Ellis Ross has an artist’s eye, as evidenced by her boundary-pushing outfits that dominate the front row at Haute Couture Fashion Week and by her love for the Pantone Studio app—the reason she is animatedly holding her phone out for me on this sunny rooftop. You hover your camera over something like, say, a marble table top, she explains, and it identifies its exact shade. That’s how she ended up with the killer off-white polish she’s wearing on her nails right now. This would ordinarily be a mundane demonstration (most women would just request a nude nail from a manicurist and move on with their lives), but Ellis Ross seems unable to do banal. And she’s fun: a jokester with an infectious laugh that instantaneously transmits joy and mischief. Her magnetism comes easily—her mother is Diana Ross, as charismatic a scene-stealer as ever there was.
You were like a creative director on-set today, pushing for the looks and images you wanted to see. It was impressive. “I’m a very visual person. I worked as a fashion editor [at Mirabella], and I’m inspired by art and proportion. I’ve always had a strong point of view, and I’m really specific. I’ve truly been this pain in the ass since a very young age.” [Laughs]
How would you describe your style? “I genuinely lean toward what makes my heart sing. It changes every day. Sometimes I’m one person; sometimes I’m another. But I know—I know when a script is for me, when an outfit is for me. When I get dressed, sometimes I say ‘That’s it! Okay, that’s right!’ out loud.”
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