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Prepping A New Class Of Models For Their Runway Debuts

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As a new model, how do you prepare for your first-ever New York fashion week? For those eager, lanky teenagers just recently thrown into the fashion vortex, no piece of advice falls on deaf ears. On Wednesday afternoon, New York Model Management, which represents notables like Melissa Tammerijn, Sui He, and Lisanne de Jong, held an orientation for its crop of fresh faces to answer questions about what they should expect in the coming weeks. Panelists including the CFDA’s Steven Kolb, top casting director John Pfeiffer, and street-style photographer Phil Oh commented on everything from the CFDA’s updated health guidelines to ways to stand out using your personal style.

“Who am I? Some 50-year-old coming to talk to all these pretty girls?” Steven Kolb laughed. “But I know about it. Fashion is very seductive, but at its core, it’s a very warmhearted industry. And you should never apologize for being thin or in shape.” Pfieffer, who casts shows like Victoria’s Secret, Michael Kors, and Prabal Gurung, added, “Always walk around as much as possible. People are looking at you all the time. You never know what casting director or blogger will be around, so you always have to look the part.”

Some of these pointers may sound obvious, but even the non-freshman catawalkers, like 19-year-old Marihenny Rivera-Pasible, found the tips helpful. “I think these types of open conversations are pointing us in the right direction,” said 16-year-old runway novice Amira Ahmed, who just moved from London in time to shoot the new Gap campaign. Keep an eye out for her this season, on the runway and on the street—as the panelists pointed out, she already seems to have personal style figured out and has been popping up on street-style blogs frequently.

Of course, not every girl makes it big on her first outing, à la Daphne Groeneveld. “If it doesn’t work out this season, just keep trying,” Pfeiffer encouraged. “There are so many girls who didn’t make it their first or second season. Or fourth—Daria Werbowy. Or even fifth—Lara Stone.”

Photos: Courtesy of New York Models

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