By GABI BOURN
Exec. managing editor
From books and labs to runways and celebrities, junior Caroline Mathis put down her stethoscope and picked up couture to pursue her dream of modeling — eventually making it to the nation’s largest fashion stage: Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City.
Mathis came to the University in 2011 to pursue a nursing degree, but the summer before her freshman year she attended an open casting call and was signed by Neal Hamil Agency in Houston.
Throughout her freshman and sophomore years, she balanced classes and modeling. She decided to take this semester off before her junior year to better pursue modeling.
“I knew that with the nursing program coming up, I had to make the decision to either commit to school full time or modeling full time. It would have been impossible to try and balance both things, which I had been trying to do my first two years of college,” Mathis said.
“I figured school is something I can always come back to, whereas modeling is something that can only happen for a specific period of time. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t at least try to pursue modeling full time.”
After reaching this decision, Mathis headed to New York City. Major Model Management, a modeling agency that operates in New York, Milan and Paris quickly signed her.
About two weeks before New York Fashion Week began, Mathis went to as many as 20 casting calls a day throughout the city.
She began to book several shows and ended up appearing in 13 shows and 6 presentations at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.
She modeled for designers including Jenny Packham and Karen Walker and modeled in the Project Runway season 12 finale.
Mathis said she is having an exciting time in New York because of modeling opportunities and meeting new people.
“I think the opportunity to do Fashion Week and actually meeting the designers that I have worked for has been my favorite so far,” Mathis said.
“The chance to live there and be surrounded by new people and different cultures has been another favorite.”
Once Fashion Week ended in New York, Mathis traveled to Milan and arrived in Paris for fashion week in both cities.
After Milan and Paris, Mathis plans to return to New York and then return home to Houston towards the end of the year.
Mathis said she plans to continue pursuing a nursing degree in the long run, but she is still excited about her future in modeling and offers advice for modeling hopefuls.
“Confidence is everything,” Mathis said.