Model Charlotte D’Alessio became an instant social media star when an image of her at the 2015 Coachella music festival went viral. She was a 16-year-old Beverly Hills High school student at the time and her world changed overnight. The 21-year-old quickly went from around 16,000 Instagram followers to over 750,000 and within a year she was signed to a major modelling agency and had started dating Presley Gerber (son of Cindy Crawford), whom she met through his sister, supermodel Kaia. She is also long-standing friends with Bella Hadid.
Charlotte had attended the event with best friend Josie Canseco, daughter of major league baseball player José Canseco and his former wife, model Jessica. It was while the duo were dancing; wearing cut-off denim shorts, flash tattoos, bracelets layered up their arms and pink vest tops, that influential photographer Bryant Eslava, uploaded a sun-drenched hippy-inspired shot of them to his Instagram feed, which had just under a million followers at the time.
Subsequently, the image appeared on Instagram’s trending page and the festival’s official Twitter account; plus, photographer The Cobrasnake also uploaded it, as did musician The Weeknd – exposing the friends to his two million followers.
"To this day, Coachella and that side of my modelling still gets brought up," she says. "It was such a fun experience. Afterwards, I saw all the photos come out and things kind of blew up," she continues. "Josie and I were really confused, like, what's happening? It was so random. I owe so much to Coachella."
Instagram made her, but does she still find it enjoyable? "It’s definitely fascinating and if you know how to navigate it, it's great and fun. I also like the content you can find on it, but it’s just the validation you search for, even subconsciously. Sometimes you can’t help looking at the numbers [of comments and likes] that are just in your face. That gets to me. With social media, people always have preconceived notions of you. No-one gets out without any hate."
Charlotte who grew up in Toronto, Canada and moved to LA with her dad as a teenager is currently staying with her ex-model mum in London and she’s excited about getting to know the city, as previously she’d only visited for a few days over Christmas.
"Randomly, four of my best friends happen to be here, at the same time. I’m actually excited to immerse myself into the culture here and start afresh. When I go to different cities, I always try to do that, I think it helps to grow you, so I'm happy to be in London for that reason."
The full interview appears in the March issue of Hello! Fashion, which is out now…