“I consider my friends, family, and co-workers my role models.” – Tracy Ripsin
Welcome to Face Time. DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series goes beyond the runways to get to know top Dallas models on a personal level. Why?
Boasting top tier agencies, producers, and retailers, the Dallas market is emerging as a fashion force on the national scene. And, as our interviews with Carlotta Lennox, Myles Crosby, Daniel Crouch, Sirisha Reddy, Atti Worku, Brittanee Brooks, and many more prove, Dallas-based models are among the most fascinating and accomplished in the country.
Today’s beauty is no exception to the rule. Tracy Ripsin’s client list is covetable, indeed, and as a trained aesthetician, she’s an expert times two in her field. Recognizable to many as the longtime girlfriend of Dallas Cowboys legend Troy Aikman, this Midwestern girl maintains a down-to-earth approach to her relationship and her life. In fact, she is inspired by all of those whom she holds dear. Read on for the scoop:
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling as a career?
Tracy Ripsin: “I started modeling when I was 15 years old in Minnesota. At that time, it was more of a hobby, and a way to pay for college.”
With your career divided between Chicago and now Dallas, what do you see as the key differences between these two markets, with regard to modeling?
“I’m not sure these differences would hold true for every model, but I had two very different experiences in these two cities, based on my agencies. When choosing an agency, it’s important to sign with the agency whose bookers are most enthusiastic about you.
“In Chicago, the runway booker at Elite at the time was very enthusiastic about me. Therefore, my career was focused heavily on runway. Here in Dallas, my bookers at the Campbell Agency have been so good to me, in both print and runway, so I have a good mixture of both. A day of work for me here in Dallas could start off on the runway wearing a designer like Oscar de la Renta, and end up shooting cozy pajamas for JCPenney.”
Do you recall a favorite (or particularly memorable) assignment or client?
“My runway days in Chicago were filled with wearing and meeting top designers. I’d say that my favorite designer to work for was Carolina Herrera; she is just as fabulous as she seems! Here in Dallas, every day is my favorite day. It’s such a great group here, from the makeup artists to the stylists and photographers, we are always cracking up on set. I don’t think you are supposed to have that much fun at work!”
As with several of the models we have come to know through this series, you are also a trained professional in another field. Tell us about your interest in aesthetics.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve been interested in the beauty industry. I’m not an expert in all categories, by any means, but I’ve asked a lot of questions of a lot of people, and now I seem to have a little bit knowledge. On top of all the questions I have asked of every makeup artist I’ve worked with, and every model I have worked with, I am also a licensed esthetician through the Aveda Institute.”
Care to share any insider skincare tips?
“The tip that I’m known for – which used to catch me a lot of grief while dining out with my girlfriends – is hot water with lemon. While it’s warming you up in a chilly restaurant, it’s also working wonders on your skin!
“I was also given some great advice recently from a holistic doctor. I had been dealing with adult acne for years, and no matter what topical product or treatment I tried, it would not go away. Finally, this doctor suggested that I give up dairy products. Almost immediately, the acne was gone! This is one tip that I wish I would have learned years ago. It would have saved me a lot of money and stress!”
Now, let’s talk romance. After all, ‘tis the season for cozy nights by the fire! How did you meet your boyfriend? How long have you been dating?
“I thought this might come up! We met through friends almost a year ago now.”
Would you say that dating a Dallas icon affects your relationship in any way?
“No, it doesn’t affect our relationship in any way, really. Is that a boring answer?”
What qualities do you most admire in your significant other?
“Where do I start? I’ll spare you all the mushy stuff, like what a great dad he is, and how great a boyfriend he is… Two things that I’m continually impressed by are his knack for public speaking and his drive for a healthy lifestyle.
“The first speech I heard him give was at a wedding, and it was so heartfelt and to the point. Maybe I’m so impressed because I would have to prepare for weeks to speak in public, and even then, I’m sure I would blab on and on!
“As for the healthy lifestyle, that is something we enjoy together. We have perfected a smoothie recipe, and let’s just say it has a lot of spinach and peanut butter in it!”
What plans do you have for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday?
“I will be at the Cowboys game! We will also have a Thanksgiving dinner, which I may or may not be cooking for. We will see!”
What was the last book you read that made a big impact on you?
“There are so many. Right now, I’m reading I’m No Angel by Kylie Bisutti. She won the Victoria’s Secret runway competition years ago, and has since realized that she cannot reconcile her career with her Christian beliefs. I’m interested in learning about her journey, and the decisions that she has made. In general, my genre of choice, I guess you could say, is ‘self help.’ I’m always interested in learning, and hopefully growing as a person.”
Finally, do you have a personal role model?
“I wouldn’t say that there is one particular role model in my life. As you have probably noted in this interview, I tend to be a gatherer of information, knowledge, and details. I like spending my time with people who inspire me. Everyday, I’m with people who have qualities I admire, so, I guess I consider my friends, family, and co-workers my role models.”
All photos courtesy of Tracy Ripsin.