Golden State born and bred, our newest digital cover star is a California girl – the kind the Beach Boys sing about - who got the nickname ‘Kissser’ from an ex-boyfriend and is currently experimenting with what she calls "Year of the Bitch": “It’s all about doing what you want, being direct, speaking up and taking care of business”. In other words, she's our kind of woman. Across the country on the first crisp day of Autumn in Greenpoint, New York, we perused the vintage stores and provincial pooches, and got to know our Face of November: Michele Ouellet.
After undertaking some modelling work alongside her mother and brother, Ouelett started getting regularly noticed by agents by age 15. “I started getting scouted a bunch and decided to meet with some agencies. I remember my soon-to-be agent flying up from L.A. to meet me and I was all sweaty having come literally straight off the volleyball court. Not ideal, but I guess it all worked out,” she laughs. “Of course there are tough and long days, but for the most part I have fun at work. It’s usually a lot of laughs and dancing and jokes on set, plus beautiful clothes. I’ve made amazing friends through the industry and seen the world.”
"I’m closer with stylists and hair and makeup artists, generally. After working with the same teams for years you become a little family!"
“About once a week, sometimes more, I turn on Prince’s Purple Rain full blast and have a therapeutic singing, dancing sesh. I will never get enough of that song.”
A lover of the finer things, Ouellet owns and runs a wine company, Lorenza Rosé, with her mother (Lorenza is her middle name) and has a mouth-watering Instagram account dedicated to seriously good looking produce. “I grew up in Napa Valley. If you’ve ever been there, you know it’s pretty dreamy. It was amazing to be surrounded by great food and wine. I feel very lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful place that I will always love coming home to.” A Gemini through and through – “I’m very social and love running around" – Ouelett's personal style echoes her sign. "My style is very Gemini - my outfits tend to change and evolve over the course of the day. In the same day I can start in a T-shirt, hoodie by Bianca Chandon and ripped old Levi's and Adidas, and then end up in a head-to-toe leopard velvet suit by Libertine. I love some sparkle. My closet is filled with a lot of denim, white fluffy blouses, silky dresses and loafers by Newbark."
“I’d love to find some time to experiment with making some dreamy synthy sparkly music. I want to deepen my connection to my community and be a positive impact on the environment and those around me.”
Though she's chosen a career that has her in the beauty chair every job, Ouellet says she's only recently "gotten into makeup". "My friends laugh whenever I say that because I guess it still looks like I’m not wearing anything, but I’m loving a swipe of Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks in one of their bronzy shades above and under the eye. A little sparkle is so fun," she says. "I also adore the peachy RMS pots on the eye. For this shoot actually the team was leaning towards an all-natural look, and I was like ‘Can we do some glitter bronzy eye action?’ Lucky for me they were into it." Which, on reflection, sums our cover girl up perfectly: low maintenance on the surface but always willing to push the boundaries, step outside her comfort zone and make tracks towards the nearest fun. "I really love showing up on set where I don’t know anyone and meeting a whole new crew of characters."
"[I'm obsessed with] Champagne. The Great British Baking Show. Omakase."
PHOTOGRAPHY Sally Griffiths
FASHION Olivia Kozlowski
MODEL Michele Ouellet @ Heroes NYC
HAIR Takuya Yamaguchi using R+Co
MAKEUP Ayaka Osenkov using M.A.C