A model student
June 01, 2011 - When Shaina Seng of Independence Township signed a contract with Ford Models in Chicago two years ago, her career prospects were looking up.
|When Shaina Seng collects her high school diploma next week, she will already have two years professional modeling experience. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)|
She had a few challenges to overcome – one was high school. She still had a couple years left to finish.
"I've been back and forth, commuting," said Seng, 17, Clarkston High School graduating senior.
With all class requirements at Clarkston High School fulfilled last March, she asked for permission to leave early, and got it.
"Find an apartment, graduate early – just make it happen," she said.
She receives lots of support from her family – her parents, Sue and John Seng, Dan, her brother, grandparents Don and Barbara Weber, and her sister, Samantha, who is also a model.
"My sister and I went to Chicago on a casting call and they were interested," Shaina said.
She had job offers from Elite and Ford modeling agencies, and went with Ford.
"They're more like a family," she said.
Modeling work includes photo shoots for print advertising and fashion shows in Chicago, New York, California, as well as Milan, Italy.
"Akira boutique in Chicago; I'm the face of that," she said.
She lives in an apartment in downtown Chicago near Michigan Avenue, the "Magnificent Mile."
"It's the life – lots of shopping," she said. "I never thought I'd move there, but I've always dreamed about it."
Her best friend Alex Sakalian is looking forward to visiting her in Chicago this summer. She and Shaina plan to attend the Lollapalooza music festival.
"At first I was like, you don't want to miss high school, but she's way more lucky in Chicago," Sakalian said. "She's not missing anything here. The last trimester is boring."
Shaina plans to attend the graduation ceremony, June 6 at DTE Music Auditorium.
She won't be able to attend prom, though.
"I have a runway show," she said.
She works every day, going to casting calls and modeling assignments with Ford, and as a stylist at All Saints,a London based retailer opening in June.
"I had a photo shoot yesterday in Prada, Gucci – I'm in dreamland," she said.
She plans to take a year off from school to work and travel, then study something in fashion.
"I'll see where it goes," she said.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.