After a foot injury sidelined Lindsay Wixson, the super announced her retirement from the runway on Instagram. In an effort to let her “artistic side shine through,” the Kansas native is focusing on “designing interiors, pottery, sculpting, carving, and inventing for the future” (perhaps the most millennial laundry list of professions possible) at the ripe old age of 23. The model—a favorite of Karl Lagerfeld—said she feels it’s time to “listen to my body” and the “changing times of this industry.”
For the past couple of months, Wixson has cryptically posted about foot surgeries and medical treatments, hash-tagging a photo of her foot in a boot “#modellife #8years.” (She began modeling in 2009 after her bee-stung lips and gapped teeth caught the attention of famed photographer Steven Meisel.) While there are certainly risks associated with entering the fashion industry (which Wixson has affectionately dubbed the “high heel business”) as an impressionable teen, strutting the catwalk in crippling stilettos is a workplace hazard that is often dismissed as just part of the job. Nobody tells a wide-eyed girl with endlessly long legs that she’ll be put out to pasture wearing nothing but Nikes during her prime heel days. “I feel that this disability has come to me with a purpose,” writes Wixson alongside a photo of what appears to be a logo for her new multifaceted business. “To show me that I must carry on.”
In modeling terms, Wixson has had a pretty long run, having picked up steady gigs since her career took off at just 15-years-old. She’s walked for everyone from Fendi and Chanel to Alexander McQueen and Dior, not to mention the dizzying array of magazine covers and campaigns she’s racked up over the years. But at the moment, the super doesn’t seem bothered by stepping out of the spotlight. In response to a comment from a fan who reassured her that she’d be “back in 6 inch heels in no time,” Wixson replied: “no, I decide [sic] my time on this earth is more valuable to helping the planet. I would rather make art and have a life.”
While we can’t fault the model for forging a new path, we will miss her signature grin. And hey, maybe Karl will ask Wixson to whittle his next spectacular set, or maybe Raf Simons (an avid ceramics collector) will commission a new set of dinner plates. Whatever happens, this model’s retirement plan beats hacking your golden years away on the golf course or keeping up at water aerobics.