Culture

Zoë Kravitz: Portrait of a Lady

From major blockbusters to hit shows, the magnetic muse of Yves Saint Laurent’s Black Opium is slowly but surely changing the face of Hollywood as we know it.
Reading time 5 minutes

Photography by Zoey Grossman

Styling by Jennifer Eymère

“If you know only one thing about Zoë Kravitz, it’s probably that Lenny is her dad. And if you know one more, it’s probably that her mom is former Cosby Show actress Lisa Bonet.” - Rolling Stone

No, Zoë is not just “the daughter of…”. She is the child of love. Her father and mother met back when Lenny was still going by Romeo Blue and had yet to record his first album. He was the young son turned father in a snakeskin vest and leather pants, raised on the sounds of Duke Ellington. She was the teen star of family sitcom The Cosby Show. Married November 16, 1987, the two eloped in Las Vegas on Bonet’s twentieth birthday. Shortly after, Bonet became pregnant with Zoë. Eventually, Lisa and Lenny went their own ways, however, and Zoë moved with her mother to Topanga Canyon, California, where she was raised on silence and good vibrations. At 11 years old, Zoë left that paradise of Montessori Schools to join Lenny in Miami, then New York, in the world of musicians and muses (including the likes of Natalie Imbruglia, Adriana Lima, Nicole Kidman, and Naomi Campbell, among others). 

Little could Lisa have guessed that the cover she shot for Rolling Stone in 1988, when she was two months pregnant with Zoë, would be reprised by the child she was carrying some 30 years later. Technically, then, that makes Zoë’s cover her second for Rolling Stone (if you count the prenatal appearance as her first). 

Today, at 30 years old, Zoë seems like the type of person who has managed to rise above it all while keeping her feet firmly grounded. Her acting career has taken off, most notably with her role in HBO’s award-winning Big Little Lies, a part she will reprise in the show’s much-anticipated second season. And more recently, she resumed her role as Leta Lestrange in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

Added to the list of Zoë Kravitz’s more visible accomplishments is the fact that she is the face of YSL’s Black Opium scent and counts Anthony Vaccarello, the house’s designer, as a fan. In the latest Saint Laurent short film, directed by Nathalie Canguilhem, Zoë Kravitz switches between a studded jacket and a sheepskin coat, leopard boots and clustered necklaces, starring alongside Lennon Gallagher. Adding to the French glamour of it all, musician SebastiAn provides the soundtrack, bringing together a campaign that bucks many of the conventions that define fragrance today.

In that bold spirit, in lieu of the standard interview, we asked Kravitz to answer the Q&A à la Proust, in a nod to our French heritage.

Who is your favourite writer?

Patti Smith.

Do you like Paris?

Yes, Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. My father lives there and I’ve amassed so many memories there over the years.

Do you have a favourite neighborhood?

I love Le Marais. It’s the perfect area for shopping, eating, and people-watching.

You take the subway around New York, but have you ever taken the Paris metro?

Sometimes! I try, of course, but not too often, because I get lost.

You spent a part of your childhood in Topanga Canyon. What memories do you have of that period?

I loved growing up in the middle of nature and a community full of love. Topanga is a wonderful place that encouraged me to get to know and appreciate the natural environment from a very young age.”

What was the moment when you first felt free?

When I moved to New York at age 15.

What is your simple pleasure in life?

Walking the streets of New York with my earphones in.

Which qualities do you appreciate in a man?

A sense of humor and abs.

Which qualities do you appreciate in a woman?

A sense of humor and loyalty...?

Who is your hero?

My mother.

What is your favourite color?

Green.

Is fashion important to you?

Yes, I like fashion because it’s a way to express my personality.

Can you describe your latest find?

An old Bob Marley & the Wailers T-shirt.

What does Yves Saint Laurent represent for you?

Sophistication, rock and roll, androgyny, and classic chic.

How did you meet Anthony Vaccarello? What struck you about him?

I met him at his first show for Saint Laurent. He is calm and sensitive; he pays close attention to detail. A true artist.

Credits

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MAKEUP NINA PARK (FORWARD ARTISTS)

HAIR NIKKI NELMS (IMPAQ BEAUTY)

MANICURE CASEY HERMAN (THE WALL GROUP)

LOCAL PRODUCTION MARIANA CANTÚ (MC COLECTIVA)

DIGITAL TECHNICIAN ASHLEY DINGESS

PHOTO ASSISTANTS ZANE SHAFFER AND MARION GRAND

STYLIST ASSISTANT SIMONE WOLF

LOCATION PIER 59 STUDIOS

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