Daisy Lowe: ‘I’m Ready To Take On Anything’

Daisy Lowe on the family crisis that changed her outlook, rejecting her ‘curvy model’ label and finding love with new boyfriend Darius…

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by Louise Gannon |
Published on

In the past eighteen months Daisy Lowe has undergone a transformation. At 27, she has faced the greatest heartbreak of her life, gained and lost 21 pounds and made a vow that she is going to stop playing it safe and start embracing the moment.

‘I’ve completely changed,’ she announces during our chat following Grazia’s live shoot. ‘I used to be such a Saffy [the super sensible daughter in Ab Fab.] I worried about a lot of things. Even in my early twenties all I wanted was to wanted to settle down and have a family but now it’s time to get out there, follow my dreams, have some fun and really make the most of my life.’

Those who imagine this decision has been made as the result of a relationship imploding (she recently split from Thomas Cohen, the widow of her close friend Peaches Geldof who she dated for six months) would be wrong.

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©Andrew Woffinden

As a model and actress with Va Va Voom curves that have launched a dozen underwear campaigns (along with a sizable catwalk and editorial portfolio) Daisy – the daughter of rock royalty Pearl Lowe and Gavin Rossdale – is often portrayed as a girl about town. Former high profile partners have included Mark Ronson, Matt Smith and the model Will Cameron.

But Daisy insists that in reality, her world has only ever revolved around her family. She speaks to her fashion designer mother, Pearl, every day; considers her step-father, the musician Danny Goffey, one of her greatest influences and knows every detail of her three younger siblings daily routines down to the eating habits of the pet dog.

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©Andrew Woffinden

Her upbringing was not conventional. Up until her early teens, her mother struggled with a serious drug problem (she has now been clean for almost thirteen years) and Daisy often found herself playing the little adult. When Pearl decided she needed to leave the North London home that was party central to the likes of Kate Moss and Jude Law in order to focus on her recovery, Pearl’s parents – Edgar and Leila Davies - stepped in to look after Daisy who was in the midst of her GCSEs. ‘My grandparents had always helped look after me, they were always there’, she says.

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©Andrew Woffinden

So when Edgar was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago, Daisy’s world came crashing down. ‘My bubble burst,’ she says. ‘My granddad – Gramps - was like my superhero and all of a sudden I had to face his mortality, the idea that he may not be around.

‘I couldn’t cope without him. There was no decision that I wasn’t going to spend every moment I could with him and my family. I just stopped working. I’d take him for hospital visits, I’d go to chemo with him, sit with him, cook for him.

‘I didn’t really go out. Nothing had any meaning except being with him and my family. My mum was in pieces. Our family may not be conventional but we are incredibly close. The only place I wanted to be was right by him, watching over him.’

Touchingly she explains how Edgar’s illness led her to gain weight. She smiles: ‘Our nickname for Gramps was The Dustbin because ever since I was a kid, if anyone left anything on their plate he’d finish it. But because of the cancer, all his tastes changed and he lost his appetite and stopped eating.

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©Andrew Woffinden

‘I don’t know quite what was going on with me but I just took that place. I ate all the time and I’d eat anything anyone left. I became the Dustbin. I only wore track suit bottoms and I gained 21 lbs. I didn’t care. I didn’t give a monkeys what I looked like, if you think you are going to lose someone who has been the centre of your world forever you completely change all your priorities. It was like I was eating for him, willing him to get well.’

Two years on, Edgar – against the odds – has recovered. Daisy has also lost most of the weight she gained. ‘Once he was through the worst of it, I realised I needed to keep my energy up in order to raise his energy. I wanted to be really positive. I’m so lucky I have great people around me like Nick Grimshaw and Johan Pontzer (the artist) who’d come with me to hospital, make us laugh, make him laugh and just try and keep really good energy around us.’

She employed the trainer Belinda Scriven to get her body back in shape. ‘I wasn’t obsessed. I just wanted to get back to what I was. I was lucky in that I put weight on in a fairly proportionate way but my boobs were enormous and my legs were massive. I know how to dress and on one of the few occasions I went out I went to The Brits wearing a Tuxedo and a bustier which had my boobs spilling over them so it completely distracted anyone from noticing anything else.

‘I’ve been eating reasonably sensibly but not going mad. I’m happy with my body. I’ve been through something that has just made me incredibly grateful to be alive and now the worst is over I just want to really go for life.’

