Hat; Kangol. Dress; TommyxGigi.
INTERVIEW BY KATINA GOULAKOS
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK ANDREW
EDITOR: REGINA HARRIS
Danielle Herrington is a 24-year-old super model. This beauty has recently graced the cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine. Her humble nature and self-proclaimed shy tendencies are unapparent when you see her in front of a camera.
Herrington’s future is bright and it is an understatement to say that the world needs more role models like her.
Imagista: Tell me a little bit about your childhood, what was growing up in Compton like?
Danielle: I feel like I had a great childhood, it was really fun. I lived in Compton and so did my grandmother. My grandma is like the heart of our family so we spent a lot of time at her house. After school we would go straight to her house and my mom would pick us up after. I have a brother so he would be there and all of my cousins also. It was just really fun and full of love. We would always have pool parties there. My grandmother’s house was always an open door policy. We would have barbecues there, everyone would be by the pool, and everyone was welcomed. I feel like I had a really great childhood.
Facing left: Faux fur jacket; Sunset & Spring. Mesh crop top Fenty Puma. Track pants Fenty Puma. Waist bag; Gucci. Facing right: Headband; Gucci. Bra top; Calvin Klein. Denim shorts & T; Alexander Wang. Jacket; Sunset & Spring.
Imagista: What made you decide to move to New York?
Danielle: Work. My dream was always to move to New York, even when I was really young. I have always wanted to live here; I thought it was so cool. I had never had the opportunity to do so. I used to be with an agency in LA and I met my New York agent over skype and she basically told me I was going to be moving to New York. I was so ready to go and knew my opportunity had finally come.
Imagista: How long ago was this?
Danielle: 2 years ago
Imagista: What drove you into the world of modeling, was it something you always enjoyed doing?
Danielle: It wasn’t by chance, I have always wanted to model.
Imagista: Well, you are very good at what you do.
Danielle: Thank you, I try!
Facing left: Hat; Kangol. Blazer; FRAME. Bracelet; Babs & Brent. Jeans; FRAME. Bra Natori. Sneakers; PUMA. Sunglasses; Dior. Facing right: Metallic parka; Y3. Tank dress; Splendid. Socks Kangol. Slides; PUMA.
Imagista: You mentioned your family before and it seems like you are so close to them. Have they always been supportive of your modeling?
Danielle: My dad had more reservations than my mom, for sure. My mom just wanted me to stay in school and keep my grades up. My dad wanted me to focus more on school, like a lot of parents would. My mom would tell him “lets just see what happens” and now they are just so happy, both of them.
Imagista: Was there a specific model or designer that inspired you?
Danielle: It was just all of it. As a kid I was so shy, like painfully shy. When I was eleven I won a scholarship to John Casablanca’s Modeling School and when I was there I realized it was really something I wanted to do and be a part of. I felt like it brought me out of my shell and gave me more confidence. I think that’s one of the reasons I really stuck to it. Naturally, I really am kind of shy and kind of quiet and in modeling you need to pose, you need to walk; you need to be a little uncomfortable which ultimately found me comfort.
Facing Left: Jacket; OU. Top; Adidas Originals. Track pants; TommyxGigi. Sweater; TommyxGigi. Shoes; Manolo Blahnik. Right: Glasses; Cazal from Fabulous Fanny’s, NYC. Denim Jacket; Alexander Wang. Crop Top; Alo Yoga. Earrings; Laura Lomardi.
Imagista: I would have never guessed you were shy from your body of work. Do you feel a kind of Sasha Fierce Beyoncé thing going on?
Danielle: A little something like that for sure. Every time she would talk about Sasha Fierce I would relate so much. When you would meet me (more when I was younger), you could tell I was shy but when I got in front of a camera or on a runaway I just turned it on. So, it was kind of a different person from who I am on a day to day.
Imagista: How does it feel to be a sports illustrated cover model, which is a huge deal by the way!
Danielle: Honestly, it just completely took me by surprise. I was just happy to shoot for them. I was just so content with that, and then to get the cover, I am still like ‘wow’. I go into the airport and I put it on Instagram because I still can’t believe it, it just does not get old. It is really an honor; it is an absolute honor to be on the cover.
I did put a lot into my career; I started when I was really young, signing with my first agency at 13. It was a long time coming and it feels so good to have finally made it here and knowing that my hard work and dedication paid off, it is really such a good feeling.
Imagista: Are you working on anything right now that you are really excited about?
Danielle: Follow me on Instagram and you can see all the exciting things I am up to!
Imagista: How do you cope with the pressure put on you as a woman by society?
Danielle: I feel like it is a double standard for women. I am not perfect and I struggle every day like all humans do. Some days I am not as happy as others. Women do not need to be perfect. I just try to stay true to myself as much as possible. One thing I am proud of is that I did not sell myself short. I did not do anything for quick fame or quick money. Everyone has insecurities and you need to acknowledge those insecurities because they are part of you and owning it. I am not trying to be anyone but me and I feel like that is another reason why that got me the cover, because I was so authentically me.
Imagista: That is great advice, what was the best advice someone gave you in regards to modeling?
Danielle: Not exactly but as far as castings go, I feel like knowing that not everyone you meet will like you. It all goes back to what I said earlier about being comfortable with who you are and comfortable with yourself. I did not get one job for two years at one point. I have had so much rejection in my life but it makes you so much stronger.
Imagista: That is a great mentality to have. You can tell you had great people around you.
Danielle: Definitely, but let me tell you, it did not come so easy.
Imagista: Was there a shift that you felt a change within yourself?
Danielle: I think around 21 years old I started to adapt this mentality. I needed to stop worrying about what each person thought of me, it was too hard to try and please everyone. I realized that if I liked myself, then that was enough.
Imagista: Can you tell us something about yourself that fans do not know about you?
Danielle: I know all the words to Good Kid, M.A.A.D City by Kendrick Lamar, I don’t like cheese, I do not like chocolate and I have never broken a bone.
Beauty Credits & Instagram Links
Regina, our Beauty Director recommends Bobbi Brown BBCream SPF35, Smashbox Brow Pencil, Blinc Mascara Amplified, Tarte 12hr Cheek Paarty, Stila Lipglaze Kitten all Available at Sephora.