Let’s pretend for your sixteenth birthday, you fly to New York, meet some casting directors and promptly land a spot on Alexander Wang’s runway. That’s exactly what happened to Canadian model Kayley Chabot, a rising star whose catwalk credits include Chanel, Valentino, and Jil Sander. (She’s also Olsen-approved, having starred in a look book for Ashley and Mary-Kate’s contemporary line, Elizabeth and James, last year.)
We caught up with the teen runway veteranwho turned 17 in Augustjust after the Dries Van Noten show, which she opened, thank you very much.
You’re 17 years old, but you have a very adult job. Are you also in school?
I do go to school! I take classes online so that I can live in New York, but I can graduate [high school] at the same time as my [Canadian] class. I was scouted when I was 13, and I’ve never stopped going to school while I model.
You’ve logged a lot of runway miles. Do you have a favorite show that you’ve walked?
Alexander Wang! I love doing runways in general, but Alexander Wang’s show was so fun. The people are incredibly nice, the clothes are amazing, and the energy backstageit’s just so fun and so cool, and you wonder if you’re really there, or it’s just some crazy dream.
What do you think about when you’re walking down a runway?
“Don’t fall, Kayley, don’t fall!” [Laughs.]
You didn’t fall!
Actually, I just slipped a little at Kenzo, because of the waterfall. When you started walking away from it, the floor was wet, and the tiles were slippery. I definitely slid on them, but I caught myself.
What do you wish people knew about models?
That we eat! We eat all the time. Actually, there’s a lot of things I wish people knew about models…
Do people make comments when they find out you’re so young?
Sometimes. But I think it’s important to remember that everyone’s different. At 17, one person might be more ready for certain experiences, and other people might take a different path. I don’t think you can judge everyone based only on ageor based only on anything, really!
What’s the one thing you always have to buy in Paris?
Honestly? It’s hummus. I love French hummusI don’t know why it’s different here. But I think I eat it every day, just about. It’s funny; I know other people come to France to buy designer clothes, and I’m buying hummus. [Laughs] But it’s so good!