East Elmhurst woman vying to be ‘America’s It Girl’

Photos courtesy of Jessenia Vargas

Does Jessenia Vargas have what “It” takes?

The 26-year-old East Elmhurst resident is competing on a new reality competition show on WE tv, described as “America’s Next Top Model” meets “Project Runway.”

America’s It Girl,” which is scheduled to premiere this fall, features an “It Girl” contestant paired with a brand-new designer. The designer, with inspiration from the It Girl, creates a dress for her that she can reject or accept.

“It Girl meets It Designer to create It Look,” Justin Travis Howard, the show’s host and creative director, calls the concept.

But the competition is about “more than a pretty face,” he said.

In addition to learning how to model, the It Girls learn how to be entrepreneurs.

When selecting contestants, the show was looking for business savvy women who have done community service, according to Howard.

Vargas had both the style and substance to make the cut.

Born in Astoria, she moved to East Elmhurst at age 9 and since her childhood has been trying to entertain.

“I was the first born, the only girl for 10 years … that’s what I did for attention, for entertainment,” said the singer, actress and model.

After high school, she studied performing arts at Kingsborough Community College, spent a year at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and then attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan. Her career has consisted of several off-Broadway shows, film and music video work, and performing at Carnegie Hall.

Vargas also works as a licensed New York State agent for Primerica, a company that educates people on finances.

She may be seem like the It Girl of Queens but she is hoping to be the It Girl beyond the borough.

Vargas will be competing against other New York City area girls to be dubbed America’s It Girl for the New York cycle of the show. There will also be an LA cycle, which will air six half-hour episodes first, followed by the New York’s six episodes.

The first episodes of each cycle will allow viewers to see the casting and to get to know the women better. About 100 women will then be narrowed down to the top 20, where a final It Girl and designer pair will be declared the winner.

The pair will get to do a fashion line with judge and designer Galina Sobolev, of Single Dress. The It Girl will also get a modeling contract, a possible feature in a major publication and other prizes.

“[The show’s about] dominating fashion in a positive way,” Vargas said. “I hope to get exposure to what I do. It’s a great opportunity.”

“America’s It Girl” is scheduled to premiere Sunday, Sept. 28, at 9:30 p.m.




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