I first met Chloe a few years back at Billabong's Design for Humanity at Paramount Studios. We were both working and introduced though a mutual friend. Her joy is infectious and refreshing. She was blond that day but had plans of changing that and making a statement, out of frustration of the mold she and most models are often placed in.
"I love having coloured hair," the 23-year-old American model often states. "It's like having a painting on my head, one that I get to walk around with instead of hanging on a wall."
Chloe first dabbled with dye in first grade when she spray-painted her hair blue. Now the natural brunette has built a modelling career on the back of her obsession with bleach, signed to Premier Model Management. This season she's the face of United Colors of Benetton, which she's happy to front because the Italian brand is "all about colours, of course"; in the past she's modelled for Miss Vogue , i-D magazine and Harpers Bazaar - the latter comprising the obligatory 'next big thing' shoot with a photographer your all too familiar with.
The hair's not just for show, though - Chloe is a proper hippie with eleven tattoos to prove it. "I was 16 when I got my first tattoo," she mentioned. "It's on the bottom of my lip. It says 'Penny Lane' which was my nickname in high school for a while" ..and some of the others: a lightening bolt on her finger ("that hurt pretty bad"); 'I am I am I am' written on her ribs in different symbols and hieroglyphics; five hearts on her pinkie; 'Boom' on the inside of her hand ("my favourite word"); 'Pure powerful spontaneous and rare' printed on the back of her neck and a little key behind her ear (her mum has a matching one).
Chloe's bohemian approach to life finds its roots in her upbringing. Her Danish father works for the company "that makes those Danish butter cookies that come in a blue tin" and her mother is a toy trend specialist. "Every time I see my mom she has tons of toys and we just play with them," she says. Was she a troublesome teenager? "Oh absolutely," she laughs. "When I was in high school I was super crazy. I feel bad for my parents. I wonder if karma is going to hit me with an awful child!"
She found an escape in music, and her sartorial development runs in tandem with the music she listens to. "When I went through a tomboy phase, I listened to hip hop," she recalls. "then I was super preppy; then I listened to classic rock, '90s rap….all kinds of music."
She spent three months in Toyko DJ-ing and modelling when she was nineteen, making her a natural choice for Benetton's new campaign profiling up-and-coming fashion and music talents. Other autumn/winter 2013 faces include singer Sky Ferreira; rapper Theophilus London; model (and daughter of Kristen) Lily McMenamy; model (and son of The Clash bassist Paul) Louis Simonon, and South Korean model Soo Joo Park.
She loves clothes, but doesn't have much time to shop. "Usually I'll run into a vintage store and find a couple of pieces. I find malls overwhelming."
Life after modelling doesn't faze her - "I'll be happy as long as I can keep travelling" - and there's always another tattoo to plan. "Have you read The Little Prince? I want to get the picture of the boa constrictor eating an elephant on my finger."
Styled by Andrea Messier Cuomo
All images by Douglas Neill