House of Style

 In Feature, Style

STL’s fresh faces are taking the modeling world by storm. Meet the industry’s next household names.


[Editor’s Note: The original version of this story, which appeared in the September 2012 issue of ALIVE, incorrectly stated that Joe Essig performed in a Muny production. Essig was actually part of the pre-show, and ALIVE regrets the error.]

1/ Hayley Keith
A native of the bootheel of Missouri, Hayley Keith has already been named valedictorian of her class, compiled a long list of completed charity work (including a summer spent with Heart for Africa, a nonprofit, faith-based organization working to end poverty and the AIDS epidemic in Africa) and modeled in a national campaign for Paul Mitchell. Not bad for an 18-year-old. Although she was only recently discovered—at a charity runway show by a fellow CENTRO model—it seems she’s long been prepping for her promising career. “People in my school used to comment that you never see me wearing the same thing twice,” she says. “For the most part, I like to mix modern pieces with vintage or vintage-inspired things.”

2/ Joe Essig
Joe Essig is more than just a handsome face. In addition to launching a whirlwind modeling career—which has recently taken him to New York, where he signed with Ford Models (an experience he calls “extremely surreal”)—the 17-year-old is well on his way to building an impressive acting portfolio, as well. During his first three years of high school, he’s had featured roles at SLUH and Nerinx Hall and training as a triple-threat performer (skilled in singing, dancing and acting). This summer, he was part of the pre-show for “Pirates!” at The Muny and traveled to China with the SLUH Chorus. After graduation in May 2013, Joe hopes to move to New York to pursue modeling, acting and his education. “Being in NYC is very high energy,” he says. “I am finally getting used to the sporadic scheduling of the fashion world, and have come to find that being in front of a camera is actually a really exciting and liberating experience.”

3/ Eva Adams
Some aspiring models spend years auditioning and networking, hoping to one day be faced with the ultimate “big break.” For others, the road to success is less rocky. take Eva Adams. “I signed with CENTRO a little under a year ago when my sister took me into an open call,” she recalls. “I decided to model because my sister was encouraging it and it sounded like fun!” Since then, the active charity worker (she loves World Vision, and will be working with Habitat for Humanity later this year)—who has dreams of modeling for Ralph Lauren (“That would be amazing!”)—has worked in New York, and signed with IMG Models and Ford Models Chicago.

4/ Lauren Bigelow
Mother Model Management
A decidedly cool, ethereal blonde who hails from Wentzville, Lauren Bigelow burst onto the scene in February of last year—when she walked in her first Fashion Week shows, including Lanvin in Paris, and signed off with NY agency NEXT Worldwide. “Since then, I have walked in three Lanvin shows, and the team always greets me by name; I am so lucky to get to work with them,” she says. She has also worked the runway for such major labels as Calvin Klein and Theyskens’ Theory. Off the clock, she can be found listening to Jack White, Best Coast and Bruce Springsteen—or shopping. Her look, which has caught the attention of several street style photographers in London, is an edgy compilation of second-hand and vintage finds, a go-to pair of black leather boots and “black skinny jeans I bought in Tokyo and can’t seem to find anywhere else.”

5/ Grace Hartzel
Mother Model Management
When you hear Grace Hartzel say, “I love water rafting, biking and spending time with friends and family,” she sounds like a normal 16-year-old—until she starts talking about her job. “I feel so in my element,” she says of walking the runway. Fresh off the Fall 2012 Haute Couture shows in Paris—where she opened Rad Hourani and claimed a hard-to-land spot in Christian Dior (“When I got it, I felt so proud,” she admits. “It showed that hard work will get you far, and your dreams can come true”)—the Indiana native, who was discovered at The Cheesecake Factory and is now with NEXT Worldwide, seems well on her way. “My dream is to do [the] Chanel [show], and all the major designers—and to open a few.”

6/ Ehren Dorsey
Mother Model Management
“I feel like everything that has happened within this past year has been a ‘wow’ experience for me,” Ehren Dorsey confesses. It’s no wonder. Within the first three months of her modeling career, the St. Charles native—who formerly made a living cleaning houses—found herself traveling to cities she never thought she’d see, as well as posing for both Calvin Klein and Interview. Her pace has remained steady ever since. Her personal style is highly unique— defined by a super-short mane (“I enjoy pushing the boundaries of how people define femininity or masculinity,” she says)—and clothes that serve to complement. She keeps it “boyish and simple, with the occasional dress to utterly confuse people.”



Hayley Keith Centro Models

Hayley Keith / Centro Models


Joe Essig

Lauren Bigelow / Mother Model Management


Eva Adams CENTRO Models

Eva Adams / CENTRO Models


Lauren Bigelow Mother Model Management

Lauren Bigelow / Mother Model Management


Ehren Dorsey Mother Model Management

Ehren Dorsey / Mother Model Management


Grace Hartzel Mother Model Management

Grace Hartzel / Mother Model Management


Photo credit: Courtesy of CENTRO Models and Mother Model Management

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