Devon Heaven

Devon Heaven

Self-made woman on top of her game, pop culture muse on top of the world. Madeline Cash gets the DL on Devon Lee Carlson.

Volume 11
Volume 11

Photography Takashi Homma
Styling Linda Engelhardt
Interview Madeline Cash

On Devon: TOM FORD rufflfle shirt and underwear; TASAKI balance plus diamonds pavé pendant.

In under a decade Carlson has grown into an entrepreneur (her phone case line Wildflflower is everything), inflfluencer, and model — most recently the face of Balenciaga. Her come-up is so captivating because of its accessibility. She’s no industry plant nor nepo-baby. Fame was as DIY as her phone cases. How does Carlson retain her realness amid spiking social activity? How does she wear this many hats and look so good in all of them? How can she both be taken seriously in the boardroom and don a purple unicorn-ed phone case? That’s the magic of this HommeGirl covergirl. Ahead I DM with Devon about her inspirations, living publicly and the cultural shift towards girlhood.

DSQUARED2 cotton top and shorts; TASAKI balance palace bracelet and balance parallel diamonds pavé ring.

In a world of calculated self-design and persona, Devon Lee Carlson’s authenticity is disarming. Scrolling the DLC Instagram, TikTok and YouTube vlogs, which collectively reach over a million viewers, fosters a sense of intimacy for and kinship with the bubbly ingenue. She doesn’t brandish the manicured shield of celebrity — she’s a girl just like you and she’s loving every minute of it.

@devonleecarlson: Omg hi!!!!!!

@madelinecash: So excited to meet you! How was (is?) Tokyo?

@devonleecarlson: You too!! I’m back in la now But Tokyo is officially my favorite place ever I did a lot of shopping in Japan

@madelinecash: Fave purchase? I lived in Tokyo for a little — it’s truly the best

@devonleecarlson: So jealous Literally everything. I wish I could wear everything I bought all at once I bought this tiger stuffed animal charm tho I really wish I bought more charms

@madelinecash: Because everything is adorable!! Okay so: you’re an LA girlie like me. Favorite spots to go in high school?

@devonleecarlson: LA GIRLS UNITE 👙 i mean I had a really big urth caffe phase But I feel like everyone did

Stylist’s own top and jacket; TASAKI balance palace choker and bracelet.

@madelinecash: And what about now? Best way to spend a night out?

@devonleecarlson: I’m really exploring the west side rn

@madelinecash: Wow the west side is such uncharted territory for me.

@devonleecarlson: I love erewhon

@madelinecash: Tempted to get $150 tote

@devonleecarlson: I can’t help it It’s just delicious and easy Night out thooooo—— I’m really into a delicious dirty martini At a nice restaurant With tablecloths And perfect lighting

@madelinecash: Gin or vodka?

@devonleecarlson: Vodka girl🐾😎😎😎

@madelinecash: Same. Gin smells like nail polish remover to me

@devonleecarlson: My first time ever drinking gin, I took a shot of it And I’ve been scarred by it ever since

@madelinecash: Where did you grow up?

@devonleecarlson: I grew up in newbury park tho It’s like Ventura county

@madelinecash: LA forever or would you move?

@devonleecarlson: I kind of think LA forever….. but love the idea of having little places all around Coming home to LA is just the best I don’t think anywhere else could feel like home

@madelinecash: Agreed. Perenial sunshine Speaking of shots, what was your favorite birthday in recent memory?

@devonleecarlson: Hehehe Well birthdays have been extra special for me recently bc my boyfriend & I have the same birthday If you can even believe it

@madelinecash: AW! Does that work out astrologically? I’m not super astrology-pilled but that’s gotta be a good sign

GUCCI silk mini tank dress; TASAKI balance plus neo diamonds pavé ring.

DURAN LANTINK tube top; TASAKI signature refined rebellion plus garnet earrings. TASAKI balance build diamonds pavé ring.

CHANEL cashmere sweater and shorts; TASAKI balance arm necklace and diamonds pavé earrings.

“UGHHHHH I love being a girl!!!!!!”

@devonleecarlson: Works for me lmao So I’m calling it fate We’ve had our birthdays together twice now and each time we had a party in my backyard Heated the pool Covered the grass in blankets Had a bartender making fun drinks A taco guy came It’s perfect And I think officially our tradition You’re coming to the next one

@madelinecash: Yes plz Okay back to just you: There is this ineffable charisma to your personal brand. But if you had to articulate it, how would you describe the DLC style?

@devonleecarlson: Ooooo lala I think she’s just a girl And she loves clothes A lot And loves to play dress up and have fun and wear whatever she feels like

@madelinecash: It’s a girl!!

@devonleecarlson: ITS A GIRL🎀🎀🎀

@madelinecash: What is your least favorite era or vibe aesthetically? Any trend you just can’t get behind?

MIU MIU jacket, dress and bag; TOM SACHS porcelain bead charm; TASAKI balance luxe diamonds pavé necklace and balance plus diamonds solo pavé ring; MARYAM NASSIR ZADEH ballet wedges. HERMÈS top; TASAKI balance build diamonds pavé earrings and ring..

