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Student balances freshman year with modeling dreams

<strong> Photo Curtesy of Dennis Gatz. </strong>

Photo Curtesy of Dennis Gatz.

Marissa Martinez

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A fashion merchandising freshman spends her time out of school perusing a successful career in modeling.

Nina Ann Monzon, fashion merchandising freshman, said the modeling industry is constantly changing and she spends hours every day after class finding new modeling jobs and bookings to stay prominent in the fashion world. Her talent agency, Exposure Models and Talent, contacts her regularly with upcoming fashion gigs in order to build her portfolio.

Monzon has walked in Kansas City Fashion Week for eight consecutive seasons, walking in over 30 shows for Project Runway designer, Althea Harper and Michael Drummond, Windsor the clothing store, infamous Natalia Meyers and numerous others. She has also worked for magazines such as HERLIFE, VintageKC, EA Bride and Vogue Italia.

“I have worked with her for so many years and am still in awe of the way she is able to tell a story through her work,” Career Images model, Lexy Covinsky, said.

At the age of 14, Monzon became a model after several years of people persuading her into the industry.

“The modeling world is always being ridiculed, misjudged and perceived in a negative light,” Monzon said. “Modeling is a commitment, a stressful and hard job. This job has tough requirements that involve a certain height, weight and age. I have been fat-shamed or asked to lose 10 pounds. I have been underpaid. It is a demanding, but rewarding industry.”

Monzon said people believe it is easy money, but fail to realize the long hours that models have to stay for an editorial photo shoot and the body-shaming comments that they receive.

After spending years in the modeling industry, Monzon said she has had to grew a tough layer of skin to handle body criticism from respected designers and false accusations towards models.

“The modeling world is my safe haven, and my tribe,” Monzon said. “This industry is inclusive and accepting of me. My job as a model is to show people that it is okay to be themselves. I get to work with creative, unique models and designers that love what they do. I have made lifetime friendships. Modeling is my everything.”

Monzon said that when she came to San Marcos from Kansas-City she was nervous about her career, but ended up booking shoots with Austin photographers through her ambition and strong work ethic.

“Nina is a rising star in the modeling world,” Exposure Model and Talent model, Abigal Schiff said. “Nina has over a thousand followers on Instagram and is continuing to grow through her hard-work ethic and ongoing persistence to become one of the best.”

Monzon said she wants to continue working in the fashion industry for the rest of her life and her ultimate goal is to be a big-time model and an eminent fashion icon in New York City. Nina Monzon is a name you will remember.

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Student balances freshman year with modeling dreams