![Alt Text](https://images.squarespace-cdn.com/content/v1/56c346b607eaa09d9189a870/9555f12d-8318-448e-ae14-0a0ed7f1b521/177_Flaunt_Magazine_The_Magic_Issue_Truefusion_Meredith_Mickelson9.jpg) Meredith Mickelson was first scouted as a model in a shopping mall in her hometown at only 14-years- old, and she has quickly risen the ranks of social-media stardom to build an empire for herself. Amidst a tumultuous past year of lockdowns, mass panic, and the devastating loss of her brother, Mickelson managed to squeeze in cover shoots, the launch of her own clothing line, Molliebird, and now finds herself in Paris, welcoming the peace of the city and a fresh perspective. Mickelson embraces being uncomfortable, in a good way. To break out of the predictability of her routine.To challenge herself to enjoy life more. To eat good food, enjoy her career, and grow her relationships with friends and family. The memory of her late brother, Daniel, inspires her, “I feel the most invincible when I feel him with me,” she says with a smile, and it’s evident that presence within her creates a unique confidence. When asked what advice she might offer to a younger Meredith? Hold true to yourself and to not get lost in the dazzling lights and cameras. Flaunt had the opportunity to talk to Mickelson about her inspirations, spirituality, and the ongoing pursuit of strong mental health. Where are you right now? I am currently in Paris! What’s your favorite part about living in Paris? There’s so much of it that’s so new to me that I appreciate every little thing. I’m really inspired by the style here, I feel like everyone’s so classy. No matter what, like you are always dressing up, you’re not wearing sweats. So it’s new to me, because I always wear sweats, but I love it. They appreciate what they look like. I would say it’s just the city itself, I just think it’s so beautiful as well. It’s so pretty. I’m constantly stimulated as I’m walking. I also can’t stop eating. I’m going to come back home with 15 more pounds. You were raised in Georgia. How was growing up there? Georgia was so nice because it gave me the good fundamental things I needed as a human being. I was raised very well by my parents. We were all so close. I just feel like a lot of who I am is based on how I was brought up. The important things to me growing up were always being with my family, always going to church, being Christian and having faith, and it was all about sports. It was nothing superficial. I was raised to be super grateful because I came from a small town, and if you wanted something, you went and got it, and nothing was handed to you. I appreciate it for what it was, but I was ready to get out of there. Where do you think that you’ve laid your roots now? It’s interesting because I’m in a place in my life where I’m not attached to any city or anything. I am in a place where I could pick up and move anywhere to be honest. I don’t know if I want to stay in one place right now though. I think I really have the edge to get out and explore life. I just don’t have the inspiration to go and be in one place. I want to go, go, go right now. Where do you go like mentally and physically to bring you peace when you’re constantly on the move? Recently my brother passed away.What brings me the most peace is probably living for him, not just sulking my day away. Being with my family too, because my parents are here right now. They came out to see me. I would say I find a lot of peace in being in the moment and being with the ones I love. I’m very, very present in my life now. It’s a blessing and a curse going through something like that, because it gives you a view on life you wish you always had—to be grateful for what you’re living through—but obviously the curse is losing someone you love. I’m trying to take away what I can positively. I also appreciate my therapist, my therapist helps. When you’ve been on the go have you been reading, watching, or listening to anything? Weirdly, I love to walk around and listen to Frank Sinatra. I know that sounds so odd. I really have been into listening to old music right now from the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. I’m not really listening to anything, I would say, modern right now. Book-wise, I would love to say yes, and there was a time in my life where I could say yes, but right now my mind is too wild to focus on just sitting. I’m not in that place yet. I would love to get there, but not yet. Do you have a favorite track? My favorite track, I would say that I have listened to over and over, is this Billy Joel song ‘Summer, Highland Falls’ but my favorite artist overall is Kid Cudi. In the complete opposite field. I think [Kid] Cudi is one of the artists nowadays that does stuff as an actual art and puts that into his music as well. Music back then you can argue with it, but they put actual art and value into what they were saying, and doing it wasn’t like just one word on repeat. You’ve been traveling a lot. Do you ever get inspired by the places that you’ve been to? The biggest inspiration in my life overall is my brother to be honest. I could go to so many places, but it doesn’t even matter where you go if you don’t appreciate it and you’re not in the right mental place to enjoy where you are. I’ve been to the most beautiful places in the world, and I’ve been depressed at the time, so it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where you are, in my opinion. For me, what inspires me more is not necessarily a city, but a feeling from my brother. I know that doesn’t really make sense. But it makes you appreciate it. Whether I’m in the smallest town, like my hometown, or I’m in the most beautiful city, like Paris, I can look at something and find inspiration from literally nothing. I can look at a person and be like, they’re lucky to be alive, lucky to be breathing. I can look at just trees and the ocean and be like, ‘Oh, I’m so lucky to be present in this moment.’ I can look at my family, or I can look at something successful in my career and be like, ‘Wow, this is really beautiful,’ and like slip into conversation and be like, ‘Wow, this conversation is so good,’ and get as much fulfillment from each of those things, versus just making my whole self worth defined on the success of this, success of that, or career. When do you feel the most invincible or maybe the most vulnerable? A lot of my life right now obviously ties to losing my brother. So when I feel the most, it’s the same answer for both. I feel the most invincible when I feel him with me because, to me, there are moments that I feel his spirit really strongly. I feel the most vulnerable when I haven’t felt him. So it kind of gets me down a spiral.
