By Meg Taylor, News Editor
It’s 3 a.m. I am staring at my computer in an AirBnB across from Central Park. Exhausted from walking in four runway shows during New York Fashion Week, and finally sitting down to write my first article of the semester for the campus newspaper, it hits me — I’m actually doing this.
I never envisioned modeling as part of my journey. Of course, when I was a little girl, seeing beautiful women in magazines I thought to myself I want to be on the cover, but it was not something I planned on pursuing.
Broadway was my dream. The majority of my childhood and adolescence was spent in the theatre, acting in a vast range of characters and performing countless dance routines. After a life-changing knee injury left me unable to express myself through movement, I developed a passion for writing. This became my new creative outlet.
I started writing for The Hollywood Times in 2017. My articles covered my passions: theatre, music, beauty and style. The editor-in-chief sent me to write an article for the Palm Springs Fashion Week casting in March 2018. I had no idea that would be the start of the most incredible year of my life.
I was sitting on a bench at Tantris Yoga in West Hollywood, where the casting was held, jotting down notes for the article. I would write later that night. My mom noticed a man walk by me multiple times, but I brushed it off thinking that he was looking for something. The man approached me.
“Are you a model?”
My reply: “at heart I am, but no I’m press.”
He said he was a production manager for the show and asked me to take part in the casting. Accepting his offer, I thought at the very least it would be a cool experience and could write about it.
Up the stairs, into a room filled with models and designers, I captured every detail. Everyone appeared to be in the same all-black uniform: tight fitting tank top, skinny jeans and high heels. Models walked for the designers in pairs, handed off their comp cards, and exited down the stairs. It was finally my turn and I decided to own that moment. After my walk, the designer for Sweet Talk Swim, a women’s swimwear line, called me over and asked me for my contact information. The next day, I was booked for their show.
Exhilarating does not encompass the excitement and experience of Palm Springs Fashion Week. Being in front of hundreds of people was not new to me, but the runway was a completely different experience. Hair, makeup and last-minute prep took roughly four hours. “Plug Walk,” by Rich the Kid, blasted throughout the venue signaling that it was time to start the show. My heart was racing. The stark white, 90-foot runway, the rapid camera flashes, the roaring applause; it gave me a rush I had never felt before.
After Palm Springs Fashion Week, several photographers messaged me asking to work together back in LA. Within the first three months back home, I had two fashion editorials published in Salyse Magazine and Solstice Magazine and was booked to walk in Miami Swim Week.
Photo shoots on yachts, days spent by the pool at the Four Seasons and nights spent walking in shows. What made the experience even more surreal was walking in two designer showcases from Saks Fifth Avenue as well as Project Runway’s Candice Cuoco’s show. My photographs were published in Vogue China, Harper’s Bazaar Ukraine, Elle Ukraine, and Cosmopolitan Ukraine. It was my first major runway show and I was already published by some of the biggest publications in the world.
Two months later, I found myself returning to New York. From the moment I stepped off the plane, it was nonstop castings, fittings, and shows. NYFW flew by without a moment's rest. I walked in 12 shows and turned down eight others, not enough time. The highlight of the New York trip was booking Amazon’s NYFW show in partnership with Cotton:On. More photographs from the runway were published in Vogue China and Harper's Bazaar Chile.
Returning to LA, over the next six months, I walked in 11 shows during LAFW, six other independent runway shows, was the face of two denim campaigns, worked with major beauty brands, and made my first TV appearance.
Throughout this entire journey, I have been in school full-time at Valley College, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, working as the news editor for The Valley Star, and going through the tedious transfer process. I am proud to say I was accepted to my two dream schools: USC and Pepperdine University.
This unexpected journey instilled a newfound confidence in me. It gave me the confidence to worry less about the opinions of others and focus on my own journey. Being open, and choosing to be bold, combined with hard work and dedication, can pay off in unimaginable ways.