“I have not found the strung-out anorexics that the general consensus believes us to be.”
– Alexandra Grady
There’s a lot more to modeling than meets the eye. And there’s a hell of a lot more to the models themselves than just svelte figures and shiny hair. Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s new series gets personal with some of the most recognizable faces from top Dallas runways and glossies. First up, an outspoken beauty who eats bacon – a lot of bacon – and who wouldn’t pose nude for just anyone.
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Tell us about your first job.
Alexandra Grady: “I was around 19 when I started modeling. One of my first jobs was for ON Magazine, shot by Richard Krall. It was a pretty hectic time because I was also taking a full semester of college, and the shoot was to be at the exact same time of two of my exams. Luckily, we were able to make everyone’s schedules coincide long enough for me to do everything. It made me realize early on that [modeling] is something you give your all to, or you give nothing to, which has stuck with me for the entirety of my career. If you aren’t in it 100%, you might as well not be in it at all.”
What do think is the biggest misconception about models?
“I think the worst stereotype about us is that we’re all unhealthy – whether it be from drug use, drinking, or eating disorders. I’ve met more models than I can count over the past few years. I’ve met girls that watch what they eat, and girls that run, stretch, and lift weights. I’ve met girls that are unsatisfied with their bodies, and yet, I have not found the strung-out anorexics that the general consensus believes us to be. Do these girls exist? Yes. They’re out there, but I feel that the abundance of these issues have been distorted. Some of us are just lanky kids with fast metabolisms.”
Describe your most exciting job so far.
“I don’t think I can pick just one. Runways get my adrenaline pumping every single time no matter how big or small, but I always think shooting for magazines is awesome as well. That’s where I’ve been able to express myself most, and be really happy with the work I see later. There’s always this different air on set when everyone on the team is pushing themselves to be better and think outside the box.”
How do you prepare for a job?
“Modeling is a 24/7 job. You are the medium in which the rest of the team focuses their creativity. If your skin or hair isn’t looking good, everyone suffers. It’s important to keep your body, skin, nails, and hair all looking their best. You never know when a casting or last minute booking is going to pop up. Besides that, I usually have a bag of things that might be helpful during the shoot, and I add anything the client asks for – the model “survival kit.” You’ll find things like safety pins, pasties, fashion tape, foot pads, band-aids, and lint rollers in there.”
What is the craziest/silliest/most unusual thing you have done on a job?
“Well, I’ve stood on railings four stories above the ground, balanced on the tops of rickety ladders, hung from fire escapes, pet a dead stuffed bird for about an hour, and laid on live train tracks. What’s life without a little challenge? Oh, and I stole a cat. They were serious when they said they didn’t want it. Fair game.”
What is your dream modeling job?
My dream job, from day one, has always been to work with exotic animals on a shoot. Of course, the first inspirational image that comes to mind is Dovima with the elephants, shot by Richard Avedon. There was a more recent one as well that I fawned over for some time. The Free People catalog for April 2011 featured one of my favorite models, Sasha Pivovarova, with a baby white tiger, a macaw, and peacocks. Maybe it’s best I haven’t fulfilled this dream yet. The couple of shoots I have done with animals have resulted in me taking at least one home with me.”
Name a model you admire. Why is she a role model to you?
“Coco Rocha is a big role model for me. I love her attitude. She’s full of energy, fun, and always upbeat. When she models, she just goes for it. She doesn’t stick with one face or one pose. She jumps, screams, and makes the most awkward positions look effortless and natural.”
Are there any “deal breakers” for you when it comes to job requirements?
“There aren’t many deal breakers for me. I’m comfortable with my body, controversial statements when used appropriately, and all manner of apparel and working environments. It’s a case-by-case basis for me. Would I shoot nude for Vogue? Sure. Would I do the same for Playboy? Nope.”
What did you have for breakfast?
“A cinnamon roll, five pieces of bacon, and 1/4 of a fresh pineapple.”
What do you like to do when you’re not modeling?
“I enjoy working with my hands. I draw, paint, sew, and play video games until my hands cramp. I like to stretch my mind’s creativity and explore new things.”
All photos courtesy of Wallflower Management.