Lucky Blue Smith, the 17-year-old it-model with a wildly ravenous social media following, has a meta-Twitter photo. It’s a picture of a huge mass of his fans—invariably enthusiastic teen girls, some with phones up in the air like giraffe necks. “I took it last January,” Lucky tells me. When flocks of his fans swarm him, he says that he can’t hear anything. “It’s just screaming, my name, and yelling they love me. They yell ‘je t’aime’ in Paris, which I think is I love you,” he says, “but it could be the polar opposite.”
Lucky is working in Paris now, after starring in several campaigns in Milan, and he’s skateboarding from booking meeting to booking meeting. His skateboard is his favorite mode of transit, as it’s so much quicker than cars or the metros. “I love to go fast,” he says. “My friends think I’m crazy, because I go really fast down hill. And now, I really can’t injure myself or mess up my face.” Are there people warning him not to get hurt or scratched? “All the time. People tell me that all the time.” I mention a tabloid rumor I heard about Beyonce or Taylor Swift getting their legs insured. Does he have his face insured? He doesn’t, he says, but “I should do that.”
Lucky’s face is unquestionably gorgeous, but his hair is his most distinguishable feature. It’s electric blonde; all white light, white heat. “People are calling it iconic,” he says, and politely mentions that some designers (he’s not going to name names) that didn’t want him to walk in their shows because it stands out. Lucky tells me he has to dye his hair every six weeks but he’s hoping it can be seven soon. He’s starting to see damage, “it would be really bad if my hair started falling out.” But he’s using conditioner now—an Aveda strengthening emolument. But then it got lost in airport security so he has turned to hotel conditioner, which we agree is a gamble.
Lucky chats easily and attentively. I ask if he has trouble turning away from social media, as it must be constantly buzzing, what with teens and their famously short attention spans. Lucky says now he keeps his phone in sleep mode, even if it means that he misses texts or calls, so he can stay in the moment. He turned off his Instagram notifications entirely, he estimates, when he got up to 50,000 followers. “My phone will just shut down immediately, because when you post something, all the likes start coming in, and it can’t handle it. I’ll turn it on sometimes to show my friends how crazy it is.” Does he think his social media presence would be different if he didn’t have such a following, maybe fewer bedroom selfies, tangled in his sheets? Probably not, he says. He’s just being himself.
After I inquire about a photo he posted a couple months ago captioned “prom with the best mates,” he doesn’t remember straight away. But he scrolls back in his phone to check. “I did go to prom,” he confirms like his Instagram holds his memory chip. His cousin suggested he come along. “It was really fun,” he says. Did he dance? “Of course I danced!” he says. But dancing is a source of self-consciousness for him. Before he went on Ellen, the producer asked him if he could dance. He took lessons so he would be prepared. He felt good for prom at least.
Having the normal gamut of teen experiences isn’t just atypical for Lucky because of his newfound fame and modeling gigs. Lucky is homeschooled. He lives in a two-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles on Hollywood Boulevard, close to the Chinese Mann Theater. They moved from Utah and Lucky shares a room with his four sisters, who he says are just like him but with “different bodies [and] slightly different personalities.” They’re in a band together. He tells me they each have a corner, but they rotate beds because some are more comfortable. “It’s like musicals chairs, but for beds,” he says. He says they mostly get along; they have to.
When they do quibble, Lucky cites his habit of setting his alarm very early, like at 4:30. “The night before, I think I’ll wake up and be productive and do homework and work out.” But alarms don’t work on him and instead he wakes up to his sisters yelling and throwing pillows at him. He can’t wait to go home, he says.
His sister Daisy is with him now in Paris, sightseeing while he works. He’s not sad he’s missing out. “I don’t really like touristy things, I like to just ride my skateboard around. If I see the Eiffel Tower from my skateboard, that’s cool, if not…”—the shrug seems evident, even over the phone. He’ll let things come to him.