Original supermodel, Kim Alexis, imparts her words of wisdom
Supermodel! The term was synonymous with beauty and launched the careers of a select few. The faces of the supermodels were everywhere, from the covers of the largest magazines in the world, to the most successful print campaigns in history. It was glamour on an exponential scale and almost every young model dreamed of joining this exclusive club. One model, Kim Alexis, stood out with over 500 magazine cover features in addition to print campaigns. Kim Alexis set a standard many models of the era failed to achieve. Her face and likeness spanned the globe and offered a lifestyle many could only dream of.
Pageantry magazine recently sat down with Kim Alexis to discuss her career and unique insight into the modeling industry including positives she gained, changes in the industry, and challenges facing those looking to modeling as a career.
Pageantry magazine: How did you get your start in modeling?
Kim Alexis: I was 17. I was a senior in high school and already knew I was going to go to the University of Rhode Island, majoring in pharmacy and swimming on the swim team. I was looking to make extra money during that school year and someone said to me, “You’re pretty, maybe you should try modeling.” The modeling agency in Buffalo required me to go through a school first. I would show up after swim practice fresh out of the water, wet hair, tomboy, without a clue what I was doing. I didn’t know anything about makeup, beauty, posing, or fashion, so I just felt really uncomfortable and like I didn’t belong.
One night at the modeling school, a man was staring at me and I eventually got called into the office. I thought they were kicking me out, but instead, they said, “Do you want to go to New York to model?” I actually told them no at first, I said, “I was going to be a pharmacist.” I let them take some photos, all the while proclaiming, “You can try and take the photos, but I really am going to become a pharmacist.” Lo and behold, Elite in New York City, specifically John Casablancas said, “I’m coming to Buffalo, I want to sign you.” He offered me a year’s contract with a money guarantee that was too good to pass up. I figured I could always go back to college in a year after I gave this a try. Well, I had a cover within my first four days and a national ad in just three months. I was off to the races very quickly and never looked back at being a pharmacist again.
PM: Do you have any idea of how many covers you graced through all the different titles?
KA: We counted and stopped at 500. I would sometimes be on eight in the same month, in different countries, which was unheard of. Vogue, Bazaar, Glamour and Mademoiselle, I would be on all of those.
PM: You had the record for the most covers of Glamour.
KA: Yes, 29.
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