Style Spotlight: STL Models Making It Big

Discovered by St. Louis’ Jeff and Mary Clarke of Mother Model Management, four Midwest models are currently ruling the runways.

 

Twice a year, ALIVE Fashion Director, Attilio D’Agostino and I hop a plane to New York where we cover the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week shows, network and—if we‘re lucky—see a celebrity or two. Hundreds of miles from home, and surrounded by fashion’s “elite” thousands, I’m still taken aback when I stumble upon STL models and agents—even if they do happen to be among the biggest in the industry.

This past season, we caught up with Mother Model Management’s Jeff and Mary Clarke backstage at the ADAM FW10 show, where Katie Fogarty (a regular on model.com’s top 50 list, campaigns include Balenciaga and BCBGMaxAzria; discovered by the Clarke’s while shopping in STL) was in the hair-and-makeup chair just feet away. On just the first stop of their biannual, four-city (London, Milan and Paris were next), month-long excursion, they were already worn out.

“The main thing is trying to find the balance,” said Jeff, taking a break from his phone-slash-lifeline, on which he was keeping track of the schedules of the four Mother models (all from the Midwest) working the NY shows: veterans Karlie Kloss (among model.com’s top 5; currently the face of Hermès and Dior) and Katie Fogarty, and first-timers Molly Gunn and Aaron Chisum. “We’re here to support.”

In addition to the shows, which alone are time-consuming (when we saw Molly backstage, prepping for a 2pm Juan Carlos Obando show, she had been there since 11am), fittings, castings and callbacks make for a hectic week, to say the least; at ADAM, Katie reported having already clocked a 15-hour day. It was Day 3.

Her advice for models aspiring to her level of success? “Get plenty of sleep, and buy an unlimited-use subway card.”

 

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410_207.jpgBetween the four of them, Mother/NEXT models walked in nearly 50 shows during New York Fashion Week in mid-February. Karlie Kloss, pictured, walked in several shows including Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang.

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Between the four of them, Mother/NEXT models walked in nearly 50 shows during New York Fashion Week in mid-February. Karlie Kloss, pictured, walked in several shows including Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang.

Between the four of them, Mother/NEXT models walked in nearly 50 shows during New York Fashion Week in mid-February. Karlie Kloss, pictured, walked in several shows including Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein and Alexander Wang.

427_207.jpgFirst-timer Aaron Chisum, pictured, walked in Marc by Marc Jacobs and cult favorite Odyn Vovk.

453_207.jpgKatie Fogarty, pictured here, strutted down the catwalks of Max Azria, 3.1 Philip Lim and Jason Wu,

454_207.jpgMolly Gunn’s list of New York Fashion Week shows included Vera Wang and Ports 1961.

 

Photo credit: Candid photos by Attilio D’Agostino, runway photos courtesy of style.com

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