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Alabama freshman featured in Seventeen

Mari Johnson

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For many young girls, becoming a model is a lifelong dream. One UA student has lived out the dream by recently modeling for a photo shoot appearing in Seventeen Magazine.

Paige Conklin, a freshman majoring in journalism, said she has been interested in fashion from an early age.

“I’m either online or looking through magazines for the new trends,” Conklin said. “I have always admired models who get to wear really cool clothing and get paid for it. Plus, it’s such a great way to express yourself.”

Working with her agency Covergirl Agency of New York, Conklin was able to set up an interview with Seventeen in March. She then headed back to The Big Apple in May for the fall “Back-to-School” photo shoot.

“I seriously had less than two weeks to get everything together,” Conklin said. “It was [during] the last week of my senior year, so I was missing awards day and had to get excuses for missing the last week. But after it all, honestly, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

Conklin even had the chance to meet the editor-in-chief of Seventeen, Ann Shokets.

“I was able to meet most of [the staff] at the shoot,” she said. “They were very welcoming but told me I had such a Southern accent.”

Donna Conklin, her mother, traveled with her daughter to New York for the photo shoot and said she and her daughter are very close.

“That’s the thing about Paige and I, we always do things together,” she said. “I guess you could think of me as her manager.”

For both Paige and her mother, the trip to New York was a dream come true.

“Modeling is very competitive and she’s not really a six-foot-five girl. She’s five-foot-eight, so when we got the yes for Seventeen, we felt like it was finally happening,” Donna Conklin said.

Though Paige Conklin isn’t the typical height for a high fashion runway model, she said she enjoys doing anything that allows her to be herself. For now, she plans to focus more on school but said she hopes to get the chance to model for other international fashion magazines in the future.

“Hopefully soon, I can get some time and will be able to fly back to New York to interview with Teen Vogue,” she said.

Conklin said juggling school and modeling has been difficult.

“Giving up modeling is just not something that I wanted to do, but school comes first,” she said. “I’m hoping as the year goes on, I will be able to figure out a plan to make it all work.”

Donna Conklin also said she hopes Paige finds room for both modelling and school.

“Right now, we are going to take it slow,” she said. “I think as you get older and when you’ve had school, your focus is better.”

Eventually, Conklin hopes to become a writer for a magazine. She says she really enjoys writing and hopes to gain internship experiences during her time in college and then work for a fashion magazine in New York or Los Angeles.

All college students, she said, could live their dreams with a little determination.

“Just stay true to yourself and figure out a plan that will allow you to balance everything,” she said. “What really helped me was staying focused and my drive to be successful.”

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Alabama freshman featured in Seventeen