A life of a model is challenging, however it could also be fun, exciting and glamorous. And, as one of Chicago’s own had discovered, the life of a model could also be unpredictable.
“Will be there in 5,” shows up the text on my cell’s screen. I get a table for two and look over the menu. “I’m here,” my cell had announced and I look up. With the hair tied loosely in a high bun, oversized sunglasses, wearing a dark tank top and a short jean skirt, she looked stylishly comfortable and radiant.
She gracefully walked across the restaurant and sat down at my table.
Aya Jackson is a freelance model in Chicago who’s resume includes a long list of appearances in fashion show and showcases. Aya worked with many fashion designers and her portfolio includes shoots with renown photographers.
Born in Kazakhstan, Aya has a very exotic look, making her stand out in the crowd. And having many photographers wanting to work with her. However, modelling was not her goal at first. “I haven’t even thought about it, really,” says Aya.
One night, while out at a club, she was approached by a photographer asking if she would be interested in doing a test shoot. Fast forward two and a half years, Aya is a regular in the fashion scene. That first test shoot happened to be the first of many that followed.
After having built her portfolio and contact list, Aya decided to step on the runway. Modelling clothes by emerging and established designers, she’s walked the walk in countless fashion shows. From swimsuits and casual to bridal gowns and avant-garde, Aya seems to be able to pull off any style.
Earlier this year Aya had put her skills to a new test, this time in front of a video camera. She starred in CFC’s fashion editorial video depicting a futuristic Chicago and featuring avant-garde designs.
In light of trying new things, Aya applied to participate in Miss National Asia Pageant and was accepted. “This might be my big year,” she says smiling hopefully, “But I need Chicago’s support.” The contestants are required to bring a national costume, floor-length evening gown and a swimsuit. Designers she had worked with in the past, Laurel Bridal and Rosina Mae, had agreed to help her out.
The pageant is taking place in San Francisco at the end of July, leaving little time for final preparations. “With each day it’s becoming more and more real”.
A few years ago she wasn’t even thinking about modelling and this year she’s taking on new challenges and not letting anything stop her. Yes, as Aya Jackson discovered, the life of a model could be quite unpredictable.