by MIKE CHAIKEN
A fashion model dreams of the moment where she shifts from taking headshots for her latest comp card to being photographed for a fashion editorial in an internationally recognized magazine.
And if she can be photographed in one of the world’s most recognized luxury brands, all the better.
Tianna St. Louis, a model from Connecticut— still in her teens— is now living that dream.
Tianna made some noise back in 2015 when she won the Tanger Top Model Search in 2015. (The event returns Saturday, Dec. 8 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods Resort Casino.)
But the noise turned into a roar this year when Tianna was featured in a fashion editorial in New York Times Style magazine for a feature article in October about the new creative director of Gucci, Alessandro Michele.
For that editorial, she was photographed by Michal Chelbin wearing thousands of dollars of Gucci clothing.
When she learned about the shoot initially, Tianna said, “To be honest at first I didn’t understand who the client was. But when I researched and found out, I was floored. And happy.”
And when she found herself wearing thousands of dollars worth of Gucci on the set, Tianna said, “I felt like, ‘Wow this is really cool.’ I never dreamed of wearing anything that expensive.”
Tianna said the opportunity to be part of the shoot “fit in my goals (for my modeling ambitions) by using the experience, skills and remain humble to continue with my career.”
The shoot may have been for the Times but despite the rarified destination for the images, Tianna said, “The shoot was like any other shoot in regard to hair and makeup and preparing for the shoot.”
“But,” Tianna added, “It was a long day. I woke up early at 5 a.m. to get to the place we were having hair and makeup. By around 9 a.m., we started shooting and continued until about 6 p.m.”
The editorial was shot in May but no one knew about it but those closest to the shoot until October when it was released. “It was hard keeping it from everybody; of course, my mom and grandma knew,” said Tianna.
Although she is still a teenager, Tianna is a veteran of the modeling universe.
“My mom got me into modeling since she modeled before years back,” said Tianna. “We started at age 4 at a well-known agency in Boston.” She is currently signed with JC Models of Connecticut as well as New York Models, LA. Models, and Premier London,
Tianna said she likes to model because of “tThe experience of getting to know different types people; being fussed over at times; and, of course, getting dolled up.”
Tianna said she feels her strengths as a model are “being patient and humble are the two main strengths I think I have.”
“At times as a teen,” said Tianna, “we get overwhelmed and excited. We also live in a world with instant gratification. We forget that with everything there’s a process. And the way you react makes a huge difference in the outcome.”
The Times piece isn’t the end of Tianna’s road. There are more projects on the horizon, she said. What they are, however, “I can’t say,” Tianna answered with a smile.
Follow Tianna St. Louis on Instagram, @tiannastlo
PHOTOS by JOSEPH PARADISO