Meet Molly Bair, the Model and Philly Native Who’s Slaying the Fashion World
When Molly Bair was first scouted by a modeling agent at a New York flea market two years ago, she was a tall, gawky senior at Abington High School in Montgomery County. She was on the student council, took AP classes, and was a star member of the varsity tennis team. Now, she’s walking runways all over the world, hobknobbing with major designers (cough, Karl Lagerfeld) and taking backstage snaps with Kendall and Gigi.
Bair is now signed with The Society Management, a modeling agency whose roster boasts the likes of Adriana Lima, Lindsey Wixson, Liu Wen, Willow Smith, and Kendall Jenner. Seemingly overnight, Molly went from suburbia to commuting to New York after tennis practice. “I was kind of of living this double life. I didn’t tell anyone at school why I would disappear,” she says.
Now, Molly’s resume includes walking the runways of Dior, Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Proenza Schouler and countless others. She closed Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2015 Haute Couture as the bride (the bride!); shot ad campaigns for brands like Alexander Wang, Hood by Air and Coach, and nabbed the covers of Dazed, Numéro, and CR Fashion Book (check out her Insta for a behind the scenes look at the madness!) — all before the age of 20. We caught up with Molly fresh off the Marc Jacobs Resort 2017 runway to get her thoughts on skincare, walking in heels and, yes, Kendall Jenner.
On her favorite show to walk: “The most magical [show] so far was Marc Jacobs last season. [She closed his Fall/Winter 2016 collection.] Girls were crying backstage, everything came together so well, and it was just a beautiful experience.”
On the best part about modeling: “Travel experience — really living and breathing other people’s culture is one of the greatest things. Most of the time I’m the only American in the room, so I get a lot of perspective on how the world works. Tokyo is definitely my favorite place to work. In Tokyo no one stares at you because you’re six feet tall since there’s so much other crazy shit going on. I would tell anyone who has a chance to travel or study abroad to go to Tokyo.”
On the Chanel Cruise show in Cuba: “Cuba was really fun. Cuba poverty is so different than poverty in America, or even in Philadelphia. It was really bizarre because you would see these beautifully preserved historical buildings with no water, no electricity and these were people’s homes. But the beach there was simply unreal, it was completely untouched, and we had a great afterparty.”
On Kendall Jenner and the Hadids: “I’ve spent some time with Kendall and the Hadids — they’re perfectly nice people. They have great publicists and they’re very well-trained.”
On one of her favorite people in the industry: “I really love [fellow Society model] Lindsey Wixson. She is such a lovely person, and she lives such an interesting life. It’s so un-model-y. She just bought a farm, [but] she lives in LA. Lindsey has been doing this for a while, like seven years, and she’s so open. The girls who stick around for a while are smart and nice. They don’t all have the same personalities, and they’re doing something really intelligent. The dumb model stereotype doesn’t really exist.”
On traveling: “Don’t take any sleeping pills; they’re just gonna make you feel awful and drowsy. I know it sounds obvious but drinking a lot of water helps. Don’t eat the in-flight meal; you’re gonna have problems if you eat the food, [so] bring your own snacks. Also, try not to stress about jet lag. The past two weeks I’ve been flying back and forth between New York and London and even this morning I woke up at 2:30 [for Marc Jacobs’ resort show]. I’m constantly jet-lagged but I’m not stressing about it — no one can beat it, it’s just a part of life.”
On skincare and makeup: “I hate makeup, goddamn. I don’t wear makeup whenever I don’t have to. If you clog your skin up with makeup then you’re not gonna have great skin. I try to moisturize whenever I can — I love the moisturizers from Whole Foods. If you want clear, healthy skin you have to drink water. I do have the genetics for it, so that helps. Your skin reflects what you eat and that definitely plays a big factor. Eating well helps a lot.”
On walking in heels: “When I first started, I was named one of the worst walkers. I apparently have ‘big feet for a model’ — I’m a size ten and most models are a size eight, so most of the shoes are a size eight. I just wear them, and it sucks. To practice, I would walk around my house and think I’m the shit, but my walk was trash. Now I’m fine, but it can still be pretty difficult. Three girls fell this morning [at Marc Jacobs] and that’s fine because, you know, they fell and that’s forgivable. But if you’re just wobbling and you don’t fall then you just have an awful walk. To anyone struggling, I would suggest wearing the worst shoes possible all the time, and then when you’re in normal ones you’ll be fine.”