"I was such a tomboy," says Cara Delevingne. "The first time I was a bridesmaid, to my auntie, I refused to go down the aisle without my football shorts on underneath my dress."
There is no secret to the model's popularity. Friends with Rihanna
, Rita Ora
, Annie Lennox's daughter Tali, the Kardashian-Jenner clan and the Jaggers, she is the successor to Kate Moss' crown.
Like the Croydon superbabe, Cara's success comes as much from her fun-loving personality as her astonishing looks. Over time, she has outgrown the tomboy style without losing her carefree spirit.
"Even if I'm exhausted, I always try to go into a show with a smile on my face," she says. "If I'm in a bad mood, people are going to act bad. The energy you give off is the energy you receive."
Known for her sharp, angular beauty and those covetable eyebrows, Cara Delevingne is one of the strikingly fresh new faces of Burberry, alongside Edie Campbell and Jourdan Dunn
. And together the trio have conquered the global fashion landscape.
According to Marc Jacobs
the blonde is "a silly goose". "She has great energy," says the designer. "She turned up to the Vuitton show wearing a zebra outfit from Madagascar, a onesie. She'd been traipsing round Paris all evening in it; you've got to love a girl like that."
Born in London on 12 August 1992, she is the granddaughter of Sir Jocelyn Stevens, publisher of Queen
magazine and a financier of the Sixties pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, on which the film the Boat that Rocked
was based. Her grandmother Janie was a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret.
Not surprisingly, the kooky Londoner and her older sisters Chloe and Poppy enjoyed a gilded lifestyle. Her godmother is Joan Collins, while another family friend, Sarah Doukas, has known her since she was five.
If the name is familiar that's because Sarah, the MD of London agency Storm Models, discovered Kate and helped launch Cara too. But connections alone can't explain her phenomenal rise.
The fashion world agrees with Vogue
's verdict that she has "a quietly captivating beauty". In 2012, the covergirl featured in shows in every major fashion capital in the world and was named model of the year at the British Fashion Awards.
She also starred in a series of luxurious campaigns from Chanel, lying on a golden chaise-longue in a series of Bo Peep-inspired frocks, and graced the covers of cutting edge style bibles i-D
But it was the March issue of Vogue
in 2013 that made sure her face was splashed across the world.
"I didn't really believe it at first," she says. "I think it's something that as a kid you look up to so much. It's one of the most shocking things that has ever happened to me.
"It doesn't really sink in until you actually see it, that cover, that actual magazine – Vogue
– it's so great. I'm running out of the shop with 20 copies in my hands, going: 'Oh my God, this is me! Oh my God!'"
Like fellow Burberry model Agyness Deyn
Cara Delevingne has also embraced acting, featuring in the 2012 film adaptation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina
as Princess Sorokina, alongside Keira Knightley