Model-Slash: Jewelry Designer Lindsay Ellingson
Lindsay Ellingson’s line of silk-and-gold bracelets, Goldie Knots, is sweet and unassuming—a lot like the model herself, who has a girl-next-door appeal despite her high-profile career. She got her start by attending a scouting event on a whim in 2005. At the time, she was studying biology at the University of California at San Diego, and knew nothing about fashion. So when she was quickly picked up by an agency, flown to Paris, and instantly sent to meet with John Galliano, who wanted her to open the Christian Dior show (mind you, she had never heard of John Galliano or Christian Dior), she didn’t know what to expect. “My eyes were squinting so badly because I didn’t realize the lights were going to be so bright!” she says of her Dior debut.
A self-confessed science geek (in Valentino: The Last Emperor, the camera pans a room of models backstage in hair and makeup, and she can be spotted with her nose in a tome on Einstein), Ellingson, now twenty-eight, has been going nonstop since diving into modeling eight years ago. She’s walked for everyone from Michael Kors to Chanel, done Victoria Secret’s runway spectacle for five years running (yes, she’s worn those coveted Angel wings), shot campaigns for the underwear megabrand, as well as Tommy Hilfiger, Moschino, and MAC, and starred in editorials (and a few cover shoots) for Vogue, GQ, and Marie Claire.
A stranger to fashion no more, the model is now somewhat of a designer herself, turning out high-quality creations of knotted silk and 14-karat gold that she makes by hand. Having learned the craft from her mother, Ellingson started by making the bracelets for herself. However, the baubles quickly caught the attention of her friends, and a Victoria’s Secret stylist requested to use them on a few shoots. Thus, Goldie Knots was born. Most of her business has come from word of mouth, but her Web site is launching this spring, where the bracelets will be sold for $150 to $250. A lover of animals, Ellingson will be donating a portion of the proceeds to help out her furry friends. “So far, in just the very small amount of business I’ve done, I’ve donated about $2,000 to the Humane Society of the United States.” Talk about an Angel.