Hubert Burda Media

Rising Star

Girl-about-town Caroline Vreeland talks about breaking into the music industry and her famous great-grandmother.

Caroline Vreeland photographed by Wing Shya

You may have heard of Caroline Vreeland – model, singer and the great-granddaughter of legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland. Whether it’s her outgoing personality, sultry Instagram posts or hitting the streets of New York in coordinating ensembles with pal Shea Marie, Vreeland has already got people talking. We have a strong feeling we’ll be seeing and hearing more of the blonde bombshell this year. After all, she does have plans to release her first studio album and has been in numerous modelling shoots to date.

Vreeland, who was recently in Hong Kong for the grand opening of Esprit’s newly opened Central flagship store, sat down with us for a quick chat.

Describe your music.

I always describe it as ... and I call my publishing company that, too, but I describe it as a doomed magic. I don’t know why, I just feel there’s always some sense of unrest: it’s never a resolution. I don’t know why that’s important to me, but it’s always been a common thread. I would say it’s a mixture of what I grew up loving, which is Fiona Apple, Al Green and Nina Simone. Of course, I love Amy Winehouse and sometimes I get compared to her.

Do you have advice for someone who wants to break into the industry?

I’ve been singing since I was eight years old, but I’ve been in not the best of situations, musically. I think sometimes people get confused. Are you a model? Are you a singer? Are you doing acting stuff?

I guess what I would say to people is: don’t ever lose sight of the music. For me that’s priority. Right now, the editorial stuff is kind of putting me where I need to be to get noticed and to get my name out there. I love modelling. As long as you’re kind of sure who you are and you don’t really give a fuck, I think it’s OK.

What are your must-have pieces from esprit this season?

Well, I’ll have to say my [black] jumpsuit. I was immediately drawn to it because, for me, it’s so easy to wear. It feels chic. I’m travelling so much these days, so it’s a nice idea to steam something really quickly and throw it on.

What was the relationship with your great-grandmother like?

She passed away when I was two, but I have to say I feel super-connected to her. I always tell everyone that the biggest connection I feel that we have, aside from being insane, is, you know, this idea, the idea of the use of free collaboration, because Diana was all about imperfection, and that’s what she found beautiful about the people that she worked with. She loved the things that made people unique.

Tell us about your most memorable modelling experience.

When I first started doing editorial work, which was like maybe one-and-a-half years ago, my first ever job was for Vogue Italia. And I was like, “Oh my God, this is huge.” So I get there and then hair and make-up for two hours – they had me like smoking a cigarette on set and it was swimwear and I was texting my agent, and I was like, “They know about my boobs, right?” I look at their rack and saw everything so small and I was like, “What?” So finally, we get me into this black one-piece and everything is fine and I’m sitting there in a big hair and I’m smoking and I’m acting and I’m loving it. And it was like a 15-person crew and everyone huddled, and then the photographer was looking and he looked so like distraught, and he finally comes in and he says, “I can’t honey, the boobs, I just can’t.” And I literally had to put a robe around me and shuffle down the drive and that was it.

So I was turned away from my first-ever fantastic shoot, and then when I got the call to work with Carine [Roitfeld] it was like you’re going to fly to Paris, you’re going to shoot for CR Fashion Book, it was like the hugest thing ever. So I get there and I was like, “Well the clothes fit,” and the stylist was Melanie [Huynh], who is one of my dearest friends. And she’s like, “The whole story is about your boobs, that’s the best thing we’ve ever seen, we love it, we want it to be front and centre.”

When I started working with her at that shoot, I kind of just felt, “This is who I am and let’s fucking embrace it.”