Call her Dree Hemingway—not "Ernest Hemingway's great-granddaughter," not "Mariel Hemingway's daughter," not "Margaux Hemingway's niece." The 28-year-old model stands tall (five feet, nine inches, to be exact) on her own in Hollywood, and if anything, the famous last name has only made things more difficult. As Hemingway (we're talking Dree here) told The Associated Press, "[The name] gets you in there, but once you do, you've got to f---ing prove yourself. The modelling, I think it's different because they don't give a f---, it's harder to get in there with a name already, and I think I had to prove myself, and it didn't matter who I was." Knowing this, I didn't dare mention her famous relatives during our chat at The Baccarat Hotel in Manhattan last month.
Walking into the gorgeous suite where I was meeting Dree was like something out of a dream. The décor is exquisite, and tiny bottles of Chloé Fleur de Parfum ($130)—the perfume Dree is the face of—are artfully presented throughout. I make my way to the bedroom, where Dree is bent over a bed checking out some Polaroids she's just taken. I greet her and am met with a beaming smile. I take a peek at the pictures myself and am pleasantly surprised to see a variation of silly faces within each white border. Instantly, without formally speaking to the model, I gather that she's a total free spirit (her '70s-inspired garb—leather pants included—septum nose ring, and practically makeup-free face allude to the same).
So while I steered clear of her relatives during our one-on-one time, I was surprised to learn that one of questions the model hates most doesn't have to do with her last name.
"What's your routine in the morning? I don't really know. I mean, how do you make brushing your teeth and washing your face sound interesting? Doesn't everybody do that? Unless you're gross? I don't really do anything out of the ordinary—I'm very by-the-book—I do very much like to be constantly hydrated on my skin, but I don't do any special treatments," she tells me. But looking at her glowing skin, I knew she was hiding some sort of secret, so I pressed further. In a word: "moisturisation."
"I'll do a facial mask—I've gotten into the idea of doing a moisturising facial mask three times a week. I go to Ling Skincare, and they have an amazing oxygen mask that I put on first, and then I put a moisture enzyme mask on over that's like a clear gel, but it dries and peels off—it's quite fun. I sleep in it."
Dree may be serious about her skincare, but when I ask her what we'd find in her medicine cabinet, the contents reflect her silly nature. "You would find an array of moisturisers, you would find a lot of different toothpastes…"
I stopped her there. "Why's that?"
Completely unphased by the question, she answers, "I don't know, I just like toothpaste—I like different flavors of toothpaste; you know, mix it up [laughs]. I have different bronzers—I'm very touch-and-go with makeup. Sometimes I'll love a color and then I'll hate it the next day, so it's like an exploration on my face. But I feel like my hormones dictate a lot of that."
I thought our toothpaste chat would end there (I mean, why wouldn't it?), but I was wrong. "I will also put toothpaste on my pimples because I have an array of toothpastes [laughs]. Most of them are all-natural, so it works for my teeth and my pimples! I have had it burn off my face once. It was satisfying for me but not satisfying for the makeup artist. It wasn't bulbous anymore, but it was red, and drying, and gross."
Given that she's a model who boasts a lean, lithe frame, I had to know what her fitness routine was comprised of. Unsurprisingly, it matches her care-free personality—nothing too intense, nothing too regimented—a girl after my own heart.
"I like yoga and stretching, and I really like hiking. I like anything that you can kind of do outside, but I like Pilates because I was a ballet dancer for years. And I do Ballet Beautiful as well. I think low-intensity but good toning exercises are good. I try running—I'm horrible. I feel like if the world depended on me running a mile and saving the world… No, I can run a mile. Not well. I was hiking and running sprints and stuff like that uphill in Los Angeles and I sprained my ankle years ago, and now they're hurting again and now I'm kind of like, I can't. Maybe it's a sign that I'm just not meant to be running."
It becomes more and more evident that talking with Dree is like talking with a friend. We're laughing, we're sharing our hatred of running. She's so down-to-earth and grounded that I ask her what makes her feel confident and beautiful, because, man, does she exude confidence and beauty.
"Laugh. If I don't take myself too seriously—the minute I find myself staring in the mirror too much, I need to walk away, because I think your face starts morphing into something else if you stare for too long. As long as I've slept—I think a lot of sleep is good and just keeping positive people who don't drain you around you."
As if it wasn't apparent that Dree keeps pretty zen, she tells me her mind-clearing tips that attribute to her magnetic personality. "When I need to clear my mind, I listen to a lot of Radiohead, Sigur Rós, a lot of Bon Iver. I also have been revisiting my past, and it’s only because I was doing this movie where at the end of it—we were doing only night shoots, so we'd shoot from like 6 p.m. until 9 a.m. every day, and I revisited a lot of Blink-182 and some more punky sh*t. I quite like it. I'm back into that right now."
As our chat nears its end, Dree is in a playful and giggly mood, cementing my previous inclination that I was sitting with a friend rather than a famous model. And much like her medicine cabinet, I didn't think the contents of her fridge would have us laughing, but alas.
"I love hummus. I love mustard—I'm a very big condiment person, mostly in the mustard department." It's here that her friend, who's been sitting in on the conversation, begins laughing, and Dree interjects playfully, "Stop laughing at me!" She continues, still giggling, "I love hot sauce. I normally have carrots and cucumbers and celery, which will go into all of those things. I have a lot of waters. I love kombucha. I have probiotics. I love pink lady apples. What else? A lot of veggies, fruits, and things like that. I like oatmeal in the morning."
Our conversation comes to a close, and Dree and I stand up to hug goodbye. What I didn't expect, however, was the tight bear hug that followed. It's official: Dree is the ultimate cool-girl model.