Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like being a model? We did too, so we asked Lucy Raborn, an LSU student and model. She studies biology, but she’s also walked New York Fashion Week.
How did you get into the modeling industry?
When I was 15 [years old] on vacation in New York with my family and an agent approached me on the subway. Not long after, I signed with Ford Models and was in New York working. I’ve had the same agents since!
You’re an LSU student studying biology and you’re pre-dental. Do you see modeling as your future career, or will you step away as you get older?
Modeling has been great and offered me many amazing opportunities, but I want a career where I face greater challenges. As you get older and work more, the industry just becomes a job. I would like to do something more about my mind and less about my looks.
How do you balance modeling and school?
My curriculum is very challenging so it’s hard to do it at the same time, but I usually spend my summers working in New York.
How has being from Louisiana influenced your career in modeling?
Being from the south and moving into a New York industry was quite a culture shock. I remember at one of my first castings, the casting director mocked my accent and nicknamed me “Lucy from Louisiana.” I had to make the transition from “y’all” to “you guys.”
You modeled at New York Fashion Week. What was that experience like, and what did it teach you?
It was such a crazy [whirlwind] experience. Fashion Week is the busiest time in New York. I was trying to maneuver a new city while casting for 16 different shows in one day. I was an expert of the subway after that. I recall running from shows in Lincoln Center to fittings, more castings and after parties. I remember being put into heels that were two sizes too big and being pushed onto the runway by the stylist.
I learned a lot about the rather tough adult world during that time. I well remember one of the winter fashion weeks where being sick doesn’t matter to a designer and his catwalk. It’s a business, and you still have to put on the six-inch heels even though your feet are bruised and blistered.
What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had in your career so far?
I’ve had a ton of crazy, memorable experiences—its hard to choose. Being on hold for Prada exclusive in Milan was an experience. My time working and living in Paris was also amazing. I lived with some girls who are still some of my best friends today, and we had such a blast working and exploring the city. It’s cool when you meet friends for a coffee on the Champs-Élysées or for wine along the Seine river.
Which current models inspire you in your work?
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley – she’s my favorite.
What brand would you love to work with?
Yves Saint Laurent.
Modeling has been a major part of my life for the past few years, and I will be forever grateful for the many experiences it has allowed me. However, at the present time, my focus is much more about academics, and the modeling world, as alluring as it may have been, will have to take a backseat for now.
Photos by Mandy Samson.
Favorite makeup product or brand:
Favorite hair product or brand:
Sachajuan Shine Serum
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In the original version of this story, Lucy’s name was misspelled. The error has been corrected.