Few leading ladies embody the glitz and glamour of New York City more than supermodel Stephanie Seymour. Standing five-foot-ten-inches tall with thick chestnut hair and piercing blue-green eyes, it is easy to see why she is considered one of the most famous faces of the nineties. And then there is her career. After breaking into the modeling industry at the tender age of 16, posing for local newspapers and department stores, Seymour went on to book covers of several prominent fashion magazines including Vogue, W, and Harper’s Bazaar, and star in campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the business, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Versace.
And she is still going strong today. After being named the newest face of Estée Lauder earlier this year, the 46-year-old mother of four was recently tapped by Geneva watchmaker Roger Dubuis to star in a five-part photo shoot for its voluptuously feminine Haute Joaillerie Velvet line. Featuring minimalist touches, distinctive colors, and evocative poses, the innovative campaign fuses haute horlogerie with haute couture, resulting in a collection of images that are equal parts glamorous and haunting.
In the striking series of shots, Seymour is shown wearing five different timepieces from the collection, each depicting a different facet of timeless feminine mystique. “They are all incredibly beautiful, but I think my favorite has to be the blush toned corset watch from the Velvet collection,” she tells Haute Living. “I love the strength of the piece, but it is somehow still very feminine and stylish.”
From skimpy bikinis to slinky evening gowns, Seymour has proven that she is comfortable modeling in any garment, but admits that it is always nice when the stylists take her personality into consideration in regard to wardrobe. “Azzedine Alaia is always my go-to fashion choice for any occasion, so I guess my personal style tends towards the sexy and beautiful, as that is his specialty,” she reveals. In 1995, Alaia famously gave Seymour away during her wedding to media mogul and contemporary art collector Peter Brant. “I feel so comfortable in everything Azzedine makes,” she continues. “His designs make women feel strong, sexy, and confident.”
Like the rest of us, Seymour has undoubtedly experienced moments of insecurity, but the key to feeling beautiful, she says, is simple. “Being at peace with yourself and your life, that’s the real key to beauty,” she reveals. “And Pilates.” A strong proponent of balance, she believes in implementing a lifestyle of water, moisturizer, discipline, and moderate exercise. “As I always say, women should be toned, but not cut,” she adds. “I’m really into skincare, and wear just enough makeup to look refreshed without overdoing it.”
It is this kind of attitude and positivity that has made Seymour such a force to be reckoned with in the modeling world—and the muse of numerous celebrated artists such as Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, Richard Prince, Julian Schnabel, and Maurizio Cattelan. “It is an honor, and quite flattering, to be considered a muse,” she explains, noting that she has been incredibly fortunate to work with so many amazing artists throughout her career. Despite the natural intersection between classical art and photography, Seymour says that being photographed wildly differs from being painted. “You do not have the camera in between you,” she discloses. “When I am sitting for a portrait, it’s like the artist is staring into my soul.”
It is clear that art holds a special place in Seymour’s heart. And it is a passion that she has tried to instill in the lives of her children: Dylan Thomas Andrews, Peter Brant II, Harry Brant, and Lily Margaret Brant. “We have been lucky enough to surround our kids with art, and they have always been interested in fashion and design since they were very young,” she says. “I think the art of motherhood is having a willingness to allow your children to express themselves creatively.”
Though Seymour has had a ringside seat to the evolution of couture throughout the years, her favorite moment in fashion is not what one would expect. “This is my favorite moment,” she exclaims. “Girls of all ages, nationalities, and backgrounds modeling—in print, on television, and on the runway! Look all the beautiful young girls coming up today. They are everywhere—doing Vogue and Victoria’s Secret, starring in music videos, starting businesses, and getting involved with various charities. It’s great! Social media has also played an important role in the resurgence of the supermodel.”
While Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook definitely help models create buzz (and stay relevant) in the fashion industry today, when it comes to maintaining an edge, Seymour believes that nothing replaces good old-fashioned hard work. “I stay busy and I stay curious,” she confesses. “Go with the flow. Do the best you can, and don’t take it too seriously. After all, all the girls and boys are beautiful, and taste is subjective. But if you are active, engaged, and stay curious, most times, things fall into place seemingly on their own.”