Fashion model signed to agency, questions industry

Vanessa Paredes/Assistant Life! Editor 


Imagine that you are flipping through a magazine and you come across an ad for a big name clothing company. You see a tall, thin model with a captivating face. This girl could very well be Ashley Garner, a University student studying art history.

Garner is no newbie to the modeling industry. With two years of freelance modeling experience in Miami, she has already been published in three magazines and has become very involved in the beauty industry.

Although freelancing has been Garner’s preferred route in her modeling career, an agency in New York has recently snatched her up as their very own.

The Sharlet Grier agency signed Garner this year. Although this company is in New York, they are opening a branch in Miami in June and Garner will be able to work for them without having to relocate.

“I did a shoot with a photographer who recommended I send [the pictures] to Sharlet Grier” said Garner. “I got a call the next day.”

Garner expressed the major perks of the modeling industry: free champagne, free clothes, admission to events and being the center of attention. “You meet some amazing and interesting people,” said Garner.

One of Garner’s most notable achievements was working with the popular chain store, Banana Republic. Icon Magazine published a four page spread featuring her in two of the four pages.

“It was really great to see that all my hard work had paid off in such a beautiful way,” said Garner.

Despite the glamour that is associated with modeling, Garner shared that it has its difficulties.

“Modeling is really difficult because you put so much on other people who don’t even know you,” said Garner. “There are a lot of people that don’t really care about you.”

The beauty industry is known for being cutthroat. Garner explained that although freelance modeling has been an interesting experience, she has had moments where she questioned if it is worth it.

“Being told that you are fat when you are not sucks,” said Garner.

She went on to explain that a number of agencies refused to sign her because her thighs were too “athletic.”

Standing at five feet, nine inches tall and weighing a mere 115 pounds, one wonders how sane the beauty industry really is.

Regardless if the industry loves her or hates her, Garner has other things on her mind. She expressed that modeling not her true passion. Ashley enjoys photography, styling and journalism. She hopes to find a job in the fashion industry, but not necessarily as a model.

“[Modeling] is not my calling. It’s just fun stuff,” said Garner.

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