When social media began, it seemed like an ephemeral medium—one where anyone could broadcast their mundane activities by the minute, and instantaneously share a photo that would soon get lost in a feed and forgotten about a few moments later. But if there were ever a testament to the power of human connection, it's the fact that social media has not only made it easier to stay up to date with friends, but also forge new relationships and foster young talent and support. Luckily enough, it has also given the fashion industry some of their freshest new faces, the most fascinating and exciting of which are the Smith siblings.
Between them, the four siblings—Starlie Cheyenne, Daisy Clementine, Pyper America, and Lucky Blue—have garnered over 2.8 million followers on Instagram alone, booked dozens of fashion campaigns, and despite the fact that they have only released one song on iTunes, they've managed to create one of the most promising, hyped family bands in decades, The Atomics. While their close connection is certainly to thank for their meteoric rise, they're utilizing their vastly different personalities to make independent names for themselves. To a casting agent, Starlie, the eldest of the bunch, is the mysterious one; Pyper is the quirky, playful one; Lucky Blue is the guy everyone wants to be friends with; and Daisy is the girl next door.
While the quartet will undoubtedly continue to dominate smartphone screens this year, we have a sneaking suspicion that we'll all be seeing a lot more of Daisy Clementine. Although the 20-year-old, who was the first sibling to be signed at the age of 14, has been a steady fixture in magazines and campaigns, it's about time that she become fashion's most genuine "it" girl.
Ahead, we talk to Daisy about navigating social media, coming of age, the modeling industry, music, and how her family is guiding her through it all.
You recently turned 20. Looking back on your teenage years what are some of the most important things that you learned?I think one of the most important things I learned was really to just stay true to who you are and to stay true to your standards in what you have for things. If you know something is not right, just stick to that. It doesn’t really matter what other people are doing because people come and go and their opinions are really irrelevant but you’re the one that has to think about what you did that day, or how you acted, or who you were as a person. Being true to yourself and sticking to what you know is the right thing to do.
It’s kind of hard to do that sometimes, or at the very least, it is when you’re younger.Yeah, especially when you’re a teenager. Sometimes you can just get so wrapped up in the smaller things and people and the day-to-day things that you don’t really think about the big picture. But I think if you keep that in mind and really think about…I don’t know, I always ask myself, "Would my family be proud of me if I did this?" or "What would my family’s opinion be?" because I care about them and I care about what I think of myself.
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You have a big presence on social media and it seems like you really honed it to showcase your personality and help further your career. What's the approach you take to social media?I think for a while I actually struggled with it. I was like, "Oh, well I don’t care. If people want to know about me, they can talk to me themselves!” But then I was like, "Daisy, that is not right; that is just a weird thing." So I really just don't want to think too much about everything when I post something. If I like the way something looks, then I’ll take a picture of it and I’ll put it up. If I like a picture from a photo shoot, then I’ll put it up. And I’ll always just write exactly what I think. I think sometimes we get so caught up in doing something to make it "look cool" that we lose ourselves and our personality. I think it’s cool to be excited and passionate about things, so if I’m excited, then I just put it up there.
I think when everyone started on social media, everything had to be super-filtered and looking back at the beginning Instagrams, they were really bad.Yeah, and I feel like on Instagram and Twitter, sometimes it’s like everybody is trying to be so aloof and so cool that it all starts to look the same. When you can just talk about what you did or say something weird... Sometimes I just caption with random small stories or a sentence of what I was doing. I think that people like to hear about the real, personal stuff.
The internet's a fascinating, strange place because you can really see how different people see things and how people are looking to foster some sort of connection through it, whether it's good or bad.Yeah, I think that’s true. Sometimes it’s always easier to say something online and there’s a good and bad. Like cyber bullies, it’s easier to say things online because you’re hiding behind a screen, but I think it’s also true for the good stuff, too—positive, uplifting things and things that connect us. It’s kind of hard sometimes to say things in person because you’re really vulnerable, and it’s easier to say it online.
What’s one thing that you would never post to Instagram?I would never post something negative or something that tears down other people. I want to make sure that I am a good influence on people. If there's something that seems kind of sketchy or a little bit too risqué, I don’t think that I would ever post it because I want people, even young girls, to look up to me. I want their parents to be like, “Oh, yeah, you should follow her,” you know?
Yeah, that’s cool. I feel like a lot of people don’t have the mentality to self-filter.I feel, like, yeah people try to go for "the shock factor." I’m not so much into the shock factor; I’m into the uplifting factor, I guess.
Right. But it is kind of shocking when you do see people who are so positive. I feel like it’s a little avant-garde nowadays to say that you want to be a role model, like Rihanna and Miley—they've said that they've never asked to be role models and aren't trying to be one, which is valid if you're trying to stay true to yourself. At the same time, you need someone to look up to when you're younger.Yeah, exactly. If you naturally are really rebellious and you naturally want to push your limits, then go for it, but sometimes I think it's just…I don’t know. I’ve been thinking a lot about how it seems like everyone is focused so much on being "too cool" for things and everyone’s just trying to act like they don’t care more than everyone else and manipulate themselves so much that I think they just lose their happiness, you know? It’s not fun to not get excited about things! I get so excited about things. I guess people just think that it’s not cool to have emotions or something.
