Taylor Hill has always been a relatable celebrity. Well, as relatable as any supermodel can be. When we talked to her about her latest Ralph Lauren fragrance campaign for Romance, we caught a glimpse of the super normal life she loves to lead. Sure, she wears Victoria Secret Angel wings and walks some of the top runways in the world. But after her long day of shoots and fittings, she likes to go home and watch TV with her boyfriend while cuddling up to her labradoodle puppy, Tate.
On January 8, Stylish spoke with the 22-year-old about what it was like filming a commercial with her real life boyfriend, Michael Stephen Shank, who was not only present but chimed in from time to time — even finishing her sentences. Ah true love. See what the brunette beauty had to say about Romance — the fragrance and it IRL.
Stylish: So how did you get involved in the campaign? Tell me about how you got to do this with your boyfriend?
Taylor Hill: I mean it’s actually really awesome. As a model, Ralph Lauren has been a goal of mine that I’ve really wanted to work with for more than just the fashion show. So when they called us about doing the campaign for Romance, I was like, “Oh my god, of course, amazing!” I think it actually came about because they were telling me that they did a study with young women and the way women saw romance wasn’t a white horse, flowy dress and the fairytale of it all. It was a more relatable yet aspirational lifestyle of modern love that they want to connect to, which I actually agree with. As a young woman that’s something that I think of as well, where it’s like, “Oh, that’s not real.” You want to see someone that you connect with. I think that’s where the idea came about. We’ve been together for awhile and have a life together; we’re pretty low key, chill people and love Ralph. It’s just another chapter in our story together.
Stylish: How was it filming? Was it awkward or amazing?
TH: It was actually really amazing. I do shoots even with friends of mine that are models and female and sometimes it can be a bit strange, because you don’t really know each other and you’re kind of getting to know one another. So in the end you just have to not care and get out there and wing it. But since we know each other and we live together and we were just doing this together, it was like, drum roll.
Stylish: And is that your apartment?
TH: No. It was a rented apartment. It was similar to our lifestyle, but it wasn’t that close to home. They did incorporate a lot of things though. We had a lot of visual meetings about who we are as a couple. A lot of the scenes in the film came from who we are and what we like to do. It’s not just some big, unrealistic idea. They cook together, they watch TV together, they listen to music. Just like normal things that we do as a couple.
Stylish: Not you floating in the clouds and him catching you and twirling you around in anti-gravity.
TH: Exactly. It was definitely a nice mix of both. It was a little bit of sparkle and real. The way that we filmed it too felt real. We tried to maintain a story line, starting from the beginning, going through phases and then an ending. We didn’t want it to seem like a bunch of things clipped together. We’ve been together for about four years now, so we were like shouldn’t it feel like a passage of time if you really get to know us in those couple of seconds?
Stylish: And you were maybe two-years-old when this fragrance came out? How is it a part of your life? What are your memories of the scent?
TH: Oh yeah, I remember the commercials. I remember the big house and the white horse and the girl. When I was young I loved it. It was a different time and it was so cool. When they were doing that it that it was different from what was happening then. So I feel like Ralph Lauren is always open to evolving with what we women want or what we believe is romance in current times. But still keeping it to lighthearted.
Stylish: What are the scents and notes that you really like?
TH: I really like that it’s super light. One of my favorite things about it is actually the bottle design, because it’s so simple. It’s classic Ralph. It’s just so understated which is the essence of the fragrance itself. It’s light, kind of sweet, it go either way. He could wear it (pointing to boyfriend, Michael Stephen Shank).
Michael Stephen Shank: Yeah. I could wear it.
TH: He could do a little spritz, walk through it and he’s good to go. And I love that, because I don’t particularly love a fragrance that’s too sweet, so it’s good that it’s got a nice balance of both.
Stylish: Does this scent sort of remind you guys of each other now because it’s such a big part of your life?
MSS: It’s like a staple now.
TH: Yeah. We smell it and we think of the four days that we filmed it together, because it was very present in those four days. And that’s the cool thing about scents, that they really actually trigger memories. When you smell something…
MSS: People link their memories to that.
Stylish: So how was Tate at shooting?
TH: He’s the best. He’s so chill and well behaved. He’s like a little human being. Everybody on the set thought that he was a dog for hire. I was kissing him and they were like, “oh wow. You’re really up close and personal with that dog.” I was like, “Yeah, it’s my dog.”
Stylish: How was it seeing your ad and being the face of a fragrance?
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TH: Oh my god. We saw it and I cried. Honestly, I cried because it is such a dream working with this brand in this way. From meeting Ralph at 17 for the first time ever and doing the casting and walking in my first show. Now I’ve walked in every single Ralph Lauren show since then. My closet already looked like Ralph Lauren. The brand is basically me in a nutshell. I walk onto Ralph Lauren sets and people think the outfit I came in was another outfit to keep shooting. I was like, “No, I’m going home. This is my outfit.” And they were like, “Woah. You actually do live it.” I’m not even kidding. It’s kind of weird.
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