Steamboat Springs Kassidy Fischer returned from New York Fashion Week on Monday with rules any person can live by:
1. Never be late.
2. Always enter every interview like it’s the biggest of your life.
3. Be as professional as possible.
“And don’t go buy a $200 pair of shoes you think are pretty,” she said. “I learned that the hard way. I ended up going hungry the first few days.”
But so goes the entertaining, nonstop, relentless world in which Fischer currently lives. The Steamboat Springs native is entering into the high-end fashion world, her biggest break coming during the Sept. 5 to 12 fashion week in New York City.
There, the 17-year-old model achieved a dream and saw what it takes to be a high-end fashion model. New York Fashion Week is one of four major fashion weeks held around the world.
“It was one of my biggest dreams,” Fischer said. “When I first started, I told my mom I wanted to do New York Fashion Week.”
Fischer arrived in New York on Aug. 9, spending her first week in the city getting acclimated.
There wasn’t much time in her schedule. She’d wake at 7 a.m. and usually be in bed by 2 a.m. In between, Fischer would go to as many runway castings as possible. She also had to attend to her full-time, online schooling (she is a high school senior).
The castings involved designers looking at her portfolio and then asking her to walk.
“It was like I was in a zombie state,” she said. “It was work, school, work, sleep. But it was a lot funner than it sounds. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever done.”
Fischer first was scouted as a potential model when she was 11. She and her mother, Gena, were walking through a Denver mall when a women approached and invited Fischer to a casting call for an agency.
“I was tall, awkward and dorky,” Fischer said.
They brought 50 people in, and Fischer was one of four signed. By 13, she’d done her first magazine and has modeled for multiple companies since.
But Fischer didn’t become totally invested until the past couple of years. She and her mother moved to Los Angeles for three months last year. Her career started to take off, and when she changed her management in February, she got the call for New York Fashion Week.
She currently has modeling contracts with two agents in Colorado and one each in New York and Los Angeles.
She admits jumping into the modeling world has made her grow up quickly. She sometimes wishes she could be a regular high school student, fixated on homecoming rather than signing the next contract.
But in growing up fast, Fischer also has learned essential life skills. She’s learned to work hard and that rejection is a big part of the business.
“She’s learned a lot of skills that she can apply to her life later on,” Gena Fischer said. “She’s really humble. I think you need to be in a world with big egos. For every 'yes,' there are 20 'nos.' You’re always replaceable as a model.”
Fischer will head to Los Angeles until Thanksgiving. Then she’ll be back in New York in January and February for Spring Fashion Week.
Until then, she was enjoying the downtime and serenity Steamboat provided. She maintains a straight-A average in school and was excited to be out of the city, no worse for the wear and more enlightened and business savvy than a normal 17 year old.
She said she plans to graduate high school in May and give modeling her full attention for two years. If her career takes off, so be it.
If not, she wants to eventually be an elementary school teacher. Until then, it’s all been an adventure.
“Professionally, I know there are 50,000 girls that want to do the same thing,” she said. “It’s about being in the right place at the right time. I’ve been lucky, but I’ve worked really hard at it.”
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham
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