Model Call: Bay Berger
By Taylor Harris
We hear your mom had something to do with you getting discovered?
She sent my homecoming picture in to a lot of agencies. Within three days, I was signed to the agency Ford in Los Angeles — they hadn’t even met me yet. I just had to e-mail them a picture of myself with no makeup on and then a video.
How did you find out the good news?
My mom picked me up from school with flowers, screaming, “You’re a Ford model!” I was like, “What’s Ford?”
Your homecoming picture must have been pretty great.
Oh, god. I actually had gotten a spray tan, so I was really fake tan, which is so not me. My hair was half up, half down, with those curly tendrils in the front, and I had on this long green dress. It was very Texas.
Where in Texas are you from?
A place called Beaumont, an hour and a half east of Houston. It’s small, not like a suburb but still pretty small, but definitely not rural — just boring.
You signed with Ford in L.A. when you were 15. Did you move out there at that point?
At first I was sort of going back and forth. I was staying with my mom’s friend who lives there, so I’d stay for a few months, then I’d come back for a few. I did that for like a year.
How did school fit into that plan?
I went to high school for freshman and half of sophomore year. Then my agency was like, “We want to send you to Japan.” I really wanted to go; I begged and said I could take school online. So I dropped out and went to Japan for a little bit. Then I was in L.A. for a while, and just arrived in New York in the beginning of October.
Was all that moving a difficult adjustment?
Well, it’s not like I had lived in Texas my whole life before I started modeling. I was born in Kansas City, and lived in Florida and Louisiana before Texas. So I always knew that Beaumont wasn’t like the whole wide world. But I have to say, it is different. Even living on my own now is tough. I don’t know what I’d do without HopStop.
Has your style changed since moving here?
I don’t really have a personal style — I like looking like a hobo, sort of. I like the big, oversize stuff and the sleekness of black.
Do you dress differently when you’re back in Texas?
I used to wear totally boring stuff, like what everyone else in Texas wears: Uggs, American Eagle and Hollister. I used to think I needed to fit in, but I don’t really care anymore — I dress the way I dress. I remember once I showed up in motorcycle boots, which everyone in New York wears, and people were like, “What are you wearing?”