Charlee may consider herself a model in the making (as her Instagram bio insists), but it's clear she's already made. Moreover, she's trailblazing for indigenous models on the rise and challenging the canonized image of an "Aussie beach babe" as we know it.
Born to an Australian mother hailing from the Awabakal people of the midnorth coast of New South Wales and an Australian father, Charlee was always obsessed with fashion. She knew little about the industry, even when she initially signed with an Australian agency and began booking her first jobs. She quickly became a favorite at Australian Fashion Week and subsequently scored overseas shows. In 2016, her career took on a new breath after iconic stylist Guido Palau lobbed her long tresses into a chic bob right before she hit the Alexander Wang catwalk during her first New York Fashion Week. The style was reminiscent of the old Hollywood star, Louise Brooks, and when paired with Charlee's doe-eyed features and laidback vibe, she became the modern classic the industry had been waiting for.
Following the new length, Charlee's cool-girl bob caught the eye of top casting directors who added her to the list of models of the season's biggest shows. That season, Charlee walked 40 shows including Prada, Balenciaga, Chanel, Dior, Lanvin, Givenchy and Céline. Her first fashion week thus doubled as a historic moment as Charlee became the first Indigenous Australian model to majorly cross over into the international fashion scene.
Since then, Charlee has worked nonstop with back-to-back projects for the most prestigious and forthcoming brands. In addition to multiple appearances on the runways from Hermès to Emilio Pucci, Charlee has fronted campaigns for Tom Ford, Brandon Maxwell, Céline, and Armani and has been photographed by the likes of Mario Sorrenti, Mert & Marcus and Juergen Teller.
The former business and beauty student has appeared on the cover of INPRINT and Russh magazines, but her greatest goal? To shoot a groundbreaking cover for Vogue Australia. The lauded international edition of Vogue has only featured two indigenous models on its cover in 56 years, Elaine George in 1993 and Samantha Harris in 2010. In early 2017, Charlee took a massive leap towards her dream by shooting an 80s power-woman, synth-pop styled editorial for the publication. Other select editorials for Charlee include Vogue Me, Dazed, American Vogue, W and Numéro. Considering her trajectory, it's fair game to expect big things from Charlee.
31 December 1969
Photography Sofia Sanchez & Mauro Mongiello | Styling Kai Margrander
Photography Darren McDonald | Styling Naomi Smith
Photography Tina TYRELL | Vogue Me
Photography Patrick Demarchelier | Styling Christine Centenera
Photography Jean-Baptiste Mondino
Photography Bryan Adams | Zoo
Photography Benny Horne | Vogue Turkey
Photography Alexander Saladrigas
Photography Quentin De Briey | Styling Morgan Pilcher
Photography Charles Dennington | Styling Bridie Gilbert