L.A.-based illustrator, model, and bonafide style star Langley Fox Hemingway is quite simply, dripping with fashion cool. Given her family tree, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: She’s the great-granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway (yes, that Ernest Hemingway), daughter of actress Mariel Heminway, and sister to model and It-girl Dree Hemingway.
Whether Langley’s in jeans, a T-shirt, and a statement hat or a gown with a scarf expertly wrapped around her neck, she always manages to stand out from her fellow cool girls with a noticeably effortless sense of style. Which must be why the fashion world is clamoring to work with her.
Over the past few years she’s created a series of animated portraits for Alice + Olivia, worked on a collection of sketches for Louis Vuitton, and starred in a Salvatore Ferragamo ad campaign alongside her mother. Her latest project? A limited-edition collaboration with Forever 21 that includes graphic tees, a tote, and a small zip pouch on which she did all the art. “The inspiration for the illustrations was pulled from a sense of adventure within nature, depicted through a female muse,” Hemingway told us of her creative jumping-off point.
Hemingway has always marched to the beat of her drum, style wise. In middle school, just outside of Los Angeles, her preferred wardrobe staples were mismatched striped socks, a khaki skirt stolen from her sister, and a Superman cape. High school brought out her punk side–shrunken vintage Ramones T-shirts and Converse sneakers.
“I’ve grown up using the term ‘weird’ as unique, so to me, weird was a good thing,” Heminway told us of always being the one to stand out, fashion wise, in her family. “I think I just kind of did whatever I wanted that no one else I saw was doing, like dying my hair at seven, wearing punk zipper pants, and putting my hair into ‘pom-poms’ with ribbons everywhere. As I got older, that matured into whatever I have going on now.”
As for what she’s got going on now, that’d the perfect style hybrid of a L.A. hipster meets world traveler with a serious knack for finding cool and unusual pieces–think maxi skirts and dicker boots, or T-shirts tucked into high-waisted jeans, all paired with one of Hemingway’s signature wide-brim hats.
“I hate analyzing my style,” Hemingway shared. “I think I am who I am and I like to dress up or play different characters within clothes from one day to the next. It’s not a conscious choice but more a feeling and a way of expressing whatever’s going on inside.”
While Hemingway might not enjoy defining her style in absolute terms, there are quite a few tricks she’s perfected: Breathe new life into a long fancy dress by pairing it with sneakers, for instance. Don’t overthink great style–sometimes all you need is a pair of cutoffs, a t-shirt, and some cool silver bracelets on a warm summer day. And a wide-brim fedora really will make any outfit in your closet that much more cool.
As far as Hemingway’s must-haves at the moment: “I think my constants are jewelry and hats,” she said. “I also love a neck band.”
For those worried that Hemingway is letting her new “it” girl status go to her head, don’t be—she definitely has a sense of humor about all the attention on her personal style. “I’m not sure the label of being “it” will change any decision I ever make. What is ‘it’ anyway?”
Langley Fox Hemingway’s limited-edition seven-piece collection for Forever 21 is available now.