Daisy is great company. She’s smart, she’s open (except she doesn’t like to discuss her private life ‘I’ve learnt from my mistakes and it’s also other peoples’ privacy too – although she does admit to currently dating the actor Darius Danash. ‘No. I’m not single and yes he’s a lovely guy.’) She’s also forthright and opinionated on the subject of women’s bodies.

Having modelled since the age of 15, Daisy has always been considered a ‘large’ model as she cannot fit into sample size six clothes.

‘Oh God,’ she says. ‘I hate those labels. I think the labels ‘Plus Size’ and ‘Curvy’ should be banned. You don’t say ’White model’ or Skinny model’. Why should ‘Plus Size models have a label. They all sell clothes, that’s the job.

‘I’m definitely a feminist. I think women should be happy with their bodies. When I was 19 and I split up from my first boyfriend (the model Will Cameron) I was so devastated I lost two stone.

‘I was 8 and a half stone and I went from a D-cup to an A cup and my legs were like sticks. I worked non-stop that year but I didn’t like it. I didn’t feel like myself. I’m meant to have curves.’

Her plans include more modelling, and more acting (she appears in Tulip Fever and the Ab Fab movie this year) – as well as ‘more travelling and seeing more of the world.’

I remind daisy that almost a decade ago, she told me her aim was to settle down with children. She roars with laughter. ‘I think things have shifted so much. I felt really responsible when I was young and there was quite a bit of role reversal with my mum and I when I was younger.

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©Andrew Woffinden

‘But then when she moved to the country and changed her life, I slowly started to lose that feeling and the roles changed again. Now I feel like I actually already have the most amazing family and there’s no rush. I want a few years just trying out all the things I want to do.’

Having just watched her on set, dancing around to Beyonce in a variety of body con outfits, it’s hard not to be in awe of Daisy’s body confidence. Does she feel as fearless as she looks? She shakes her head and says, ‘I’m told by designers I have a sexy body and I accept that but I never actually feel sexy. I’m far to clumsy to be properly sexy. I’m always falling over which is hardly a good look.

‘I used to dress sexily but that’s another thing that’s changed and I’m trying to be a bit more of a lady now. I’m loving the way Katherine Hepburn dressed and the way Julianne Moore dresses.

‘I love those beautiful classic styles, my favourite designers are Saint Laurent, Christopher Kane, Frame and Paige Denim. I think ladylike is very sexy.’

She looks incredibly happy too. ‘I am,’ she says. ‘When you think you are going to lose someone but you don’t then it makes you feel completely blessed and ready to take on anything. And I am.’

Take a look back at Daisy's best fashion moments in the gallery below:

Gallery

Daisy Lowe Style File

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

The model mastered grown-up glamour at the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition 2016 in a white gown.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

Daisy opted for a dance-ready ensemble at the red carpet launch of Strictly Come Dancing 2016, teaming her glittering sheer dress with gold heels.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

At the House of Dior cocktail party in London, Daisy gave her '40s-inspired dress a modern update with metallic accessories.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

Daisy mastered relaxed tailoring on the Antonio Berardi front row at London Fashion Week S/S '16.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

We love that Daisy chose a more natural beauty look to complement her floral Stella McCartney jumpsuit at the designer's Green Carpet Collection launch.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

The model was a vision in red velvet at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2015.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

At the Cash & Rocket Gala Dinner, Daisy chose a feminine white gown and half-up half-down hairstyle.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

One of our favourite Daisy Lowe ensembles – the model chose this Jenny Packham trouser look for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition preview party in 2014.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

Daisy made a statement in this stunning hot pink dress with red accents at the Sushi Samba First Anniversary Party in London.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

The model stole the spotlight at the 2010 British Fashion Awards in this elegant black lace gown. Matching accessories and bare-faced beauty completed the look.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

Daisy brought sex appeal to the Sex and the City 2 premiere in London, styling her form-fitting emerald gown with red lips and a Vivienne Westwood necklace.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

Daisy was ravishing in a strapless black gown at the Brit Awards 2015. She completed the look with those famous red lips and glossy bangs.

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CREDIT: Getty Images

daisy lowe style red carpet

During Ad Week 2016, Daisy added a rock'n'roll edge to her elegant red and white ensemble with a classic biker jacket.

READ MORE: WATCH: Behind The Scenes With Daisy Lowe For Grazia's Front Cover

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