From catwalks to digital screens, model and influencer Jessica Clements’ magnetic presence has managed to attract over 875K subscribers on Youtube and 568K followers on Instagram [@jessmclements], as well as catching the eyes of luxury big name brands including Chanel and Ralph Lauren.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1993, Jessica first began modelling at aged 18 after being signed by a local agent. She later moved to New York City to further her career and it was here she first began her foray into YouTube, launching her channel in 2015.
But social media and modelling aren’t the only career pursuits claiming the attentions of this all-round American beauty, she’s also started two companies – a personal investment company focusing on digital technology platforms and a consultancy agency in the categories of fashion, advertising, and digital brand development.
Feeling privileged we managed to squeeze some time in with Jessica despite her hectic schedule, we sit down with the model/influencer/business woman as she shares her thoughts on everything from how she juggles multiple career pursuits to a usual day in her life.
What are the best aspects of being both a social media influencer and a model?
Even though modelling and social media are sometimes synonymous, I find that they truly are their own separate worlds. Having a foot in both, I feel as if I’ve been opened up to many opportunities and friendships I’m not sure I would’ve found otherwise. In turn, my job and my social/personal life are practically the same thing. What I mean by that is, most of my friends I’ve met through one side of work or the other and we’re all constantly creating and building our own unique entities together.
It’s only been three years, but you’ve become quite a sensation on Youtube. Can you tell us a bit about what this means for you?
The following I’ve built honestly came as such a surprise to me. Being in this position, it has truly opened my eyes to the huge responsibility that I feel has been placed upon internet “influencers” of today. You don’t really realise until you’re in it how effective your voice really can be to those following you. My heart swells the most when I’m able to talk to the people that continue to support me on this wild ride. To hear stories from people about how I’ve been able to inspire them and improve their life or mindset in one way or another is hands down the most rewarding part of all of this. That alone really is the driving force in the next chapter of what I am doing both online and in the physical world.
What has been your favourite projects that you have worked on in the span of your career?
By FAR my ambassadorship with Chanel Beauty. Chanel was the first designer I discovered when I started learning about fashion as a girl – I idolised Coco Chanel. It’s truly been a dream come true and something I’ll always hold with me dearly.
Can you tell us about how a usual day in a life looks for you?
A lot of things with modelling can be very last minute. My priority on most days is on keeping up to date on work that needs to be done on the social side, i.e. editing, planning, researching, etc. Afterwards, I triple check that everything there is squared away, and then I’m onto making sure I’m getting to any castings, shoots, or travel that may come up last minute with my modelling career. Lately though, I’ve been doing my best to create routine within the chaos with mediation and fitness regimes.
What are the common misconceptions people have about you and your life?
Occasionally I get comments about how my life appears a certain way and how that must mean I wouldn’t understand the struggles of anxiety or depression – but to that, I say: it is very easy to control what you put on social media. I am not the type of person who is typically very open when I am struggling emotionally. I’ve been working on finding ways I am more comfortable talking about this side of me in hopes that I’ll be able to help people who also have been struggling with feeling alone in this world.
What advice would you give to your followers who aspire to be a model or influencer like yourself?
My biggest advice to anyone is to always stay true to yourself. Make things personal – but keep the cherished things in your life to yourself. You will find so much more enjoyment out of every experience when you are working towards your dream, but also have the support of people around you without pulling them into whatever happens online.
We love your OOTDs. What’s your top secrets to scoring a killer outfit shot for the Gram?
One of the most important things I think about is the background. I have unabashedly dragged my friends to a certain spot to take a picture because I liked the way the light hits a wall through the trees at a certain time of day. Pro tip: Pay attention to light and background!
You seem to be always on-the-go. What’s in your bag when you’re off roaming about the city streets?
My four essentials I always keep close no matter where I am are: La Mer’s lip balm, Omorovicza’s Queen of Hungary Mist, a portable charger, and Ilia’s Essential Face Palette for quick touch-ups!
You’re currently living in New York City. Where are your favourite hot spots?
I recently cut out coffee, so I have been frequenting Cha Cha Matcha whenever I’ve been needing an extra energy boost. I also am a sucker for a good pasta dish. My two favourite restaurants for Italian are Malatesta Trattoria and Oilo e Piu. The bolognese and carbonara, respectively, are my favourite go-to dishes.
And lastly, we think your pet parrot Picasso is so adorable! Can you tell us the story of how he came to be a part of your life?
My parents had birds as long as I have been alive. When I was younger, I would always go to the pet store with them to buy seed and toys for our birds at the time. In the pet store, there was one Amazon in particular that I always got so excited to see because we were absolutely in love. When my parents had eventually decided to bring him into our family, we discovered that he had already been purchased by someone else. I was devastated at the time, but that’s not the end of the story. I’m telling you, when it’s meant to be, it’ll find its way.
So then, when I was 15, this family was referred to us because we took in “problem birds”. By that, I mean people who had mistreated their birds and deemed them as “broken” – we would take them in as their forever home and retrain them to trust people in a loving environment. Long story short, Picasso was the bird from the pet store all those years ago. As soon as I walked in the room to greet him all those years later, it was as if we had never had any time apart. We were instant friends again, and the rest has been history.
All images: Jess M Clements