There's a certain symmetry to Chloe Hayward's career so far: she was spotted in Topshop, and now she appears in the brand's winter campaign. She was scouted on a cold, rainy November day in 2004, aged 15, and was taken aback: "I didn't have any make-up on." Now 18 she delayed modelling after being scouted to focus on her GCSEs Hayward was au naturel when I met her at the Select offices in Camden Town, London, and the absence of make-up only served to highlight her youthful freshness.
Sarah Leon, head of new faces for Select, and the woman who spotted Agyness Deyn, and now Chloe, explains that "Chloe has a brilliant mix of accessible beauty and edge". This versatility is obvious when you look at Hayward's modelling portfolio. She can do girl-next-door, Forties screen siren or avant garde. Some of her first jobs were for the mainstream magazine Glamour and the edgier publication Tank. Hayward herself says, "It's interesting to see how different I can look; sometimes I don't recognise myself in certain shots." Despite being significantly curvier than most catwalk models, Hayward says she has "never felt under pressure to be thinner; I like the way I look." It has counted against her in some castings, but her role for Topshop typically a lauchpad for up-and-coming models suggests that a healthier ideal might be on the horizon.
Hayward has deferred her place to study English and Drama at Birmingham University, and says there is "part of me that wants to focus on modelling, because it's really fun and exciting". Modelling is a competitive world, but the girl from New Malden seems unfazed by this, perhaps because as Sarah Leon points out, it's her personality that sets her apart. "The difference with Chloe," she says, "is that she's bloody nice."
Portrait by Dan Burn-Forti