Up Close & Personal With Mae McKagan — And Her Mom
Mae McKagan was born to be a star. She’s the daughter of Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and model Susan Holmes, plus her big sis Grace McKagan has been shaking up the punk-rock scene.
We had Mae’s own mom interview Mae about how she’s starting to tear up the modeling scene, her love for Kurt Cobain, and her make-up secrets.
Full name, nickname(s), height, and favorite quote/or mantra?
My full name is Mae Marie McKagan. My best friend calls me Maerz McGee on occasion. I’m 5’10” which doesn’t come as a surprise, since my dad is 6’2″ and mom is 5’11.” My favorite mantra has always been “you only live once” (long before YOLO by Drake came out, ha).
You’re approaching a milestone year, “Sweet 16!” What do you hope to accomplish this year? Where do you think you’ll be after you graduate?
Junior year is no doubt a tough year, so I hope to do well academically, but also hope to succeed in my school’s musical theater community. I’m working a lot on my modeling career this year as well, and concentrating at the moment on getting my driver’s license. After I graduate I definitely see myself in college (in New York), modeling, as well as also focusing on furthering my skills and love for all things involved in cosmetics/makeup artistry.
We understand you’re surrounded by a lot of cool music. From your singing solo, in your school’s high school musical this past year, derived from Broadway’s famed hit “Spring Awakening,” to your awesome emerging rockstar big sis, Grace aka Grave and “The Pink Slips,” to your Dad’s playing with his epic original iconic band Guns N’ Roses. What bands/music are you listening to right now?
My favorite genre of music is punk. I love everything from The Sex Pistols to Nirvana so much so that I’m planning to get the same tattoo as Kurt Cobain when I turn 18.
This modeling thing is an exciting new endeavor for you, that could bode a bright future–on that note, curious to know, who are some of your favorite models today? And what do you find especially inspiring and intriguing about them?
I think Bella Hadid is so beautiful and I love getting compliments on my Instagram that I look like her! It’s so inspiring to me that she’s so young but has already accomplished so much in her career.
Me, your “momma bear,” that you and your squad like to call “The Big Suz,” as you know got to walk the runways for some pretty stellar designers (Chanel, Versace, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs… and also appeared in amazing ad campaigns for the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Yves Saint Laurent to Guess Jeans and Victoria’s Secret ads). I bet we’ll get to see you amongst the likes of these spectacular designers. I know the genius himself, Hedi Slimane, took some amazing pics of you most recently at his house in Palm Springs. Who are some designers you would die to model for? Why?
I would die to be in a Calvin Klein campaign. I would also love to model for Saint Laurent and Chanel. Those are big dreams, but I’m willing to work hard to succeed in this business.
You’ve been raised on rock n’ roll tour buses, to wearing a simple uniform everyday at your college prep school. What is your current go to concert outfit? Shoes? Makeup look? Hair vibe? Sunglasses? Bag?
I live in my Saint Laurent checkerboard sneakers and Kurt Cobain inspired rounded black sunglasses. I love a pouty lip, cat eye, and strong contour (think 90s Cindy Crawford). I usually don’t mess around with my hair since I embrace how it’s naturally stick straight. I am always carrying around my Chrome Hearts mini black backpack.
The school you attend in Los Angeles makes it a top priority that students dedicate themselves to a meaningful community service to help others in need each year (from taking care of animals, to the elderly and homeless), what has been your top charities to help out with? Why did you choose that particular area to give back and donate so much of your your time to as well?
Last year I did 45 hours of community service in Fiji with a program called Rustic Pathways. It was an eye opening experience to travel somewhere with a high poverty rate, and actually go into the villages and have conversations with the country’s people, instead of just going on vacation there and staying in a resort, just lounging on the beach all day. I chose to do this trip because it was crucial for me that as I get older I get more aware about the world and experience freedom and give back.
We understand you grew up going to culinary camps and love taking an occasional cooking class here and there, any favorite dishes you have made or a go to quick healthy recipe?
I can whip up a mean crepe, and my healthy go to is definitely a completely vegan smoothie with tons of fresh fruit and leafy green vegetables.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
From this decade: Harry Styles. Although, River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain were gorgeous.
Fave TV shows? Movies?
Sex and the City and Titanic! You can tell I love any thing romantic.
We see on your Instagram and Snapchat feeds, you’re a pretty sophisticated and brilliant makeup artist. What are your top five makeup products at the moment? What is one makeup secret tip that is pretty helpful that we should know?
Hmm…I can’t live without BH Cosmetics contour and blush palette, Brow Bar To Go by Whitening and Lightening, my Sedona Lace makeup brushes, and Stila liquid liner. One secret tip I have? Milk of Magnesia is a great primer if you’re an oily girl like me.
You’ve been educated as well, from having traveled the globe from Costa Rica to Tokyo to London and Paris to name a very few. What has been one of your favorite travel destinations thus far and why?
Paris for sure. I remember tearing up when I saw the Eiffel Tower. It’s my favorite travel destination because of its beauty and relaxed vibe.
Where’s the best place to keep up on all things Mae McKagan? IG name?
Instagram! My IG is @maemckagan.
Photography and Creative Direction by Prince & Jacob
Interview by Susan Holmes McKagan