When Lucky Blue Smith preens before the camera, smoldering at the lens, moving fluidly, posing with ease, producing picture after picture of grown-up perfection, it’s easy to forget that he’s just 17.
But when the shutter stops clicking and he breaks into an almost goofy grin, his 6-ft-2 1/2 lanky frame ambling over to the crew for high fives, you see that Utah kid again, the one who was scouted when he was just 10, who started modeling at age 12, and who, despite his fame and status as the modeling world’s “It”-boy, still shares a room with his equally genetically gifted sisters.
It’s a beautiful November day in Beverly Hills and we are at Lucky’s campaign shoot for Penshoppe.
He is the brand’s newest face, joining the stellar lineup of Kendall Jenner, Sean O’Pry and Sandara Park.
“Lucky imbibes everything Penshoppe stands for—fashion, music and that youthful energy. This guy is the true meaning of effortlessly cool,” said Jeff Bascon, Penshoppe brand director.
Lucky has walked the runways of Balmain, Fendi, Jeremy Scott, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Bottega Veneta, Michael Kors, Moschino, Emporio Armani, Ralph Lauren, Roberto Cavalli, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tom Ford, Versace. He has done campaigns with Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Philipp Plein, among others.
He is also the drummer of The Atomics, the band he started with his siblings.
Lucky’s agent Mimi Yapor said, “I think Lucky Blue is a total throwback. He is like a vintage old-school celebrity in the sense that he loves his fans, he spends time with them and he’s kind of just a classic guy. He’s elegant but he’s young and he has good manners and it’s refreshing. I think people aren’t used to that anymore.”
When we asked why he said yes to Penshoppe, Lucky said, “Have you ever seen their clothes? They’re amazing. It’s just fun working with them. And I didn’t know they were going to be so cool on set. It’s amazing. It’s just Penshoppe. You wouldn’t say no.”
Behind the camera was Yu Tsai, photographer, former America’s Next Top Model mentor and the new creative director of Asia’s Next Top Model, who was working with both Penshoppe and Lucky for the first time. “I’m Asian-American and I’m very Asian proud and when an Asian brand contacts me, I’m always so proud to step up and say yes, I wanna do it. What was great is I got to explore and play and as a photographer it’s always a dream to (have) so much freedom and to convert it into a campaign. We took the live, the spontaneity, the organic quality of how you shoot editorial and we applied it to shooting Lucky. Lucky has a really interesting and beautiful face… We connected immediately, he’s quirky, he’s funny.”
Lucky has been called many things. Model of the moment. Wunderkind. The Justin Bieber and One Direction of male models. Social media’s favorite model.
Lucky has two million followers on Instagram and legions of fans around the world called Lucky Charms. And Lucky shows them his love by organizing spontaneous fan meet-ups in the cities he visits. “Of course I’m gonna keep doing it,” he told us with a smile.
Mimi said, “It’s not something that happens in the modeling industry anymore, really. It’s nothing but fun when we meet the fans.”
During one of these meet-ups in a hotel room in Shanghai, a fan started crying. Mimi said, “She was kind of shaking and she announced to the room that she hadn’t told her parents that she skipped school, took a plane to Shanghai and she was going to get in a lot of trouble but she thought it was worth it. We thought it was really sweet but we didn’t want to get her in trouble.”
Lucky’s playfulness came out during our interview. He was making funny faces, laughing and talking animatedly about skateboarding, homework and burgers.
Jeff said, “What’s good is that you could tell that he’s enjoying being a typical 17-year-old kid.”
Lucky has a secret weapon that keeps him grounded: his family.
Lucky’s mom Sheridan arrived to pick him up, exchanging pleasantries with Bernie Liu, the chief executive of Golden ABC, Penshoppe’s parent company, and Alice Liu, the executive VP for retail brands. Sheridan said, “Thanks for having him today.”
When they praised her for raising such a well-mannered son, she beamed—”He’s a good kid.”
Outside the house, Lucky’s dad Dallon sat behind the wheel of an SUV.
