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Emily Ratajkowski on What it's Like to be Pigeon-Holed as a Model in Hollywood

And no, she's not giving up modeling just yet.
Emily Ratajkowski at the Harper by Harper's Bazaar event at Soho House. Photo: BFA

Emily Ratajkowski at the Harper by Harper's Bazaar event at Soho House. Photo: BFA

On top of co-starring in Marc Jacobs's fall campaign, covering the September issue of British GQ and gracing the big screen alongside Zac Efron in  "We Are Your Friends," Emily Ratajkowski can add magazine editing to her growing résumé. At the behest of Harper's Bazaar Executive Editor Laura Brown, the model/actress guest-edited the third installment of the millennial-targeted Harper by Harper's Bazaar supplement. The first debuted in the March issue with a blonde-wigged Alexa Chung at the helm; Rosie Huntington-Whiteley guest-edited in May.  

"It was just fun," Ratajkowski told me at the intimate, darkly lit party at Manhattan's Soho House to celebrate her editorial stint. "Especially as a model, you're so used to people editing you and giving you what to wear. I've obviously been around that for so long and now with the acting stuff, I've really developed my own tastes and style. So it was really fun to be able to choose [the pieces] myself and play with the idea of what all of these people have done for me for so long." 

For the Harper fall fashion issue, the 24-year-old model/actress focused on the '70s influences that dominated the fall runways: lush brown hues, wide-leg silhouettes and pussy bow blouses. She included a reference to Katherine Ross, which gained her extra credit points with Brown.

"A lot of girls at Bazaar, you ask them who their style icon is. It's always Kate Moss, Kate Moss, Kate Moss, which is perfectly fine," Brown told me in her Australian-accented, fast-speaking manner. "But this one chose Katherine Ross in 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' and it was original. And I was like, oh. It was like a little exhalation."

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The two met while sitting next to each other at a Rag & Bone show a couple years ago, according to Brown. "We just chatted up. It was like a blind date," laughed Ratajkowski. The two have a joke-y, BFF style of banter and clearly get along. "She's got really good taste and she has a brain. I also like her as a human person," added Brown, who couldn't resist a little deadpan humor. "And one day she'll be as pretty as me." 

Ratajkowski models her guest-edited issue of 'Harper' while Laura Brown looks on. Photo: BFA

Ratajkowski models her guest-edited issue of 'Harper' while Laura Brown looks on. Photo: BFA

Ratajkowski says her superhuman-good looks have made it challenging to transition to a serious acting career. "Definitely there's lots of pigeon-holing with actresses that goes on in general," said Ratajkowski. "I think coming from the modeling world that's only more so true for me." Supermodel-turned-thespian Cara Delevingne, who suffered through this condescending news interview while promoting her co-starring role in "Paper Towns," would no doubt agree.

"There's, of course, always stereotypes that surround models and I think Hollywood is used to having a one-liner on many actresses, 'Oh she's really good at a comedy or she’s really good for whatever,'" Ratajkowski said. "Coming from modeling — and with so many images of us being really super glammed up — I think that impacts the way that people want to cast us. It just takes a matter of time and proving yourself."

And that's what she'll continue doing, though she's not giving up modeling just yet. "I’m walking in a [New York Fashion Week] show exclusively, I can't say which one, so I’m really excited about that," she said with a smile. (We have an obvious guess.) "And I’m starting a movie in October. It should be announced in the next week or two." And Ratajkowski will henceforth never be referred to as the "Blurred Lines" video girl again.