How super-posh English tomboy Cara Delevingne became the queen of the catwalk
In just three years, it feels like Cara Delevingne’s taken over the universe.
Her face is everywhere – billboards, magazines, websites, Instagram – throwing shapes with her caterpillar eyebrows and partying with ‘wifey’ Rita Ora, BFF Rihanna and flatmate Georgia May Jagger.
But who is the kooky kid with a lion tattoo on her finger? Will she be the next Kate Moss? Is she the oracle of all things cool? And is she even bovvered?
Cara Jocelyn Delevingne was born in London on 12 August 1992 into a privileged life.
Her father Charles is a property developer and her mother Pandora is a Selfridges personal shopper whose famous clients include the Duchess of Cambridge.
Cara and her elder sisters – nightclub entrepreneur Chloe and model Poppy – are the granddaughters of former English Heritage boss Jocelyn Stevens.
Their grandmother Janie Sheffield (who Cara affectionately calls Gaga) was lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret.
As one is.
Cara attended Francis Holland School For Girls before being sent to fashionable Hampshire private school Bedales, rubbing shoulders with the likes of Lily Allen and the Jagger children.
Her connections don’t end there – her godmother is Joan Collins and her godfather is Nicholas Coleridge, managing director of Vogue’s publishing house Condé Nast.
The Delevingne family are so famous they’re even mentioned in cult 80s guide The Sloane Ranger Handbook: ‘If the Delevingnes didn’t exist, it’d be necessary to invent them.’
But they weren’t immune to scandal. When Cara was very young, Pandora fought a heroin addiction, which took its toll on her daughters.
‘Sometimes they have to live with me being too ill to mother them, which has been agony for me,’ Pandora admitted.
She even had to move out of the family home so her daughters didn’t have to experience her battle with addiction.
Luckily, Cara’s earliest memory of her mother is a happy one.
‘I remember coming out of the womb! Joking – it was getting naked in the supermarket and my mum chasing me around,’ she says.
Despite her Downton Abbey background, her childhood couldn?t have been more down-to-earth (er, except for that time she was invited to the Harry Potter premiere).
Her bedroom walls were plastered with Spice Girls posters.
‘I loved Geri and Baby, but who liked Posh?’ she says.
‘People said I looked like her and I said that’s not cool – that’s mean.’
Maybe she shouldn’t mention that to her Burberry campaign colleague Romeo Beckham.
Instead of playing dress-up with her sisters’ clothes, Cara dreamt of becoming a cab driver or a superhero.
‘I wore normal dress-up clothes every day – Spider-Man, Buzz Lightyear, Action Man, a dog,’ she recalls.
Tomboy Cara was, and still is, obsessed with footy.
‘If someone’s playing football, I’m totally there,’ she says.
‘I find that fun, to be playing with the boys in the mud. The first time I was a bridesmaid, I refused to go down the aisle without my football shorts underneath my dress.’
Yet it took just one glance from her best friend Genevieve’s mum Sarah Doukas, CEO of Storm Model Management, to recognise that Cara’s looks were something special.
With Poppy already signed up, Cara soon joined the fold.
She’s appeared in ad campaigns for Chanel, Mulberry and H&M and strutted every runway in New York, London, Milan and Paris.
‘Left foot, right foot… that’s all that’s on my mind at the moment,’ says Cara.
‘This modelling thing, it’s pretty easy, but also really tough. Like, this walking thing is crazy.’
The constant attention she receives about her personal style has begun to irritate her.
‘What’s [my] fail-safe fashion item? I don’t know! It’s those questions you’ve done so many times, you’re like: “I’m repeating what I’m saying.”
‘I can’t handle it. It’s so boring. I’m so bored of looking at my face.’
Try saying that to the boys.
Her devastating looks haven’t gone unnoticed by the opposite sex. She’s been linked to Harry Styles, Jake Bugg, Pete Doherty and reportedly turned down Leonardo DiCaprio.
Cara hasn’t finished dreaming, though.
She still wants to pursue her singing career, which stalled when her modelling took off, and to continue with her acting.
She had a small part in Anna Karenina alongside Keira Knightley.
‘Music and acting are my life. I’m aiming for an Oscar, a Grammy, a Nobel Peace Prize and maybe Prime Minister,’ she says modestly.
And if that fails, her plan is to turn fashion designer.
‘I have really good ideas,’ she explains.