Katie Wijas has modeled for Sydney's Closet several times (find her featured on our website here and here!), and she's amazing to work with. During our plus-size prom and homecoming dress photoshoots, we sat down with Katie to ask her some questions about her favorite things, and what it's really like to be a curve model.
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Sydney's Closet Photoshoot Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Agency: Ford Models
What inspired you to start modeling?
It kind of just happened. I was a sophomore in college at a university and it just wasn't working out. The next semester I moved home and was like, now what? I was always told I should try modeling (I've been 5'11 since I was a freshman in high school) so I researched plus size agencies. I had my Mom take pictures of me in our hallway and I sent them to an agency. I honestly wasn't holding my breath but the agency called me the next day and offered me a contract! That's how it started. 4 years later I'm still doing it and loving every second of it!
What's the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Check my phone. I reply to texts, check my email and all my social media pages.
Since I was 12 it's been Nick Jonas. I just think he's so talented. But lately I have been crushing hard on Odell Beckham Jr and Devin Booker.
Where has been your favorite place to shoot?
The streets of New York! I was shooting for a huge company I've never worked with before and even though I had shot in New York plenty of times I never shot outside. We were in the Tribeca area. The mood for the shoot was casual so we just walked around along side all the locals. There was no posing and it was so natural. It was so cool to have our "set" be the streets of NYC. The energy that whole day was awesome.
What's your current fashion trend obsession?
Off the shoulder. Everything I have is off the shoulder. All my tops and dresses. I'm a sucker for a good off the shoulder piece. I just love the look!
Who inspires your modeling career?
Ashley Graham. I think she is an inspiration for not only plus size models but for all women of all sizes. She is always unapologetically herself. She has accomplished so much like dozens of magazine covers, campaigns, her own lingerie line and even a book all while being herself. As a plus size model, she has changed the fashion industry and paved the way for the rest of us. The main thing about her career that inspires me is that she has shown girls to embrace themselves, "flaws" and all. Magazine covers are cool but showing girls all over the world that no matter what your size you can love yourself, live your dream and have success is even cooler to me.
Must-have fashion accessory?
My "Katie" necklace. I have been wearing it for years. I'm not a big accessory person but I always have on my "Katie" necklace.
What advice would you give to women hoping to get into the industry?
Do it for the right reasons because it's not as glamorous as it may seem. Don't get me wrong you get to travel, meet people and get all dolled up but it's hard. There is a lot of rejection. Modeling is so uncertain. You might be working every day one month and not work again for 2 months. You might have walked into a casting and thought you killed it and never hear from that client again. Nothing is guranteed. It takes a lot of time, money and patience to make it. Also this career won't magically make you love yourself either. But if this is what you want you have to go for it. Find an agency that believes in you and don't give up. Be confident in who you are. There are a lot of highs and lows but the are the highs are worth it.
What was the first CD you ever bought?
Shania Twain's "Come On Over" CD. I was like 7 and I remember my Dad taking me to get it. I listened to it for years. I still have it under my bed somewhere. In 2017, "Man! I Feel Like A Woman" still goes hard. Total classic lol.
What's the most exciting aspect of modeling?
The most exciting aspect of modeling for me is getting to meet so many new and truly unique people. This is an industry full of insanely talented, creative and diverse individuals. Everyone I have met so far has had a different story on how they grew up, how they got to where they are and all that. I love hearing their stories and learning from them. It's exciting getting to meet people that I would probably never have met if I was doing a different career. Every job is an opportunity to meet someone really cool. Some of the closest friends I have are ones I met through modeling and I'm forever grateful for that.
Find her on Instagram: @katiewijas