Lily Cole born 19 May 1988 in Torquay, Devon is an English model and actress whose career was launched by a chance encounter in London.
Cole has featured in several well known publications including cover appearances on V and four different language version of Vogue, as well as modelling for high street retailer Marks and Spencer and cosmetics chain Rimmel. She sparked a minor controversy in 2008 by appearing naked in a pictorial for Playboy magazine's French edition.
Having done a variety of minor acting roles including St Trinian's (2007) and Rage (2009), Cole's first leading role was alongside Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp and Jude Law in the 2009 film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Cole is due to appear in the upcoming film There Be Dragons in 2010 and Marilyn Manson's Phantasmagoria: The Visions of Lewis Carroll, for which no release date has yet been set.
Cole is currently in her second year of reading History of Art at the University of Cambridge
Cole was born in Torquay, south west England, and raised in London, along with her sister, Elvie, a primary school teacher three years her senior. She was raised by her mother, Patience Owen; Chris Cole, her father, left the household and was not part of his daughters' lives while they grew up.Cole attended the St Marylebone church school for girls, and completed her sixth form studies at Latymer Upper School, an independent school in Hammersmith, London. A chance encounter began her modelling career at the age of fourteen. Cole was walking through the streets of Soho when scout-turned-actor Benjamin Hart approached her about modelling. She initially declined, though later changed her mind and signed on with agency Storm Models, the mother agency of models such as Kate Moss.
In April 2007, Cole first featured in the Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated worth of £6 million, ranking her as the 77th richest young person in Britain. As of 2009, she is thought to have earned in excess of £11 million.
Cole is currently in a relationship with actor Enrique Murciano, star of American television series Without a Trace.
Despite her successful modelling career, Cole retains a commitment to her education, achieving A grades in her A-level examinations in English, Politics, Drama, History, and Philosophy and Ethics at Latymer Upper School. Before that she attended the primary school, Hallfield School. (Bayswater,London) and The St Marylebone Secondary School.
Cole gained a place to read Social and Political Sciences at King's College, Cambridge, but twice deferred entry, and switched to History of Art, which she commenced in the Michaelmas term, 2008. She gained a First in her examinations at the end of her first year. When asked about the change, Cole explained "I like doing things I haven't learnt about yet. I've always been interested in art, and I love doing art..." In an interview for The Daily Telegraph in December 2009, Cole admitted she struggled to settle in to her first year at Cambridge, conceding she was "a bit shell-shocked, but I think everyone finds that".
Cole's big break came in 2003 when she caught the eye of photographer Steven Meisel. It was on that photoshoot, her first 'only girl' story for Italian Vogue, that Cole was catapulted into the spotlight as one of the leading new faces of the year. Since then, Cole has worked with many other prominent photographers, including Craig McDean, Nick Knight, Juergen Teller, Arthur Elgort, and Irving Penn.
In November 2004, at the British Fashion Awards, Cole was named 'Model of the Year'. Since then, she has featured in many well known fashion magazines such, including seven appearances in multiple versions of Vogue (American, Italian, British, Japanese and Korean), Citizen K, and V. Her cover appearances have included Numéro and three appearances on the British edition of Vogue. In addition to which, Cole has appeared in advertising campaigns for designers such as Chanel, Christian Lacroix, Hermès, Longchamp, Cacharel, Topshop, and Anna Sui Cosmetics, as well as being the face for Moschino's perfume 'I Love Love'. Cole was featured on Vogue's "best dressed" list in December 2005.
She has modelled on the international runway circuit and has walked many top shows, including Chanel, DKNY, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, and Louis Vuitton.
Cole was nominated for the British Fashion Awards for 'Model of the Year' in 2007 for the second time, but the award was given to Agyness Deyn.
Cole appeared on the January 2010 edition of Interview in a small outfit with "bold make up against her pale skin".