Lourdes Leon is such a striking beauty. She has such a great look, and it feels like she probably had tons of options, for years, to model or Instagram-influence or do whatever she wanted. I admire the way she really didn’t want that life, at least not right away, when she was a teenager. She went to school, she studied, she did cool things like work on the costumes for her mom’s tour. Now at the age of 24, she’s the face of Marc Jacobs’s 2021 collection. To promote the ad campaign, Lola (that’s what she prefers to be called) chatted with Vanity Fair.
Ballet: As a “lanky kid,” she started ballet classes at three years old. “My mom really went hard for that once she saw there was potential.”
Her dream dinner: It includes “some words” with Princes Philip and Charles (whom she deems “a bit evil”)—but only after seeking advice from choice agents of chaos: Rasputin (“He literally just manipulated the royals”), Castro (“Anyone who’s ruled a country would be interesting to talk to about this”), and Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes (“I don’t think it’s horrible for women to have this show. Even when they’re screaming, I love it and it’s soothing to my brain”).
Dudes sliding into her DMs: Her advice for “grown-ass men who ask me if I’m on ‘The ’Gram’ ” is: “You need to gather yourself and think about the way in which you want to get to know people because that’s just not how you do it.”
Her first boyfriend: She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan alongside Timothée Chalamet—“I respect him a lot, we were a little item. My first boyfriend,” she says, “or anything”—and Ansel Elgort, “a terrible DJ.”
Why she left Michigan: After seeing her first MAGA hat at the University of Michigan, Leon transferred to the competitive dance conservatory at SUNY Purchase, where “10-hour studio days” were the norm. “You think that your body is not capable of something until you just have to do it.”
Being half-Cuban: After an emotional trip to Cuba in 2016—“I look like my grandmother, and my family members were all freaking out, grabbing my face”—she hopes to spend extended time in her father’s family’s homeland. “That diaspora engine yanks you back.”
Her goals: Getting a driver’s license and “motivating a person or two” to realize their dreams. “I would just like to be of use.”
Her hero: Jersey Shore star Jwoww, because “she was never getting too sloppy and she always looked really hot.”
She finds solace in spirituality: “Prayer is something that is really helpful to me. I love religion and religious people.”
She sees a shift in the next generation: “After the last presidency, I don’t think I have one friend that’s not depressed or anxious,” she says, though “we feel together now, and there is a sense of solidarity and responsibility for any person that doesn’t feel safe to walk down the street.”
She’s really funny and really cool, like an impossibly chic and wry woman who has known that she’s a badass from a young age and everything around her has reinforced that. She intimidates me! She would find me dreadfully uncool. I can’t help but think that she must drive her mom crazy too – Lola is so young, so fresh, so effortless, so good at everything. It must drive Madonna up the wall. I loved the aside about Ansel Elgort – he seems to have been the preppy villain of their high school, and it’s my dream that she and Timothee still hang out. And she thinks Prince Charles is a bit evil! Girl’s got great instincts.
IGs courtesy of Vanity Fair, Lourdes.