A Glimpse into the Life of Hawai‘i-Born, International Fashion Model Keke Lindgard

This local-born beauty is dominating high-fashion runways.




Everyone knows Hawai‘i is the place to go for natural beauty—and we’re not talking about the sunsets (although we love those, too). It’s no secret that our Island dwellers are easy on the eyes, and Hawai‘i-born model-of-the-moment Keke Lindgard, 20, is no exception.


Lindgard’s charming gap-tooth pout, gorgeous blond locks and legs that go on (and on and on and on … ) have made the fashion world stop and stare. She’s walked in campaigns for bigwigs including Gucci, Ralph Lauren and DKNY; appeared in editorials for French Elle and Marie Claire Italia; and will be hitting the runway at HONOLULU Fashion Week.


We caught up with this fine figure of a gal to get her thoughts on success, beauty and fashion, and what she’s expecting at the 2014 HONOLULU Fashion Week festivities.


Can you tell us about your connection to the Aloha State?

Born and raised in Hawai‘i, I have more than a connection with the Islands—it’s a spiritual and soulful obsession that draw my heart and body back every time. Leaving at a young age taught me to appreciate Hawai‘i and the people in it, and traveling to different parts of the world brought out the beauty and spiritual lure the Islands have to offer. In other words: Home is where the heart is.


Tell us about your rise to fame.

I was discovered at the age of 14. As soon as I turned 15, I was on a plane and ready to take on the fashion world! In New York, I started booking shows such as Rag and Bone, DKNY and Ralph Lauren. With my success, I moved into the Europe market and participated in the Paris, Milan and London Fashion Week shows, walking in Prada, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermès, and Dolce & Gabbana. Since then I have walked in five different seasons of Fashion Week and have shot countless campaigns. I have been blessed with a successful career and have met many of my goals with hard work and dedication—not only from myself, but my team and family.


What is some advice you have for a young Hawai‘i model starting out?

Be confident—but don’t be a diva. There is a lot of pressure and strain to look perfect and be perfect all the time, but you will never be perfect in everyone’s eyes. Once you establish self-confidence and self-respect, it will show, and other people will see your poise and respect your being. It’s not easy, and it took me a long time to realize myself, but the most important person you need to please is you. At the same time, remember that everyone in the industry is working hard and trying to make it, and that with true self-respect comes a humble state of mind. Having manners and respecting those around you is important.


What are some values you make sure to remember as you go through the day?

I try to treat everyone the same. I don’t suck up to the big boss and then talk down to the guy setting up the lighting—I remain kind and courteous to everyone around me. It’s important to build a relationship with everyone on the job, so the first thing I do when I get on set is introduce myself to everyone there. Saying “good morning” can go a long way.


What’s your favorite part about your job?

Looking around at the end of the day and seeing a smile on everyone’s face and a beautiful product we all worked together to achieve is a great feeling. I also love the traveling aspect in this frame of work. I have been to some of the most beautiful places and met the most beautiful people, all while working toward an artistic end product.


What are you looking forward to at HONOLULU Fashion Week?

HONOLULU Fashion Week will bring a new eye to the Islands and show the rest of the world what Hawai‘i is capable of. People don’t think of fashion when they think of Hawai‘i, and we have to make it known that there is fashion here and it is just as good as European brands! Hopefully, HONOLULU Fashion Week will bring awareness to the industry and show the world what we have to offer. I can’t wait!


Any awesome anecdotes from your time abroad as a model?

Throughout my time in Milan I was provided with a driver, Igor. He was very sturdy and soft-spoken, never smiled and was extremely serious. He couldn’t crack a smile if you paid him, but we (me, my mom and agent) managed to crack him! By the end of the trip he cried at the airport while saying goodbye. It was such a fun experience and I will never forget some of the fun times we had.