24 Minutes with Stranger Things star, Sadie Sink


By Joan Kong

24 Minutes with Stranger Things star, Sadie Sink

You don’t have to be an adult to be a role model.

Stranger Things star Sadie Sink turns 16.

By Laia Garcia
Photographs by Juergen Teller
Styling by Angelo DeSanto


While we were distracted about what all the millennials were doing or not doing, buying or not buying, and all the ways in which they were purportedly signaling the end of civilization as we know it, Generation Z was born and are now the teenagers leading us into the 21st century: the ones who are making the news and, just like the fashion industry post-#MeToo, finding their way in this world.

Talking to Sadie Sink, the just-turned 16-year-old actress who shot to fame in the second season of the Net ix TV show Stranger Things, you get a sense of what makes this new generation tick. To fashion folks late to the show, perhaps the first time they took note of Sadie Sink was in Miu Miu’s Whispers campaign in December 2017, or when she opened Undercover’s runway show, We Are Infinite, in March this year. With  her cultural relevance now cemented, it’s easy to forget that Sink has only been so prominent, and making serious waves alongside her peers, for less than a year.

With all this in mind, Juergen Teller hopped on a plane to spend a day with Sadie Sink, being greeted by her at Newark airport, before photographing her in Miu Miu’s hot-off-the-catwalk Autumn-Winter 2018-19 collection around her New Jersey neighbourhood – together with siblings Jacey and Mitchell, and their chihuahua terrier, Kiko. We then asked New York writer Laia Garcia to speak with Sadie about this moment in time. From navigating the reality of becoming one of the most recognizable faces in popular culture right now, to the personal milestone of having turned 16 two days before – here are the thoughts of a young woman finding her way in the world’s stranger times.


Dress and socks by Miu Miu
Jacket and shoes, Sadie’s own


Laia Garcia: Hi Sadie. So first of all, happy birthday, I know your birthday was two days ago.

Thank you, it was. I’m 16 now!

Wow! What did you do for your birthday?

I never really make a big deal out of my birthday. I am not really fond of parties and celebrations like that; I mean I did when I was little, but now I would rather just have dinner with my friends and family rather than a big flashy party. I guess I don’t like people to make a big deal. Of course, I say that, but if people didn’t wish me a happy birthday I would probably be upset!

Did you buy yourself a special birthday present?

You know, I didn’t this year, but maybe I will start doing that. People like my grandma are still asking me what I want for my birthday and I don’t really know, so now she has decided I am a difficult person to buy presents for. I would much rather they donate to a charity than give me anything because I don’t really know what I want.

Have you ever bought yourself anything to commemorate any major achievement in your life, like when you got cast on Stranger Things? Did you treat yourself to anything then?

I don’t think I did, I am trying to think. If I want something I will buy it, but I am not the person who is just going to buy something for the heck of it, you know?

Since we’re on shopping, what was the last thing you bought that you really wanted?

I think our generation has seen the change that needs to be made for our future, and that is why our generation is so powerful.’

That’s a good one. Oh, I suppose I could consider this a birthday present to myself: I got myself one of those stationary Peloton bikes. That was the last thing I bought.

Are you very athletic, do you enjoy working out and exercising and stuff?

Yes, I really like to work out, but I wouldn’t necessarily say I am coordinated sports wise. I can’t do baseball or anything like that. My older brothers are very sporty and are very into football; they each have their own sport.

How did you approach skateboarding then? Did you take classes to prepare for the Stranger Things role? I would be so nervous about getting hurt.

I was really afraid to fall at first, but now it is less of a problem, when you skateboard you kind of have to be fearless; you won’t learn if you don’t attempt the tricks. You will trial these tricks and you probably will fall. At first I was afraid to try tricks because I knew I was going to fall, but my instructor was like, ‘Sadie, you have to do it, you are not going to learn if you don’t try’. So I did and I wiped out, but I did learn in the end, so it’s OK. The first time I fell it was really embarrassing. I was skating up a hill in my neighbourhood and it was my first lesson. There was a neighbour outside her house and she watched me fall at on my face. It hurt really bad, but I didn’t want to cry or anything like that. It hurt so bad, so I was a bit afraid of falling but I got over it.


Shirt, socks and cardigan by Miu Miu Jeans and shoes, Sadie’s own
Dress, cardigan and socks by Miu Miu Shoes, Sadie’s own
Sweater and socks by Miu Miu, Jeans and shoes, Sadie’s own


So you’ve had a crazy last two years. How did you mentally prepare yourself for Stranger Things? Knowing you were entering something that would take you to another level?

There is really no way to prepare yourself; I had no idea what it was going to be like. I knew that Stranger Things had a lot of different worlds that I hadn’t experienced before, but because I had never experienced it I didn’t know how to prepare for it. I just threw myself into it. The main focus was the acting for me. It seems different now. I can’t recognize myself.

Were you nervous?

Not really, I was more excited. There was a lot of speculation going around about my character, Max: who was this new girl; what is she doing; I don’t know if I like this. I was just ready to bring Max out; I wanted to learn about me as a person. Once it came out, it was like a relief. It was really nice when it came out.

