Unvarnished Beauty: Mimi’s Camilla Deterre Is Comfortable in Her Own Skin


“I’m not trying to make a statement,” says interior designer, restaurant co-owner, actress, and model Camilla Deterre. “I just don’t need to fill a role or feel like I have to give in to the notion that I need to change who I am in order to please or attract.”

The 25-year-old, who is also in the process of establishing an eco-friendly homewares brand, “never” wears makeup. She also refuses to project a “perfect, ideal self” on Instagram, unlike many of her contemporaries, because, she says, true style is about embracing your flaws — not spackling them over.

“I don’t like my ears. I think they stick out. My teeth are weird. I have under-eye circles. I feel like I have a lot going on — too much character,” laughs Deterre, whose restaurant, Mimi, opened on Sullivan Street last year. “Sometimes I think, ‘Oh, if only I just had a bit more of a button nose’…. But the notion of the selfie has to be true to who you are, not edited. It’s nice to be your true self. I certainly appreciate people who are theirs.”

This all-natural attitude toward beauty has earned Deterre high-profile campaigns for labels like Gap, Free People, Opening Ceremony, and, most recently, jewelry designer Sophie Buhai.

Though she admits to sometimes feeling a need to “look a little more put together,” ultimately, for Deterre, makeup isn’t the solution. It’s just an “additional thing” on her face — something that is hard to apply correctly and might smear or rub off. “I’d rather just not deal with it,” she says.

Born in New York (she grew up at the corner of Spring and Broadway), Deterre blames society’s obsession with style icons for a wider lack of self-acceptance. “I think everyone knows what they like to a certain degree, but in this oversaturated world it’s easy to be like, ‘Oh, but so-and-so likes that, so do I like it also?’ Trend is a crazy thing that has gotten out of control with social media. If people just realize that trends don’t matter, and style is just being confident and comfortable, then you win.”

[This is part of the spring 2016 edition of Sheer, a quarterly style supplement by the Village Voice devoted to exploring and sharing the most dynamic elements of New York City’s fashion and design worlds, from the iconic to the as yet undiscovered. Check out the rest of Sheer’s featured stories here.]