Camilla Deterre, Designer & Model


"I’m from New York, I grew up around the corner. I went to school by Central Park—it was super small. After high school I had a senior internship I needed to fulfill, so I worked for Mario Sorrenti and Mary Frey. That internship turned into a job. I had gotten into Parsons on academic probation, which means that they accept you because your work is of the quality that they’re looking for, but your grades are sub-par. You have to maintain a certain GPA or they can kick you out. I was like, ‘Hm, I already have this job,’ so I was just like, ‘I think I’m gonna just keep doing this.’ I learned a lot there. I wanted to be a photographer really bad, so it was amazing to go through his film archives and see all the stuff from the '90s. You know, you see the whole history of photography laying out. I remember being 14, 15, 16, looking at i-D and similar publications, and just sort of loving the curated, very cinematic imagery, and the mood that you could create. You could really tell a story there. After working with Mario, I went and worked for a publication called Richardson Magazine. I worked at a bookstore for a minute. I worked at a restaurant called Navy—it’s not there anymore, but it’s the same guys who do Smith and Mills.

At that time, some friends and I decided we wanted to open our own restaurant. It opened two years ago, in the fall. My friends approached me and were like, ‘Can you do our design?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, I’d love to.' So then I started working at a design firm because I was like, ‘If this is what I want to do I should probably have a little bit of insight to how this happens.’ So I worked at Roman and Williams for nine months, and I learned so much. They’re the firm that does the Boom Boom Room and jobs like that. So, we found a new space and started working on the buildout. That place is called MIMI—it’s cute, it’s really small and beautiful. It’s on Sullivan between Houston and Bleecker. I was there for a little bit—about four months after it opened I stopped working there properly and started doing more modeling stuff. I did that for a bit, and now I just finished design on a place in Tribeca, which is great. It’s called Primo’s—it’s in a hotel, and it’s the guys from Mr. Fong’s. I had a lot of freedom, but also there were a lot of people to please.

I’m a little older than a lot of girls who go into [modeling]. The Sophie Buhai photos were what started it for me...I knew her from my childhood because she actually used to babysit a good friend of mine when we were like, 12. She emailed me being like, ‘Hey, I’ve been doing this jewelry line, I would absolutely love for you to do the pictures.’ It was before she had a following. She was like, ‘We’re just at my friend’s house, do you think you could pop by?’ I remember I rode my bike there on a Saturday, and I was just in my clothes with no makeup. Sometimes that happens, when it’s just the right little click, and it just works. I feel like fashion is becoming more and more open to people who have other things going on, who aren’t just like fashion heads, newest-latest. I actually just did this Gucci job with my mom—we were photographed together. She was nervous and like, ‘What do I do with my left hand?’ Constantly whispering in my ear. And I was like, ‘Just relax! It’s fine, it’ll be OK!’ [Laughs] Sometimes I work with models who are actual professional models and I’m like, ‘Damn. That’s what’s up. You know your shit.’

It’s been a year [since I cut my hair]—I’m ready for long hair again. There’ll be a couple awkward phases. I cut my hair last summer—I had wanted to cut it for a long time, and my agency was like, ‘No, no, no!’ And I was like, ‘God, this is so stupid, you can’t control me!’ I went to Africa with my roommate and hiked a mountain, and I was like, ‘OK, when I get back, I’m going cut it.’ When I got back, I flew out the next day to do a commercial job and Duffy was doing hair, and I was like, ‘Hey, will you cut my hair after this job?’ It was so long, you know? And the photographer overheard and was like, ‘Why don’t you do it now?’ And I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ Everyone was like, ‘Do it! Do it!’ Literally three minutes later I had no hair and didn’t even look in the mirror, and I was just back on set. They were taking pictures and were like, ‘Oh, it looks so great!’ And then I saw one of the frames and was totally dissociated—I did not recognize myself. It was so strange. I don’t go to a salon for cut, but I go to Marie Robinson for color, where I see this girl Cassandra. I’ve probably gone to her four or five times—I’m the kind of girl who colors her hair once or twice a year only. It took a couple times of figuring out what our thing was, but we have it down pat now, it’s great. My one thing is no foils—that’s the number one mistake people make. Basically she just paints chunks in. I wash my hair once a week with Klorane Chamomile shampoo. Sometimes I just put a little of my face oil in my hair. Sometimes hair oil gets too oily looking, especially if you have short hair—it works really well if you have ends and you need to weigh it down, but with short hair it just gets weird.

