Like many little kids, Charlotte D’Alessio wanted to be a veterinarian when she grew up.
She never imagined she would become a Cinderella-story social-media star, or sign a big modeling contract, or date fashion-world royalty Presley Gerber (the son of Cindy Crawford).
But that’s exactly what happened after the now-20-year-old went to the Coachella music festival in 2015 with her pal Josie Canseco — herself a model and the daughter of loose-cannon ex-Yankee outfielder Jose Canseco.
There, professional photographer Bryant Eslava snapped some photos of the girls and posted them on his Instagram account.
Almost immediately, the photos were included on the app’s trending page. Music star The Weeknd reposted a D’Alessio pic. BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post wrote about “the girl who got famous at Coachella” — and D’Alessio’s followers shot skyward. By the next Monday, she’d gone from a few thousand to 100,000.
“I remember waking up and being so excited and reloading my Instagram page,” said D’Alessio, who was then a student at Beverly Hills High School. “But I wouldn’t call it an overnight success — [more like] a good 15 minutes of craziness. After that, it was work.”
Now she has more than 750,000 followers on the social media platform — as well as a modeling deal with Elite. (She first signed with Wilhelmina.) She has booked several commercial jobs and posed in Cosmopolitan Italy and Nylon Español.
But it wasn’t the happiest of paths getting there.
D’Alessio, who grew up in Canada, had moved to Los Angeles with her father just months before Coachella (D’Alessio is the second oldest of four girls). Not long after her fame kicked into gear, she decided to quit Beverly Hills High in favor of home-schooling and pursuing her modeling and “influencer” career.
This led to problems with her mother, Christina Ford, who lived in London. As Ford told the British paper The Guardian in 2018, she flew to Los Angeles to try to talk D’Alessio out of quitting school, “but she wouldn’t see me or talk to me . . . We didn’t speak for more than a year.”
The two eventually repaired their relationship, and D’Alessio flew to Toronto for her maternal grandfather’s funeral.
“It wasn’t that serious — it was just us fighting over me being a teenager,” D’Alessio said of her yearlong estrangement from her mother. “She’s been nothing but supportive. She’s my biggest fan in my family.”
Another fan is buzzy male model Gerber, 19, the son of Crawford and nightlife impresario Rande Gerber. Presley and D’Alessio — who met through his sister Kaia, also a model and a friend of D’Alessio’s — dated for about a year and flaunted their love on Instagram, of course. (For Halloween last year, they went as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie from “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”)
The photogenic couple recently split but “I still love him, and he’s my best friend,” D’Alessio said.
For now, she’s focused on her new life in Manhattan, where she lives in Midtown with her dog, Agent Cody Banks — named for the 2003 spy-kid movie.
As for her dating life, D’Alessio said, “I do enjoy being single, and I just need to be independent for right now.”
She has some modeling jobs coming up, including a few “secret” projects. And eventually she’d like to go to college — not to study veterinary medicine, but psychiatry. For now, however, she’s happy writing her own rules.
“College is the only thing in life that will always be waiting for me,” D’Alessio said. “But I wanna look back at my life and say I had a lot of fun.”