Brains and Beauty: A profile of Lily Cole

With a distinctive mane of lively red hair, pale skin and a cupid-bow mouth,Lily Cole is one of the UK’s top models. At just 18 years old, she is said to be worth around £11 million.

Her Rise and Rise
At 14 years old, a modelling scout spotted Torquay-born Cole as she devoured a burger in Central London. Cole initially ran away believing a ‘dodgy guy’ was chasing her but when asked to consider modelling, she accepted their offer. Soon after, Cole signed with Storm, a top agency representing models such as Kate Moss and Elle Macpherson.

Cole’s modeling career took off in 2003 when she worked for Italian Vogue with Stephen Meisel, the photographer responsible for Madonna’s SEX book. This catapulted Cole into the spotlight and in 2004, she appeared on the cover of Vogue and won the coveted Model of the Year prize at the British Fashion Awards. Cole would later work with many more major fashion photographers, including David Bailey, Craig McDean, Nick Knight, Juergen Teller, Irving Penn and Arthur Elgort.

Fashion’s Brightest Star
Her long limbs and porcelain doll features have made Cole a hit with the most prestigious designers. She is frequently seen on all the major catwalks and has appeared in shows by Jean Paul Gaultier, DKNY, Versace, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Louis Vuitton.

One of Britain’s most recognisable models, Cole has appeared on countless magazine covers, including ID, Numero and the American, Italian, British, Japanese and Korean editions of Vogue. Cole has also appeared in advertising campaigns for a number of designers such as Christian Lacroix, Chanel, Hermès, Longchamp and Cacharel.

At Christian Dior’s recent 60th anniversary show, Cole’s reputation as a top model was cemented. Appearing alongside legendary models such as Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell and Karen Mulder, Lily was one of the only young models invited to participate.

She is the face of Accessorize and two fragrances: Ghost’s Anticipation and Moschino’s I Love Love. She was recently approached to become the face of De Beers diamonds but declined due to claims that native bushmen in Botswana had been thrown off their land to make room for De Beers’s new mining sites.

Other Talents
Cole has brains as well as beauty. In Summer 2006, she achieved three A’s in her A-Level English, Politics and Philosophy and Ethics exams. This earned her a place to study Social and Political Sciences at Cambridge University, although she has deferred her course for the foreseeable future due to her career.

Cole also has plans to embark on an acting career and was recently cast as Alice in Marilyn Manson’s upcoming film Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll. A number of critically acclaimed shorts from the film have already been featured on Manson’s website and a feature length film is also planned. It has also been recently announced that Cole will join the cast of St Trinians, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and Stephen Fry.

What’s next?
With brains, beauty and a blossoming film career, Cole has world at her feet. Will she continue modelling for multi-million pound contracts or will we see her embarking on a career in academia or Hollywood? The fashion world waits with baited breath…