Selena Gomez might have gotten her start on the Disney Channel, but the young starlet has come a long way from Waverly Place. She makes her high-fashion debut on the cover of Elle's July issue (click to see the steamy editorial spread) and proves why she is poised to become Hollywood's newest It-Girl.
Decked out in pieces from Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana, Vera Wang, Marni, David Yurman, Manolo Blahnik and Yves Saint Laurent, Selena Gomez looks more like a sultry screen siren than a 19-year-old who, just five years ago, was playing the role of the bratty and quirky teen wizard, Alex Russo.
Although her stint on Wizards of Waverly Place has ended, Gomez does still seem to possess magical powers. She is a TV and music star, a fashion entrepreneur and the envy of millions of Beliebers around the globe, Elle notes. It seems as if everything she touches turns instantly to gold.
Disney is a machine, so people automatically assume that you can't work for the channel unless you act and sing and dance and sign up for all that. That's absolutely not true. I always did everything the way I wanted to do it, says Gomez, who has managed to evolve from the Disney brand into a star unto her own.
Gomez has a string of indie flicks coming down the pipeline, including Aftershock and Spring Breakers.
Spring Breakers, a Harmony Korine-directed film, is about four college girls who wind up in jail after robbing a restaurant for money to fund a spring break vacation. A drug and arms dealers bails them out but wants them to do some dirty work as compensation.
The Texas-native stars alongside James Franco and fellow Disney stars, Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Benson.
I thought Harmony was so smart to cast her, Vanessa and Ashley because it seemed like they were so hungry for some deeper kind of material, hungry for indie material, Franco told E! News. They really gave their all when they were acting. You've got great performances.
Gomez is happy with her new roles, breaking out of her shell and (hopefully) changing people's preconceived notions about her.
I get offered the teenybopper movies, and I've done that, Gomez tells Elle. I haven't done a mega-hundred-billion-dollar Transformers movie, but that's not what I want to do either.
Although she might seem like the luckiest girl in the world today, the beautiful young star dealt with difficulties growing up poor.
I can remember about seven times when our car got stuck on the highway because we'd run out of gas money, she tells us. Still her mother, saved up to take me to concerts. She took me to museums, aquariums, to teach me about the world, about what's real.
She was captivated by the world of acting even at a young age. At five-years-old, Gomez first saw Jennifer Lopez as Selena and wanted to be her. I made a bustier out of a bathing suit that I dyed black. I put glue and glitter all over it and I wouldn't take it off.
Today, the tables have turned, and young girls around the globe wish they could be Ms. Gomez herself. Partly, of course, because of her significant other.
Selena Gomez poses in a Balmain embroidered lambskin top (collection at Barneys New York), Mugler skirt and yellow gold and silver lock bracelets from Tiffany & Co. Photo courtesy of Elle magazine.
Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez began dating in 2010. On February 27, 2011, the couple made their first public appearance together at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar Party, confirming rumors of a romance. Since then, in spite of gossip of a break-up, they have been utterly inseparable.
Neither party will reveal much about the relationship. But Gomez did offer up one sweet tidbit to Elle.
Referring to the time Bieber renting out L.A.'s Staple Center for a private screening of Titanic, the singer said: If I'll share anything with you, it's that he really is a hopeless romantic. I had just mentioned it in the car - all I said is that I really want to see Titanic again, and then.
Bieber and, seemingly, the whole world just can't get enough of her.
Want to emulate Gomez's super-sultry Elle style? Satin-finish, cheery-red lips will do the trick. Try Dior Rouge Dior Lipcolor in Blazing Red (dior.com, $32).
Make sure to check out Selena Gomez's full interview in the July issue of Elle magazine.