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Lida Fox Saint Laurent muse in New York interview
Lida Fox (Next Models)Photography Ryan James Caruthers

What it’s really like being a Saint Laurent muse

Lida Fox gets photographed around her neighbourhood by fellow Saint Laurent model Ryan James Caruthers

Having first bonded via the Instagram comments on mutual friend Julia Cumming’s pictures, Lida Fox and Ryan James Caruthers officially met raiding the free lunch table in Paris at a Saint Laurent pre-show fitting. Having both earned a coveted spot in fashion's coolest gang, it should come as no surprise that the two models are more than just pretty faces – Fox is a skilled ballet dancer, and Caruthers a photographer. Now both living in Brooklyn, Caruthers turned his lens to his fashionable friend, shooting her in their neighbourhood in a series of self-styled portraits. Here, the duo go head to head on Hedi, hitting the runway and why Saint Laurent feels more like a family than a fashion house.

Who gave you your first break?

Lida Fox: My first big show was Marc Jacobs, but my biggest break was probably the Saint Laurent Dance video. People still talk to me about it two years later and it has led to so many other dance and modelling collaborations.

Ryan James Caruthers: One of the first weeks that I moved to NYC I did a small interview for COS magazine shot by the incredible Collier Schorr. Right before that shoot I was scouted for Saint Laurent walking down 5th Ave – my first Saint Laurent show in Paris was definitely my biggest break in modelling. Photography-wise I think being name dropped by Ella (Lorde) in her interview with the Guardian was pretty cool. 

How did you first get involved with Saint Laurent?

Lida Fox: My first show was the AW13 grunge collection, but I met Hedi Slimane about six months before when they flew me from South Carolina to Paris to meet him. It was a very quick meeting and then they flew me home! Since then I’ve done both the women’s and men’s shows, gone to LA to work with them as an exclusive a few times, and was just in the new couture campaign.

Ryan James Caruthers: I met Hedi in NYC near the end of 2013 and then walked my first show for Saint Laurent AW14 in January 2014. I’ve been exclusive with the brand since my first show, and have also walked in SS15 and AW15.

What’s the relationship like with the other models who are involved?

Lida Fox: There is definitely a sense of us all being in a big family. When we’re not working together we still keep in touch, go out together, and stay at each other’s places. Ryan and I have practically become groupies for our friend’s bands like Sunflower Bean and Cherry Glazerr; it’s ridiculous.

Ryan James Caruthers: Yeah I feel the same as Lida, the Saint Laurent crew is a huge family. I think we are all so easily connected because we share similar interests and are involved in the music/art scene. We all love and support each other which I think is really great because there are so many talented artists involved with Saint Laurent. Lida and I even made a cameo performance on “stage” and sung with Julia and Sunflower Bean at one of their gigs. 

“The Saint Laurent crew is a huge family. We all love and support each other which I think is really great because there are so many talented artists involved” – Ryan James Caruthers 

What’s different about working with Saint Laurent in comparison to other brands?

Lida Fox: The fact that we are like a family is one of the biggest differences in comparison to other brands. Also, I think Saint Laurent tends to hire people who are already into the same type of style and who express themselves as individuals. They hire more musicians, dancers, and artists, rather than usual models.

Ryan James Caruthers: Saint Laurent differs from other brands because of how authentic it really is. I think a lot of us feel connected to the brand because we are handpicked to exemplify it. And I definitely agree with Lida that being a part of this big family is something that makes this brand so special.

What do you want to change about fashion?

Lida Fox: It’s already changing, but I like the fact that more clients in the fashion industry are becoming interested in models as people and individuals rather than just replaceable dolls to fit their collections.

Ryan James Caruthers: Yeah, I think casting is potentially developing into something remarkable. Now is the time for representations of diversity in the fashion world. Gender fluidity should be displayed more often in shows and campaigns, yet not just as a fad. There are some powerful individuals such as Hari Nef, not only kicking ass in the fashion world but also as a trans role model and activist. Calvin Klein also just featured same-sex couples for the first time in their print ads, which was really cool.