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To say that Cara Delevingne is one of today’s “it” girls would be an understatement— she is the “it” girl. You might think that becoming the face of a major luxury brand (we’re looking at you, Burberry) by the age of 20 requires years of agonizing auditions, tireless networking, and equal parts blood, sweat and tears, but Cara Delevingne is known for more than just her eyebrows. Descending from a long line of high society Brits, we think it’s pretty safe to say that it was only a matter of time before Cara stepped into the spotlight, herself.
Going back few generations, one will discover that the 20-year-old comes from a family of politicians, ladies in waiting, and socialites who mingled with Winston Churchill. Her paternal grandfather, Sir Jocelyn Stevens, is a former English Heritage chairman, a former publisher of the iconic Queen magazine of the ‘60s, and the founder of the publication’s pirate radio station that followed: Radio Caroline. Add in two models-turned-socialites for elder sisters, and it’s no wonder the Delevingne girls’ social status is now being compared to that of the Middletons’. Oh, and her godmother is Joan Collins.
A former private school pupil, Delevingne’s best friend from childhood happens to be the daughter of Storm Models Founder and CEO, Sarah Doukas. Doukas, who is responsible for plucking Kate Moss from a pool of leggy unknowns in the late ’80s and launching her career when signing her at Storm, scouted Cara early on but waited until she was 17 to sign her at the agency. In the meantime, Doukas focused on Cara’s older sister, Poppy Delevingne. Six years Cara’s senior, by the time Doukas was ready to sign the youngest Delevingne in 2009, Poppy had already made a name for herself, having starred in campaigns for big names like Diesel, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.
No doubt, Poppy’s establishment in the biz played a large part in setting Cara up for her breakout role. In December 2010, Cara walked in the Burberry pre-fall show in New York, and by the next spring, she officially became the face of the brand when she starred in its summer fashion campaign with fellow up-and-coming Brit Eddie Redmayne. Since then, it’s been nothing but runways, advertisements, and covers for the young Delevingne, who was named Model Of The Year 2012 at the British Fashion Awards— not too shabby for a young girl who was relatively unknown just the year before. But just because she may have had an easier road to success than other girls doesn’t mean Delevingne isn’t modest about her success. “I love modelling, I am so lucky and I appreciate everything I have because I never thought it was going to happen,” she said in a recent video interview with British Vogue. “I never thought I would become a model, it just sort of happened.”
Today, Cara continues to make waves— just last week it was announced that she’s not only the face of Burberry’s latest fragrance, “Body Tender,” she’s also the face of Burberry Beauty as a whole. Aside from other modeling projects, the budding beauty is already tapping into other interests: she had a small role as Princess Sorokina in the 2012 film adaptation of Anna Karenina, and she was recently offered a roll in a Broadway musical, which she politely turned down. “I am very lucky to be where I am now but I want to do other things as well,” she told AFP backstage at the Fall 2013 Burberry show.
Cara’s unique but versatile look is something people have a hard time putting a finger on. While some have described her as elfish, others think differently. “She’s a little bit cat-like,” Burberry’s makeup artist, Wendy Rowe told Vogue backstage at the label’s recent show. However you choose to describe her, Delevingne’s allure is undeniable to the fashion community and allows for dozens of diverse gigs. In just the last year we’ve seen her work a multitude of jobs all over the world, including campaigns with DKNY and Reserved, walking the runway for dozens of labels from Versace to Victoria’s Secret, and countless editorials. But another characteristic she’s known for, both on and off the job, is her personality. “I think she’s got a very individual look,” Alexandra Shulman, editor of British Vogue told AFP. But “one of the things that people want from models ideally is the sense of their personality. Cara seems to convey that, it’s a kind of spirit of fun and individuality.”
Not only does her candid quirkiness throw a wrench in the typical glazed-over working faces we’re used to seeing on models, it also gives Delevingne a relatable factor to her fans. A social media star, Delivingne has a combined total of millions of followers (and growing daily) on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram where she’s known to share images of silly faces, candid shots with friends, (Jourdan Dunn and Karlie Kloss are her besties) and exclusive peeks at life backstage at international fashion weeks. With admirers that include not only her fans but her employers, it’s no wonder this up-and-comer is quickly jumping the ranks on Models.com’s Top 50 Models list. Currently, she’s #17, and we can’t wait to see how quickly she makes it all the way to the top spot.