Model Issa Lish Wants Baby Brooke Shields At Her Dream Studio 54 Banquette

All Clothing and Accessories: Michael Kors Collection.

Issa Lish isn’t a rising star so much as a soaring rocket—or maybe a UFO. Growing up in Mexico City, the model was teased for her Japanese heritage, while her otherworldly looks earned her the nickname “Issa Alien.” But her appearance worked in her favor when, at the age of 14, while working in her father’s sushi restaurant, Lish was discovered by an agent. Her rapid ascent in the fashion world has led to appearances on major runways and magazine covers, and Lish now wears her old nickname with pride: you can find Lish, now 23, on Instagram as @issalien, where she posts doodles of extraterrestrials.


INTERVIEW: When you think of Studio 54, what are the first things that come to mind?

LISH: Excess, liberty, unity, clamor, glamour, fame, shame, and Halston to blame.

INTERVIEW: If you were able to go back in time and have one night at Studio 54, who would be in your banquette?

LISH: Flanked by a baby Brooke Shields, Halston, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones, Liz Taylor, Mick and Bianca Jagger. But then I’d also bring Jerry Hall, because I like to stir the pot. 

INTERVIEW: What is it about that time that has left such a mark on the cultural imagination?

LISH: People were fearless. They enjoyed life more than they do today. It seemed like a fun time to be around. 

INTERVIEW: Describe your ideal night out.

LISH: A spontaneous and unexpected series of events.

INTERVIEW: Describe your most memorable New York nightlife experience.

LISH: Hands down, Ladyfag’s monthly party Battle Hymn.

INTERVIEW: What are the elements that make up a perfect dance party?

LISH: Good energy and the right music. 

INTERVIEW: What impact has technology had on the nightlife experience?

LISH: People are on their phones way too much, whether they are recording something or texting. It ruins quality time that could be used for dancing.

INTERVIEW: How would you characterize New York nightlife at this moment in time?

LISH: A bit boring, to be honest.

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