LONDON: Cara Delevingne, the British model of the moment, set the catwalk alight at London and Milan fashion weeks with looks that have won her comparisons to her celebrity compatriot Kate Moss.
Burberry, Topshop Unique, Peter Pilotto, Versace, Missoni and Issa London are just a few fashion houses that hired the pixie-like 20-year-old with her distinctive dark eyebrows to strut her stuff at their shows, delighting photographers and enchanting critics.
Backstage after the Burberry show, Delevingne looks relaxed in a T-shirt and trousers as she gracefully accepts congratulations from fans and fashion journalists, and clowns around between photo shoots and interviews.
She seems stunned to be compared to her idol Moss, despite the fact that they share not only a nationality but also an agent, Storm’s Sarah Doukas.
They are both smaller than many of their colleagues, too, with Delevingne standing 1.76 meters tall.
“I don’t mind it, I just don’t think I am at all like her, no one can ever be her. She’s incredible, she’s a supermodel,” Delevingne told AFP. “I am very lucky to be where I am now but I want to do other things as well.”
But even if the young Londoner is brimming with energy and is only sleeping “between two and four hours a night,” she is finding the rhythm of life as a famous model tough.
“I miss my life, I miss my family, I miss my friends and relaxing ... that’s why I find it stressful, but it’s good; it’s a good job, it’s just hard,” she says.
Her family heritage is impeccable – her grandfather was Sir Jocelyn Stevens, chairman of national cultural body English Heritage, her father is a wealthy property developer and her elder sister Poppy is also a model.
Delevingne has been the face of British luxury clothing line group Burberry since 2010. In 2012 she was named Model of the Year by the British Fashion Council, which represents the country’s fashion industry.
More importantly she was the cover girl for the last edition of British Vogue.
The magazine’s editor, Alexandra Shulman, said Delevingne’s success was down to a strong personality.
“I think she’s got a very individual look,” Shulman said. “One of the things that people want from models ideally is the sense of their personality.
“Cara seems to convey that; it’s a kind of spirit of fun and individuality.
“Because she’s not conventional, she’s little, short, she’s got a quite quirky face, that’s what I like about her.”
Yasmin Le Bon, a model in the 1980s and 1990s, said Delevingne had a “very special kind of energy.”
“Cara has particularly gorgeous features – elfin but still strong,” she said. “She’s not somebody who sinks into the background; you always notice her.”
Le Bon added: “It takes time to build up that kind of energy level – it’s not easy when you’re young to be able work very long hours. Most young people want to spend their time sleeping in bed.
“But Cara has got energy, and when you meet her you see immediately why everybody warms to her.”
She also featured in a YouTube video with fellow models Jourdan Dunn and Rosie Tapner performing the “Harlem Shake” dance craze.
But for Delevingne – who describes herself on her Twitter profile as a “professional human being” who loves “eyebrows and playing the drums” – modeling is not her only ambition.
The next step is movies, following a brief role in Joe Wright’s 2012 film “Anna Karenina.”