Stella Maxwell talks exclusively to Grazia
Victoria’s Secret veteran, model of the year, cover girl, beauty ambassador – and Kristen Stewart’s girlfriend. Jen Crothers talks shop with Stella
I KNEW IF I DIDN’ T LIKE IT, OR IF I WASN’ T HAVING FUN MODELLING, I WOULDN’ T DO IT
she was named Model of the Year at the Fashion Awards in LA. ‘That was definitely a highlight,’ she says. ‘I had to actually go and give a speech, it was all really funny. I obviously wasn’t expecting it, but I was just happy. It’s always nice to be celebrated.’
Her parents have always been supportive and told her, ‘Do what you love and, if you’re happy doing it, we’re happy.’ I suspect what’s making her most happy these days is Kristen. When Stella has her make-up done for our shoot, the actor, also 27, barely leaves her side. At one point, Kristen brings Stella a piece of toast, which they share between them.
Later, they scroll through an animal adoption website, browsing through profiles of dogs looking for a home (while Stella poses in the blistering London heat, Kristen watches a video of a husky having a bath). And after the shots are done, Stella plants a kiss on Kristen’s lips.
This isn’t Stella’s first high-profile relationship. Pre-kristen, her 2015 romance with Miley Cyrus drew just as much interest, culminating in a covertly-filmed PDA between the pair. How does she cope with the intense intrigue about her love life? ‘I don’t look at
the scrutiny of me like that,’ she says. ‘I don’t really feel that’s the situation. I see it like: I’ve been working really hard for a long time and I’ve accomplished a lot of what I’ve wanted to professionally. I’ve been really blessed and that’s all I look at.’
But whether she’s willing to focus on it or not (I wonder if her decision not to is just a coping mechanism), Stella and Kristen are part of a new generation of women challenging the narrative around sexuality.
Despite the affection on display today, they’re a fiercely private couple, and on Instagram (Stella has 3.2 million followers), Kristen is conspicuous by her absence. There’s no sign of her among a carefully curated feed of behind-the-scenes shots, magazine covers and candid snaps with fellow beautiful people. Why the secrecy? ‘Control,’ says Stella. ‘It’s nice because you choose what you show people. You have that choice.’
But she also enjoys the reach Instagram gives her. ‘Models definitely have a lot of influence. Like, in young people’s lives. Anyone. Any age, actually,’ she adds. ‘Everyone’s really interested in each others’ lives and work.
‘It’s obviously a glamorous job, and you can reach out to a lot of people within seconds through Instagram or Twitter or Snapchat. It doesn’t have to be something very serious. I think it’s just giving insight into your life a little bit, and if they’re interested, they’re going to look at it.’
If she weren’t a model, what would she be doing? ‘I was studying psychology in school, but I don’t think I’d be doing that,’ she says.
WHY THE SECRECY? ‘CONTROL’ SAYS STELLA
‘I think things are meant to be and it just so happened that I got lucky with what I fell into, but who knows?’
She’s convinced she’d be the same person either way (‘modelling hasn’t really changed me’). One of her biggest passions is travel and, being an international star, she gets to do it more frequently than most. I gesture towards Kristen, who’s still deep in her itunes library. Is it nice having someone to bring with you for support on days like this, I ask.
‘I travel alone, in general, because usually it’s just a day,’ she offers – the only thing she’ll say about her relationship. ‘Unless clients are happy to have anyone with you. It just depends on where I am and what I’m doing.’
Her favourite life motto is, ‘It is what it is.’ And this is what Stella is: a happy, confident, young woman in love, who’s clearly having the time of her life.
modelling hasn’ t really changed me
Leather bra, £234, T by Alexander Wang (alexanderwang.com); trousers, £470, Tibi (tibi.com)