Supermodel Wendell Lissimore started modeling in 2006. He soon appeared in Italian Vanity Fair, walked for Hermes and Emanuel Ungaro, and graced multiple covers, including Italian D. Lapalme Magazine recently sat down with Wendell to get the scoop on his start in the industry, how he keeps his flawless skin, and what he’s currently binging.
Where are you from, and how did you get started in the industry?
I’m originally from NYC, but I was born in Germany and moved when I was six years old. I got my start when I was in the gym. I was approached by a guy named Adrian, a designer who invited me to his fashion show, where I was scouted by George and Dave, at the now RED Models.
At that time, what kind of obstacles did you overcome to make a name for yourself? Are the obstacles different today?
In 2005, there weren’t many models of color on the runways, shooting high fashion campaigns, or on magazine covers. The color barrier was the only obstacle.
Once I walked for Hermès, the industry opened the doors for me. For anyone reading who hasn’t had their “big break” yet, remember it takes one designer to use you, and everyone will follow suit. Now, in 2020, the obstacles are pretty much the same today, but it seems to be improving. There are black models everywhere, as well as Asian, Latino, Indian, and a variety of models from different backgrounds thriving. I love seeing where fashion is now, and I like the direction it is heading in.
When it comes to fashion, which styles appeal to your personality and which designers are your favorite?
Street style definitely appeals to my personality. A pair of ripped jeans, long t-shirt layered with a sweater, and a high top sneaker or boot – a zipper is a must-have. I like to be able to go to the corner store and a restaurant in the same outfit. My favorite designers are, of course, Hermès, Rick Owens, Fear of God, and Pyer Moss.
What is your “self-care” routine? How do you decompress from a stressful day?
My self-care routine is honestly very time-consuming. Some days I question myself, “Is this worth it?” “Is all of this necessary?” Every morning, I wash my face with a cleanser, followed up with a toner, and a moisturizer with SPF. I use daytime eye cream. At night, I exfoliate my face with a cleanser and follow it with a toner, retinol face serum, retinol face moisturizer, and finally retinol eye cream. I do a face mask every 2/3 days, switching between clay, rose, and charcoal. All of my skincare products are by Murad. Decompressing from a stressful day consists of being home alone with a glass of red wine and a serial killer documentary. I also love a good gym session.
What do you think is the most significant misconception people have about your career?
The biggest misconception is that people think all supermodels are millionaires.
What is a typical day in the life of Wendell?
If I’m not working – I wake up at 6 am and work out. Then I have breakfast, come home and flip back and forth between “Undisputed” and “First Take,” which are my morning sports shows. Then I’ll enjoy a walk to the coffee shop for a cappuccino. There, I people watch, read a book or write a blog entry/ short story. Later that day, I’ll watch a movie, a sports game, or go to the neighborhood bar and have a drink with my agent.
How important is social media to you right now?
When I started modeling, Facebook was only for college kids, and Instagram wasn’t invented yet. I’m not from the “social media era,” but I know it’s essential for clients. I try to make posting a priority, but social media isn’t necessary to me at all. I don’t read my comments, and I only follow ten people.
Coffee or tea?
If you had the chance to put something on billboards worldwide next week, what would it be? Or what would it say?
Never compare yourself to anyone else. Keep putting in the work and working hard. Your time will come when it comes. Its called “your time” for a reason.
What are you binging on tv right now?
Right now, I’m binging a series called The Servant on Apple +.
Keep up with Wendell at @wendelllissimore
Model: Wendell Lissimore @wendelllissimore
Photographer: Dickson Moses @dicksonmosesphotography
Hair: Jaydakus Cannon
Makeup: Fatou Gueye @touchedbyadj
Stylist: Michael Andrews Bespoke
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Location: Wall Street NYC
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