News & Runway

The Modeling World’s Next ‘It’ Girl? Closed Set with Julie Bensman

A favorite pastime of mine in college (and I know I'm not alone here) was meeting my roommates in the TV room with a bottle of wine each week and tuning in to America's Next Top Model. Besides the hilarity that is, well, pretty much everything about that show, there's something deeply satisfying about rooting on your favorite model hopeful and ruthlessly bashing the rest of her competitors. Now that I actually cast models as a profession, it makes me chuckle to know I once thought being able to pose in a coffin or not freaking out when they shave your head in the makeover episode should be considered marks of a promising model. So, then, what does?


I was on set in Chicago last Friday for Michigan Avenue's fall fashion editorial, shot by the lovely Nathan Beckner and styled by Niche Media's very own Becky Malinsky. Our model du jour? Stasia with Ford Chicago. Based on her professionalism, approachability, and ability to act completely natural on camera, you'd think this girl had been to Paris, Milan, London and back five times over. Then your jaw would drop when you found out she was 15 and this was the second shoot she'd ever done (the first was, get this, the day before). Have we just discovered the industry’s next "it" girl?

Stasia Michigan Avenue shootStasia Michigan Avenue shoot

"She's a total gamine," Becky whispered to me on set. "She makes these bombshell clothes look fun and wearable."

"She's a gazelle!" echoed hair and makeup artist, Kasha Bonnell.

I'm not sure how Stasia would have done posing with alligators or shooting underwater, but she WAS wearing some of fall's heaviest knits in the blazing July sun (care of Ms. Malinsky's chic eye). And without so much as a peep of a complaint, Stasia has become my new one to watch. This lady's going places, my friends, and the fashion story that debuts in September will remind us all who found her first…