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Recently I sat down with Danielle Olsen ’14 and Sadie Palmer ’17 to find out what it’s like to balance being a model and full time student.
Many of you may know Danielle or have seen her around campus. A tall, commanding-looking red head who usually looks like she stepped out of an ad for the clothing line NastyGal, the twenty-one year old Woburn, MA native is hard to miss. She sits in front of me donned in a black sweater with crosses on it, a black beanie and a dark purple pout. Her long, perfectly manicured matte black fingernails reach down to her plate to grab some of her chicken fingers and fries, while she laughs, saying her personal style can best be described as “black, like my soul” and “witch-like.”
Olsen became interested in modeling her junior year of high school and walked in her first show nine months ago. Since then her modeling gigs have picked up rapidly, with her walking in five shows this month alone. Her most recent show was at Flattop Johnny’s in Cambridge, where she modeled the local Ashley Rose Couture Designs, and her runway walk included zigzagging through a maze of pool tables. Olsen’s modeling niche is what is known as “alternative modeling”, meaning tattoos and piercings are welcome, if not explicitly encouraged. She cites Dita Von Teese as one of her style icons because “Dita is all about embracing your personal idea of beauty and that’s something I definitely agree with.” As for her favorite places to shop Olsen says she likes to support local designers but also likes Karmaloop and the designers known as “The Blonds.”
When asked if she finds it difficult to be a full time student and model Olsen says “I enjoy it, but some of the challenges are that I don’t have many free weekends and sometimes it cuts into my classes.”
Olsen also holds other jobs besides modeling. A double major in communications and art history , she is also currently an ARC tutor, a desk attendant at Julie Hall front desk, president of EC’s newest club SH/E, and a style editor for DigBoston. Olsen’s other passions include art and hanging out with her dad who is an artist. Her advice for students trying to manage work and school is “to know your limits. If you are determined you can make it work, but never take on more than you know you can handle.”
When asked about her plans after college she says “I plan on buying a black cat and naming him Thackery, and I’d like to find a job position in writing and be happy.”
As far as modeling goes she says “I’ll continue to model until it’s not fun for me anymore and then I’ll find something new to try.” Olsen’s parting words of general wisdom were “there are three rules in life. Don’t let people tell you anything about life if they have bad eyebrows, wear khaki, or are a vegan. Listen to this and you will be fine.”
Sadie Palmer ’17 is a new face here at EC. An impressively tall brunette with eyebrows this writer would give her first born for, she definitely stands out on campus. The eighteen year old freshman bio major from Mansfield, MA, has been interested in modeling since she was in eighth grade. By her sophomore year of high school she had signed with Dynasty Models here in Boston.
Palmer describes her personal style as “comfortable but stylish” and that she “loves a good pair of leggings.”
Her style icons are Cara Delevingne and Karlie Kloss. “I like them because they’re not afraid to be themselves and they both embrace their height.”
Palmer’s favorite modeling experience so far has been walking in New York’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week this past year. When asked if she found it difficult to be a full time student and model she said, “School always comes first. My mother is a teacher, so she really emphasized that education is the most important thing. My parents’ support my modeling but I realize you can only model for so long…In terms of managing the college workload, you have to learn not to procrastinate and to do homework the day it’s assigned-especially when you’re a bio major.”
Besides modeling Palmer is also involved in EC’s A Capella group For Good Measure, and has been involved with choir her whole life. In her spare time she likes taking trips to Newbury Street, the Prudential, and enjoys running every day. After college Palmer would like to do something in the medical field, either as a doctor or a researcher and would like to have a family.
As for modeling Palmer says “I’d like to have a professional job and maybe model on the side. I would stop working when I’m out of my prime.” For her advice on being successful she says, “Follow your dreams. I know that’s really cheesy but that’s what I did and it’s true. If someone told me when I was in eighth grade with a uni-brow and braces that I would walk in fashion week, I wouldn’t have believed them but look what happened.”