Sailor Brinkley-Cook may be following in her supermodel mom Christie Brinkley’s footsteps, but she’s set on creating her own identity.
“There’s pressure that comes with comparison with my mom, but I’ve never really brought [it] upon myself that I have to be like her . . . That’s not possible,” Sailor, 19, said at her Post photo shoot. “She’s had a career for 50 years. I’m not even 20 years old yet. I’m just trying to live my life and make some type of indent in the world.”
And she really is branching out on her own. After posing with her mom and half-sister, Alexa Ray Joel (whose father is singer Billy Joel), for 2017’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Sailor will have her first solo spread when the 2018 edition hits stands in February.
“I just fell into modeling,” she admits. “People would say, ‘You look like your mom, Why aren’t you [modeling]?’ At first, I was very nervous because I never [knew if I could] really turn on that sexy side, but it was really fun, very liberating. I felt very empowered.”
One of her earliest believers was SI editor MJ Day.
“[She] was like, ‘We literally had your photo up in the office for three years counting down till your 18th birthday,” Sailor said.
When she felt a bit anxious at the shoot in Aruba this past October, Sailor turned to her mom for advice.
She just told me to have fun and, ‘It’s a two-day shoot, and you’re gonna look back on the third day and wish you [hadn’t been] so nervous.’ I look up to my mom so much,” she said of the supportive Brinkley, who appeared on a record three consecutive covers in 1979, 1980 and 1981.
But Sailor, who is “so single,” is not just a bikini babe. Now that her big shoot is behind her, school is a top priority. She’s a second-year student at Parsons, taking classes six days a week and pursuing a degree in her first love: photography.
Ideally, Sailor would like to have a career where she works both in front of the camera as a model and also shoots fashion campaigns as a photographer.
“With school, I know that the grades I’m getting, the degree I’m getting, is all on me, so that’s just something I need — to prove to myself that what I’m getting for myself in this life is because of my hard work,” she said. “Celebrity children get a lot of s - - t because we’re immediately told that everything we’re getting is because of our parents.”
Not that the attention she and brother Jack, now 22 and an aspiring theater director, receive as a result of her family has always been great. Their parents, Brinkley and architect Peter Cook, went through an ugly divorce in 2008, with shocking revelations leaking out, including that Cook cheated with a teenager.
Earlier this year, Sailor — who grew up in the Hamptons and now lives in the West Village — recalled in an Instagram post the therapy she attended as a kid: “There was this little after-school counseling session for kids with divorced parents that the school put me in called ‘banana splits.’ Basically all we did was make banana splits and talk about how we have 2 christmas’ (sic) and how that was a plus.”
These days, she still has separate Christmas celebrations with her mom and dad — whom she described to The Post as being “heavily divorced” — although she hasn’t yet figured out this year’s plans.
“I get to have so many different lives, so many things to do,” she said. “If I want to go to Peru, maybe my dad will go with me if my mom doesn’t.
“You gotta have a positive attitude about divorce,” she added. “There’s nothing I could’ve done to change it. I completely understand why they wouldn’t want to be together. C’est la vie!”