Five tastemakers get honest about the things that make their hearts beat.
Time alone has always been a rarity for the single-monikered model Dilone. Born Janice Altagracia Dilone on Long Island, New York, the 24-year-old grew up as one of 10 children before making it big in fashion. She walked 14 shows last season, including Balmain and Off-White.
Despite feeling most loved when she’s surrounded by her family, she once had a brief period when she withdrew from them entirely, even going so far as to delete her Instagram account. “They were like, ‘You don’t have to be so dramatic!’ I was like, ‘I just need space to detach from everyone and everything, for nobody but myself.’” Everyone, that is, except for her dog, Jim. She’s had the Pomsky (part Pomeranian, part Siberian husky) for about a year. “I named him after one of my favorite comedians, Jim Carrey,” she says. “He’s really changed my life.” And unlike her brothers and sisters, Jim never gives her any attitude.
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What does love look like to royalty? “Right now, it’s the candy jar!” jokes Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece and Denmark. The 22-year-old NYU student admits she hasn’t found true romantic love just yet, but for the moment, she’s content with the adrenaline surge that sugar provides. “I’ve had the biggest sweet tooth since I was a little girl,” she says. Sour Patch Kids are her favorite, and on Instagram, the burgeoning influencer has been known to feature a colorful food prop or two. Rainbow-hued sour roll-ups or a well-lit ice cream cone? They deliver both likes and love.
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Model Herieth Paul, age 23, has been mentoring kids back home in her native Tanzania since she was only 17. Through her mom’s organization Sachia Society, which provides educational support and resources to East African children, Paul says she’s encountered “many talented, beautiful, knowledgeable young ladies. I feel like they’ve taught me a lot more than I’ve taught them.”
Although her mentees are thousands of miles away, she credits them with showing her how to connect with others instantaneously (like with five-year-old Mylah, seen here). As for her own mentors, Paul counts her mom, her aunt, and her fellow Maybelline New York model Christy Turlington. “Christy told me to always follow my heart,” she says. The other crucial thing she’s learned? “That I should always take my makeup off before bed.”
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Event producer by day, fashion’s favorite DJ by night, May Kwok has built a dream career of going from one party to the next. To reconnect with herself, she surfs. “I took it up five years ago,” she says. “It helps me cope with my social lifestyle. Being in the water is my alone time.” She frequents New York’s Rockaway Beach, where she fully embraces a surfer’s ethos: “Everything is all love—love for the sport, for each other, for the ocean, and for the environment. If there is no water, we don’t live.”
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Full of Surprises
Model, artist, and body positivity advocate Lulu Bonfils and her boyfriend Arya Tabatabai, an engineer, initially connected on Tinder. They both had reservations about the app: “There are so many people to choose from that it kind of lowers the importance of starting a relationship,” Bonfils says. But when they met in person, they just clicked.
Now, a year and a half in, the pair’s expressions of love run from the eccentric (“I built a balcony for her pet rats,” Tabatabai says) to the quotidian (“I leave his favorite snack—a peanut butter cookie—in the cupboard,” Bonfils says), proof that sometimes swiping right pays off.