and lifestyle.

  • Diana Delgado

    I don't want to sound snarky, she is a lovely girl but I guess this somehow explains the atrocity of last night Saint Laurent's show. I think it's time Hedi Slimane stops attending to music festivals for inspiration...


Tom's of Maine
Tom's of Maine Long-Lasting Stick Deodorant – Lavender
Sun-In Hair Lightener Lemon
Alba Botanicals Deep Pore Wash
Burt's Bees Rosewater Toner
Cetaphil DailyAdvance Ultra Hydrating Lotion
Egyptian Magic