The first thing Caroline said when she arrived on the set was “I love Canadians.” Now, we have an occasion to discover what Caroline is all about. After shooting our cover in Montreal, she took off to Paris Haute Couture. As an ambassador of the Bulgari brand, she had the honour of cutting the ribbon at the opening of the new Bulgari store in Galeries Lafayette. We began this interview by asking Caroline how she was doing and she replied, “I am better than great, because I’m in Croatia, looking out at the sea and it’s a beautiful day and I have a glass of wine in my hand.”
Photographer Nelson Simoneau
Creative Director Sylvain Blais
Fashion Editor Cary Tauben
Editorial shot with Fujifilm GFX50S Camera
Interview by KW
Written by Tori Robinson
Caroline, this is our Fashion Diversity issue, and you are so perfect for it. I mean, we love the way you express yourself, your freedom, the liberty you have in embracing your curves and obviously you have a very unique storyline – your great-grandmother, who was of course a precursor of diversity in the fashion industry. I’m so happy to hear you say that. I haven’t always experienced support in terms of people understanding the way I express myself. I’m an influencer and I always remain true to myself, whereas, a lot of girls conform to be “right” for certain brands. It’s great if a brand likes me, but if they don’t like me or understand what I’m doing, I guess it’s not the right match.
Do you think it’s possible for everyone to feel comfortable in their own body? I wish! That would be my lifelong goal. I always say that you have to find the things that are different and unique about yourself and those are the things that make you beautiful. It’s not the typical version of beauty like anything you’ve seen in a magazine – the differences in people is what’s beautiful. My great-grandmother had the exact same viewpoint. She was told her whole life, by her own parents, that she was ugly and would amount to nothing, but look at all that she’s done for women and for the world. It’s a lifelong process to embrace your differences and not just in your physical beauty but in everything you are.
What do you think about fashion diversity? Do you think fashion is really changing? I do. I think we’re in a phase right now where we really appreciate things other than just a fixed figure or a hanger for the clothes. It is really inspiring to see models like Ashley Graham on the cover of Vogue. I’m glad to be active in the fashion world during this time and seeing new things define beauty. It’s really nice to see that the trends are changing.
What do you like about fashion? I don’t mean for it to sound materialistic or shallow, but there’s just something about a new piece, whatever it is -shoes, necklace, a new coat- something you love and you’ve worked hard to be able to afford. My great-grandmother said it too, “Style is what gets you out of bed and down the stairs in the morning.” And I feel that way too. I get so inspired to show that part of my creativity. I show that part of my self expression in what I wear. You have the power. You have something that you’ve worked hard to get. It enhances your mood. There’s power in that.
How does it feel to be a sex-symbol? Oooh. That’s an interesting one because obviously I embrace my sexuality and my physical body a lot – I think a little bit more than some people find comfortable. It’s not always easy. There are brands that won’t work with someone who is so comfortable in their own skin. It’s an issue I’ve had, but it is the way I am, I love to be sexual, I love to be feminine. However, when people see photos of me in sexy outfits, they think that’s all I am. I’m first and foremost a musician and I’ve been singing since the age of eight. I am a singer, actress, and a writer – there’s more to me than just my sexuality.
Was it ever hard to be yourself? No. I’ve never had a problem with being myself or speaking my mind. I’m so glad that I learned to love myself at such a young age: to really be confident in who you are and not hide it and make excuses for who I am.
What do you love about being photographed? It’s natural for me to share my life. I wake up in the morning and film a video of myself with no makeup and a pimple on my chin. Being a performer and entertainer is natural for me. I’ve been doing it for so long. I love shocking people, making them laugh, making them feel good about themselves. Making people enjoy themselves. I’ve never been shy about that.
What kind of clothes make you most comfortable? My boyfriend’s clothes.
What do you think about aging? I’m twenty-nine and I’ll be turning thirty at the end of October and it’s the first time I’ve noticed wrinkles on my forehead. I’m like, “Do I do what all my other friends do, which is get Botox on my forehead or do I embrace the wrinkles?” I’m not shy about aging. I’m having the best time of my life now. I know who my true friends are, work is more substantial, so I think aging is really beautiful. I do not want to go back to the mindset of me as an early 20-year-old because that was scary. I appreciate aging and I’m not scared about it. I do want to obviously maintain my skin, and eventually I might do what people do. For now I always wear sunscreen.
