CFW Model Superlatives

Ayoka Lucas

{The author of "CFW Model Superlatives" is Bergen Specia, an aspiring stylist who spends her days scouring the city for cool vintage finds, wasting way too much time at her favorite local coffee shop, collaborating with fashion folks on nifty photo shoots and of course, going to the coolest parties around town.}



Wow. I can't believe Charleston Fashion Week is already over! It was a huge whirlwind where every second not spent sleeping or getting ready was spent under the tents. The models were so wonderful and patient about having to wait for hours at a time before going to their fitting or hair and makeup, or finding out if they were walking in a show that night. No one diva-ed out, broke down, or called too much attention to the fact that something maybe wasn't working as perfectly as one would hope. I know that can't be said about most fashion weeks and I'm so proud of them!
At the last model rehearsal on Monday night before fashion week began, I got the idea to do "Model Superlatives." There were so many different personalities amongst the group that I just have to show off a few. This is a very short list, and I'm kind of upset I didn't get a chance to grab more pictures and stories, but this is what I got.  
Mr. & Mrs. Congeniality: 
Zac Mallard & Heston Stutz
Zac and Heston are two of the models that gave me this idea in the first place. They are both so high-energy and outgoing. Everyone knows them and they are good sports about everything. 
Heston is no newbie to the model life. This year marks her 17th year in the business. She has worked on most continents, most recently being Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Her professionalism is never lacking and she always brings energy into the room. Personally, I don't know how she does it because she is balancing a modeling career, two kids, and owning and managing local Charleston juice and coffee shop Grind and Squeeze. Heston says, "You can't take it too seriously. When it stops being fun—that's when you need to move on. And it is still fun for me."
Zac, a CofC alum, is a another local Charlestonian—but not for long. He is moving to New York in a few weeks to pursue an art career. He is a painter/sculptor who transforms spaces for unique gallery shows. Zac's spirit-animal is a cheetah (as shown off by his signature cheetah rain jacket/wind breaker). Not to be too cheesy, but he really does resemble one. He is always running around somewhere, talking to someone, or working on something. Every model has had a conversation with Zac. He also stood out to Michelle and the model team for his courteous and promp email exchanges. 
Standout Youngsters:
Taylor Sullivan & Kristen Libertine
Taylor and Kristen are two of our babies—in age, that is! 
Taylor is the youngest of all the models. She turned 13 four days before the cutoff of the model application to participate in Charleston Fashion Week—you have to be 13 to apply. That's right folks, 8th grade AND she skipped a year of school! Taylor also plays tennis, swims, and cheers. She plans to continue pursuing this newfound career in modeling. "I've never been good at public speaking or anything like that so modeling is my chance to do that sort of thing. Every time I exit the runway I always think to myself, 'I can't believe I just did that!'" she says. 
Kristen is such a sweetheart. She's also a competitive swimmer, 14 years old, and in the 8th grade. She has been modeling since she was 10 and is planning on pursing it for as long as she can. Funny fact about her: she had never worn a skirt to school until last year. She says on when she got discovered, "I was just walking through the mall to buy some Converse shoes and next thing I know I'm being recruited to model."
Most Dedicated:
Glennis & Devon Wright
These Wright brothers really want to do the best they possibly can. Models were only required to come to a certain number of rehearsals, but were told they could stay for as many as they wanted to. Glennis & Devon, I'm sure, broke the record for the number of rehearsals attended! I don't have an exact count, but it was a lot—definitely the most out of the models. Devon has plans to delve into the world of design eventually, and Glennis wants to continue modeling. "We always want to stay together. That's why we went to all the rehearsals together and not just one of us," Devon says. (See a video confessional from the brothers here).
Cutest Model Couple:
Makenna Reeder & Duston Rogers
I mean, come on. They have been dating for three years. Young love. 
P.S. Congrats on winning the Rock the Runway competition, Makenna!
Best Bleach-Blonde Hair:
Charles Ballard
Once again, come on. Just look at those flowing locks. (See Charles' video confession, here!)
Best Last-Minute Model:
Stephanie Walsh
Not an official CFW model, Stephanie walked into the tents Thursday night expecting to work backstage on fittings like she had done previous nights. By the end of the night though, she was walking down the runway for featured designer Libertine. "He said he thought my look was fierce and then asked if I had any runway experience," Stephanie says. She didn't have any experience, but worked it anyway! Just goes to show you either have it or you don't in this business.