For the past seven weeks we have been bringing you the story of Ali Turner, courtesy of her mother Patty (tFS user modelmom). Ali’s journal has chronicled the beginning of her modeling career in Paris at 15 years old (which was in 2002).

This segment of ‘Becoming a Model’ is from the perspective of Patty Turner, detailing Ali’s experiences as a young model in New York City.

Read Part 7 here.


This time the journal is mine…my memory is not the best, so I wrote everything down daily.

Ford New York called in December and they wanted Ali to come to New York for show castings in January.

Ali’s Dad hit the roof… my first thought was ‘you have got to be kidding’, and Ali was running around the house calling all her friends telling them she was going to New York.

The debate went on at our house for a week before Dennis caved in….he never had a fighting chance with Ali and her sisters all ganging up on him. I was running around trying to figure out how I was going to get a break from teaching without losing my job.

I sat Ali down and told her that I wanted to make sure her attitude was going to be different than it was when we were in Paris. She has everything going for her but without a postive outlook people would see right through her. She was so excited about going, I believed every word she said….


Jan.5th 2003…

I am determined to save money this time so I booked a room at the Chelsea hostel…if you are gasping right now then you would magnify that reaction times ten upon seeing the place. Ali will be moving in the model apartment tomorrow but this is it for tonight. There was one bathroom to share for the floor and it wasn’t long before we found out that we weren’t the only live things in the room….so many bugs. It was late, when we arrived,we had no place else to go so we slept with our clothes on sitting up with the lights on. I read somewhere that bugs like the dark.

We were up as soon as it was daylight outside. I went downstairs to talk to a clerk that was locked up behind a glass window….not a good sign, I had paid for two weeks but I asked for my money back and after a few minutes of my talking rather loudly about the bugs, he handed it over. The highlight of the morning was the fact that they have Krispy Kreme doughnuts here!

It was snowing, so we took a cab down to the Ford apartment and moved Ali in. It was really nice, with a large central room with a long table. There’s a spiral staircase that leads to a living room in the loft. Two bedrooms and a bath are upstairs and there is a small bedroom with bunk beds downstairs. Ali has the bottom bunk because she doesn’t want to bang her head on the ceiling. There is another large bedroom and bath next to her room and we peeked inside. It looks like Ali’s room at home – clothes everywhere, and the beds are a mess. Something tells me we are in the right place.  There is a housemother that lives here too but she has her own room. We looked in the fridge and all the food that was in there (very little) was labeled with each model’s name. We left Ali’s things there and went to meet Ali’s agents at Ford.

We decided to walk there, and it wasn’t long before we were walking in the wrong direction. I asked a nice young man where Houston (as in Texas) was and he said, Oh, you mean Houston and he pointed us in the right direction. The agency is on Greene street (it has since moved uptown). Ali was a little nervous, but everyone was so nice and made her feel so welcome. (I am going to refrain from using names except for a really special lady named Charlotte who later became Ali’s agent when she was moved to the main board) We met the new faces agent, she talked to us about Ford’s plans for Ali while she was in NY.

She told us that Fashion Week runs from Feb.6th through the 14th and they would like Ali to try out for the shows. Today she had go sees at Teen Vogue, Vogue and Cosmo Girl. She also met with a women that was casting for a Levi’s commercial. Ali said the woman asked her if she could ride a horse.

We went to a little store on the corner and bought Ali some groceries to take back to the apartment. It’s very windy and it snowed all day. Our umbrellas turned inside out so we threw them away. We stopped by Ford and picked up Ali’s castings for tomorrow. Her agent told her that she was getting a positive response from the clients.

I have a cell phone this trip so we called everyone back home to tell them the good news. One of her clients today told her she had a Calvin Klein look…I hope she knows what she is talking about. I left Ali at the apartment (the other models weren’t back yet) and went to stay at the Howard Johnson down the street. I have to find a cheaper place to stay tomorrow. I am so tired, I just realized I ate a whole box of cherry cough drops.

Part 9 coming soon.