“Are you the guys from the Philippines? I’m Lucky’s dad. Did he do good? Thank you for having Lucky. Seriously.”
Lucky said, “I’m really blessed that I have a family that cares so much about me and I care so much about them.”
The shoot wrapped, goodbyes were said, and Lauren, the production head, said what was on everyone’s minds: “It’s a very lucky day.”
LUCKY BLUE SMITH ON HIS FANS: “I CAN JUST TALK TO THEM ABOUT ANYTHING”
In this exclusive interview with Super, Lucky Blue Smith talks about fashion, music, homework and burgers
How was the shoot today?
The shoot today was really cool. I had so much fun. So relaxing. I jumped in the pool, I ate pizza for a shot, like you couldn’t have had a better shoot.
Do you have favorite pieces from the collection?
Yeah. There’s this one look that I wore, gray denim jeans, gray shirt and this white jacket, that whole look was really nice and put together and you could pull some stuff from a different collection and it would probably still look really great.
Were you nervous, entering the fashion industry at such a young age?
No. I wasn’t nervous entering it. I didn’t even care, really. The first couple of shoots, I was like, “I don’t know what to do, this is awkward.” As I did it for a little bit, it got easier and just easier. It’s fun, you get to meet new cool people.
Was modeling something you always wanted to do?
I never set out to be a model. When I got signed, I just wanted to go to the beach and I just wanted to go hang out with friends and relax. I remember we were staying in Orange County, an hour, an hour and a half depending where you are from LA. We were staying down there and the agency kept calling us up every day and I was super pissed because I just wanted to go hang out and not have to worry about it.
Your mom was a model. Did she give you any tips?
My mom just always talked about confidence.
What’s it like growing up in such a beautiful and close family?
It’s really amazing. It’s really helped me be strong and I really wouldn’t be here without them today. I know it sounds so cliche but it’s actually true.
I think it’s rare that you all moved from Utah to LA, is being close to them important to you?
Yeah, being close to them is very important to me. It wasn’t just for my career, it was for everyone, it was a whole family decision, something we had to really think about. It was mainly for us to play music together and do something and go to the next level. Modeling for me, kinda just… I was like, sure, let’s do it if I can.
What’s it like sharing a room with your siblings-is it like a slumber party every day?
I’m really close to the couch. Me and him are homies, for sure.
What do you miss about Spanish Fork?
My friends and just, there’s this one hill, there’s this one hill there where I skateboard on my Cruiser, and just bomb it and just carve through these huge S-curves. I miss that. It’s that hill. It’s that hill that I skateboarded on for like five years. And just my friends and high school football.
Do you ever get to go back?
Yeah, I get to go back and visit. It’s really hectic right now because of my schedule but it’s made going back even more special.
How does it feel to be called modeling’s It-boy?
What?! I’m just kidding. It’s crazy.
What surprised you the most about the world of fashion?
Your look could be in and it could be out in the next month. Everything, it just changes, it’s fast.
What has been your most surreal or unforgettable fashion moment?
I think it was going to Iceland and working with Annie Leibovitz for the Moncler campaign. It was really amazing.
Is it true you sometimes think about homework while you’re on the runway?
Yeah. There was one specific time, I was walking for Fendi. I’m home-schooled so I kind of have to do it on my own and remind myself. I was 16 at that time. A 16-year-old kid is not going to remind himself to do his homework. He’s going to avoid that. So that’s what I did, I avoided it. And turns out, I was two months behind on tests and homework. I carried around my books everywhere I went just to make me feel like I did something but I really wasn’t. I was walking for Fendi and I was mid-through the thing and about to turn around and I was just like, “I forgot to write my English essay. Crap.” So yes, it is true.
You’ve done a number of magazine covers, do you have any favorites?
Yeah, I do. L’Officiel, I did a Singapore one, I did two covers for them, I can’t think of what the other city was. And then what other ones? I can’t even think right now. Status magazine was really cool, I really enjoyed that. ODDA magazine. There’s a bunch. I just shot one yesterday, I just shot a magazine cover yesterday, and I can’t tell you what it is, but that was sick.
