Lily McMenamy isn’t any up and coming model. Firstly, her mother is Nineties supermodel Kristen McMenamy (now owner of the most glamorous grey hair in the world) and, secondly, her first catwalk experience – mere days after signing with her first agency – was Hedi Slimane’s debut for YSL, in front of the most intimidating front row imaginable. Well, until the next day at least, when she walked for Chanel.
Talking to the Into the Gloss blog, Lily explained how it happened: ‘[I've] literally just started modelling… it’s been a possibility for a while, I guess, but I wanted to finish high school first. I grew up in London, (with Kristen and her step father, the fashion photographer Miles Aldridge) and actually my plan was always to move to Paris once I finished school, and I came here [to Paris] not knowing what I was going to do – I was going to waitress or do an internship at a gallery… but then I figured I would try modelling.’
Things moved quickly after that: ‘I signed with [model agency] Next, like, one week ago, went to meet Hedi [Slimane], and just walked in his first show for Saint Laurent. It was my first runway show. I’m 18, I’m like 180 cm – so 5’11 – proper model height. Some people say that I’m like a little girl. [Laughs] I feel like I’ve had a lot of experience for an 18-year-old. I grew up quite fast. But I think that’s quite good.’
Maybe having an American supermodel mum in London and then visiting her Tunisian dad (Hubert Boukobza, owner of Paris celebrity hotspot Les Bains) living in Paris made her so cosmopolitan. ‘I’ve always been going on the Eurostar, back and forth. The Eurostar was actually made the year I was born, so I kind of feel like it’s… mine. [Laughs] I’ve always thought Paris was so much more beautiful than London. London’s more dynamic, but in Paris… it’s so beautiful and poetic.’
Despite her explosive start in the industry, Lily’s not getting too big for her (Chanel) boots. Talking about the walking for Saint Laurent, she says: ‘I was so terrified, you have no idea. I took a lot of Bach's Rescue Remedy before! All these amazing supermodels were backstage; it was super-overwhelming. But once I got out there, it was so exciting . . . It was unbelievable’