Supermodel Stella Maxwell has all the makings of becoming New Zealand’s next superstar, but as Americans try and figure out where her twang is actually from, there is a breezy insouciance that’s vaguely French (most likely coming from Belgium where she was born and lived until the age of 13); and a slightly British clip that likely derives from her Northern Irish parents and international schooling.
At 25, the globe-trotting supermodel is undeniably a citizen of the world, but her spiritual home is most certainly California. You can hear that not so much in her accent as in the content of her speech. “I believe that thinking positively and envisioning the best possible outcome can add to your achievements,” she says in her apartment while changing into her exercise gear. “It doesn’t always work out, but if I visualise myself getting what I want, it can happen. Positivity helps with everything in life.”
Maxwell’s affirmations are on a tear right now. While in Joshua Tree, California, shooting with Gilles Bensimon for MAXIM, she felt strongly that the images would make the ultimate cover. (Magic 8 Ball says: “It is decidedly so.”) One year after landing a contract with Victoria’s Secret and secretly wishing for a pair of wings — an honour typically reserved for the brand’s top talent — she got a call from her agent telling her she’d officially be the first Irish Angel.
“You hope for these things and you are grateful to be given the opportunity, and then you just have to throw yourself into the work,” says the girl with the pillowy lips, wide-set Pacific-blue eyes, and an ageless beauty that can have her looking like a 1950s ingenue one moment and a Bardot-style bombshell the next. Beauty, of course, can only get you so far. What’s given Maxwell an edge up on all the other gorgeous girls — the ones vying for Instagram fame and multimillion-dollar modelling contracts — has been her confidence and an almost innocent lack of competitiveness. “I think those of us who have found success grew into ourselves in our 20s,” she says, citing best friends (and fellow professional stunners) Bella Hadid and Barbara Palvin. “I know I was not the hottest chick at school! We all peaked a little later than the other girls.”
For the full article grab the September 2016 issue of MAXIM, in stores from August 18 to September 22.
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