What do you think about breast implants? I’ve dealt with this topic a lot. People think mine are fake. They’ll say to me “There’s no way you’re so thin with such big boobs,” but I was born this way. I would never choose to have boobs this big if I had a choice. Personally, I do not like the aesthetic of them. I personally don’t love the way they look or the way they feel, and I wouldn’t recommend people to change who they are. However, If you feel that breast implants will improve your life, then get them! And in certain cases, if having a breast augmentation means that you’re going to live a better life, I wouldn’t stand in the way of that, especially if it is someone that I love wanting that for themselves.
Are you in love? Yes! I’m in love with a Cuban – very spicy!
What is sexy for you? Sexy is when you see someone feeling extremely comfortable with themselves. They’re not fussing with their looks. They’re not fidgeting, nervous, or anxious. They’re relaxed, happy, and not concerned with what other people think – that’s sexy to me.
What’s off limits for you? Rudeness to people who are helping you. I’ve been a bartender, I’ve worked in nightclubs, I’ve worked in retail, so I know how it feels to be that person on the other side. I don’t think there’s ever an occasion for rudeness – that’s completely off limits.
Would you agree that you like scandal? I love drama. and not in a negative sense as infighting, but as in everything being the most, the biggest, the brightest, the loudest – that often does come with scandal. My grandmother is such a big influence on my life. She invented the word “faction” which is a mix between fiction and fact. Things are so much more glamorous if you’re upping the stakes a little bit. If it doesn’t happen, you’re not harming anyone – it just makes it a little more exciting.The world needs the excitement of beauty.
Who are the people that you admire? I admire my mother. She left my dad when my sister and I were quite young, moved across the world, and raised us on her own. I cannot imagine having that strength at such a young age.
What other causes do you care about?I’ve always been deeply invested in the LGBT community. I started the Gay-Straight Alliance, and was the president of the organization for all four years of high school. This was before I had an interest in women. I didn’t know I’d be sexually fluid, I didn’t know I’d date women, but I did know that there were people who couldn’t be themselves because of outward criticism and that blew my mind. I stand for being who you are and being proud of it. I saw that there was this community of people who couldn’t do this. I recently did a project with Visionaire and a company called One Together Org. They do a lot of work in the LGBT community. I met with Derrick Anderson, the head of the organization, and he asked me to come on as an ambassador. It has become “trendy” to care about LGBT but that has been a part of my life since the age of 14. I’m happy to have found this organization that I can work with.
What do you think about the way society views LGBT? I love all the progress I’ve seen. There’s more attention on the LGBT community right now, so it’s becoming more accepted. We still have a very long way to go. However, I have close family and friends that feel they can come out. There is a great strive now, but we have a long way to acceptance.
“I DIDN’T KNOW I’D BE SEXUALLY FLUID, I DIDN’T KNOW I’D DATE WOMEN. ”
How important is music to you? Music is my number one passion. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. Growing up, I did not want to be associated with the Vreeland name. I did not want to be known as the granddaughter of somebody famous. I wanted to be known as a musician in my own right. As I got older, I realized the beautiful connection between the two, and what an honor it is to be a Vreeland. I started to embrace seeing fashion shows, relish in the clothes, and loving every minute of this world – it’s in my blood. I am now able to understand that even though music is my number one passion, it isn’t necessarily going to be the first thing people saw or heard about me. I’ve written four albums that have not come out. I am still in the process of figuring out my voice, figuring out my sounds, so while I get upset that the music deal hasn’t yet happened, I’m glad. When it comes out it will be perfect. As for acting and modeling, I love it, but I see it as a tool to help propel the things I most want to do, so if I gather a fan base, when I release something I can maintain more independence.
Would you mind sharing your favorite memory of your grandmother? She died when I was two, so aside from just sitting beside her bed, I never got a chance to meet her. I got really upset about that a couple of years ago. I couldn’t get it off my mind, that there was this wonderful woman, who has done so much and paved the way for me, yet I did not get to meet her. The ability to be an individual, speak your mind, and have pizzazz (a word she created herself). She was the craziest, and I feel like I’m carrying the crazy torch for her. As much as I don’t have any personal anecdotes, I grew up with my family always talking about her.
What do you think will be your legacy? For my music to leave people with a sense of security to be themselves. I want to move people and help them find comfort in the pain I’ve experienced. If I can touch one person the way other musicians have touched me, then my job is done.
Photographer Nelson Simoneau.
Creative Director Sylvain Blais.
Fashion Editor Cary Tauben at FOLIO.
Makeup & hair Nicolas Blanchet at FOLIO using MAC COSMETICS and ORIBE NY.