"I was born in New York City. I lived in Brooklyn for the first few years, but then my parents broke up and I moved to Paris with my mother. I did middle school and all the good jazz there, but then I wanted to go back to high school in America. I got an idea of who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, what was acting at the time, and I felt like I had to go back to America to do that. Classic American dream shit. What is crazy is that it worked.
My agent found me when I was 15 or so when I sat in a restaurant with my father. I didn't fuck with it at first. She had just finished a run and was wearing something crazy like Victoria's Secret Pink sweatpants, dirty New Balances, and a hoodie. She asked me if I wanted to model and gave my father her card. I met her and I thought, "I think she's cool, I think I'll be a model." A week later, she booked a job for me at American Eagle. It was for most of the money I had ever made up to that point. And then I signed with her and didn't go. I got editorials and other campaigns, but I got modeling done very quickly because I enjoy doing things and being more creative. When I was 17, I founded my creative company Hot Mess with my buddy Dillon. We do installations, campaigns, video works, whatever we want to do. It helped me find myself. We have to meet people from the industry and see what it's like behind the scenes.
I got modeling done very quickly because I like doing things and being more creative.
Everyone says, "What are you doing?" and my answer is that I want to be known as a creative entrepreneur – I just like doing things, you know? When I was 19, I did a huge gallery show in New York with Hot Mess. It was packaged and we actually sold pieces. I was a 19 year old kid who turned ideas into a huge physical space and that was the coolest feeling. And I like to create with any medium – with a friend I made a film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival. I have an exhibition at Chateau Marmont with a number of sculptures that I have made over the past year.
I had to make a living in LA to grow up, but my heart is in New York. I stopped drinking nine months ago and now my nightlife is pretty easy – I don't really leave Chateau [Marmont] and instead have parties in my room. But in New York I like to go to The Smile on Bond Street and Carbone. I like to go to Sadelle, La Colombe, Lucien first and first. There's a place called Lola that I go to, and that's about it. I just go where my friends go, and that changes depending on the mood and season. I am definitely not a club. I hung up on my homie because there are not enough places in New York where you can hear techno and house. In fact, I'm trying to have a weekly party in New York where everyone can go and don't have to listen to what you hear in all the other clubs I don't want to name.
My routine when going out is step one: showering. Step two, brush my teeth. I don't really clean my skin – I just put water on my face, it's weird. After taking a shower, I lotion myself. I use this Dior serum for my face – it just feels good and smells good. It refreshes me. I've lived in hotels for so long, so I'm just using the hotel lotion that exists, and that goes for body soap too. Then I put on a little lip balm. My Homie Kristen [Noel Crawley] owns KNC Beauty and she sends me her lip balms. I started using her little eye patches and then she made a balm. Now I'm not really a balm type, but I always try out things from friends. And then I put on my fragrance, Lamyland by Michèle Lamy – there are only a thousand bottles of it. It is very intense at first, but it settles very well. Very warm, very musky, and it goes well with the smell of cigarettes, which works for me because I smoke. It is also not male or female, which is really nice. I used to wear a different fragrance, Jazz by Margiela, but I put scents on people and wore them when I was with a girl for three years. When we parted, I knew I couldn't wear the same scent when I entered a new part of my life. They also started wearing it at Sephora at that point, and everyone was wearing it.
I had to make a living in LA to grow up, but my heart is in New York.
Makeup makes me feel like a character – it's really fun. I'm not really a cheek, lip type, but I like to do eye makeup for special occasions. The eyes are so expressive and intense, and obviously your whole face revolves around them. However, I can't make up myself, so I always make sure that I work with super good glamor people. But I don't do anything with my hair – I haven't done it in seven years because they are free-form dreads. Some of the hair people on the set of Grown-ish put essential oils in my hair, but otherwise I didn't do anything. My hair is the way it is.
The only thing I do all the time is getting pedicures. In LA there is this girl named Britney Tokyo who comes to me about twice a month. It is fire. It has stickers and I gel because it takes longer. Pedicure is insanely important because boys are insanely unsure about taking off their shoes from people and showing their crispy toes. Especially in LA – you will see them by the pool and hang out with your socks. Like, what are you doing, brother? Do you have dogs there? After a pedicure, it's nice to have a clean ass foot and put it in a clean ass sock – this feeling is unprecedented.
I get a shave once a month. In LA I go to the Barber Surgeons Guild and in New York to the Haar Barbershop. It is the best place. You open your pores with a warm towel and use a suitable blade to keep the shave longer. And then they put this mask on you for a quick little facial. Then they put on an aftershave. That is the only thing I do consistently for my face. I've never shaved in my life – it's worth the $ 50 to $ 60 once, twice a month, max. "
– as ITG said
Luka Sabbat photographed by Joshua Aronson in Miami on December 3, 2019.