Model Slick Woods gets around town. In three years of modeling, Woods -- born Simone Thompson -- is known as a model with something to say. She's family in Rihanna's Fenty girl gang and the face of Fenty Beauty, Fenty x Puma and Savage x Fenty. Along the way she picked up contracts with Kanye West, Marc Jacobs and Jeremy Scott.
Now at 21, Woods has been crowned a "cultural visionary" by Mercedes-Benz, joining musician Solange Knowles; Opening Ceremony founders Carol Lim and Humberto Leon; artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist; Hypebeast founder Kevin Ma; and art curator Kimberly Drew in its #WeWonder campaign. The experience is "dope", Woods tells British Vogue.
Each "visionary" was charged with bringing a theme to the table, and Woods chose “youth” because, she says, “I know about youth, that's something that I've really lived through.” She spent her teenage years living in a series of makeshift home set-ups between Los Angeles and Minneapolis with either her grandmother, her dog or friends, and has been open about her drug use and time in prison.
Being controversial used to condemn a model from ambassador roles, but that tide is now out to sea. Woods explains that she pledges to always be "selective when it comes to work . . . If I like the shit, I’m going to represent the shit. If I don't like it, if I don't support it, I don't back it.” Her career highlight so far has been finding her Fenty family. “She never ceases to amaze me,” Slick Woods says of Rihanna.