How are The Atomics? And how do you juggle music and fashion?
The Atomics are killing it, (we’re) just great right now. We’re just having hanging out, writing music. We wrote a cool song the other day. And how do I juggle that? That’s what I’m trying to figure out myself.
If you weren’t the band’s drummer, what other instrument would you like to play?
And you do play the guitar right?
No no no, I only play the drums. I know like four chords on the guitar.
That should be enough for a song.
It is. It’s enough for like a thousand songs. But (I want to) get better at the other instruments, you know what I mean.
What’s your ultimate music dream?
Going on a world tour and just selling out stadium after stadium.
You’re also an actor-do you have a dream role? And do you have dream co-stars?
Yeah. So I think being one of the leads in a movie like The Breakfast Club would be really cool. It’s like my favorite movie. I’ve always wanted to be Brad Pitt’s son in a movie but I’m pretty sure I’m taller than him so I don’t know how that would work. Who else are cool people? I can’t think of his name, I know his name, but he did Forrest Gump. Tom Hanks. I would love to be in a movie with Tom Hanks. That would be rad.
What’s one thing you’d never wear?
Pink pants and a pink shirt together.
But apart is fine?
I would never wear pink pants, actually. Unless it was for a shoot.
Five things you can’t live without?
(snaps his fingers) Coca-Cola, In-N-Out or just a solid burger in general, black skinny jeans, what else? Drums. And my comb.
Describe your personal style.
What do I wear when I’m not at shoots? That’s a tough question. Just kidding. Black skinny jeans, denim, like blue jeans. Just got some cool jeans from Penshoppe so I’m gonna rock those and just basic t-shirt, ripped up t-shirt with a cool jacket.
Is it true you’re changing your hair color soon?
Best believe it.
Is it really gonna be purple?
I don’t know where you got purple Maybe it’s gonna be purple.
When is it gonna happen?
Who knows! Who knows? It could happen tomorrow. (Lucky’s trademark bleached platinum blonde hair was dyed brown a month after this interview- Ed.)
What’s your secret-how do you keep your hair healthy despite all the bleaching?
It’s not healthy at all, it’s very damaged actually.
It looks healthy.
That’s good. Just a buttload of conditioner. I just lather that crap on there and leave-in conditioner. Whoo! I get in trouble with my mom because I run through it so much.
If you weren’t a model, what would you be doing?
Musician and acting.
What are you passionate about?
What’s your favorite hashtag?
If you can only follow one person on Instagram, who would it be?
You know that’s a hard question because if I was only to follow one person, I wouldn’t follow anyone at all. But if James Dean was alive and he had Instagram, for sure James Dean.
Do you ever Google yourself?
We love how you use social media to connect with your fans, telling them where you are and they go there. Are you not terrified of being mobbed?
No. It’s so fun. I love it.
I read that your mom said you might need security soon but are you gonna keep doing it?
Of course I’m gonna keep doing it. Having security there is not only for me, it’s to keep everyone safe, you know. It’s for everyone.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has done to get your attention?
Umm. Just a lot of screaming. They have just done a lot of screaming. I’m pretty sure a lot of them have lost their voices the next day ‘coz of all the screaming.
What do you love about your Lucky Charms?
How supportive they are and just how nice they are. I can just go to them and I can just talk to them about anything and they’d give me their opinions and be honest and if I’m doing something stupid, they’ll tell me.
In an interview, you mentioned wanting to get burgers and fries on a date-where’s your favorite place to grab a burger?
You know, I’ve done a lot of shouting out to this company. You know what though, there’s a lot of good burger places. That’s hard. That’s a hard choice. Because if there’s a fast food burger chain, In-N-Out, of course, it’s a go-to. And I also live a block away so it’s hard not to go. And there’s like Umami burger. Honestly, for me, if I can grill my own burger, looking over a lake with fishing poles, catching little trout and Coca-Cola on a date with a girl and frying fries (laughs), then I’d do that than go to any fast food place.
Does your Penshoppe campaign mean we might get to see you in the Philippines?
I guess you’ll find out.