Taken from the Autumn Issue of Wonderland
The Ultimate Driving Machine
Instagram don and anime obsessive: Sahara Lin is fashion’s future icon.
With a childhood spent on armchairs and out of an ever-stuff suitcase, Sahara Lin is echelons away from your average trust fund modelling muse. Born in rural North Wales surrounded by mountains and fauna before jumping the Atlantic to traipse the gritty city streets of Brooklyn, Lin is the Instagram-scouted, animation-loving Internet darling with a brace-face smile. She really loves her animation – name-dropping everyone from Studio Ghibli mastermind Hayao Miyazaki to Betty Boop in interviews. Her mum Choi is a dreamer too, releasing surreal paint-works under the nom Choichun.
While in New York, a friend of her mum’s arranged a meeting with Lin at modelling agency Elite, and proceeded to ask to sign her on the spot. “It was really unexpected, but my mum freaked out and told me I had to do it.” Fast-forward to now and she has collaborated with fashion greats like Pat McGrath, Patrick Demarchelier, Cass Bird, Nicola Formichetti and Carine Roitfeld. The 18-year-old’s career is hurtling at lightning speed, partially thanks to those braces — “they are a part of me now,” she lisps. They’ve been on for three years with no set removal date.
For a model that was scouted via social media, you’d think that her Instagram feed would be a carefully curated portfolio, showing just how hard she works and how much fun she’s having along the way. Lin just isn’t that into it, though. “Nowadays, people seem to think it matters… I like to post what I feel and what I like at that moment in time. For me, it’s more about authenticity and not thinking about it too much.” Lin understands that while social media is meant to be fun and playful, “it can also be bad: sometimes I think it’s used as a way to hide behind a picture and I’m not sure that’s good for kids growing up now. It’s not real.”
Realness is certainly Sahari Lin’s Modus Operandi. Aside from her her modelling stints, she aims raise awareness of dyslexia and dyscalculia, two disabilities she struggled with as a student. Lin wants people “to know and to talk about it — because it opens up a conversation, so people who didn’t understand before, can now. I find it really frustrating when people think I’m stupid as that’s not the case; there are just some things I find more difficult than others.” One thing’s for damn sure: Sahara Lin is on the internet icon trajectory.
Special thanks to Belgravia Garage (@Belgravia_Garage)