It’s the height of summer which means beach-y, layered, tousled hairstyles are in full swing - both on the streets and in the salon. Which is why we feel instantly energised when we spot a style that subverts the typical ‘summer hair’ rules. Model and activist Taja Feistner has one such ‘do. Her neat pixie cut is the hair version of an ice cold glass of water during an August heatwave: cool, quenching and sharply refreshing.
Taja appeared on our radar earlier this year as the lead role in Nylon Farm - a short film by Prada - where she’s looking suitably futuristic; her neat sideburns gelled into sleek flicks. Since then, we’ve seen more and more of her, both on Instagram and on the catwalk. Taja cites her success in modelling down to the fried chicken restaurant she worked at as a teen in Iowa - AKA the location where she was originally scouted. She was waiting tables at the family-run joint and her future agent happened to pop in to satisfy a late-night craving. The rest is history.
However Taja is no one-trick-pony. Despite working for brands such as Rodarte and Miu Miu and becoming a mainstay of the fashion circle, she’s also becoming an important voice for environmental issues. Taja is currently studying for a degree in Energy and Sustainability Policy at Penn State and has also created her own brand, Eka Minetta. “I incorporate recycled materials into garments through beading and other techniques to transform them into individual and unique pieces” she told i-D.
These days finding a model on a mission is not uncommon, however Taja’s genuine interest in sustainability and her desire to educate herself on the subject is certainly out of the ordinary. “I’ve had a life-long obsession with trying to live a low impact life” she told British Vogue, “How we operate on a day to day level impacts not only our immediate selves, but the world around us. Studying sustainability has provided me with the backbone to make informed decisions and solutions to better the future.”
Using her Instagram - the appropriately named @FeistyT - as a platform for her opinions, Taja is sharing her thoughts on everything from plastic toothbrushes to the oceans, with her fashion-related escapades mixed in. She means business - and so does her hair. With a hint of a mullet and a tightly-cropped in shape, Taja’s hairdo is the cherry on top of her eco-warrior/long-limbed-supermodel persona.
Worn short and straight, tufty and textured, brunette or bleach blonde (she’s had both), the ‘do is as modern and as fresh as can be. Paired with her petite features and bushy brows, it’s a look that reeks of individuality and independence - two characteristics that are prevalent in her environmental work too. Taja is less model, more role model, helping make the world a better place and taking her excellent haircut with her.
Words: Lucy Vincent