Now Casting: Shaughnessy Brown


„I may make it sound super easy because I knew what I wanted and I went after it,“ says model Shaughnessy Brown, who is talkative, full of life, and wise beyond her 21 years. „As soon as I graduated high school, I knew I had to leave Orlando.“ The Seminole Native American and Irish beauty was raised in Orlando by her mother and godmother who always made sure that Stevie Nicks music and handmade clothing were always part of the equation. She moved to Los Angeles with hopes of an acting career, but ended up traveling throughout Europe and Australia before eventually moving to New York City. To avoid the whole cycle of waiting tables in between acting gigs, she decided to try her hand at modeling first. Despite having absolutely nothing handed to her like many top models today—her future in the industry has been looking particularly bright. Some recent career highlights include her walk down the runway at Gucci’s clamored-about Cruise 2016 show and editorials for Vogue Italia and American Elle—and she promises that more exciting (yet still top secret) projects are in the pipeline. We caught up with Shaughnessy Brown during a casting session here at CR’s headquarters:

What was life like in Orlando?
„My mom and my godmother made their own jewelry, hats, and scarves—and they knitted all sorts of stuff when they were younger. Just seeing my mom and my godmother creating their own clothing and jewelry—usually bangles on top of bangles on top of bangles—inspired me to create myself into the way that I wanted to be seen. My mom and godmother are best friends so they were always together and they would make stuff while we were at the house and listening to Stevie Nicks.

My mom’s reality is that she works 3 jobs. Her reality is getting hand-me-down clothing and working with what she has to create herself. She mixes and matches clothing because she doesn’t have any other way. Her being able to see me working with amazing clients makes her super happy for me because she never had that opportunity. It’s an interesting route that many people don’t get to go down.“

Your success can’t have come easy. How did you leave Orlando behind and start your career?
„I made it happen. I left Orlando with people who were helping me, obviously. I went to LA and NY and Europe. That’s why I say that all of the people who have helped guide me have made a difference. Everyone that I’ve been in contact with along this journey has either pushed me up or pushed me down—and it’s made me who I am today.“

How did you gain your initial success in modeling?
„I was scouted by Joseph (my current manager) in New Smyrna, Florida. He was based in L.A. at the time, so once I got my diploma I split from „surfer dude“ life and pushed to get my foot into the door in acting. But it’s a long, hard road out of hell, and I didnt want to wait tables in between auditions. We decided to let the modeling feed the acting first. It just made more sense. So we both came to New York; We worked hard and built experience, but my first agency wasn’t popping off for me. The chemistry just wasn’t right, the inspiration was cold. I wanted to do cool shit, but I was e-comm queen with them. It was boring, but I was thankful to be 19 with some cash, supporting myself which—no matter the situation—I was 19 and self-sufficient—I was proud! But Joseph (who was my mother Agent) had also been working at another New York agency and was frustrated. Fast forward a few months, we both switched to a new agency and I’m in Gucci within three weeks. I’ts been steady and cool since. I’m meeting awesome people now—the other Day I met Inez and Vinoodh; Inez has the best energy! I feel like I have more range now. I’ve grown into myself. I’m out of the „black skinny jeans and black tank-tops“ to castings phase. I wear my day clothes. If you dig me and want me to represent your brand, GREAT! You made that decision based on how I look and who I am as a person. I think that brands really like that now—it brings more heat to a campaign.“

What are some of your goals?
„Modeling is a stepping stone to do everything that you might want to do. We all have a goal in mind. You have a goal, I have a goal. Obama has a goal. It takes time to get to the goal. Working with new people. Crying, laughing. It’s all about the journey. I can write a book on it or watch a movie. At the end of the day, you look back upon it and that’s what it is. Some work really hard and some people get everything handed to them. The ones that work their asses have a completely different outlook than those who didn’t have to. You’re the only one who can determine that.“

Since you’re a model, people must always ask you what your workout and beauty routine is like?
„I’d have to say, dancing because it’s a fun way to workout without realizing it. I have been meaning to try Bikram yoga.“

What inspires you?
„What I look up to is people, like Carine [Roitfeld], who go out on their own. In fashion, one day you’re in and one day you’re out, but when you have a viewpoint of your own who the hell can stop you? When you’re with people like that, you feel that energy and you want to be a part a part of it.“

After being in New York for 2 years, what’s your impression of the city?
„You can go out and walk around a corner and see something completely different and it inspires you. That’s what I love about the city. There’s no right or wrong. The city is alive. It’s fucking New York. You can clear your head that way. There’s something similar about all European cities, but New York is a mixture of something completely different. I like Europe a lot because of the people and the mindset. New York is a go-getter, get-the-job-done kind of place. I don’t think that I’ve been here long enough to have a full opinion compared to people that have lived here for 15 years.“

What do your weekends look like?
„I’m a water sign and a really good swimmer. I used to surf at Daytona Beach and we’d go surfing on the weekends and I would come back during the week to go to school. I did that for 2 years straight. I had so much fun though. I miss that. I’ll make it a point to paddle board when I’m in L.A. this summer.“

Your recent hair transformation has changed your whole look. Tell us about what you were after!
„The hair idea started with my nightlife alter ego; I bought this cheap black wig near Union square with a straight bang awhile back and I would wear it out sometimes with a fur coat and kitten heels. It felt good to not feel so safe. I felt more New York walking into the crumby bars in the lower east side, like Clockwork Bar, dressed this way—kind of like the scene in Eyes wide Shut, with the pretty call girl that lures Tom Cruise into her apartment. I love that look. So then I thought, ‚why wear the Wig, I’m going to do what I want. So I told my agent, Joseph and he said, ‚well if were going to do it, lets make sure its done right.‘ He called Jimmy Paul who guided the cut with Tom Gallagher at Bumble and Bumble. They are a super genius team…I’ve never been happier!

My look now is where I want it to be. I’m a pretty girl—we all are in this industry—but I feel like a boy who wants to ride a motorcycle as well. So yeah, I think that really shines through now and I feel content. People see it, I think.“


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