After exchanging a few instagram messages, we scheduled a photoshoot with Isla while he was in town for a few days, with a tight schedule on his end we were able to secure a 2 hour slot before he had to head back home to Vancouver. We picked up Isla at the metro station to head out to go play mini golf, he stepped into the car wearing a fresh pair of baby blue dunks and some lime green dickies. A calm & cool first impression.
On the road to the mini golf, the faculty were bumping some Brockhampton while sharing some conversations about art, fashion & music, some topics that Isla felt deeply passionate about. Only 20 minutes into the ride and we felt like we made a new best friend. After finding out that Isla was only 16, making appearances in New York fashion week runways, working amongst some well respected brands & photographers and landing some big campaigns, we were so eager to ask more questions and learn more about him, what’s it like to be young, wise & creative in this day & age… ?
What’s it like to be 16 ?
Being sixteen and the way that I live my life is very different than other sixteen year olds. But the way that I live my life, I almost make it seem like age is just a contract that doesn’t really define who you are, it's just a way to categorize everyone. I get that they’re useful for laws and stuff but there's no way that someone can determine another just because of their age.
People grow at their own pace and Some people are just ahead… you know what I mean?
How have you been able to get ahead at your age ?
I never put myself in a situation where I only surround myself with people my own age, hanging out with older people has helped me skip the whole development of maturity. If I didn't hang out with older friends I probably wouldn't be where I am today, or even have the same mindset.
When did you start modelling ?
I started 2 Years ago, at 14, It was never like, a thing where I told myself “oh I want to be a model”. I was just at the right place at the right time. These two photographers were like “can I take your picture?” and I said okay. I got the photos back and realized how cool it was to see creativity through a photo editing process and that’s when I fell in love with it.
What do you love the most about Modeling ?
I find that when I model, it's like a sense of being someone else, like getting away. A photo shows someone’s personality, you can read the story that they’re telling and everyone can read it in a different way. That's why I always kept modelling. Seeing a story and how people process it uniquely is amazing. There’s something so real about a photo, I love the collaborative effort between the model and the photographer, the whole team really. Everyone is working for something that they love.Meeting amazing people through this journey is what makes me want to keep travelling for it.
You don’t meet a lot of people who do it and it’s even more amazing when you meet the ones that do it for the passion of loving rather than the ones trying to be the next Kate Moss.
What’s next for Isla ?
Hmh honestly I don’t really know what’s next for me, I don’t. But I know that whatever the future has in store for me I can handle it and I can learn from it. Being only 16 and having so many more chapters to come in life I think I just gotta have a good mindset at all times and know that it’s okay to fuck up and it’s okay to take risks and learn from them.
What’s next for me I guess Is to just keep working with amazing artists and people thoroughly modelling or whatever makes me happy.
Isla exemplifies how a curious mindset can offer any student of life the ability to explore their interests, without the need to define themselves through age.He recognizes that humans grow at different rates and are largely products of their environments.Through Isla we can see the all-encompassing evolution in humanity, and that youth raised with a sense of self-belief instead of fear, can feel free and playful within the pursuit of their desires.
Our time with him reminds us of the true meaning of passion; being able to be ourselves with something that we love all while exploring our world with growth and joy.