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Model Student: Theodora Fontas Balances Photo Shoots with Study Groups

Karlie Kloss attends classes at New York University in between Vogue shoots. Gigi Hadid had to take time off from the New School to pursue dominating the runway.

Supermodels pursuing higher education isn’t an unheard of concept, but rather one that dances across magazine article headlines usually accompanied by the phrase “how do they do it?!”

On an immediate level, however, full-time students who model part-time are more common than you might think. The classmate with cheekbones that could cut glass might seem like a model because they, in fact, are one.

Theodora Fontas (CAS ’18), an International Relations major and Business minor, is a part-time model who was signed to JAG, a New York-based agency, since last June. Fontas primarily tries to book jobs during breaks but sometimes has to travel to New York while school is in session.

“It’s definitely hard to balance school work with traveling to New York for castings and jobs,” said Fontas.

Cut-glass features, however, don’t equate to cutting class. Fontas said her agency respects the fact she’s a student first and tries to give her advance notice for casting calls or potential gigs—it just doesn’t always pan out.

“I’ll get a text asking if I can make it to New York for a casting that’s the next day at noon,” Fontas said. “I’ll have to scramble to try and get as much work done as I can, or I may have to pass on the opportunity if I have an exam or project due.”

Modeling has its cool moments that some students may vie for, such as when Fontas was flown to California to do a campaign for a T.J.Maxx campaign—but that doesn’t mean it’s all fun and games.

While it may seem Hannah Montana-esque to be a student by weekday and model by weekend, Fontas notes that a lot of the behind-the-scenes work and effort from all people working on a shoot is often overlooked.

“Other students have [a misconception] about modeling that it’s very glamorous,” Fontas said. “In reality, it [consists of] very long hours and a lot of waiting around. As a model, you’re a small part of a brand’s overall vision.”

Despite that, Fontas enjoys modeling and, though she is preparing herself for a career in IR, she is not opposed to the idea of modeling more in the future.

“Who knows what the future holds,” said Fontas.

We know what the proximate future holds: Be sure to check out Fontas in the Buzz’s Spring 2016 print edition, which will be distributed on April 19-20 in the GSU Link.

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