Christie Gabriel is a model who has made it.
Making it has required pushing through barrages of nay sayers and societal pressures to conform. Liking to know how people get started with things, I of course asked our glamour girl how she got her start with modeling … it seems to have started by being bored with high school:
“I dreaded nearly every minute of sitting at a desk in high school and knew that if that is how I had to spend the rest of my life I would be a miserable, depressed shell of a person.
So I decided that as soon as I graduated I would move to Miami and sign with a big modeling agency.
Of course people told me I was crazy for opting to follow a pipe dream instead of walking the straight and narrow and enrolling in college.
I knew I had to succeed if I ever wanted to shut them all up.
After just over a month working non-exclusively for agencies such as: Image, Mary-annes, and Wilhelmina, I quickly landed a contract with Irene Marie.
At that time in my career I had a very commercial look.
This helped me get a couple national commercials, such as a Skittles candy, and a Nair commercial.
Soon I found myself on the set of music video’s surrounded by the likes of Sean (P. Diddy) Combs, Ricky Martin, and Roy Jones Jr.
It wasn’t too long before the day came when repeat bookings by fashion designers and magazines stopped coming in.
It was pretty hard to take.
I just assumed I was getting too old to keep my bookings up.
So I threw in the towel.
No questions asked I just quit all-together.
As a retirement plan, I started a new career in skin care and even had a baby.
My modeling days were behind me, or so I thought.
As a favor, sometimes I would still do the odd photo shoot for an old client.
Through this half-assed modeling, things started snow balling again.
With agencies both exclusive and non-exclusive and domestic and international during the last 4 years, I’ve been traveling oversea’s on a consistent basis.
It is really hard to complain about that.
I love being able to see new places and experience new cultures.
Although, in the next year or two, I would like to spend more time at the home base.
My son is in school now so he is not able to travel as much with me and that is hard on us both.
With a thin fashion friendly frame that is more angular than curvy, I’ve always felt that I could express myself well enough through my posing and facial expressions; but, I recently found myself wanting to contribute more.
I’ve noticed that there is a serious lack of information out there for aspiring models.
And, if that isn’t discouraging enough, the information that is available is often dangerously inaccurate.
To give back, I’ve started ‘The Model Messenger’, an online magazine in which I share with my readers a decades worth of experiences as a fashion model.
A place to get a glimpse behind the scenes at castings, runway shows and photo shoots themodelmessenger.com holds an archive of over 100 helpful articles.
I have 1000+ subscribers and that number is growing at a rapid speed.
Writing for The Model Messenger is another artistic outlet that I enjoy doing.
Even still I’ve been craving more.
Lately I’ve been getting really into the other creative processes of my photo shoots.
I don’t know how to sew and have no desire to learn, so if you see an image that says ‘Wardrobe Styling by Christie Gabriel’ odds are glue guns, staples, and/or iron-on-hems were used!
But as long as the finished product still looks good, I suppose it doesn’t really matter how you got there!
Images © Photographers.
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