Introducing our video series where we look inside the jewellery boxes of our favourite creatives. We sat down with Maxim Magnus, trans activist and model, to talk couture, the challenges of the runway, and the pieces she chooses every time.
Seen on catwalks all over the world, Maxim Magnus is a fashion force to be reckoned with. Digital director of Chaos Sixty Nine magazine, she’s also modelled for the likes of Gucci and other iconic fashion brands, while penning moving accounts of her identity for the likes of Vogue and Refinery29. Plus, did we mention we want to steal everything in her wardrobe?
With such a varied career, what’s her normal daily style? “I like to have fun with everything, but it really depends on my mood. I can be in a Juicy Couture tracksuit or a ballgown but there’s no in-between… I have no chill.” A pink tracksuit with rhinestones, now that’s taking us back to the early 00’s, an era Magnus is “obsessed” with. “I just like dressing up at night and going really quite extravagant. There’s always a leg, there’s always lots of skin.”
Harris Reed Labradorite Cocktail Ring
18ct Gold Plated, Pearl & Labradorite
Maxim loves diamonds, she tells us, which is pertinent considering she was born in Antwerp, the diamond capital of the world. While she may love the elevated styles of precious stones, which would usually lend themselves to a pared-back look, she’s no minimalist. “A lot of the times when you’re working, especially as a model you have to wear quite boring clothes… I’ll just layer lots of necklaces, all of my rings and some stackable bracelets. I like to brighten up my day with gold."
Glamour is key for this creative. Where does she get her style inspiration from? “I google everyone’s outfits. I have a whole file on my phone. On the daily, it’s definitely Bella Hadid.” We can see the resemblance – both have long, beautiful brown hair, are super stylish, and extremely successful models. But the world of runways wasn’t something Magnus initially foresaw in her future.
“Now I’m embracing not being your standard kind of model.”
– Maxim Magnus
“I was always a very confident person but… I didn’t love the way that I looked, so I never considered it to be an option. Then I did this shoot for a friend of mine, just as a favour… and my teachers saw it and said ‘We’ve arranged for you to see a modelling agency.’ I said ‘no, I don’t want to do that,’ and one of my teachers said ‘nope, you’re skipping school and I’m coming with you.’ It was very weird for me but now it’s a blessing.” It’s not been without its trials and tribulations, however. “My biggest challenge as a model has been accepting that I’m not like anyone else,” she says. “Now I’m embracing not being your standard kind of model.”
“Jewellery is something that keeps me grounded… especially because I have such sentimental pieces. When you’re in a hotel room and you’re by yourself, light a candle and make it feel familiar. Wear your jewellery, put on some heels.”
– Maxim Magnus
While raiding Maxim’s jewellery box, we can’t help but be curious whose she would rifle through given the chance? “I would love to raid my mom’s. She’s got some incredible things that she never wears, and I give her so much grief about it. Every time I go home, I raid it, and every time I come back with a new piece.”
From family heirlooms to the pieces that represent her many milestones, get to know Magnus in this episode of My Life in Jewellery.
“I feel naked without my rings, I can’t go anywhere without them. And they’re so much fun when you’re talking and they make noise. I like things that make noise, I like to be heard.”
– Maxim Magnus