August 21 2014

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Model-Slash: Outdoorswoman Hannah Holman


In our “Model-Slash” series, profiles models whose ambitions and drive extend beyond the catwalk.

Growing up on a cattle ranch in rural Utah—in a town with a population of 200—gave Hannah Holman a backstory quite a bit different from most other models’. Not many girls, after all, can claim to have stalked and shot a mountain lion at the age of 13 (more on that later). Now 21, Holman is the face of Marc Jacobs’ Daisy fragrance and has graced Jacobs’ catwalks as well as walking for Chanel, Valentino, and Jonathan Saunders. Holman’s forte, however, is magazine editorials, and she’s done scores of those recently for publications like Elle France, W, Love, and V. “Being in front of the camera is very meditative and I just get into this zone,” she tells “You feed off the energy of the photographer and the crew and have the freedom to move and transform.”

Holman was discovered in a local shopping mall when she was 15, and her rise in modeling was initially difficult for her family to grasp. “It’s a hard industry to understand, especially when you’re used to such a simple lifestyle,” she says. “Now they’re all very supportive. My dad, in particular, is always bragging about me to his hunting friends.” When she was younger, the two would ride the tractor around their 3,000-acre property, bringing out baled hay to the cows and rounding them up. Being an outdoorsy girl, Holman is naturally a seasoned horseback rider, too. “We would do cattle drives four or five times a year and go hunting in the fall, winter, and spring—usually for elk or deer,” she says. Her memorable cougar experience was a one-time thing, she explained, because the government permits only a few of the cats to be killed each year. “It’s a lottery system and my name was drawn by chance,” Holman said. “So we went out with a friend who is a hunting guide and knows exactly which peaks and little valleys they hang out in. Mountain lions often hang out up in trees but this one went into a cave. I was scared it was going to attack us and took a few shots with a .30-30 rifle but ran out of bullets, so my dad handed me his pistol and that was the lucky shot.” Holman returns home as often as she can to hit the trails with her family. “When I first left to model, I thought I’d never want to go back, and now when I’m there again, I appreciate it so much,” she says.

Aside from modeling, Holman also keeps busy designing jewelry, which reminds her of her younger brother, who studies metalsmithing. “At first I was into more earthy, raw jewelry similar to what you’d find out west, but now I like making things that are a bit more feminine and dainty,” she said. Holman has recently been collaborating with Katie Hillier, who designs jewelry for Marc by Marc Jacobs as well as her own label, on a few pieces, including a charm necklace that will “hopefully be in stores by Christmas,” according to Holman. “It’s good to have outlets because in modeling, you’re often alone, and it’s easy to get absorbed in your career.”

Photos: Courtesy of Hannah Holman

Model Behavior