When you feel like you want to stop being famous Sadie from Stranger Things and just be regular Sadie, what do you do?

For me, I am always regular Sadie, wherever I am; I feel more regular Sadie than Stranger Things Sadie. In my home town, with my friends, nobody really treats me differently. I have the same group of friends I have had for the past four years, so before any of this. They don’t change around me; they are the same people and treat me like the same Sadie, so I guess when it gets overwhelming, I just go to them.

You are involved in fashion, too. I was wondering what your first experience was with fashion? What first drew your interest?

I have always had an interest in fashion and when I was little I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. And I would always be sketching dresses and stuff like that. But you know, before Stranger Things, I was never given the opportunity to wear or experience any of the brands that I am able to wear now, those higher-end brands that I can wear on red carpets and in photo shoots. I guess the first experience I had with fashion, when I realized there was more to it, was when I did my first fashion shoot. I remember the stylist brought out all these beautiful dresses by brands I had never even heard of and I was like, wow, there are a lot more brands out there than I thought.

Who was your favourite designer or brand when you were a kid? Who did you look up to?

I didn’t really know any other fashion designers, apart from the smaller brands I was wearing. I guess that was when I was like 10. What was my favourite brand? I want to say something really extravagant like Prada or Chanel, because they are really big and I considered them untouchable.

It is trendy now for people to care about things, to be ‘woke’. But then there are brands that are doing that, too. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference.

Tell me about your relationship with your stylist. You met her at your first shoot and then kept working with her?

Well, Molly [Dickson] never puts me in anything I don’t feel comfortable in, you know; she is very open to discussing my style and very big on being true to my style. You know, there are a lot of people who will just put me in clothes and say, ‘Yes that is what you are wearing, now go’. You don’t really get your say and that scares me. But with Molly, she never pushes anything or makes me wear any particular brands. She asks me, ‘Do you like this? Is this you? Is this your style?’ And whatever I say, she is OK, and that’s the main reason we really clicked.

You mentioned brands like Prada and Chanel being untouchable. How does it feel now you have access to this world?

It is different, I have a different relationship to these brands. I can touch them, experience and actually wear them now, so they are not so untouchable. I now realize there is more to fashion than things having to match: you can mix things up; you can mix different styles together; you can go crazy… Whatever you feel comfortable in is what works, basically.

Is that how you define your personal style? Comfort?

Comfort is key for me, yes, but also, I wouldn’t really limit myself to one specific style. I like to try all sorts of stuff: I can be edgy sometimes; I can be cute and girlie sometimes; I can be chic. Whatever I am feeling that day. Which is what’s so great about fashion – you are given the opportunity to trial these different styles. I am not very particular about what styles I like; I am willing to try anything, as long as the clothes make me feel happy. You can mix a girlie top with some edgy boots, stuff like that, you can mix it up.


Shirt and polo by Miu Miu Jeans, Sadie’s own
Jacey Sink wears own clothes Cardigan and shorts by Miu Miu


So you are vegan now, but when did you first decide to go vegetarian?

I have been vegan for two years, and it doesn’t seem like a long time for me. I was vegetarian for a year before that. I decided to go vegetarian when I was at this restaurant with my friend; there was this buffet area and this whole roasted pig, and you could see everything. It was so gross. I was super grossed out by it and I realized that that was bacon, ham, pork, the stuff I was eating on a daily basis, but now I was seeing the whole animal and I was totally grossed out. So I questioned bacon and other meat like that. That was when I made the connection, that meat was actual animals and what I was actually putting in my body. That was when I decided to cut out meat. I think a lot of people think that way, too. In America, eating meat is so normal, and people are blinded by what they are eating. But when you can all of a sudden see the animal you are eating, people get grossed out. So that was what convinced me to become vegetarian.

How did your family take it?

I grew up in Texas, where it’s all about barbecues. All my family ate meat, it was the normal thing, and I was blinded by that and thought eating meat was normal. I tried to go vegetarian earlier–I was 11 or 12–and I did for a week, but then we had some family visit and they noticed I wasn’t eating meat and they were like, ‘Hey, you’re not going vegetarian on us, are you?’ And I was like, ‘Oh shoot, am I weird now?’ So I quit, like, ‘This is weird! I have to eat meat!’ That was what prevented me from going vegetarian a bit earlier, but now veganism, and being vegetarian has become a very big topic and I think people are starting to understand it a little bit more. My family is totally 100-percent supportive of it. At first, they didn’t understand, but now they are really supportive and I think one of my brothers is vegetarian because of it, and my mum went vegan for a while. It is just nice to know I am inspiring others.

Kids think their role models have to be older, but I look up to my little sister because she sees the world with a fresh perspective, without any judgement.

And then you went vegan after you were in The Glass Castle with Woody Harrelson?

When I was vegetarian but not vegan, my friends didn’t think it was too weird. But then one of my friends said, ‘You better not go vegan on us!’ I was like, &lsq

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