I smoke, but I do drink a lot of water, and I always wear sunscreen. I can see my skin changing now that I’m 27. I wash my face with Caudalie The Cream Exfoliant. And then I have this little silk mitt from Japan. I usually cleanse and then I do P50. And then I’m obsessed with this company Circumference. I use this Pore Balancing Facial Oil—it’s so good. They sent me a bunch of stuff—I just did their mask the other day for the first time, and it’s all so good. Before that I was using a face oil from Pratima, which smells delightful. Like, just fresh. I was also using Bogavia Midnight Repair Oil for a while. When I was in London, I started using this stuff Ren. They can get it at any health food store, and it’s actually very good. This is the Night-Time Facial—it’s so good, it’s crazy. I was sometimes using the Sisley Black Rose Cream after that. I have a sample of it but it's so good, I want to buy it. Sometimes I sleep with Cellfood Oxygen Gel on—I don’t really understand it, but it’s really amazing. I go to Rescue Spa for facials—they are fancy, but they use all the Biologique stuff. It’s great. Oh, this Bach Remedy Stress Relief is great on airplanes. You drop it under your tongue—well, I pour a lot under my tongue—and then you have less anxiety.

I’m known for my eye circles—in the Sophie Buhai photos they were there, because there was no makeup. I don’t care. But I was going to events and stuff, and I was like, ‘I’m the only one who looks crazy. What’s going on here?’ So I got the Luminous Silk Foundation in No. 4. Honestly, I use just a drop with my face cream. Right now I don’t really have a face cream because it’s summer, but I was using the Ren everyday one. I’m big into RMS—the concealer and the Living Luminizer. Right now I think I have some leftover mascara on because I had something to go to, and I kind of like the leftover look. I don’t usually wear mascara. If I do, I use Benefit They’re Real. I think it just makes them big and fun and flirty. I use this Outlast Lipstain from Covergirl a lot.

My thing with makeup is that I don’t like feeling that something is coming off or going wrong. I’d rather just look how I look and have that be it than having like mascara down to here and not realizing it—that’s so much more tragic to me. I like to brush my brows because they get really wild, and fill in a little. And then the same kind of brand gel—the Chantecaille Waterproof Brow Definer and Gel. I use Stila Liquid Liner in Black and go on the inside of my eyes. It just makes a little definition without using mascara—that’s a good trick. Another good trick is to just go get your fucking eyelashes tinted. Genius. It’s kind of scary—for me it’s like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t open my eyes, I’m gonna go blind.’ But I’m into it. It does make a difference. I go to this place on 12th and 2nd called Pastel, and they do it there. I have Chanel Rouge Coco Lip in Blush, and I just dab it a little bit. I use Homeoplasmine on my lips and eyes and everywhere else. Love it. This Tweezerman eyelash curler is cool, but you know what I really want? One of those little plastic ones that can get in on the sides. My eye shape isn’t really great for this.

I’ve been known to wear a hoodie for a very long time—just that thing of like, you put on the hoodie, and you go to the party and you’re dancing and you want to take the hoodie off but can’t because underneath is just a disaster. I think I'm taking modeling more seriously and not knowing how to identify with that I found myself sort of pulling away from presenting myself as a model when I didn’t have to. I can kind of feel myself growing out of that now. Last night I had to go to this event thing and I wore these pants that are sort of baggy trousers with a little heeled boot and a little wife-beater and some jewelry. So nice, but not profound. I’m kind of obsessed with gold lately. I never take any of my jewelry off, I just keep adding more. I think my favorite thing is this little necklace bracelet combo—they’re from that place New Top on Center. Jane is super cool—she hooks it up."

–as told to ITG

Camilla Deterre photographed by Tom Newton in New York on May 8, 2018.