By SAMANTHA CRITCHELL
NEW YORK — It’s easy to know when you are an It Girl, says British model/TV host/girl about town Alexa Chung: Photographers snap at you on the street, designers throw clothes at you and party invitations flow faster than champagne. She’s not quite sure, though, how to become one, or even what It is.
“It sort of applies to anyone young, having fun and wearing clothes,” she said in a recent interview.
She added, “I didn’t pursue that title. It’s not a career must for me. When I was a teenager, I didn’t grow up and say, ‘I’m going to be an It Girl. … I didn’t have a famous father or I wasn’t being supported by a huge trust fund, so all the things I associate with that title weren’t at my disposal.”
But when she was signed as a model as a teenager, the now 30-year-old started down that path. She traces her journey to her place behind the velvet ropes in the new book “It” (Penguin Books), which isn’t quite an autobiography but not a how-to book, either. She muses about things such as Annie Hall’s style, Jeremy Iron’s floppy hair, a fascination with rock star girlfriends, and underwear, “the last thing I upgraded when my wardrobe began to flourish.”
She lists Julie Christie, Mia Farrow, Snow White and Winona Ryder in “Heathers” as people with good hair; and “everyone in the years 1980-89” as people with bad hair.
In person, Chung comes across as candid and approachable — she acknowledges she’s challenged by money management, for example — but also confident. In her spare time, you’ll find her at the karaoke bar, probably singing Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.”
She’s got a gritty deep voice that goes with her slightly shaggy hair, dark eyeliner and heavy mascara. Vogue magazine has described her as “preppy hipster-meets-London scenester.”