Working The Runway

Auditioning models take the stage for OFW to prepare for the show

Leily Zhu, News Editor

Bright ashes. Dark makeup. Feathers, silks, and cloth assembled in ways never before seen. Designs conjured solely from the minds of individual designers. Brands displayed by moving canvases. Clothing designers are the artists, and models are eager to show o that art. Instead of hanging motionlessly on a wall, these pieces of art move down a runway full of sass, confidence, or fluidity, depending on the creator’s vision.
Twice a year, Omaha has a show to exhibit these pieces. is show is Omaha Fashion Week (OFW.) Many models who audition and walk in this show, walk the same halls as students of MN.

Auditions for the spring show took place Jan. 14 in the Westroads mall. Anyone could sign up to try out. Body and height measurements of auditioning models were taken, along with a head- shot and full body shot. en they walked the runway in front of the observing designers, owner of OFW, and casting director.
Casting director for OFW and owner of Develop Model Management Alyssa Dilts became involved with OFW as a sponsor, and now casts models for the show. She watches the auditions and decides who will walk the runway. ere is a minimum height requirement of 5’5”. e de- signers then go through the chosen models and choose who they want to represent their brand.

“It’s a great way for me to see new faces and be able to make sure that the models they do have are professional and representing the OFW really well,” Dilts said. “And for girls who aren’t quite the height requirements for national and international modeling, we still love them to be a part of the agency if they represent the brand well so they can do OFW or learn confidence and how to style themselves.”

Senior Micayla Eggert has been walking for
OFW since she was 12-years old. As an experienced model for this show, Eggert walks down the runway for auditions with ease.

“When I first did it, I used to be super nervous, but as time has gone on, it’s just raised my confidence and self-esteem up every time I walk on stage,” Eggert said.
Unlike Eggert, there are still many aspiring OFW models who are trying out the runway for the first time. Sophomore Darcy Monahan was prompted to audition by her older sister, senior Remmie Monahan, who had modeled last year.

“It was really, really nerve wracking at first, but when I started walking I just felt like it wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be,” Monahan said. “I kind of psyched myself out.”

While Eggert has modeled many clothing brands made by designers, Monahan hopes to model for the hair and makeup show to show o her extremely curly hair. Designers are not limited to clothing. They can design accessories, makeup, hairstyles, or anything they can imagine.
Models also are not con ned to solely modeling. It’s a helpful way to launch them into the fashion show and modeling atmosphere, but they do not have to stick to only walking the runway.

“I started as a model, but I also am in a pro- gram now that’s called Teen Ambassador Pro- gram. We scout other models to come in and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Eggert said. “I’m the director of that program and it’s kind of guiding me in the direction I want to be because I don’t want to model for the rest of my life. I want to be an agent or manager.”

Managers have great responsibility on their plate because not only do they have to supervise the models, but they have to ensure the environment of the shows is healthy.

“We look at height and body proportions in a model, but what is most important is the personality of the girl. We promote a healthy positive backstage experience. ere’s no competition, no one’s better than anyone else, so having an attitude that gets along with everyone, that’s easy going, is really what we strive for in a model,” Dilts said.

Walking the runway not only presents the work of the designers, but it gives the models a chance to show their hard work and who they are.

“One of the benefits will be being up in front of people and not being afraid to be myself. Some of the outfits were kind of out there and I think it’d be fun to go represent the designer and wear his/ her clothing and just be up there,” Monahan said. “Just go for it. I think it’d be a good experience for anyone so just do it and have some fun with it.”