The Story Of Cara Delevingne
The Story of Cara Delevingne
Delevingne was born in Hammersmith, London, the daughter of Pandora Anne Delevingne and property developer Charles Hamar Delevingne and grew up in Belgravia, London, one of the wealthiest districts in the world.
Delevingne’s maternal grandfather was publishing executive and English Heritage chairman Sir Jocelyn Stevens, the nephew of magazine publisher Sir Edward George Warris Hulton and the grandson of newspaper proprietor Sir Edward Hulton, 1st Baronet. Her maternal grandmother Janie Sheffield was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret. Delevingne has two older sisters, Chloe and model Poppy Delevingne. Her godfather is Condé Nast executive Nicholas Coleridge and her godmother is actress Joan Collins. Her paternal great-grandfather was the Canadian-born British politician Hamar Greenwood, 1st Viscount Greenwood. Through one of her maternal great-great-grandfathers, Sir Lionel Lawson Faudel-Phillips, 3rd Baronet, Delevingne descends from the Anglo-Jewish Faudel-Phillips baronets; two of her ancestors on that line served as Lord Mayor of London.
She attended Francis Holland School for Girls in central London, until she was 16, before moving to Bedales School in Hampshire. She has dyspraxia and consequently found school challenging. At age 16, after completing her GCSE examinations she moved to Bedales School in Hampshire, to focus on drama and music. After one year she dropped out and followed the career path of her sister, Poppy, into modelling. In June 2015, Delevingne opened up in regards to the peak of her battle, at 15 years old, with depression in an interview with Vogue. She said, “I was hit with a massive wave of depression and anxiety and self-hatred, where the feelings were so painful that I would slam my head against a tree to try to knock myself out”.
She first began modelling at age ten in an editorial shot by Bruce Weber for Vogue Italia alongside model Lady Eloise Anson. She signed with Storm Model Management in 2009 after being spotted by Sarah Doukas, the founder of Storm, who had previously discovered Kate Moss. She worked in the industry for a year before booking a paying job and went through two seasons of castings before landing her first runway show. Delevingne was presented with her first opportunity at paid modelling when she was spotted by Burberry’s Christopher Bailey while working part-time in the office of fashion website ASOS. Bailey cast her in the company’s spring/summer 2011 campaign. This presented her with her first break into paid modelling.
Delevingne’s first catwalk appearance was at the February 2011 London Fashion Week, stepping out in the Burberry Prorsum autumn/winter collection. Jourdan Dunn opened and closed the show with Delevingne appearing sixth. Later that year, Delevingne then got her chance to open and close proceedings, modelling the Burberry Prorsum 2012 spring/summer collection in the September 2011 London Fashion Week.
After her single appearance in London, she took part in six shows in the third of the big four fashion weeks, the Milan Fashion Week. The New York Fashion Week was the first of the ‘big four’ fashion weeks, within which Delevingne walked in nine shows for fashion houses including Jason Wu, Rag & Bone, Thakoon, Donna Karan, Tory Burch, Oscar de la Renta and Carolina Herrera. The week after, London Fashion Week took place. Delevingne exclusively took part in the Burberry Prorsum Womenswear autumn/winter 2012 show, on 20 February 2012. In the front row were celebrities such as Samantha Cameron, Will.i.am, Will Young and her partner in the Burberry campaign, Eddie Redmayne. She led the way in the culmination of the show to considerable applause as the outside of the transparent tent was showered with artificial rain, concurrently the fashion models held umbrellas as the catwalk was showered with confetti.
Over the four fashion weeks she had walked in more than 20 shows and had earned a name for herself. Vogue described her as their ‘crush of the season’ and the Telegraph picked up very early, while in New York, on her becoming ‘THE’ girl of the season after walking in the Jason Wu and Rag & Bone shows.
The final fashion week of the season was the Paris Fashion Week, in which she walked in seven shows for Nina Ricci, Sonia Rykiel, Cacharel, Stella McCartney, Paul & Joe, Kenzo and Chanel. The Chanel autumn/winter 2012 Show featured the likes of Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Katy Perry and her sister Poppy Delevingne sitting in the front row. This was the beginning of what would turn out to be a long lasting professional relationship between Delevingne and the Head Designer and Creative Director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld. In an interview with Elle after the show he said, “Cara is different. She’s full of life, full of pep. “I like girls to be wild but at the same time beautifully brought up and very funny.”
Over this season she had walked in over 50 shows, a figure a veteran model would find hard to match, let alone someone who had only been in the business for a few years. Delevingne then went on to appear in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on 7 November 2012. She featured in the ‘Pink is US’ section and walked during Justin Bieber’s performance of ‘Beauty And A Beat’. The show was aired on 4 December 2012.
She finally rounded off her year of catwalk shows when she took part in the Chanel pre-fall 2013 show in Scotland with the runway around the courtyard of Linlithgow Palace. The collection, designed by Karl Lagerfeld was called ‘Paris-Edimbourg’ and inspired by Scottish style using Tartan fabrics. The show renewed media interest in the possibility of restoring the roof of the palace.
