Attempting, rather sweetly, to keep the alarmingly lively reptiles at bay, she drapes one over her slender arm, which it coils around contentedly, and the other round her waist. ) then promptly slithers through the belt hoops of her battered, cut-off jeans where he/she remains for the duration of our interview. One of nine children ("We're not all from the same parents but that doesn't make a difference," she says brightly), she is preternaturally beautiful, a grade-A student, and the daughter of highly glamorous parents.
Even snakes are happy to oblige where Devon is concerned - thinking nothing of standing in as belts (snake belts! Her father, Rocky, is the Japanese founder of the Benihana restaurants, while her mother, an American, Pam Price, still cuts a considerable dash.
Aoki also has a deeply ingrained tendency to want to improve or "fix" other people's lives, which can be annoying to the person who has no desire to be changed or "helped" in this way.
For Devon, affection and caring must be expressed in tangible acts or service of some kind.
It's no wonder that Devon name-drops the Juergens and Karls of this world the way most teenagers talk about their classmates. She is also, for a woman of her tender years, remarkably charming. However, they are all - and this is true of Devon in particular - exceptionally beautiful: a mole in the wrong place, wonky teeth, tiny feet or a couple of inches shorter than the average super-tall model does not a Plain Jane make. Maybe it's just easier to make me look weird than another model who is specifically Caucasian." So far in her brief career, Devon has been suspended from a beam on the ceiling "like some sort of puppet", had so much lipstick applied to her face it threatened to engulf her tiny features, and had her hair burnt by an over-zealous stylist who attempted, for reasons hard to fathom, to extend her already waist-length locks.
"Juergen's been so kind to me," she says, as if she can't believe it herself, in a hybrid New York/ Californian drawl inherited from her mother. One of the most incredible people I've ever met in my life. He's really brave in every sense of the word because he's always willing to try out new things." But, being young, the thing that Devon is most impressed by is the fact that Lagerfeld owns one of the world's most enormous photocopiers. "It was really an accident," she says of her sudden good fortune - she's currently one of the world's most in-demand models. But Devon's celebrated "oddness" has not always worked in her favour. This is despite the fact that she looks more beautiful left to her own devices. I would hate people to think I was a blank canvas or a coat hanger because I totally don't feel that way.
Devon is one of several models advertising Atelier Versace, and is also the current star of the younger Versus line. In reality, however, Devon and her contemporaries, Karen Elson, Erin O'Connor and Audrey Marnay among them, are hardly your average girls next door.
The super-fashionable likes of Steven Meisel and Juergen Teller, meanwhile, are queueing up to photograph her for the also super-fashionable Italian Vogue. " It would all be enough to make the less kind-hearted among us want to throw up our breakfasts, were it not that, far from playing the tantrum- throwing princess, Devon is as considerate as she is considered, as ingenuous as she is worldly. Like Kate Moss before them, all have been touted by the media as representing a new and less fascistic look for the future.
She is an excellent driver with a highly competitive nature. She has a penchant for designing automotive vinyl graphics.
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When Devon isn't attending to her snakes, she's studying for her exams at home in north London or jet-setting around the world as that strange and elusive thing, The Face of The Season.
Karl Lagerfeld photographed her for the spring/ summer Chanel Couture campaign, an accolade bestowed on only the coolest models, Stella Tennant and Erin O'Connor included. It's OK to be shorter and look sort of different." Much has been made recently of a new breed of models who celebrate the individuality of women rather than adhering to the conventional too-rich- and-too-thin Eighties stereotype, and the perceived perfection of the supermodel.