IT was Kanye West who put Thot’s career trajectory on turbo, after meeting by chance last September. “I left a casting in New York and Kim, from Kanye’s team, ran out after me,” she told Vogue. “‘You have to come upstairs! Kanye will love your look!’ she cried. I didn’t even know Kanye was in the same building! I followed her to see what was up and ended up shooting a magazine cover that day.”
The friendship proved more fruitful than just runway credits – the Yeezy spring/summer 2017 show was her first catwalk gig – as West introduced her to Vogue contributing editor Pat McGrath. The glossy In The Mirror video that aired in November last year was Thot’s pinch-yourself moment. “I knew we were working on something that would take people by storm, and it really did,” she said of seeing her glitter-covered self go viral on social media. “It was epic for so many reasons, it was only a one-minute clip but we spent weeks on it.”
Fast forward to the autumn/winter 2017 show season and Thot cemented herself as one of Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma girls. “I’m still trying to get my head around working with Rihanna, she’s one of the most influential women in the world,” Thot mused. Of the millennial-pink dirt bike set the popstar constructed for the spring/summer 2018 show, she recalled: “We had no idea what was going on! A man told us to stay behind a barrier in rehearsal and the motorcycles started revving and jumping. We all just started screaming! When a designer does a show on that level, it gets us all pumped in another way. It was such a huge production.”
All this in the space of a year, yet it was Pirelli – “a dream come true” – that the 21-year-old pinned as her highlight so far. Of how she came to star in the all-black reimagining of Alice in Wonderland for the 2018 calendar, she said: “I went to Tim Walker’s casting in London and was more nervous than ever, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t want to get ahead of myself, I was just so happy that Pirelli, Tim and Edward were even looking at me. By the time I was off the plane back in New York, I had the part.”
“We shot over four to five intense days,” she remembered. “The set was so big and we had to play with the props and interact with Tim, himself. The way he works is a whole other thing! Sometimes I had to take myself to one side and tune out, but it’s without a doubt the greatest thing I’ve ever done. It will go down in history.”
How has she stayed grounded moving to a city that never sleeps? Writing and reading helps, and detoxing digitally. “I like to think I’m on the chilled side of social media,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with sharing your life on Instagram, but I’m quite a reserved person. A little is fine, but never too much.”
What advice would she give to herself were she to leave Australia to pursue modelling again? “Be yourself,” she said firmly. “There are so many rules and it can get quite confusing, but if you take everything in your own stride and do your own thing, you’ll come out the other side strong.”
Indeed, the next time we see Thot she’ll be doing her thing on the barrier-breaking calendar of 2018. She might be, as she said, “jumping over hurdles”, but she’s got a strong group of people running alongside her.