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The Model life of Sydney Cross

By Trilby Lawless

“Modeling is a whole different culture being in the fashion industry”, Sydney Cross said. Concrete Runway sat down with Cross who is a full time student at Loyola University Chicago and a model to talk about her experiences in the modeling industry.

“I started modeling in February of 2013, so my freshman year here (at Loyola University Chicago). I was home over winter break in Milwaukee at a yoga studio and a fellow model, she’s actually in her 40s, I guess you could say scouted me at the yoga studio and ask to take pictures of me to send to her agency”, Cross said.

Cross is now a model for Factor Women in Chicago. In December of 2009 Factor Women was created by Jane Stewart, who organized Elite model agency in Chicago and Atlanta, which helped launch the careers of many famous models including Cindy Crawford.

Models used to be seen only as a means to an end for selling clothes in the fashion industry, but now with the rise of social media, many famous models have become style icons themselves for their looks and personality.

For Cross the clothes are something that just come with the job, but she does admit it has made her more fashion conscious. “I catch myself grabbing a Vogue here and there now to see whats new, its fun”, Cross said. Her friend once described her style as “bummy-chic”, which Cross agrees with, “I can pull it together well but at the same time I’m never trying to dress up really well, as you can see I’m wearing leggings right now”, Cross said.

The positive attention models have been receiving lately about their personalities and style has also come with criticism and discussion about a model’s body image and the pressure to all be one size. According to Cross most photoshoots she arrives at will only have one or two sizes of a piece of clothing the models are expected to wear, so if you don’t fit you don’t have the job. This explains why all the models at her agency are within an inch of each others measurements, with a 24 or 25 inch waist and 35 or 36 inch hips. According to a story from ABC these measurements are the average for high fashion women models, as well as being roughly 90 to 120 pounds. However, Cross says the pressure is not as bad as you would think.

“They do definitely give girls recommendation on what they want their measurements to be, but they also encourage doing it healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. They encourage us to go to work out classes and give us a work out studio to go to”, Cross said.

Despite the pressures and fast pace lifestyle of the modeling world, Cross finds the job extremely rewarding. “My favorite thing about the industry definitely has to be meeting all the new people and going all over to different places and seeing the different lifestyles”, Cross said.

photo courtesy of Sydney Cross

photo courtesy of Sydney Cross

photo courtesy of Sydney Cross

photo courtesy of Sydney Cross

photo courtesy of Sydney Cross

photo courtesy of Sydney Cross


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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.