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How I Shop: Danielle Herrington

The swimsuit model shares her favorite Bushwick place to buy vintage jeans and the most important style lesson she learned from mentor Carine Roitfeld.
Danielle Herrington signs fan copies of her feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue at SI On Location in Miami. Photo: John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Danielle Herrington signs fan copies of her feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue at SI On Location in Miami. Photo: John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

We all buy clothes, but no two people shop the same. It can be a social experience, and a deeply personal one; at times, it can be impulsive and entertaining, at others, purpose-driven, a chore. Where do you shop? When do you shop? How do you decide what you need, how much to spend and what's "you"? These are some of the questions we're putting to prominent figures in our column "How I Shop."

Compton-born, Brooklyn-based Danielle Herrington embodies both the sweet, down-to-earth girl next door and intimidatingly hot bombshell supermodel — all in one meeting. 

Herrington began modeling as a teen, but fully committed in 2016 by moving across the country to New York City in hopes of a spot in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In just a few months, she landed her first feature and a year later, in 2017, made history as the third African American woman to appear on the cover of the career-launching issue, following in the footsteps of Tyra Banks (1997) and Beyoncé (2007). Fittingly, Banks made the announcement to Herrington, who understandably broke into tears.

Further cementing her career, Herrington also became a muse to Carine Roitfeld after appearing in the first CR Fashion Book calendar. The fashion industry legend imparted crucial words of advice to the newcomer, who will elaborate more on that below — as well as share her favorite Bushwick place to hunt for vintage jeans and her trick to finding the perfect fit.

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Tyra Banks and Herrington in Miami in May. Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Tyra Banks and Herrington in Miami in May. Photo: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

"[Roitfeld] taught me basically, 'Girl, you have a body; own it. Show it. Don't try to hide it just because you have curves.' Because fashion, it can be [about being] the thinnest or whatever. She's like, 'Love your body. Don't try to cover it up or just wear all black to castings. Own it.' That was the best, most inspiring thing to hear from her.

My personal style is very relaxed, but it also is based on my mood that day because sometimes I can dress like a complete tomboy and then other times I'll dress super sexy or super chic. It just really depends. I feel like it's always changing and evolving, but for the most part I'm always pretty comfortable. 

I'm from California and it's always pretty warm, so I'm always in jeans or jean shorts and some [casual] shoes, just more comfortable. New York is more fashion-based and fashion forward, so it really helps me elevate my style. Even walking down the street and looking at street style in New York is really cool and inspiring.

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My style has evolved because of my job, as well. You get to try on all the coolest clothes. People who work for you ask what you like, what you don't like, what you want to try. Seeing models at castings dress really cool [provides style inspiration]; talking to them and the designers — it's all around you — it really helps you push yourself and try different things that I've never tried before.

Last year, I used to live with one of my model friends, Amelia Rami. We have completely different styles. She is fancy but still cool, while I'm more relaxed — just a jeans and a t-shirt kind of girl. She would always be like, 'Try this on. See if this works. See if you like this.' She would always help me elevate my style, go out of the box with things. 

She can see a vintage piece in a store and she's like, 'Ooh I like this.' I'm like, 'How are you going to make it work?' And somehow it works and I'm like, 'Wow, that's so crazy.' I always try to find things out of the box and try to make it work and we always share clothes, still to this day. 'I have nothing to wear,' and she says, 'Come over, go through it.' 

My most comfortable outfit that makes me feel like myself would be a pair of high heel ankle boots, probably oversize, high-waisted jeans, a little crop top and a jacket to go with it. I really love Mother jeans because I like how those jeans fit. But because my butt and waist ratio is odd, I'll buy a bigger size pair of jeans and get the waist taken in. One of my favorite pairs of jeans are Calvin Klein vintage denim and I just got them tailored to my body.

For shopping vintage denim, I have to see how the wash is first. I have to love the wash, then I'll try them on, see if they fit and then see if they can be taken in [to fit at the waist] the way I want them to. I make sure the jeans fit my thighs and my butt and then I have her take in the waist [and taper the ankles].

There's this huge vintage place in Brooklyn called Urban Jungle. It's massive. That's the place I go to the most. I found my Calvin Klein jeans there. I also have this cool vintage Gucci bag that I found somewhere in L.A. That's one of my favorites. I got it for like $25, but it was this random store. I wouldn't say a hole in the wall, but just a store that you wouldn't really go in, but I went with my friends and I was like, 'Oh my god.'

I also shop at Barneys New York. I like Urban Outfitters. Also What Goes Around Comes Around. It's been awhile [since I've gone], but I bought this little Chanel purse. It's really really tiny, but it's so cute. I do a lot of shopping online and in-person, but online, I'm smarter about it. When I'm in the store, 'ooh, I want this, I want this, I want this.' I just get it all. I'm very impulsive.

I got this Dior bag maybe two months ago. I went to the store in Soho and was looking for shoes, honestly. I was just shopping, and I'm like, 'Ooh, I kind of like that bag. Oh no, I'm looking for shoes.' So I went to put it back and then I'm like, 'Well, why not? I work hard! I'm just gonna do this,' and I ended up getting two bags — a saddle bag and a cute backpack type of thing — and a pair of shoes."

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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