Beauty

Model Londone Myers talks racism at fashion week, bad eyebrows and living forever

Posted by
Lucy Partington
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London Myers

The 25 year old has landed her first fragrance campaign. Here’s what she had to say when Stylist caught up with her in New York.

Londone Myers made her modeling debut when she walked in Yeezy’s SS16 show. 

Since then she’s been an unstoppable force of nature and has been cast to walk for a multitude of fashion brands including Prada, Louis Vuitton, Anna Sui and Rodarte.

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She’s also well known for using her Instagram platform to be a voice of change. She’s spoken out on more than one occasion about the racism she faces backstage at fashion week due to hairdressers being unable to style her natural textured hair, which is something Stylist’s junior beauty writer, Ava, wrote about earlier in October.

Now, alongside the likes of American rapper Joey Badass and models Levi Dylan and Dree Hemmingway, Myers’ has been cast in Paco Rabanne’s campaign for the launch of new perfume, Lady Million Empire. We caught up with her a few weeks ago to chat all things fashion week, beauty and living forever.

Here’s what she had to say…

How did you feel when Paco Rabanne approached you?

There was no pressure at all, actually. It was very chilled and everyone involved already knew each other from previous shoots. I had already shot two fashion campaigns for them but this is my first fragrance campaign. Before I got into fashion I’d never left the country.

The original – and iconic – Lady Million fragrance launched 10 years ago, do you have any memories of it?

I remember I used to see the ads everywhere when I was a kid, so it’s crazy to me now that I’m actually in one of them. I still walk past the big signs – like in bus stations and in Barnes and Noble, it’s surreal.

What beauty product can you not live without?

Hair conditioner, for sure. I like anything really. Mizani, Pantene – any conditioner is good conditioner. My hair would get really frizzy and dry without it, so I need it. Heat protector, too. I’m more about hair than skin, I’m not really a skin person.

But your skin is so glowy!

Thank you. I don’t drink water, that’s what it is. It’s like reverse psychology. I mostly just eat pizza and smear the grease all over my face. I do wish I took a bit more care of my body. I’m trying to do that now. I know everyone says that, though.

I’m sure you probably travel a lot now – what are your in-flight essentials?

I have to take melatonin to be able to fall asleep because I will stay awake for hours and hours otherwise. Um, what else? I have like a full kit. Sleep mask, all my extra chargers because my phone is always dying. A skin mask – the ones you stick on your face and peel off because my skin gets really dry in the air. That’s about it.

What’s the best tip you’ve learnt from the make-up artists you work with now?

Not every eyebrow shape works for every face. I have naturally sparse eyebrows, and I’ve been through a lot of Instagram, blocky eyebrows, so I’m still telling them what I need for my face. It’s like they have a stamp or something, it’s so annoying. I’ve learnt so much from working with Pat’s [McGrath] team, I’m actually starting to get into make-up myself just because I was watching them for so long and I paint and draw, too.

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You’ve spoken out about racism at fashion week – when did you first notice it happening?

You know, when it started, it wasn’t supposed to be a black and white issue. It was more of a professional issue. But I guess it kind of turned into that with people’s comments. I just started noticing nearly two years ago that people weren’t experienced with black hair, like they were afraid to do it. You could always tell by the way they touched your hair, while saying things like, ‘Oh, it’s an interesting texture.’ And as soon as I heard that, I would move to the next chair. They clearly didn’t know what they were doing. But I just started noticing it more and more and it kept on happening to different girls over and over. I started being more and more vocal about it, because I do this job twice a year and it doesn’t have any sense for me to have a team of over 30 people and you only have one person who can do black hair. Are you a chef if you can only make one type of sandwich? You’re not.

Was it in one particular city or was it across the board?

It’s across all four [New York, Paris, London and Milan], it’s everywhere. There’s more black hair status in New York than in Europe, of course, but I think the worst I had was Latin America.

I think it’s kind of ironic because the natural hair movement, especially in the UK, is having such a moment. Do you think that there’s been much development or change since first spoke out about it?

Yeah, it’s about adding more black people to the team, but I just want more people to know how to do it. Like I said earlier, it’s not a black and white thing, it’s somebody’s job. If you’re a high profile hair stylist you have to know what to do. It’s not fair that I have to be around 500 cameras with blustered hair, looking bad. I’m not representing my community the way I want to. They wouldn’t send a white model on the runway with dirt in their hair. Black hair is very coarse. I could walk in a dusty room and collect it just because my hair is coarse.

It’s about education, I guess.

Exactly. When people don’t know how to do my hair, I don’t just go like ‘OMG you’re a dick!’ – I try to teach them. I’m not going to be mad and have bad energy towards them. I started doing my own hair. Ever since I started, I would curl my own hair and go to set and be like ‘This is the hairstyle that I have’. They’d tweak it, but predominantly, I have always been the one doing my own hair.

Going on to lifestyle bits, what podcasts do you recommend?

I listen to funny stuff, I don’t listen to much serious stuff. I do listen to some TED talks sometimes, and I like listening to Michio Kaku, he’s a physicist who talks about the futurism. I love futurism and studying the future and robotics and programming. 

I think that scares me a bit.

It’s not scary. We evolve, you have to go into the unknown because that’s what’s pushing us to evolve. If we’re scared, we won’t get anywhere. I feel like technology is going to help us get to other planets. We’re going to colonise the other planets and live there. You’ll probably be on the moon when you’re 60. Would you want to live forever?

I don’t know, maybe I would. I’m not sure. Would you?

I feel like I’d start to feel empty, with no purpose. It’s an interesting question when you really think about it. I feel like you take away a lot of things from like everyday living. It feels like society would be kind of dated if we never died. It would get more barbaric, like there’s no limit, no anything. I’m getting a bit Black Mirror, aren’t i?

Yes, you are. Let’s end this on a lighter note – what’s your go-to karaoke song?

Let me think about that. It’s probably Bohemian Rhapsody. All eight minutes of it, or however long it is. You have to do the build-up, you have to do all of it.

  • Paco Rabanne Lady Million Empire, £64

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Lucy Partington

Lucy Partington is Stylist’s beauty editor. She’s obsessed with all things skincare, collecting eyeshadow palettes that she’ll probably never use, and is constantly on the hunt for the ultimate glowy foundation.

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