John Ab­bott mo­del hea­ding for New York’s Fa­shion Week

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Shan­non Da­lon­zo-Thomas knows what she wants in life, and the 17-year-old John Ab­bott Col­lege student is quiet­ly going about achie­ving a goal of ha­ving a ca­reer in the of­ten cut-th­roat world of high fa­shion mo­de­ling.

Ad­mit­ting she stays pret­ty low-key about the mo­de­ling ca­reer she’s been pur­suing for the past two years, Da­lon­zo-Thomas is ne­ver­the­less thril­led to have been cho­sen to mo­del for the 2013 Fa­shion Week New York, which kicks off Feb. 7.

She was se­lec­ted to work du­ring one of Fa­shion’s big­gest weeks af­ter at­ten­ding a wee­kend au­di­tion in Mon­treal on Dec. 2.

“I was one of 10 mo­dels to com­pete in the au­di­tion,” Da­lon­zo-Thomas said, ad­ding mo­dels, as well as pho­to­gra­phers, sty­lists, make-up and hair ar­tists, were jud­ged on their per­for­mances, pho­to shoots and more du­ring a two-day scou­ting au­di­tion held in Mon­treal.

In the end, Da­lon­zo-Thomas and ano­ther fe­male mo­del, Jas­mine El­lis, were in­vi­ted to at­tend New York’s Fa­shion Week. One sty­list and one pho­to­gra­pher were al­so se­lec­ted, as were two hair sty­lists. All were cho­sen by Camp Couture New York Ci­ty, a company part­ne­ring with in­dus­try in­si­ders to gi­ving se­lec­ted mo­dels a chance to break in­to the bu­si­ness.

Fa­mi­ly bu­si­ness

The quiet but ma­ture teen who is stu­dying in the Crea­tive Arts, Lan­guages and Li­te­ra­ture pro­gram with a theatre fo­cus, says she got her start mo­de­ling when she was 14 years old and ap­proa­ched while shop­ping in Mon­treal. “I was scou­ted by an agen­cy, but I’ve al­so al­ways been around mo­de­ling since my mom used to mo­del when she was my age and my bro­ther has al­so mo­de­led,” she ex­plai­ned.

One of th­ree kids, Da­lon­zo-Thomas said she didn’t want to re­ly on fa­mi­ly connec­tions in or­der to break in­to the ad­mit­ted­ly tough in­dus­try.

“I just pre­fer­red to do it on my own,” she said, ad­ding, “I had star­ted doing more free­lance work, some run­way shows and print work and that lead to the wee­kend au­di­tion,” she said.

And though her pla­ce­ment with the first agen­cy was not a good fit, Da­lon­zo-Thomas feels Camp Couture New York Ci­ty will take her to the next le­vel.

“They help place mo­dels around the world so this is a good chance to see where I can go. I would love to meet all the great agencies and see what they have to of­fer.”

And while kno­wing she doesn’t have the ideal bo­dy type for all run­way mo­de­ling - she’s tall and thin, but not stick-thin nor flat ches­ted - she hopes to break in­to swim­suit or lin­ge­rie mo­de­ling. While in New York, Da­lon­zo-Thomas has been told she will do “some run­way shows and meet with agencies” with the hope of get­ting more work. The trip, for which she will not be paid, is more of a lear­ning ex­pe­rience and the chance to make

in­dus­try connec­tions.

Fu­ture plans

Da­lon­zo-Thomas is on pace to earn her DEC from John Ab­bott this spring. She plans to pur­sue a uni­ver­si­ty de­gree on­line af­ter that so she can be free to take mo­de­ling work whe­ne­ver and whe­re­ver pos­sible. When as­ked how she plans to stay groun­ded in the mo­de­ling world, Da­lon­zoT­ho­mas said she’ll re­ly on her fa­mi­ly and friends. “I hear a lot about how in­dus­try has a ne­ga­tive ef­fect on some people, but I think it’s just a mat­ter of kee­ping your head above wa­ter and al­ways staying heal­thy... just main­tai­ning that ba­lance.”

PHO­TO KRIS­TI­NA EDSON PHO­TO COURTESY OF SHAN­NON DA­LON­ZO-THOMAS

1-When stu­dying at John Ab­bott Col­lege, Shan­non Da­lon­zo-Thomas just tries to blend in.

2-A pho­to­graph from one of Da­lon­zo-Thomas’s pro­fes­sio­nal shoots.

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