Interview with Maria from the Wichita Eagle, Kansas.com
The 17-year-old started modeling with Models and Images a few years ago and thought it was time to update her modeling portfolio. So she went to Chicago.
The photographer, Simon Perry, sent her photos to a casting director in New York, and she ended up getting several jobs during New York Fashion Week in September.
Maria walked in the Alexander Wang, Tommy Hilfiger, Proenza and Eden shows, and also worked a Gap presentation.
"One photographer showed interest, and it just blew up from there. It's crazy," she said.
What's crazy is that she was snapped up and got exclusives with Versace and Versus in Italy and Balenciaga in Paris during fashion weeks there.
"I knew an exclusive had to be good, but I didn't know exactly what that meant," Maria told me. "I'm not good with modeling terms."
What it meant was while some models were paying their own way in hopes of getting booked, she was given a plane ticket, hotel accommodations and a driver.
She worked the show and all week at the fashion house.
"They tweak the outfits, or they add accessories. They constantly change things. They work so hard. Sometimes it was a 16-hour day," Maria said. "I did get homesick, but it went by quickly because I was so busy."
Behind the scenes, she says the other models were easy to get along with and, overall, everyone was nice.
When she is home, she attends Maize High School, where she is a senior. When she's traveling, she does school work online.
Needless to say, her friends are very impressed.
"They love hearing my stories I come home with," she said.
At the Versace show, the makeup was simple and more natural, but stylists went to work on the model's hair.
"They put extensions in my hair and made it look very voluminous," she said. The stylists doubled the amount of hair she has.
It was a month-long adventure that was fun and lucrative.
"The money goes straight into my college fund," she said.
Maria doesn't know when she'll be off and running again, but she won't forget where she's from. She mentioned twice that she knows the importance of staying grounded.
"I will always appreciate what Maryann (VanSickle) at Models and Images did for me. She gave me the spark that started it all. And I love saying I'm from Kansas. Kansas is my trademark," Maria said.
Just read on some website that she is kind of overrated or average... if that's the case then I might have bad taste because I find her quite interesting. Not typical, maybe not easy to get for some spoilt eyes. But she expresses something raw yet sophisticated in someway (if it makes sense but for my eyes it definitely does). Really like the combination of deep brown eyes and a mixture of strength (her features themselves and the expression, the pout when she walks) and some kind of unsecure vibe she has sometimes.
^I agree. There is something missing that at first I thought was a sparkle, but I'm now unsure of what it exactly is. However, I find "this vibe" quite intriguing. It actually works quite in her favor, as it gives her an edge.
To think that some girls' insecurity can be others' advantage.