“Be thrifty and don’t get distracted by other people’s Flashiness”

@devonleecarlson: Lol Im really trying to think Steampunk? Lmao I really think I can find at least ONE thing I like in an era or vibe But like steampunk Has nothing for me

@madelinecash: lol you can’t rock these?? [picture of girl with steampunk glasses]

@devonleecarlson: Low key………… Jfjdjsksksksjjs Me in this [picture of girl in steampunk outfit] Imagine

@madelinecash: If you lost a bet and had to wear this to the met ball

@devonleecarlson: HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA

STYLE CHALLENGE I’d sell it That’s like my favorite thing to do with my friends Is find something horrendous and sell them on it Make them change their minds I always win 💅

@madelinecash: You vlog religiously. How do you feel about privacy / sharing your image? How do you protect your interiority while putting your life online?

@devonleecarlson: Live laugh vlog I’m naturally an over-sharer Especially when I started posting online But as I grow up I find myself sharing a little less. I always just try to do whatever feels natural and if I’m having a day where I feel like blabbing on and on, I let myself do it But there’s also times where I don’t feel like posting anything, & I let myself do that too

@madelinecash: If you had a kid would you post the kid?

@devonleecarlson: I actually think about this often Bc right now my feelings are that I don’t want my kids to be on social media And not be too influenced by everyone online Figure out what they like irl But as for me posting them who knows, if I feel like it in the moment maybe i will I don’t like to hold myself to anything Lol

HERMÈS pants and Lindy 30 bag; stylist’s own top; TASAKI balance arm diamonds pavé earrings and ring; MARYAM NASSIR ZADEH ballet wedges.

LOUIS VUITTON corset top tiered dress; TASAKI balance signature diamond pavé necklace and balance plus earrings. CELINE BY HEDI SLIMANE leather racer jacket, velvet tracksuit pants and bag; TOM SACHS porcelain bead charm; TASAKI balance luxe ring.

“I wanted to be a professional dancer so badly. Like in the Pussycat Dolls.”

@madelinecash: Good philosophy honestly Let’s talk Wildflower! Big fan of the cases. They’re a staple of modern feminine taste ~ There’s a heavy Y2K aesthetic—your line is full of throwbacks; phone charms and bulky headphone coverings and fat-toothed clips. Did your inspiration come from childhood?

@devonleecarlson: YEEEEEE THANK UUU Oh yeah big time Nostalgia is just everything to me I love incorporating little nods to our childhood in Wildflower My sister and I have always had so much fun designing them with our mom

@madelinecash: I love that it’s a family endeavor There is all this rhetoric surrounding girlhood right now. How do you balance this duality—being a high-powered modern businesswoman and a girl who wants to cover her phone in strawberries? I often feel, to be taken seriously, we can’t have both…and yet, you do it so well!

@devonleecarlson: UGHHHHH I love being a girl!!!!!! I just think it’s always important to have one thing on you that reflects your personality or interests or idk literally just something that makes you happy like wearing a full chic outfit from the row or something & then having like a little flower clip in your hair Or a silly phone case Or even like cute underwear lol Like just for yourself for no one else just to make you happy

@madelinecash: Yes never taking ourselves too seriously What do your phone cases about their wearer? What makes a phone an object of self expression?

@devonleecarlson: Well your phone is basically like an extension of you You have a whole life on it So you wanna dress it up and make it cute Add charms

@madelinecash: True If we’re going to be on our phones all the time, they should look as good as we do

@devonleecarlson: Literally Also I just love seeing which cases everyone picks Because sometimes it catches me so off guard And it’s just so much fun to hear why they chose that case. lol I love when boys have super girly cases

@madelinecash: What is your fave case rn?

@devonleecarlson: So many of our unreleased ones Are like my favorite cases we’ve ever made But as far as released onessssssss Our dream star case is super cute Everyone’s loving it And it’s just dreamy

@madelinecash: Where do you draw inspiration

@devonleecarlson: I always say “everywhere” but actually everywhere I find a lot of inspo vintage shopping But also like plates at restaurants Carpets and drapes in hotels I got so much inspo in Tokyo Idk literally inspo is everywhere Love Pinterest & tumblr too

@madelinecash: What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as a co-CEO? // How do you stand out in a crowded industry?

@devonleecarlson: I think it’s really important to bond with your customer Also be thrifty And don’t get distracted by other people’s flashiness Invest in the product before investing in a fancy office or a big team We ran our business out of our house for the first 5/6 years

@madelinecash: Don’t spring for the 3k ergonomic chair right away

@devonleecarlson: Just get creative and really be passionate about what you’re doing Exactly

@madelinecash: Hypothetically, if you’d never gone down the Wildflower route, what would you be doing today?

@devonleecarlson: So crazy to think about where I’d be if this never happened I wanted to be a professional dancer So badly Like in the pussycat dolls Was my dream But I think I’m too tall to be a professional dancer

PFERRAGAMO layered dress; TASAKI balance arm earrings and balance signature diamonds pavé ring. PRADA jacket, top, skirt, belt, bag and shoes; TOM SACHS porcelain bead charm; TASAKI balance arm earrings.

I’d probably be in beauty school Or like doing hair Working with dogs? Idk tbh

@madelinecash: Dancing dog walker

@devonleecarlson: that’s what I’d be THATS IT

@madelinecash: Any advice for young girls just starting to build their empire?

@devonleecarlson: Be unique be yourself have fun be grateful live in the moment don’t take yourself so seriously The classics what everyone says But it’s true

MARC JACOBS appliqué camisole, knit gathered pants, bag and runway flats; TOM SACHS porcelain bead charm; TASAKI balance signature bracelet and balance arm earrings.

Makeup Rie Shiraishi
Hair Tekeru Urushibata
Casting Greg Krelenstein
Production Babylon

May 2024