This Week's Model: Ali Stephens
Sweet-faced Ali Stephens, 18, is probably one of the more laid-back girls in the business. In fact, when she was first discovered by a local agency while shopping at a Salt Lake City mall, it took her more than five months to even submit Polaroids. Still, despite her initial hesitation, Stephens has shot into the industry’s top ranks. Almost immediately after being signed with Elite, she walked exclusively for Prada spring 2008, and since then has become a repeated favorite for Calvin Klein and Balenciaga.
You walked for Prada within two weeks of being signed. What was that like?
I was just this little girl from Utah, so I didn’t know how big a deal it was. I’m glad I didn’t really know what was going on because had I known, I would have been way too nervous. I do remember after I came off the runway for the first time, I wanted to keep doing it over and over again. It was very exciting.
What’s been your favorite show so far?
The Calvin Klein fall 2008 show. I was exclusive for them that season, and I opened the show. Plus, I got to spend the whole week with my best friend [model] Toni Garrn.
Have you had any embarrassing model moments?
At the Elie Saab spring 2009 show, I had a dress with a really high slit on the side and I flashed the audience while I was walking. I had to hold my dress the rest of the time.
Who are your closest model friends?
Toni and Karlie [Kloss]—we try to meet up wherever we are. I saw Toni in Paris a couple of months ago, and I usually see Karlie here in New York. It’s always tough getting our schedules together, but it’s so much fun to hang out and chill like normal teenagers. We like to eat at The Diner; the three of us went there last season before a show and loved it.
Are you still in school?
Being in school got hard because I was never there. I switched to online schooling, but that didn’t work either because I never had time to do it. When I was working I couldn’t do it, and when I wasn’t working, I just wanted to relax. It was hard to motivate. So right now I’m studying for my GED. I’m going to take it before fashion week.
Who are your favorite designers?
It’s going to sound like the typical model answer, but Alexander Wang. I also like Isabel Marant and Givenchy, but I usually wear Steve Madden sandals, cutoff shorts and a band t-shirt in the summer. I have an Elvis shirt that I wear all the time.
I am trying to get connected with Oceana. I’ve always been passionate about the ocean and environment. If I wasn’t modeling, I would be a marine biologist for sure.
“This Week’s Model” appears every Tuesday on the Editors’ Blog.