Lily Cole Biography
Lily Cole defies any thought people might have that if you are a Playboy Model you must have beauty rather than brains.
The English model and actress was her final year at the prestigious King's College, Cambridge reading History of Art, which she started in the Michaelmas Term 2008. She gained a First at the end of her 1st year and at the end of the 2nd year she was one of seven undergraduates to achieve that grade again. She struggled to settle in her first year, but was not worried as she realised every new undergraduate at Cambridge was going through the same thing.
Cole originally gained her place at Cambridge to read Social and Political Sciences but she deferred it twice, then decided to switch to History of Art.
When she graduates she is planning to move to Los Angeles to be with her actor boyfriend Enrique Murciano, who plays an FBI agent in the American television detective series "Without a Trace." She is adamant her days as a full-time model are over, she says she is going to concentrate on acting and her future lies in Hollywood.
It was a chance encounter when she was walking through Soho at the age of 14-years-old that got her into modelling in the first place. She was approached by actor Benjamin Hart who asked her to consider becoming a model. Her first reaction was to say no as she thought it wouldn't come to much, then she changed her mind and signed with Storm Models.
Her distinctive red hair and porcelain doll-like body attracted media attention and she has appeared on the cover of V and Vogue. She was also snapped up by Marks and Spencer and Rimmel to appear in their advertisements.
She never thought of herself as model material and could not see herself on the catwalk with all the superwomen, but her career gave her a lot of confidence which she lacked in the past.
Her big break came in 2003 when she caught the eye of photographer Steven Meisel on a photo shoot for her first only girl story for Italian Vogue. She was catapulted into the Spotlight as one of the leading new faces of the year.
She first posed in the nude in 2007 when she was photographed in a full-frontal pose by Juergen Teller for the upmarket French Men's Magazine "Paradis", but it was her decision to pose naked in and on the front cover of the French edition of "Playboy Magazine" in October 2008 that caused a lot of controversy.
There were calls for her to be dropped by Marks and Spencer, but they refused to accede to the request and said they were standing by Cole.
A spokesman said, "She is a popular, high profile model who is very much in demand and this is one of the key reasons why we have chosen to work with her." Cole defended the photographs as art and said, "Nudity has always existed in art."
On October 2010 she dyed her flame-red locks dark brown for the first time when she returned for her final year at Cambridge. She has now dyed it jet black and has a Gothic Latin tattoo on the instep of her foot.
It says "Ut Apres Geometrian" which means "As bees, geometry," which is taken from Victor Hugo's 19th Century tale, "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Lily Cole is Ambassador for the Children's Charity "Global Angels" and she supports "Water Aid" speaking for the organisation's "End Water Poverty" Campaign.
She fights Child Labour in the fashion industry for the Environmental Justice Foundation and she has been wearing a T-shirt with the slogan "Save the Future" on the front.