Real life young models sought for Queens charity fashion show

By Alicia Taylor-Domville

Shortstack modeling will begin auditions Saturday in Forest Hills for its annual eight-month self-esteem and modeling program, searching for young women for its seventh-annual Charity Fashion Show.

Shortstack is a program co-founded in 2006 by Olivia Mignone when she was still attempting to break into the modeling industry. Shortstack has chosen to embrace teens and young adults who do not fit the so-called “normal” model standards.

Under the guidance of Windows of Opportunity Inc., Shortstack decided to create a program that allows young women from 14 to 22 who are not the average model size a chance to live out their dreams that the modeling world will not support.

According to most of the top model agencies, such as Ford and IMG, their models must be between the ages of 16 and 21 and must be 5 feet 9 inches or taller. In actuality, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average woman is 5 feet 3 inches, weighs 164.7 pounds and has a waist measurement of 37 inches.

These statistics pushed Mignone to start her modeling agency.

The eight-month program will teach girls lessons in self-esteem, confidence, healthy habits and body image. Also, the program is designed to advise girls on how to walk down a runway, pose for pictures and how to conduct a professional interview, giving the girls real-world modeling experience.

As the program proceeds, the models will do photo shoots with a range of photographers, complete community service and attend fund-raising events.

The applicants for the modeling slots must be from 4-foot-8 to 5-foot-6 tall. There are no other physical requirements.

At the end of the eight months, Shortstack will choose 24 young woman to walk the runway in its annual Charity Fashion Show. Proceeds are donated to the Windows of Opportunity program, which helps youth development programs such as Shortstack. The 2013 fashion show will be dedicated to Cindy Sinacore, a 19-year-old woman who lost her life in a fire.

The auditions will be held at JHS 190, at 68-17 Austin St. in Forest Hills. For more information call Hal Eisenberg at 718-916-6037.

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