I would say that answer for both. Because it either gives me so much strength, or, in the moment, kind of gives me weakness.
You said something about the spirit of your brother, can you describe that feeling?
When I feel my brother, it’s usually when I’m talking about him. Sometimes it’s rare for me to just not and black it out. I can either go one way or another. It’s a guessing game. But when I do feel him, I’ve had an experience where my whole body has felt like if you were to drop off a rollercoaster, how in your stomach you get that feeling. I feel really warm and euphoric. I get a burst of serotonin unexplainably. There’s nothing that happened in the moment. I just felt it from my toes to the top of my head. So I know it’s him if I feel that feeling, which I felt many times after the most random moments, and it just doesn’t even make sense. So there are a lot of times, but if I were to describe it in one word: euphoric.
Do you have any projects in the works?
I never like to let myself get excited about anything until I literally see it in my hands and I’m like, ‘This happened.’ I’m doing a second launch, but I’m introducing a new set of items, which I’m very excited to expand from swim[wear]. I love it, because I get to design everything. I just signed with an agency out here, they are so great and i’m beyond excited to be working with them (Supreme Management) and I’ve never done the whole Europe thing. So I would say everything that I’m doing right now out here is really exciting. It’s all so new to me. I’m walking down the streets to a casting, and I’m like, ‘This is the best thing ever.’ Put me in that situation in LA and I’m like, ‘This sucks.’
You were talking about creativity earlier when discussing your swim line.
I find my creativity mainly from going back in the day, looking into vintage Versace and Gucci, and old photographers, seeing how they captured images. You learn the more you do, right? I’m learning from what I’ve done with the first drop now with the brand, and the second, etcetera. I really love the idea of not holding to one image and setting up multiple versions of how my brand could be perceived. I think a photographer I really really love right now is Hugo Comte. I just think that his whole imagery is very cool and undone. I’ve never seen anything like it.
I think the way I want to bring my brand to people is make it super relatable, but something exciting that they can look at and be like, ‘Oh, this is actual cool art.’ Like there’s actually an inspiration behind it. So that’s what we’re working on. It takes so much time. No one realizes how much time it takes to pick a fabric, pick a design. I didn’t even know until I started doing this. And I was like, ‘It takes how many months to just get one sample back?’ It was exciting.
What would you tell your younger self?
I would say, most importantly, that I’m enough. When you’re in this industry, you see all the beautiful things on social media and the final campaign images and X, Y, and Z. You don’t see, after a huge shoot, going home sobbing my eyes out, and like always trying to change who I was because I felt like I couldn’t fit a mold of who everyone wanted me to be. I think that’s what triggered my eating disorder and depression and anxiety. I think I would tell myself to hold on, that I’m enough, and to remain true to myself because I feel like that’s what I’ve always done, and I think I got lost and I tried to be someone I wasn’t. Just hold on tight, because boy is it a ride. Hold the fuck on.
What are your goals for the rest of this year and next year?
My goal for the rest of this year is to remain uncomfortable. And in a condensed version, I don’t want to live a life where I’m constantly able to predict what’s happening next. I’m the girl who’s such an introvert, I get stuck inside my bubble, in my routine, and I keep it going. I don’t really go outside of that. I have social anxiety. So I don’t pressure it, but I think to live life, you have to be uncomfortable, and you have to challenge yourself, and you have to put yourself in situations where you get the opportunity to grow. Continuing to put myself in situations to better my career, my friendships, my love life, my life, my parents. I think it’s uncomfortable in a good way.
Meredith Mickelson at Supreme Management Paris , Iconic Management Berlin , Monster Milan
Photographed by Andi Elloway
Styled by Luca Kingston at The Wall Group
Hair by Heather Weppler at Exclusive Artists using Kevin Murphy
Makeup by Julianne Kay at Exclusive Artists using Dior Forever Skin Glow
Location: TruFusion West Hollywood
Filmmaker: Karl Richter
Written by Julia Smith