New Haven Top Model Search

The Shops at Yale was host to a class of nearly 500 hundred aspiring models who boldly took the runway in hopes of being discovered. Surrounded by the Elm City scape, fanned by summer-like breeze, and amped by hot music, contestants from as far as Miami took the first steps to actualizing their modeling dreams. A few of these contestants, also referred to as new faces, had no runway experience like 15 year old Emily Rogalski. In spite of this, she and the other new faces embraced the approximately 30 second opportunity to be judged by modeling agents from John Casablancas, Fenton, The Society, and Surface.


To make a lasting impression in 30 seconds or less you need to have poise and personality.

Having poise is a sign of confidence. For example, during your headshots “connect to camera” by looking through the lenses, not at it. Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed and leveled, and don’t forget to smile for at least one shot! For runway, you can casually slide your fingers into a pocket or rest a hand on your hip. Keep your chin up and eyes forward as you walk unless you want to have a little fun batting them to the audience members on either side of you. This is also one way to demonstrate personality. Show that you are capable of embodying not just the look, but the energy and attitude that will connect with a brand’s specific target audience. A big laugh or smile is another way to show personality. Doing so not only gives you the appearance of being friendly and approachable, it gives you commercial appeal, which translates to potentially big earnings. The procedures of a model search are similar to an audition or a casting so you can apply these tips, which will become second nature over time.

You also need to be poised during waiting periods. Getting a start in modeling is sometimes a matter of timing so it’s important to be ready when an agency finally shows enough interest to offer you a contract. Be patient, look your best, and show grace as you wait for that call that could potentially transform your life forever. Besides, you never know who’s watching.

Image consultant Debbie Allen Wright of Better Connecticut and Seasons Magazine was watching. Wright, who has a trained eye for style was on the lookout for four contestants to award “Best Outfit” plaques and $50 gift cards. Her criteria? People who, “look like they took a little bit of time to put together a current modern look that stands out . . . something that represents them and [that] they feel good in,” she said. She found what she was looking for in a young man who wore a white blazer over his all-black wide leg pants and turtleneck. He also wore a black and white newsboy cap and mustard tinted glasses. “He was just feeling it,” she noted. $50 gift cards were also given to four individuals with “Best Personality” selected by Meghan Yost of WTNH who cohosted the event with Wright.

Fresh faces waiting in line

Debbie Wright with one “Best Outfit” winner

Kiara Roberts from Brooklyn, NY

By Adaora Akubilo-Cobb

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