If you could stop one social media trend, what would it be?I don’t really like it when people post about their "best friend" when you know that they’re not actually best friends and the relationship is only on Instagram. Like, I know you guys are friends—but, really, is it only for Instagram? I don’t really know if that’s a trend, though.
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You were the first sibling out of your family to be scouted when you were 14. What was it like to grow up on sets and be in such a creative space?You know when you’re in kindergarten, they're like, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I would always put "model." Then I just lucked out being tall enough. So this was always something that I really wanted to do and I just really love it; I think it’s the most fun thing. People have a lot of negative things to say about the modeling industry, but it depends on how you look at it. If you’re looking at it as just a vain thing, like Oh, these people are trying to look good in pictures, then of course you’re going to think it’s a ridiculous job. But I view modeling as more than just looking good. I’m never trying to look a certain way, I’m just trying to feel a certain way in the picture so when people look at it they feel that too. You can learn a lot about people and yourself when you’re on set in ways that you can’t in other jobs or other parts of life.
I think I learned a lot about confidence and how you just have to get our of yourself and do stuff and take risks—that’s when you really get the good stuff. And you have to know how to present yourself and speak to people. I think what I’ve learned the most is how to connect with people and understand their vision to then help bring it to fruition.
Right. I would imagine it’s the same with acting—you get to try on so many different personas and personalities, which would help somebody figure out what they like and what mindset they like to be in.Yeah, I think so, too. I guess my personal style is pretty classic. I don’t usually wear crazy things and so when I do photo shoots and get to wear something totally different than what I would ever put on, or get to be someone who is so far from me and what I would normally do is really funny. You get to experience little things. You learn things like “Oh, maybe I can do act like this or dress like this,” or “Maybe this kind of vibe is cool for me sometimes…” You just never would have though to try it before.
You and your siblings all seem really close. You work together a lot and live in a two-bedroom apartment together, but you guys have all been pursuing your own different projects at the same time. How has it been to have these people who are experiencing the same things as you? What’s the dynamic? It’s really cool because because modeling can be so misunderstood, and unless you’re in the industry, it’s hard for people to wrap their minds around it, kind of, and it’s just sort of a different mentality. There are a lot of stigmas that come with it, too, but it’s so fun and it’s really refreshing to talk to my siblings about it because they get it. They live it. If you're tired, or you had a rough day or something, you just go home and talk about it and they’re like, "Yep…that’s true, that sucks, I’m sorry." And then you just get over it. You almost wouldn’t be able to share things the same way with people who weren’t in the industry because they wouldn’t quite understand.
Photo shoots with my siblings are my favorite ever. You just mess around and you just do the most fun job in the world with the most fun people and you just have a great time.
From the outside, it seems like you're all very supportive and you’re not very competitive with each other.Yeah, I think it’s because we all know we’re so different. Piper and I used to go up for similar jobs when we first started modeling, but then as our careers developed, and as we developed more as models we’ve realized we have totally different markets. And so you can’t even take it personally because it's like, "Oh do you want this super cool, edgy, quirkier girl, like Piper, or do you want someone more like me?"
What is the best piece of advice your siblings have given to you?I’ve really learned how to have more fun with them and just be more wild, I guess. It’s not so much things that they’ve sat down and said to me; it’s more something that I learn when I’m around them. I’m very goal-oriented, very ambitious, and I can be quite serious sometimes, and so the best things that I’ve learned from them is just how to be crazy and let loose. It's okay to be immature and have stupid fun sometimes.
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What do you see yourself doing after modeling?Well, after modeling I hope to still do music stuff. I am really interested in so many things, but I really love makeup and beauty products so maybe that’s something that I would want to explore. I also really want to have a family of my own way, way in the future. I don’t know when that would happen, but one day I want to be a mom.
What's going on with your band, The Atomics?Stay tuned for the album! It's coming soon, but we don't know when yet. We try to come up with days, but for sure this upcoming year is going to be a big year, I think, for music for us.
How would you describe your sound, and what direction do you guys want the band to take in the album?I would say that it's '60s surf rock-inspired and it has a driving and grooving bass and drums with heavy guitar and harmonies. I think it’s cool. It feels really tangible. It feels kind of like just like a band band, do you know what I mean?
What’s something about you that not many people know?I really love reading all sorts of things. I love poems, I love it when people write me poems… I always carry poetry around me in my bag at all times.
Who are some of your favorite poets?I really like modern poetry, but also I like older novels. But there’s this guy Tyler Knott Gregson on Instagram; he has this thing called “The Typewriter Series” and I love typewriters (I have one), and I love poetry, and he puts the two together and it’s really great. So I always follow things on Instagram and it’s so fun to read them when you’re just going through your feed and looking at pictures. So many can be the same, like, "Oh, another selfie," and, "Oh, another food picture…" When you can read poetry, it’s a nice little break.