Thank you all so, so much for your heartfelt responses to the Beauty & Truth series. Your comments and emails mean the world to me. I want this site to delight and inspire, to be a place where you can come every day for escape, empowerment, and creative stimulation ~ and sometimes it’s nice to know that that goal is being achieved! I wouldn’t have the opportunity to pursue any of these stories without your readership and support, so I am grateful for it every day and strive to always uphold my end of the bargain.
I chose Kumi, Sian, and Heather as stars of that series because I was inspired not only by their natural beauty and truthful lifestyles, but also by the friendship the three share. They are a tribe of goddesses not only in the pictures, but in real life as well. And they were an integral element of the coloring of my summer out East, a part of the community of TURF and the landscape of Montauk. This little clan has a very important fourth member in Leilani Bishop, whom Jamie and I also shot this summer for THIS STORY. A true supermodel who’s appeared in everything from Vogue to Sports Illustrated to Hole’s iconic ‘Live Through This’ album cover, Leilani is a total pro in front of the camera ~ but it’s her off-duty life that’s most compelling to me. I originally met Leilani the same way I met Zach, through our good mutual friend Athena Calderone. She knows the most interesting people! Athena and Leilani’s sons are best buddies, and both women have impressed me with their nurturing but laidback approach to motherhood.
Witnessing the loving friendship she shares with her son, it’s no surprise that Leilani’s own parents were pretty darn cool. Lifelong eco warriors, nature lovers, and collectors of multicultural antiquities who raised her on the beaches of Hawaii, the two have been huge influences on Leilani Bishop Collection, a perfume line comprised of three single-note scents. Each are built upon the memories they evoke. Pikake references her upbringing in and love of Hawaii, while Lilac (pictured here) marks her high-flying life in the fashion industry, her marriage and her eventual move to the Hamptons, the period in which she was exposed to luxury and allowed to explore her sensuality. Finally, Orange Blossom celebrates Leilani’s love of travel and the exotic, reminiscent of time spent in Africa and the Mediterranean. Together, they tell a story of a woman who believes that nothing is more powerful than a woman’s femininity and her ability to express it.|PHOTOGRAPHY| by Jamie Beck |LEILANI| wears a dress by BCBG, as originally seen in THIS STORY