I love looking for new faces. I spend hours looking at modeling agencies' sites, trying to find a face that inspires me and makes me want to get to know the model. I came across Laurel Stovall not through a modeling agency, but through her blog, It's Her Factory. Laurel, 22, is a model newbie, having modeled for a Nevada life magazine and a handful of shows for local boutiques. She is hoping to get signed to an agency and judging by the popularity of her blog, she will get noticed soon.
Laurel has the perfect model looks: She's tall and rail-thin but it's her face that really made me stop and stare. She has large green eyes that make her look like a Kewpie doll. Her dark mane frames an oblong face and her lips would make Gemma Ward jealous. I can see her in a Calvin Klein ad.
Her blog is refreshingly unpretentious; she muses about school, modeling and what she is wearing (btw- this girl has incredible style.) And damn, the girl can strike a pose.
I had the chance to ask Laurell a few questions about the difficulty of breaking into the modeling biz, what her aspirations are, and how she got to be so good at picking out amazing clothes.
(Photos courtesy of Laurel Stovall)
Where are you from?
I was born in Lovelock,
So you want to become a model? Why? When did you know that’s what you want to do? What inspired you?
It's been a lot of different influence, mostly because of my height, I’ve been told that I could model since I was a kid but I was too busy playing with toy horses in the dirt for even beginning to think about modeling. I started to acquire an interest in the industry after working with patterns and designs in a high school sewing class (of all things). From there, the creative drive is what got me serious about being a face for it and having the ability to be surrounded in it? Priceless!
Describe what kind of modeling you have done
Anything I list, I’m a bit embarrassed by but given the real scope of what’s available here in
I guess it’s better than anything. I modeled for a friend of mine who was a photographer for a local life/style publication and she helped me to really start thinking about it in context. I’ve also modeled for a few local stores/boutiques during events and promotions.
What does your family think about you wanting to become a model?
As I’m an only child, my parents are definitely my biggest fans and true supporters. First things first, they want me to finish college. It’s also my number one agenda. For the most part they do support the idea, but don’t really keep up with me and my crazy fashion and design obsession.
What are your dream jobs?
Number one dream jobs – writing fashion editorials for the New York Times. Or, script writing for sitcoms like The Office, SNL or The Daily Show. Second? Finding myself backstage of a Comme De Garcon, Balenciaga or Givenchy show, of course.
How tough is it being a newcomer in this industry?
I still haven’t really discovered the true ‘hard-knocks’ of the industry, yet due to still being in school and still residing in Nevada. Those are probably the toughest things I’ve experienced thus far, I would love to just drop it and go – but I have to be sensible.
Have you put yourself out there to try to get modeling jobs?
No, and it’s another factor of location and what’s (legitimately) available. It’s definitely part of the itinerary in the coming months and upon graduation in December when I move back East.
What are you studying?
Majoring in journalism and minoring in English literature at
Let's talk about your blog, It's Her Factory. How did that start?
It actually started after I joined The Fashion Spot and saw the incredible things that people were doing with their own personal style ‘forte’ and displaying it to the world. A fellow blogger and friend, Erica of Fashion Chalet gave me the final push to start up It’s Her Factory. The goal is for me to learn about developing a sense of personal style, the industry and what other people are doing to progress the world of fashion. My readers are absolutely amazing people who all have their own sense of style and inspire me in a multitude of ways.
Who/what are your favorite models, designers, photographers, magazines?
Favorite models would have to be Anja Rubik and Freja Beha Erichsen. Favorite designers, Yves Saint Laurent and Rad Hourani – two polar opposites, for sure. Favorite magazines, Italian and French Vogue, along with Hobo Magazine.
Favorite fashion moment
Christian Dior HC Spring 2006 – Galliano’s ‘revolutionary’ show. The kind of design and aesthetic he conveyed in those gowns, accessories, down to the model’s makeup – gave me the chills.
Who would you most like to meet in the fashion world?
I would love to meet Nicolas Ghesquiere.
What are your interests besides modeling?
I absolutely love tech and gadgets – I become so absolutely fixated on learning about a new program, software, and computers. It’s nerdy, but I’m okay with it…I absolutely love to cook, too. So entertaining and relaxing.
What is your style philosophy?
Dress for yourself because no one else does.
What are your favorite labels, pieces of clothing, accessories?
My absolute favorite labels (right now) are Chloe, Alexander Wang and Marni. I’m falling into a bit of a cliché affair with Wang – but when it comes to simplicity, he knows best. For pieces, men’s jeans, definitely. I’m very minimalistic about accessories, but my mom’s name bracelet is my staple, season in and out.
Are you a bag girl or a shoe girl?
Neither. I’m on an even kilter between the two. I’m more of a wardrobe girl – if that’s possible?
Why is your blog called "It's Her Factory"?
‘It’s Her Factory’ was named after the song by Gang of Four. I adore all British rock, it’s so descriptive of my style in dress – somehow. The song is about how women are pre-destined to ‘suffrage’, but meant for revolution. “It’s her factory, it’s her duty, it’s her factory!”.
Who are your style icons?
Definitely Freja Beha – I love her simplicity approach, and combine it with a bit of Parisian chic. Perfection!
Favorite trends/trends you wish were over
I love my Rayban Wayfarer’s and refuse to let them outdate. I’m pretty much done with the idea of ‘faux’ eyewear, it’s obnoxious.
Favorite stylish celebrity?
I think that Blake Lively is basically my hero. She’s gorgeous and dresses so wonderfully chic.
It would be wrong to say I have absolute favorites.
How do you decide what content to put on your blog?
I do a mix of whatever is currently grabbing my attention stylistically, creatively, etc. also, my daily style (whenever it’s worth showing).
Do you see many models blogging?
I don’t actually. I believe a few do have personal blogs, but assuming how busy they must be, a blog would be a tough thing to balance.
Why do you like fashion?
I admire the idea of fashion being something created by you – without the help of stylists, advertisers or bad, dead teeny mall trends. It’s how you decipher your personality for the world and it always makes you feel better to make the effort of dress.
What are people's biggest misconception of you?
Biggest misconception, strangely enough is that I’m not friendly. I’ve heard that a lot and I think it may be because I hold myself differently and it throws strangers off. I always make the effort to talk to everyone I come into contact with, though. It’s nice to leave a smile on someone’s face, especially when they don’t expect it.
You entered the V magazine modeling contest. Why did you enter and what was the experience like?
I saw the contest advertised in the June V and had to enter, mostly on a whim. I’ve been SO absolutely thankful for my friends and blog readers, it really goes to show the kindness of strangers and how supportive the fashion and art community really is.
What are your loves/hates, favorite books, music, best jobs, worst jobs?
Currently, I love rolled jeans and hate coffee. Favorite book is Hemingway’s Garden of Eden, and can NOT stop listening to Kylie Minogue’s X album. My worst job was most definitely working at my hometown’s pizza restaurant, I was there for about 2 weeks until my insane boss drove me to quit. My best job would have to be the one I’m currently in, which is communications intern for the City of Sparks, Nevada.
Would you like to be a stylist?
I think I would really love to style HC runway shows the most, where clothing becomes the highest form of art and you are forced to think in multiple ways about what eludes that certain house the most.
Zara. Where everything fits me perfectly and my college allotment can afford more than one piece. I absolutely love Barney’s, too, the whole nature and feeling of that store is wonderful.
What is your Holy Grail accessory you must have right now?
At some point, I mustmustmust have a pair of the Rodarte/Louboutin heels from the fall 2008 runway. MUST.
What's next for you?
Next for me is finishing up my senior year, here at the