• adidas + UO: Simone Thompson

    The future is now. For our new + exclusive adidas campaign, we teamed up with 19 up-and-coming creative minds that our shaping our cultural landscape. Scroll on to go behind the scenes of our Fall 2016 campaign and meet the creatives who are working to #createourfuture. 

    Simone Thompson is a Los Angeles-based model dead set on breaking down boundaries. With an infectious energy and unmatched sense of self reliance, she's shaking things up. And that's the way she likes it. 
    Lead photo by Petra Collins

    Photo by Petra Collins

    Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do? 
    Simone Thompson, that’s my government name, @slickwoods. I’m on instagram. A little bit about what I do, I try to inspire other people as much as I can. Especially people where I'm from. Just be comfortable in their own skin. I used to be the ugly kid and now I'm getting paid for my teeth. So I'm Gucci.

    Why do you do it? 
    Man, honestly I do it because I didn't graduate high school. What else am I gonna do? I fell into this and I got lucky and I've been lucky my whole life. I've literally never worked hard a day in my life. I'm not even gonna lie. Like, I literally never have. And I've only survived to this point because of my luck. I used to be homeless and I used to just luck up, just be able to eat that day.

    Above photos by Petra Collins

    Is that overwhelming? 
    I've always had this feeling like I owed the world something but lately I'm trying to come to the point where I don't owe nobody anything. Because no one ever did anything for me. It was literally the luck of the Universe. My energy, my positive energy pulling things towards me. I'm on Law of Attraction. I just feel like I definitely did that for myself. When I was hungry, nobody fed me. I definitely just lucked up. I just do this to show people that luck is a real thing. It really is.

    What’s the first thing you can ever remember making? 
    I was like four or five and I started doing poetry and my elementary school published it. I was like a poet low-key. I was like, "I wanna be a poet".

    Photo by Petra Collins

    Do you remember what the poem was about? 
    It was called "The Flower" or something. No, it was called "The Pit" of something. It was about a flower though. At the time, when my mom got incarcerated I was used to writing and I just felt like that was my way of expressing myself a lot at the time. And I always wanted to be a poet and my grandma always wanted me to be a journalist and I ended up not doing either one. I was just like, "That's not my passion". This, modeling,  is definitely becoming my passion. It’s slowly evolving into my passion.

    So you don’t write anymore? 
    No. I don't write at all. The most I write now is daily planners so I don't forget stuff. 

    Who keeps you going? 
    My mother. She's getting out in 2020 and she wants to go to a Drake concert and that's what she's gonna do. And I hate Drake but... I mean, I don't hate Drake. I don't know Drake. I just don't like his music. It's not my taste. It's not my cup of tea. 

    My mom inspires me because no matter what her circumstances are, she always finds this way to just shed light. She always smiles, she's always happy. She just knows there's another day I think.

    What makes an image powerful?
    I think the emotions behind it. The intentions behind it. I feel like intentions are big, big things but at the same time, I have this feeling that intentions don't matter and it's all about actions. But in photography I feel like intentions are the most important thing. You can tell when someone's trying to look cool. You can tell if someone's uncomfortable. You can tell how you're feeling.

    Photo by Petra Collins

    Why are you the way you are?
    Man, I don't know bro. When a mommy and a daddy get together and they love each other very much, a young slick woods comes out. You do your thing or you do everybody else's thing instead of yours. You shouldn't be that person but a lot of people are.

    You do your own thing, right?
    Yeah. Definitely. All day. Sometimes I do my own thing just to make other people uncomfortable. I feel like I'm the way I am though because I've been by myself for so long. It's not something that was formed by the world. Literally everything I see and what I've done, I chose what right from wrong was. I never had nobody telling me that I couldn't do something or I could do something or do your homework or not do your homework. Nobody cared so it was just my decisions. I never did my homework and that's how I didn't graduate and I just knew I could what I wanted to do without doing it the way that people told me I had to do it.

    It feels weird to say that but I always felt like I had something to share with the world. I've always felt like that. Not like I'm special or anything. I feel like everybody has something to share with the world but everything is timing and this was my time to share what I had to share. That's real. 

    Photo by Petra Collins

    What was the happiest moment of your life? 
    I don't know. I might have. I just have a really bad memory. The first time I got my own little spot. I had roommates and I was just living the way I wanted to live and had the freedom to have my homies over. Do whatever I wanted. I had free time. I was out of school and I had decisions and options and it was scary and I was kind of excited. You just didn't know where your life was going to be. You might be sitting on the couch every day, you might not be. L.A.'s like that though. You just end up not doing anything.

    If you could talk to everyone in the world at once, what would you say? 
    I would say everybody that ever has known me in my life has probably doubted me and y'all listening to me right now. So, what does that say? I don't have to say too much. Who knows why y'all wasn't listening before but it's all about timing. 

    How does your work transcend boundaries? 
    I think that's all my work does at this point. I'm a shaved head, I'm black, I'm a girl, but I don't act like one and I don't have boundaries on anything I do. There would be no boundaries for me because I don't do anything in the boundaries. I feel like boundaries are made for a guy with a button up shirt behind a desk and I'm not that guy.

    Photo by Petra Collins

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