It was noted by many that Delevingne had started to become more selective with the shows she appeared in. This was the beginning of the decrease in volume of catwalk roles, the cause of which at the time was put down to her expanding acting career. However, in a Time essay published in 2016, Delevingne explained the real cause for the decrease of show appearances:
In between the two international catwalk seasons, Delevingne featured in Chanel’s Cruise show which took place in Singapore. It was the first time Chanel had held this event in Asia and was held at the Loewen Cluster at Dempsey Hill, a British army barracks turned Singapore Armed Forces manpower base.
In London, she featured in five shows. She opened proceedings for Mulberry and closed them for Burberry and Topshop as well as featuring for Peter Pilotto and Giles. In Milan, Delevingne only walked for Fendi and also walked in just three shows in Paris for Stella McCartney, Chanel and Valentino. She rounded off the year by again appearing in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
In January 2014, Delevingne opened and closed the Chanel Haute Couture Spring 2014 Show in the presence of a front row which included London born singer Lily Allen. In the Autumn/Winter 2014 Collection Showcases she went onto close Burberry’s show in the London Fashion Week and appear in fellow British designer Giles’ collection.
In the second International Fashion Month, she opened and closed Topshop’s ‘Unique S/S 15’ collection in London, before moving to Milan where she also opened the Fendi S/S 15 show. In Paris, she walked in four shows for Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel and Stella McCartney. She finished 2014 with the Metiers d’Art Pre-Fall 2015/2016 collection showcase.
Delevingne was present alongside other British models such as, Suki Waterhouse for Burberry’s ‘London in Shanghai’ event to celebrate the launch of its Shanghai flagship store. For the finale of the night, Delevingne flew down the catwalk above the crowd in the venue, accompanied by falling confetti and the signature Burberry umbrella. No doubt, such a stunt was enough to get everyone to take out their cameras and in an instant, images were posted all over social media by the influential guests who each have millions of followers.
Delevingne has featured in advertising campaigns for other brands including Chanel, Fendi, La Perla, Saint Laurent, DKNY, H&M, Mulberry, John Hardy, Tom Ford, Alexander Wang, Tag Heuer, Penshoppe, Blumarine, Zara, and Dominic Jones Jewelry. Delevingne’s profile was removed from Storm Model Management’s website in June 2015 and it was later confirmed that she had cut ties with her management to focus on her acting career. In July, Delevingne appeared on the cover of American Vogue.
She later, in August 2015, disclosed that a major reason for quitting modeling and focusing on acting was that the stress had, at least to some degree, contributed to her developing the skin condition psoriasis. Delevingne played her first film role in the 2012 film adaptation of Anna Karenina, as Princess Sorokina, the marriage interest of Count Vronsky, alongside Keira Knightley. In August 2013, Delevingne announced she would be voicing the DJ of the Non-Stop-Pop FM radio station in the video game Grand Theft Auto V, which once released became the fastest-selling entertainment product in history.
On 24 October 2014, she starred in a sketch for an annual 90-minute comedy TV event called The Feeling Nuts Comedy Night, which aired on Channel 4 and was designed to raise awareness of testicular cancer. A month later, she featured in South African group Die Antwoord’s latest music video for their song, Ugly Boy. Then in December 2014, Delevingne starred in Reincarnation, a short film by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel alongside Pharrell Williams and Geraldine Chaplin.
Delevingne co-starred in the adaptation of John Green’s novel, Paper Towns (2015), as Margo Roth Spiegelman. The film brought in $12,650,140 on the opening weekend in the US, which placed it 6th at the box office. Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus reads, “Paper Towns isn’t as deep or moving as it wants to be, yet it’s still earnest, well-acted, and thoughtful enough to earn a place in the hearts of teen filmgoers of all ages.” Of Delevingne’s performance, Justin Chang of Variety called her “the real find of the film”, suggesting that “on the evidence of her work here, this striking actress is here to stay”.
Delevingne sings and plays the drums and the guitar. Over 2011 and 2012, Delevingne wrote and recorded two albums of music under artist manager Simon Fuller and was subsequently offered a record deal. However, she turned the deal down due to the fact that her name would be changed. In 2013, she recorded an acoustic duet cover version of Sonnentanz with British soul and jazz singer/songwriter Will Heard. She also covered the song ‘I Want Candy’ in the mini film called Gang, which was the title of the 2013 A/W Katie Grand Loves Hogan collection and the name of the large-format magazine created to celebrate the collaboration. Delevingne also teamed up with Pharrell Williams to make the song CC the World which was used for the short Chanel film Reincarnation in which both Pharrell and Delevingne star. This was released to the public on 1 December 2014. The duo performed the song before a live audience for the Chanel show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City in March 2015.
Delevingne has designed two fashion collections for DKNY and Mulberry. Her DKNY capsule collection featured a variety of sporty street style items ranging from beanie hats to leather jackets. DKNY described the collection as “mostly unisex”. The collection took approximately two years from the first announcement to when it was released on 15 October 2014.
In 2013, Delevingne was the most Googled fashion figure and the most re-blogged model on Tumblr. In 2014, Delevingne was ranked 6th on the top earning models list for that year, earning an estimated $3.5 million (£2.25 million). Delevingne was ranked 13th in the ‘Most Desirable Women’ category run by AskMen.
Delevingne was ranked 20th in Evening Standard’s ‘Power 1000’ list (2013), “because of her domination of the catwalks at London Fashion Week and her huge social media following.” Delevingne is openly bisexual. In June 2015, she confirmed she is in a relationship with American musician Annie Clark, who is best known by her stage name St. Vincent.