_Beauty VIP Ilona Smet
She comes from a family that no longer needs an introduction.Destined for a life less ordinary, it seems that many a fairy must have leaned over the cradle of Ilona Smet and smiled upon her. From her father, the singer David Halliday, she has inherited ice-blue eyes and an elegant reserve. From her mother, top model Estelle Lefebure, the smile of a star and an undefinable grace. On the cover of magazines, as in advertising campaigns, this natural beauty travels the four corners of the globe and yet remains very down to earth – a far cry from the clichés attributed to the children of stars. A close encounter of the top model kind.
You are the new face of Mixa; what does that mean to you?
Obviously I’m very happy and proud to be part of the Mixa family. I was present for photo sessions with my mother when I was little so I’m delighted to be part of them now.
Your mother, Estelle Lefébure, was one of the most famous top models, what advice has she given you on your career?
As with any other profession, I’ve been taught to be respectful and punctual. I was often at her shoots and catwalks so I think I learned a lot by watching her!
What has been your best experience?
Each time I travel and discover a new country is a best experience for me.
And the worst?!
During a photo session I had to lie down in the grass and I had a massive allergic reaction on my back and legs. We had to stop the shoot for an hour.
Who are your fashion icons and why?I only have two left but one of them is Christy Turlington for her elegance, her intelligence and because she fights for many associations including her own, “Every Mother Counts”, which was set up to teach people about ways to prevent pregnancy and childbirth-related complications, mainly in developing countries. Also Cara Delevigne, a model and an actress from my generation who has a strong personality and lots of charisma. For me, she’s a fashion icon of our times.
In this age of social media and images that are so touched up, what is your relationship with your body like?I think that, without meaning to, social networks end up putting too much pressure on the youth of today to look or behave in a certain way. Personally, I like to make sure I feel comfortable with myself, am happy in my life and, above all, I avoid comparing myself with others.
You have a figure to die for; do you follow any special diet?
No. I’ve put a stop to anything like a drastic diet. I simply pay attention to what I eat and try to do as much sport as possible. I don’t drink or smoke so I think that helps too.
Do you have a special beauty routine before a photo shoot?
I let my skin breathe with no make-up as much as possible and then I get a good night’s sleep.
You travel a lot; what are your favourite destinations?
So far I love South Africa which I recently visited for an advertising campaign. I also like going up into the mountains to ski, especially around Christmas.
Paris or London, and why?
I split my time between Paris and London and I love both cities. Paris will always be my hometown, where I grew up while London is super international and there’s so much going on.
What is in the pipeline?
I have several trips coming up in the next few months so I’m really looking forward to that!
By Laure Delvigo
Photo Sandra Fourqui