Rosie Huntington-Whiteley on her Pinterest obsession, Skype and making her fashion design dreams come true
From the runway to the big screen, the cool and captivating beauty is making her mark on fashion design and proving that there’s more to her than meets the eye.
When it comes to power breakfast spots, you can’t do much better than The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel—a storied dining room where, in the 1940s, Marlene Dietrich famously challenged a house rule mandating that women wear skirts. In 1972, Richard Nixon’s chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, was having breakfast here when he learned of the Watergate break-in. Not much has changed; the place continues to attract attention-grabbing clientele. On the morning I’m scheduled to meet supermodel Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, I spot CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick having breakfast with ICM Partners’ Chris Silbermann. At a nearby table Les Moonves dines with former MGM honcho Roger Birnbaum (who is currently producing a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Rebel Wilson).
On this chilly morning, Huntington-Whiteley, dressed in a long, dusty pink coat by Isabel Marant, slides into a deep booth, orders a fresh juice and takes in the room. “My man J. first brought me here,” she says, referring to her fiancé, chiseled star of Fast & Furious 8 Jason Statham (in February, the couple announced they are expecting their first child together). “It’s like our little thing. We go down to the Fountain bar. You feel like it represents Beverly Hills. If these walls could talk…”
With her blonde hair and endless legs, Huntington-Whiteley is the ultimate California girl—except she was raised on a farm in Devon, England. Her story is legendary at this point. She became a Victoria’s Secret Angel at 19 and then the face of Burberry at 21. The photographer Rankin was so fascinated by Huntington-Whiteley that he devoted an entire book to her, Ten Times Rosie, which memorably featured shots of her covered in black body paint. That fearless, up-for-anything attitude is part of Huntington-Whiteley’s charm, and perhaps what inspired Michael Bay to cast her as a lead in 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon, despite her having zero acting experience. (Her pillowy lips helped.) She made a more lasting impression in 2015’s Oscar-winning Mad Max: Fury Road, in which she fled across the desert of Namibia dousing herself with water like some teenage boy’s idea of a thirsty mirage.
Huntington-Whiteley is now at an inflection point in her career. Though she walked in Paris last year for Versace and Balmain, she’s finding power in embracing her own voice, following in the footsteps of supermodels-turned-entrepreneurs like Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum. Having launched successful lingerie and makeup lines with the U.K.’s Marks & Spencer, she’s now gotten into bed with L.A.-based Paige for her first signature collection, Rosie HW x Paige, which features 17 tightly edited pieces due in stores in February, including a silk bomber and a lamé jumpsuit inspired by her can’t-stop-won’t-stop lifestyle. Of her take-the-reins approach to this phase of her life, Huntington-Whiteley says: “I never liked the idea of waiting on the phone to ring or waiting for somebody else to make a decision.” The future is female.
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