Strike a Pose

Signed at 15 Years Old, Sophomore Model Gray Harris Follows her Dreams


In one of her earlier shoots this year, sophomore Gray Harris models a jacket for the clothing brand, Miseur.

Deana Trautz, Reporter

Her weekends aren’t only for homework, but instead backdrops, lights, hair and makeup. Gray Harris, the 5 foot 8 inch sophomore, has always had an interest in fashion and modeling, and in her freshman year, she finally pursued it. She signed with the agency, Mazza Models, last March and after they began to feature her on their Instagram, offers came rolling in.

“I have right now, I think, about seven or eight agencies showing interest in signing me, which would be so incredible,” Harris said. “My dream would be to sign with IMG Models Worldwide. They’re probably one of, if not the biggest, agency in the world.”

She was asked personally by Hollie Hart, the owner of Shop Butter, to be the first one to model her new vintage clothing line. Harris regularly gets to play dress up with her job and says that she once got to wear a $10,000 dress during a Moroccan Oil hair show.

Getting her hair styled by Kevin Hughes, sophomore Gray Harris takes part in Behind the Chair’s Moroccan Oil hair show. She was able to wear a $10,000 dress by Marchesa and walk the runway. “It actually takes a lot of work to walk well,” Harris said. “I’ve had to practice with my agent a lot to get my walk decent.”

“Clothing and fashion are generally a really big part of my life, so getting to dress up in all the different wardrobe pieces is so much fun for me,” Harris said.

Like anything, the model life doesn’t come without hard work. In order to sign with agencies apart from Mazza Models, Harris must meet specified measurement requirements.

Her goal is to get to 35″ hips and 18″ thighs, but until she achieves that, she is unable to sign.

“It’s a lot of pressure, but I understand that it’s part of my job,” Harris said. “It is also good because that’s how my body is naturally when I am healthy, so it’s good to have that keeping me at my best.”

To reach her goal, Harris says she aims to exercise five to six times per week for up to two hours. However, this is hard to keep up when she is at school for theatre rehearsals until 7:00 p.m. most school nights. Harris says that she does try her best to eat clean and stay on top of the workout routine that her trainer gave her.

“I’m going to be honest, it’s not easy keeping up with it because I’m a pretty lazy person and a huge sugar addict,” Harris said. “I make my best attempt of following it, but I definitely cheat more than I should.”

She says that even though it isn’t always easy, prioritizing her health has benefited her.

“Having to stay fit seems like a burden sometimes, but I look and feel so healthy and confident,” Harris said. “I am really proud of myself for getting to where I am because my motivation has been so low in the past, but I pushed through it and I’m in such a good place now.”

She is not a girl of one title either. Harris says that along with acting, which she wishes to pursue later in life, she also writes, sings, designs clothing and loves watching Netflix. As for writing, Harris is currently working on two novels and many songs.

Harris describes herself as: persistent, curious and imaginative, but says that many people don’t see the real her. She says that because of her model status, people assume that her confidence is actually arrogance.

“As a model, many people assume I’m very self involved and pretentious, which I think is really funny because that is so far from true,” Harris said. “I’ve struggled with anxiety all my life, and on and off depression. My image of myself hasn’t been very positive.”

I’ve gained so much confidence in myself and have become more comfortable in my own skin”

Not only has her experience improved her modeling skills, but Harris says that it has grown her confidence and helped with anxiety.

“It has helped me become more sociable and able to work under pressure and with many people,” Harris said. “I’ve gained so much confidence in myself and have become more comfortable in my own skin.”

Ever since she began to model, Harris says she has noticed that people look at her more and in a different manner.

“I’ve gotten an influx of positive attention since I started modeling,” Harris said. “Because people know who I am now, there are more people than in the past that I notice look at me.”

Harris says that she doesn’t really pay attention to those staring at her as she walks down the hallway, but instead just keeps to herself.

Along with being a part of the modeling agency Mazza Models, Harris has had recognition on several other bases, including the Austin Monthly Magazine, being the face of The Lip Service XO‘s website and getting featured in Behind the Chair’s Moroccan hair show photo gallery. That’s not all; Harris was featured in Vogue Italia’s “best of” and “picture of the day” last month on Oct. 4, which she says she gave her a different feeling of accomplishment.

Hollie Hart
Being the first to model Hollie Hart’s antique clothing line, sophomore Gray Harris got to be featured in Vogue Italia’s “best of” and “picture of the day” pages on Oct. 4. She has high hopes for the future, especially after this Vogue debut. “The pictures with Vogue are generally really good for my portfolio,” Harris said. “I’m so excited for what is coming next.”

“It was so cool because I’ve never been in anything like that. Vogue is such a big thing to land,” Harris said. “When the photographer I worked with told me and sent the link, I got so excited in class and started jumping around.”

She says that she will be able to use the Vogue Italia picture in her portfolio from now on to help show the work she has done and what has been published.

“It is insane how far I have come and I’m so thankful for everyone who’s helped me get to where I am,” Harris said.