by MIKE CHAIKEN
Mary Kate Malat is no stranger to modeling.
The 21-year-old Milford womanposed for “Vogue” magazine twice before she was 12. And she’s also modeled for brands such as Justice, H&M, and Nike.
But her entry in Jetset Magazine’s Miss Jetset competition was her mother’s idea.
The idea turned out to be a good one because Mary Kate ended up being selected as Miss Jetset’s Connecticut entry and now is competing against 60 other women to win the national prize.
Mary Kate said her mother, photographer Catherine Fiehn, contacted her about entering her into the contest. To win, participants urge friends across assorted social media platforms to vote for them. Voters had the option of submitting a free vote or they could buy additional votes to help support the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation, which funds cancer research.
Mary Kate said when her mom asked her if she wanted to enter, she said, “Why not. I’m not going to lose anything.”
But, Mary Kate explained, winning the Connecticut contest was not a case of a sitting back and waiting for the results. There was a lot of hard work for herself and her mother as they drummed up the votes. She said her mother reached out to a lot of friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Mary Kate found herself doing the same thing.
Toward the deadline of the contest, there was an especially big rush, said Mary Kate. She had been entrenched in the number 2 slot through the finals. Then on the third to last day of voting, she found herself at the number 1 slot. Then just as quickly as she found herself bumped out, she slipped back down to number 2 on the second to last day.
With the number 1 slot in Connecticut within her grasp, Mary Kate said she reached out to as many of her friends as she could. She told them to keep voting to push her over the top.
And they did just that.
“It was nerve racking,” said Mary Kate.
Now Mary Kate has to compete for the national Miss Jetset magazine, and the process begins again. However, if she takes the top spot in the national contest, she could receive $100,000 in cash and prizes, a three-day photo shoot, and the cover of Jetset magazine.
Asked what she liked about modeling, Mary Kate said, “It’s something I can do on the side.” (She will be attending the University of Connecticut in the fall with the hopes to become a physician’s assistance or a doctor.” Additionally, said Mary Kate, “It’s something I can do with mom (who is a photographer). It makes her happy.”
Also, said Mary Kate, when she gets jobs as a model—or as an actress—“It’s fun to meet new people.”
When she is cast for shoots, Mary Kate, “A lot of things are innocent and very modest… (I’m) that innocent blonde girl. Pure.”
Models sometimes where glamorous clothing. However, Mary Kate said her personal fashion style is “laidback… not very glamorous.” She said she’s right at home in a t-shirt, shorts, and flip-flops.
Mary Kate said her favorite moment as a model or actress occurred in a movie she recently filmed (“Twisted Sisters” where she played the role of Tiffany along side Connecticut-native Cassidy Gifford–daughter of Frank and Kathy Lee that was filmed in Connecticut).
“I had the best time… I met great people there. I was on the set for a week. It was fun,” said Mary Kate. It also was one of her first roles, she said, where she had a speaking part.
Asked how she would feel if she ends up winning the national prize for Miss Jetset, Mary Kate said, “I’m going to be shocked… I never really win anything… I have no expectations.”
Voting for the national Miss Jetset magazine opened July 21. Voting ends on July 28. To vote for Mary Kate, go to http://www.jetsetmag.com/model-search/vote/mary-kate-malat. You can vote for each day.
Vote for Mary Kate Malat
PHOTOS of Mary Kate Malat by Catherine Fiehn