Sophie Leddick is one of the coolest, sharpest girls you’ll probably never meet. And the fact that she’s a model is one of the least interesting things about her. Raised in San Diego and now living in Brooklyn, Sophie got her start in the biz at age 16. Her skills for surfing and effortless grace from years of studying classical ballet made her a natural for brands like Hobie Swimwear, DC Shoes, Quiksilver and Roxy.
But it’s love of art that truly defines her. At the moment, Sophie’s main gig is working as the Assistant to the Director at the contemporary Nathan A. Bernstein gallery in Manhattan. Having interned there as an undergrad majoring in painting and Italian, Sophie was drawn to artists Picasso (the Blue and Rose periods are her favorites), Gustav Kilmt, Loretta Lux, Degas, Ellen Graham, and Morrisa Maltz, just to name a few.
Currently applying to grad school, she’s doing everything she can to explore her many other interests (design, philosophy, world travel, making everyone she meets feel inadequate and boring in comparison), and taking advantage of all the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities that come her way.
We caught up with Sophie a few days before she was jet-setting to Thailand, getting her views on life, love, fashion, and why none of the winners from America’s Next Top Model are America’s next top model.
What was the biggest surprise (good or bad) when you first started modeling?
Actually getting booked for jobs.
So, how do most people react when you tell them you model?
I’ll get a skeptical look with a thinly veiled, “Oh cool, what have you done?”
Do people assume you’re rich/crazy/spoiled/self absorbed?
No, people find out I’m a model long after they get to know me.
What’s the most expensive/exclusive designer piece you own?
Right now it’s probably my eye glasses frames. They’re French.
What’s the best life/career advice anyone has ever given you?
Time is a great editor.
So why the big move to Brooklyn?
I moved to New York just for a change, to be challenged. Brooklyn because it’s Brooklyn, I love it!
From what you’ve seen, how do fashion styles differ between San Diego and NY?
NY is more drastic; dirtier or more refined. CA is hippie-r, less confident. But I like the hippie influence; I have a little hippie in me.
And what about the dating scenes?
In NY the guys are more chivalrous. Which is endearing. I just barely notice
them these days, though.
Where are your favorite places to go out?
Bars near my apartment in Williamsburg, and old jazz bars all over the city.
Your favorite places for people watching?
Walk anywhere listening to my iPod. Anyone who’s done this knows why. Also Central Park, but actually… that can get dangerous. Everywhere in NY is amazing for people watching.
What’s been your scariest moment traveling so far?
Arriving in Bucharest (capitol city of Romania), when our friend sent two huge Romanian guys to pick us up in his place. To make conversation during the drive, I asked these guys what that did. From the front seat of the car they replied, “We’ll show you what we do…”, and then turned to each other and laughed.
Describe a perfect day/night in San Diego:
Having breakfast with my grandparents, surfing in the late afternoon, having a burrito from Santana’s and drinking wine with my friends…
And a perfect day/night in NY?
In the day, brunch, yoga, maybe a lil’ shopping. At night, making art and beautiful things with Scott French.
Whose celebrity style (living or dead) to you admire?
What are your favorite looks for fall / winter?
Dark and classic. High waisted skirts, heals with buckles, and dad’s sweaters.
Favorite surf spots?
Fiji, Tourmaline, Santa Barbara, Malibu with Kelly, and Narragansett, Rhode Island with Moose.
Radiohead or the Cure.
What’s been your biggest celebrity encounter?
David Byrne, the other night…
And how ’bout the bitchiest model/photographer encounter so far?
The guy who shot for Hobie told me to look at him as if he was my boyfriend. What does that mean?
And most importantly, why aren’t any of the winners of America’s Next Top Model, top models?
Because they were on America’s Next Top Model.