How Christopher Kane’s Latest Muse Went from Unknown to Exclusive in 48 Hours

How’s this for an overnight success story? Allyson Chalmers’s transition from unknown to runway exclusive took a whole 48 hours. With her lanky frame and refined features, Chalmers fits right in with the current set of sylphlike beauties dominating fashion’s runways, but as a Philadelphia high school student, a career in fashion seemed far removed from her daily life. An avid fan of modeling blogs and superstars like Magdalena Frackowiak, Chalmers stumbled upon IMG’s “We Love Your Genes” scouting campaign on Instagram and uploaded her pictures using the #WYLG hashtag. “I figured, why not? I have nothing to lose,” said Chalmers. “My mom would always say, ‘Why don’t you do it—modeling would be fun,’ so I thought it couldn’t hurt to try.”
Only hours after posting her selfies, Chalmers was making the trip to New York City to meet with agents. “It happened really quickly—by the next day I was stepping into IMG, and they sent me on a casting that afternoon.” And it was not just any casting; it was a trip to see Maida Gregori Boina and Rami Fernandes, the power duo who selects the lineup at Calvin Klein. Given that Calvin’s exclusives have a history of finding long-term success within the industry, the meeting was a crucial one for Chalmers—and judging by her presence on the runway for the Spring 2016 collection, she clearly made an impression. For Chalmers, the show was an opportunity to learn: “The team was so personable, and it became my favorite experience of fashion month. They had me the whole week doing looks with Francisco [Costa] before the show happened, and then they took all the exclusive girls and had us practice the show beforehand so we would know how it was done.”
Since then, Chalmers has racked up an impressive slate of work, including catwalk turns for Gucci, Dior, Jil Sander, and Valentino, and Pre-Fall finds her as the new face of Christopher Kane’s collection, marking her second time working with the designer. “Christopher created my favorite look from last season; I got to have bangs and walk down his runway in this amazing creation that was unlike anything I’ve ever worn before,” says the model. Now a full-time working model, Chalmers still has to pinch herself now and then. “I remember watching fashion shows on YouTube recently, so this is a little surreal. Because of the exclusive, I couldn’t even tell my friends about being signed until after everything happened. I’m still getting messages, like, ‘What the hell, Allyson!’ ”
Source: Vogue

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