Up Close With American Beauty Amanda Murphy

Amanda Murphy
JAC+JACK tank, $70. ZIMMERMANN bikini briefs, $80.

Photography by CHARLIE DENNINGTON
Styling by MARINA AFONINA
Words by LAURA AGNEW

Summer is finally here.

Freckles return to the bridge of your nose. Salt water evaporates on your skin, the remnants clinging to the hair on your arms. The afternoon’s greatest prize, a Golden Gaytime, begins to disappear after a moment of idling, dripping down your knuckles and landing with a soft splat on the pavement. Summer is here. 

It’s the season to slip into a new skin, to escape reality, to forge fast friendships of circumstance or convenience. Growing up, that often meant weaving friendship bracelets with strangers from strange lands. Now, it might be laughs and sundowners shared with a not-quite-friend, one of the few people left in town over the holidays. Unexpected friendships are one of summer’s greatest joys.

So who do we want to be friends with this summer? Our effervescent JONES cover star, Amanda Murphy. 

Amanda Murphy
SABA menswear jacket, $499. JETS bikini, $109.95

The Illinois native is the embodiment of everything that makes these months so magnetic. She is confident, ebullient and always up for a grand adventure - days before arriving in Sydney for JONES, she was scuba-diving in remove Fiji off an island with no wi-fi or phone service, utterly incommunicado.

The 32-year-old also plays the harmonica and runs a horse farm with her sister (riding is a lifelong passion). In a past life, Murphy was a radiology technologist, however these days she’s too busy to make it to the clinic for her shifts - not for lack of enthusiasm but because her schedule is now filled with globetrotting, fronting major fashion campaigns and charming Italy’s priestess of pop prints, Miuccia Prada.

That summertime feeling of impermanence that hangs in the jasmine-scented air? Murphy’s tuned into it, too. “Sometimes I feel like I’m living a few different lives,” she says. “I’ve built close friendships and shared experiences with people all over the world [but] I find myself being so emotional lately, whether I’m leaving home or a new place. It’s sad when an adventure ends but I’m also happy because it means I’m really living, making the most of the time I have and formulating strong connections with the friends I make along the way.”

It’s sad when an adventure ends but I’m also happy because it means I’m really living...

Amanda Murphy
NUDE LUCY shirt, $69.95. BONDI BORN bikini briefs, $120.

As it goes, all adventures must come to an end. Just as you once packed the family car and made the long drive home, returning to real life post-holiday, with its work, chores and obligations, is inevitable. But the feelings you carry within you this season - energy, promise and optimism - are ones to hold onto from here on out. Murphy brings those qualities to everything she doe (on our shoot, she was as bubbly as ever), a lesson for the months ahead.

Summer is a season for change. A time for making resolutions, discovering new ambitions and believing that anything you dream is within your grasp. Anything feels possible because it is.

Discover our seasonal edit from the latest issue of JONES.