Lily Aldridge at Victoria’s Secret fashion shows
Lily Aldridge has quite a résumé. The California-bred model has walked in five Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, designs a namesake clothing collection for Velvet, and was on the cover of this year’s 50th anniversary Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Now, like Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and so many celebs before her, she is the latest Proactiv spokesperson and the face of their new line, Proactiv+. Not to mention, she and her husband, Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill, have a daughter, Dixie, who is almost two. But even with everything on her plate, the busy mom took the time to chat with us about city life versus country life, her famous family, and how she made her rockstar husband look even more hip.
Why did you decided to become the face of Proactiv+?
It’s something I’ve been using off-and-on since I was a teenager. It’s just one of those products that everyone loves. Proactiv+ is a new formula that’s more about maintaining good skin. The moisturizer makes your skin healthy and beautiful—it’s evolved into a product that I would use now.
So you live in Nashville?
Nashville and New York. I grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Nashville when I met my husband seven years ago. I was living in New York and we kind of just both moved into each other’s places immediately because we were living in two different cities. Now I live in Nashville most the time. It’s the most amazing city—it’s a growing city—it’s exciting to see so many young people moving there, opening incredible restaurants, coming with incredible bands, making incredible art. It’s just really thriving right now.
What’s it like compared to New York City?
Oh my god, it’s definitely much slower, which is amazing. You have more of a sense of community there, and you know, privacy. You have more space—we have 100 acres in Tennessee, which is like all of New York. It’s just a different lifestyle. But I love New York too, I love L.A., and I love London. They’re all places I’ve lived for a long period of time. You get so much out of every city you live in.
What’s your favorite city to go visit?
London is one of my favorite cities in the world. My dad is English, I kind of grew up there too, and I just love everything about London.
Speaking of your family, you grew up in a very fashion-y one. Did you feel pressure to be a part of the industry?
Honestly not at all, it was so natural. I never thought I was going to be a model when I was growing up. I wanted to be a professional soccer player. I loved photography, I thought maybe I could get into that. But I always was around shoots for my [older] brother and sister. It was something I loved, but I just never thought I would be part of it. I was just such a tomboy. Then slowly I’d get a job here, I’d get a job there, and then the next thing you know I was in New York.
What about your little sister Ruby? She’s a model too. Did you guys have any sibling rivalry?
No! Oh my god, Ruby was my little angel. I love her so much. I’m so proud of her success and I just want her to go bigger and get everything. She’s just such an awesome person, so fun, and so cool. She is very creative, she has a rock and roll band, she could totally be an artist.
You’re on the cover of Sports Illustrated. That’s such a big deal, how did that feel?
It’s so major, so amazing, I still can’t believe it. To be on the cover is just so iconic and people will remember it for the rest of my life. It’s one of those images that you’ll associate with me forever. It’s huge.
Do they shoot everyone first and then tell you who made the cover after? How did it go down?
Yeah. I was so excited. I’m an American girl, Sports Illustrated is like, everything! Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, that’s what you grow up seeing. So I absolutely wanted to do it, I was just stoked to be in the issue, to be a rookie and all. We did the shoot in the Cook Islands with James Macari, it was so beautiful and James is incredible. Then a week later they called us into the office and pretended we were doing an interview for something and in the middle of it people ran in with our cover. It was just a surreal.
Is there a big difference between doing that kind of modeling versus high-fashion shoots and runway?
With Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret, everyone in America sees that—men and women. It’s just so huge and obviously doing a fashion show is much different, the audience will see that. But they’re both amazing and I want to have a balance, but there’s nothing more exciting or proud than walking the Victoria’s Secret runway or being on the cover of Sports Illustrated, it’s just so big and so incredible.
How would you describe your style?
Very laid-back unless I’m going to an event. I’m definitely a California girl, a little bit rock and roll. It’s just very easy and effortless.
Has your husband influenced your style?
Yeah, definitely, if anything I think he’s making me girlier. Before him I used to just wear flannels, t-shirts, and jeans. Once we started dating I was like, “Oh, I want to wear a cute dress.” I just wanted to dress cuter.
Have you influenced his style?
Yeah, I would say I’ve turned him on to flannel shirts. He would steal mine when we first started dating.
What do you do during downtime in Nashville with your family?
My husband is an amazing cook, so he cooks a lot when we’re there. It’s our favorite thing to do when we want to feel like…you know, normal.
How does that affect your diet?
I don’t have a restricted diet at all. I’m a super foodie, I love going to good restaurants. But it’s all about balance, I’m not going to eat burgers every day, but if I’m in L.A., I’ll have an In-N-Out burger. I think cooking for yourself is such a great way to eat healthy because you know what’s going in it. I love Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook, there’s so many good recipes that are healthy and super delicious.
What about working out?
I do Ballet Beautiful. I’m obsessed with Mary Helen Bowers’ program. I started doing it after I had my daughter and I feel like I’ve never been in better shape in my entire life, even after having a baby. I try to do it three times a week—I actually have an appointment with her in seven minutes.