"Fuck heels, they weigh my bag down," 22-year-old model Cailin Hill said as she walked into our offices recently. Wearing a coffee-stained white tee and a beat-up pair of Doc Martens, the Ontario native spoke remarkably candidly about her awkward teen years and boldly expressed her desire to work with controversial photographer Terry Richardson. Former author of the blog Model Burn Book, Hill recently modeled for Calvin Klein Jeans' fall 2011 collection, shot for Marie Claire, and has enjoyed face time with some of the industry's top photographers and casting agents. Look for her on the major runways this upcoming show season.
What were you like as a kid?
Oh man, I was this super awkward arty girl. My dad was an art teacher, so I spent a lot of time alone, drawing in these sketchbooks he would bring home. I spent a great deal of time rescuing injured birds and doing all those things that little misfit children do. I never had many friends, but I managed to make a couple of very close friends. I guess haven't changed much [laughs].
How did you first get discovered?
I used to work two part-time jobs to make rent. I was working at one of my jobs in the mall when an older model came in and asked me if I had ever thought about modeling. I remember lying and saying no, but I took her card. I came into work for my next shift, and my manager told me the agency had been calling, trying to get a hold of me. I then got scouted again working at Starbucks [my other job] a week after, and I told myself, "Self, you're an idiot if you don't try this."
If not modeling, what would you be doing?
Not sure, but I wasn't exactly rising up the ranks at Starbucks. I think I would probably still be a smart-alecky blogger, living in Canada. I never had the opportunity to travel before modeling, but I hope I would have found my way to New York regardless.
What's your favorite book?
Fahrenheit 451. I read the entire thing on this road-trip shoot I did in France. I can still visualize myself reading it in the back of this shitty car, trapped in gridlock on the highway for hours.
What was the last thing you bought?
Colored panties from Victoria's Secret. I've been living a sad life of nude colored G-strings lately. It comes with the territory.
What's your most favorite and least favorite feature about yourself?
I like how I've come into being social. I used to be so antisocial before modeling, but this industry has forced me to get the fuck over it and deal with it. Least favorite thing would be my inability to make eye contact with people. If I walk into a big casting, I keep my eyes down. It feels like walking into the high school cafeteria over and over again.
What scares you?
Other models. I'd rather look at them in magazines. Some things are better on paper.
Describe your style in three words.
Keith [Richards], Mick [Jagger], Patti [Smith].
If you could meet anyone, dead or alive, who would you meet?
Jay-Z. That's doable, though. I was in a bar a year ago, and he came over to my circle, and I just wanted to be like, "Yo, I downloaded your album illegally, but here's a ten with your name on it!"
What is in your bag right now?
The underwear I just bought, New York Magazine [which I just stole from you], Kiehl's lotion, Commes Des Garçons wallet, a tiny brush, a business card from the Vortex (a vintage porn store in Brooklyn), and a lighter from Train Bar in Tokyo that was shaped like the inside of a subway car.
Any photographers or stylists you'd like to work with?
Terry Richardson, naturally. And I would love to be styled by Anna Dello Russo; she has the most smokin' sense of personal style! She could style me to go pick up milk and eggs at the corner store and I would die a happy girl.
You're about to be stranded on an island and you can bring one person and one thing, what would you bring?
A beautiful male model, and earplugs so I wouldn't have to listen to him.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I wish there were more personalities, but then if you're 15 years old, I guess you're still forming one of those.
What's the one thing you can't live without?
This pair of Doc Martens I got for my first job at a movie theater when I was teenager. We needed black shoes as part of our uniform, and I somehow convinced my mother ... and the movie theater manager ... that they needed to be sixteen-hole Docs. I wear them religiously to this day.
Favorite thing about being a model?
That it can't last forever.
Worst thing about modeling?
Getting the question, "So, what are you going to do after modeling?"
And lastly, where do you see yourself in five years?
You mean, "What are you going to do after modeling?," right?
Model Profile: Cailin Hill
Explore other rising stars (plus all the big names) in our extensive Model Manual, featuring runway pics, glamorous editorials, model bios, career timelines, and more.