"When I was younger people would tell me I should model, I was always into art and started becoming very interested in fashion as well. I saw a disproportionate amount of European beauty and I thought it’d be cool to become a small part in bringing the beauty of people of colour into mainstream consciousness."
Our new Face hails from small town New Jersey but she's got a panoramic world view, making a home for herself in New York City and finding passion in "bridging the gap of all inequalities". The story of how she was scouted is as contemporary as it comes (Instagram), though her personal style leans towards decades past: "vintage pieces are essential. Keeping [it] modern yet adding style references from earlier eras like the 60s, 70s, which are my favourite decades." Current bookworm and former tomboy, on a summer's afternoon in her adopted home of NYC we talked readings lists, idols and learning to surf. Get to know our Face of August – Phoenix Anderson.
Hers was a childhood spent away from the city, "a very slow place, farms and animals all around. Far from noise in Central New Jersey". A self-described tomboy, Anderson liked "exploring nature, bugs and animals ... I learned to dance ballet and I was constantly drawing or painting. I was like how I am now". An avid reader from way back, she's been devouring books since her youth: "I stayed up late reading through books that I’d finish in a day or two, and my parents would get mad that’d I’d go through so many books so fast." On her current list? "Radicalism and Origins of the Vietnamese Revolution by Tai, A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution by Popkin, Women Race & Class by Angela Davis, A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism by Hoppe, a book on the Harlem renaissance, The Republic by Plato ... I basically have a few bookshelves waiting for me."
"[I'm currently listening to] Daniel Caesar and H.E.R. as of late ... Erykah Badu, D’Angelo and Musiq Soulchild constantly. Love me some dancehall, reggaeton!"
Anderson keeps her beauty routine to essentials only - "Avene spring water, as well as their Clean AC moisturiser ... pretty much anything from Avene. Also a good hair oil and Shea Moisture hair creme is key" - and feels her best after a "very good, thorough, sweaty dancing session somewhere low key". In fact, moving her body is as good as it gets for Anderson. "This summer I learned how to surf so it’d be awesome to go surfing again. [My perfect day or night includes] great conversation with friends, adventuring, feeling the sun on my skin and dancing the night away. "As far as her idols go, some are found close to home ("My parents are such dynamic people, there’s always more to learn about them"), and some throughout history ("Angela Davis and Assata Shakur - strong powerful women who’ve influenced American History. Liya Kebede, she’s helped give back to so many and did so through her career in fashion"). Open, inquisitive, passionate and steadfast - our newest Face is a woman with an agenda, a look that keeps heads turned and our ideal dance floor partner on a night out. 'Phoenix rising' couldn't be more right.
PHOTOGRAPHY Sally Griffiths
FASHION Olivia Kozlowski
MODEL Pheonix Anderson @ Wilhelmina
HAIR Sirsa Ponciano using Oribe
MAKEUP Akiko Owada