In a previous life, Hayett McCarthy would have been “an almond, on a tree, chilling in the south of France”. The Lyon-born model is now based in NYC having just finished her first full fashion-week circuit – but is determined not to become a “phoney”. “I initially didn’t want to model because I didn’t want to lose that genuine thing human beings have when they feel a bit giddy, new or shy.” It’s a refreshing outlook for a model currently tearing up runways on either side of the Atlantic, and that’s why you’re most likely to catch McCarthy sipping slushies at Rowans Bowl in Finsbury Park than side-eyeing you at fashion parties.
With a mind working at a thousand revolutions a second, McCarthy – seen here wearing Mango SS17 – is acutely perceptive, even philosophical. “I’m good at scratching beneath the surface,” she says. And much like the spherical experiments of this issue’s shoot, the model’s New York flat is crammed with curves: she was once “obsessed” with Kandinsky’s “Several Circles”, and often bowls twice a week, though not just for the balls. “It’s like life – if you aim to the side, it’s always going to go to the middle,” she quips. “And it’s better when you’re drunk.”
While it might not help her bowling skills, McCarthy does boast a kind of sixth sense. “Actually, it’s one of the five, but I’ve got a really good sense of smell. When I was much younger, I wanted to be a ‘nose’ for a perfume house. If all fails with modelling, I could always go truffle hunting.”
Hair Shiori Takahashi, make-up Jessica Taylor using Bobbi Brown, set design Danny Hyland, model Hayett McCarthy at IMG, photographic assistant Alessandro Tranchini, styling assistant Ioana Ivan, hair assistant Kosuke Ikeuchi, set design assistant Yasmina Kurunis, casting Svea Greichgauer