Smart, bighearted and grounded as all get-out, St. Louis-bred supermodel Katie Fogarty brings something new to the notion of pretty young thing.
The St. Louis nativeÛÓwhose extensive modeling portfolio includes spreads in Harper’s Bazaar and W, the cover of Vogue Australia’s September issue and campaigns for Balenciaga and D&GÛÓtook to her ALIVE shoot like a “normal” 20-year-old; she showed up in jeans and flats, and passed time in the makeup chair chatting about her housemate, vintage shopping and her plans to lay low while home for the weekend. Even so, she couldn’t help but establish herself as exceptional. Aside from exuding her signature classic-bombshell beauty, which calls to mind such industry icons as Cindy Crawford and Stephanie Seymour, she repeatedly revealed her passion for life’s important thingsÛÓlike family and serving those less fortunate. Regardless of the subject, “model behavior” would have come to mind. In the case of Fogarty, the description fits like a sample.
ALIVE: So many girls dream of getting “discovered.” What was it like for you?
Katie Fogarty: When I was 13, I was discovered by Jeff and Mary Clarke at West County Center. I was coming out of a store with my parents and my best friend, Laura, when they stopped us. I almost ran away, thinking I was getting accused
of something. We were all stunned and skeptical at first.
ALIVE: Considering what followed, I’m guessing it didn’t take long for the excitement to set in. Tell us about your first big gig.
KF: My first big show was a Prada exclusive in Milan. I was ecstatic just to be in Italy, and getting the exclusive was surreal. Everyone kept telling me how prestigious it was, and I felt honored to have been chosen. My first big shoot was for
Teen Vogue when I was barely 16. As with most things in lifeÛÓbesides calculus!ÛÓI learned pretty quickly.
ALIVE: At this point, picking up a mag and seeing you in an editorial is a common occurrenceÛÓdoes any one job stand out as an all-time favorite?
KF: I love my cover and pictures in September’s issue of Vogue Australia. The pictures are classic, and the styling is inventive, yet wearable. I actually look like myselfÛÓjust a really good version!
ALIVE: Do you still get excited when you see the final product of work you’ve done?
KF: Sure. During my second Fashion Week, I was waiting at a casting and playing with my new iPhone, and I stumbled upon my new Balenciaga campaign. I hadn’t expected them to use my shot, as there were 10 girls at the shootÛÓbut I was actually featured in two shots in the campaign. And, while I was strolling through Paris a few years ago, I wandered into a giant billboard of myself for BCBG. It was surreal.
ALIVE: What do you like to do when you’re not modeling?
KF: I’ve got time to kill while in hair and makeup, so reading is a must. Currently, I’m on the last “Harry Potter”ÛÓand am a little stressed to find more books to read once I’m finished! I also like to go to parks and random festivals around the city, and to watch movies. I’m currently rolling through the seasons of “Desperate Housewives.” Netflix is very dangerous.
ALIVE: You somehow make time to do extensive charity work, as well. What organizations have you joined forces with most recently?
KF: Unlike most any other career, being a full-time model means having pockets of free time. For a while, I would spend my time wandering around the city. I searched for activities that were time filling and, more importantly, fulfilling. Eventually, I became an honorary member of NYU’s Newman Club, a Catholic youth group, and Sant’Egidio, a worldwide service community. Through Newman, I found a soup kitchen that usually serves around 500 people in a few hours. With Sant’Egidio, I visit Cabrini Eldercare for weekly prayer and make portable meals for the homeless to distribute around Grand Central Station. In addition, I play and coach a disabled children’s little league team on Saturdays. When I serve these people, I am really serving myself. If anyone is a “Friends” fan, they might recall the episode that debates the existence of a selfless good deed. Joey was right. There really is no such thing as a selfless good deed.
Photo credit: Cover and Inside Photography by Attilio D’Agostino