Q&A: Model & former UI student Abigail Conroy


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The recent popularity of shows such as “America’s Next Top Model” and “Project Runway” seem to have started a trend with young women trying to start fashion careers. The Daily Iowan sat down with former University of Iowa student Abigail Conroy, whose life as a model is more than a reality show.

The Daily Iowan: What company do you model for, and what did you do in order to get signed?

Conroy: I model for BMG modeling agency. It has agencies in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, and internationally. In order to get signed, I went to an open call, and after talking to them once, I was asked to come back and was given a three-year contract.

DI: We always see on shows such as “America’s Next Top Model” that photographers want really specific looks. Is this true in real life? What have you been asked to do with your look?

Conroy: Photographers do in fact look for a certain look for shoots. That’s why agencies like to make sure they have so many different looks of girls for the clients to choose from. I personally have been asked to cut my hair, but in this business, they’re always changing their mind, so I never ended up having to do that. I have just been asked to refrain from tanning and to color my hair a certain way, nothing too drastic.

DI: What is the hardest part about modeling?

Conroy: Modeling is definitely not as easy as it seems. It’s really long days, and usually early call times. The last couple shoots I did, my call times were 5 a.m. You always have to look awake and alive and leave all your personal problems at the door, because the littlest bit of tiredness or sadness can show up on film, and you never want a client disappointed that they chose you.

DI: Be honest — is there a specific size you have to be to model? What do you do to stay that size?

Conroy: To stay in shape, I keep a very active lifestyle and healthy diet. I work out three to four days a week and also will go on bike rides and roller blade, always taking advantage of the nice weather. I eat pretty normally, I do not diet too much or deprive myself of anything. I just mostly try to stay away from junk food. They usually like you to be anywhere from a size 2 to 4. Agencies only go off of measurements, never weight. With the first agency I was signed to, I was told to lose weight and successfully did it. So they are definitely not shy when it comes to slimming down.

DI: Last, what are your aspirations for your future with modeling? What is your No. 1 goal out of this experience?

Conroy: My aspiration for modeling is to really make this a full-time thing and travel. Traveling is my No. 1 goal. Because my agency is an international one, I am hoping that as I get more work and build my portfolio, I will soon be able to travel the country, which would surely make this a worthwhile experience.

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