You would think Dree Hemmingway would be exactly the kind of girl us women would love to hate. Strike one: Her impressive lineage. Dree’s great-great grandfather is the literary world’s most beloved writer; plus, her mother Mariel is a famous Hollywood regular. She could ride those laurels for all they’re worth and pull a Paris; but wait, there’s more. Strike two: Her exacting beauty. Picture glossy blonde hair that resembles spun gold, alabaster skin that would make a porcelain doll cringe with envy and, lest us not forget, the perfect model frame: Tall, lithe and unspeakably flawless. These attributes have given her serious play on some of the fashion world’s most notorious runways (Valentino and Givenchy, to name a few) plus coveted ad campaigns with Abercrombie & Fitch and Mango; but the truth is, beyond the pedigree and the aesthetics of this aspiring model lies a deeply sincere girl-next-door who doesn’t take the business of beauty too seriously. What’s not to like about that?
While in Madrid, ELLECanada.com played tagalong with Dree at the Mango spring 2010 runway show. Hear what she has to say about mass-market style, her new It-girl status and why modeling was never in her fashion forecast.
Why pursue a career in fashion It was just a feeling I had, a mood I wanted to explore. I love how your sense of style can portray who you are, how it can define you in some ways.
Who or what inspires you People inspire me. I grew up watching a lot of old movies and always loved Catherine and Audrey Hepburn. Their sense of fashion was so classic, and still timeless today.
Favourite fashion designer Franciso Costa at Calvin Klein.
Next runway you would like to walk Oscar de la Renta.
First modeling gig It was an ad campaign with DKNY. I was so shocked to be there and know that this was my new job. It was so major. Going into the wardrobe room and seeing all of the clothes: I just wanted everything!
Describe your personal style Eclectic, but not extreme. I’m not into grunge, but I like to play around with classic pieces and mix with something more “street.”
Tell us about your most recent campaign with Mango It was really amazing. I was featured in their online campaign called www.whatshouldiwearbymango.com where I wore their spring collection. That was the day I realized just how amazing their clothes are. So wearable and so cool. (Click
here to view behind-the-scenes shots of the Mango campaign)
Designer or mass-market Mass-market. I’m a huge fan of things that are affordable. I do wear a lot of designer when I’m out at events, but I prefer to buy pieces that looks expensive, but aren’t. It’s more fun that way. Plus, the designer stuff is usually a one-off, so I can’t keep everything anyway.
Would you ever make the move of model-turned-actor? I would love to get into acting, but I’m also very into music. Music is what keeps me sane most of the time. I wish I could be involved in that industry somehow.
Favourite tunes Anything that’s considered “retro rock” like The Beatles, but I also love indie. Animal Collective is a current one I can’t get enough of.
Besides modeling, you love … Ballet. I studied seriously for 15 years. It is a very emotional experience and very therapeutic in ways. To me, it’s not that different than my current modeling gig. It amazes me how much emotion you can portray in the most subtle of movements.
Heels or flats Depends on my mood. If I’m feeling sassy, I’ll wear heels.
Weekend wardrobe T-shirt, jeans and an amazing blazer.
Favourite model My Aunt Margaux, but maybe that’s because I’m related to her (laughs).
Favourite accessory Shoes. You can wear the trashiest of outfits and then wear these amazing shoes and, somehow, it all makes sense.
Next travel destination Los Angeles. My mom lives there and I really want to go and see her soon. She makes the best food and it’s so comfortable there. I just love it.
What are you wearing today? Skinny denim riding pants with black leather inserts, a white t-shirt, black blazer and pink leopard scarf. All Mango.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter