We went behind-the-scenes at the Barneys exclusive Rag & Bone shoot (featuring model Britt Maren and her chef boyfriend Derek Orell) to talk with the beautiful couple.
Ms. Maren has secured her spot on designer runways, walking for the likes of Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Lanvin and Balmain; and you can’t flip through an issue of Vogue without seeing her captivating blond coif. Not to be outdone by his other half, Mr. Orell is equally impressive, serving up delectable British dishes and delighting the taste buds of foodies and critics alike at his Lower East Side restaurant The Fat Radish.
Houston-native Maren and ex-model chef Orrell have been together for over three and a half years, and were more than happy to offer us a glimpse into their relationship. After chatting for a few minutes, we put down our pens and let them take it away. Below, we recap the intimate interview.
Us To Them
Barneys New York: What was it like working together on set at the Rag & Bone campaign for Barneys?
Britt Maren: It was really fun to shoot together! We never got the chance when Derek still modeled, so I was glad we got to now. The pictures will be cool to keep and look at in the future.
BNY: So what’s it really like having a chef as a boyfriend? Does Derek ever try to sweeten you up with a home-cooked meal after a big fight?
BM: Haha! Well, he cooks for me whenever I want (if he isn’t busy working), so I’m a pretty lucky girl.
Derek to Britt
Derek Orell: What runway show or industry moment do you think jump-started your modeling success?
BM: Opening Alexander Wang’s show was a huge career highlight for me. It was such a great experience that I will always cherish.
BM: My personal style is comfortable but chic. I like things that are easy, and comfort is always important to me. For summer, I love flowy dresses and skirts.
DO: Your hair is always a topic of conversation. Did you trust Guido Palau when he decided to chop and bleach your lustrous locks backstage at Balenciaga?
BM: Guido has an incredible vision, so I was super excited that he made the change on me.
DO: What designer (living or dead) would you love to walk the runway for?
BM: It would have been amazing to walk in an Alexander McQueen show. He was a rare genius.
DO: Out of every item of clothing you’ve ever modeled, what piece do you wish you could have taken home?
BM: That’s a hard one; I’ve gotten to wear some pretty amazing pieces. I shot a story for W magazine with Paolo Roversi and Alex White. There were some pretty incredible headpieces and beautiful gowns.
DO: How long does it take you to get ready when we hit the town?
BM: It definitely doesn’t take me too long to get ready. I rarely wear makeup, just mascara if anything. Sometimes picking an outfit can take a bit longer. Choosing an item off a menu? Now that’s another story…
Britt to Derek
BM: So, are you going to give up your day job for a full-time modeling gig now?
DO: It is definitely tempting; but I’ve done that in the past, and I really love what I’m doing now.
BM: How would you describe your personal style?
DO: My style is pretty easy and laid-back. I wear a lot of t-shirts in the kitchen, although it is nice to get dressed up in a suit now and then too.
DO: The monkfish vindaloo and curry are two dishes I came up with for our menu, and they are really delicious. I’m just glad so many people enjoy them as much as I do.
BM: When do I look my best: all gussied-up or dressed down?
DO: Either way is fine by me!
BM: What menswear trend do you wish would make a comeback?
DO: 1920s “gangster” three-piece suits.
- Kim Anderson
Photos courtesy of Rag & Bone