America's Next Top Model 

A Jackson, Tennessee, native is conquering the runway.

Hollis -- yes, just Hollis -- is perhaps the next big thing in the modeling world. She's also a native of Jackson, Tennessee (and the cover girl for the October issue of our sister publication, Memphis magazine).

We caught up with Hollis between the runways of New York and Paris to get a feel for what it would be like to walk in her very high-fashion shoes.

Flyer: How was New York's recent Fashion Week?

Hollis: You have to go at least a week in advance for casting and show them your book and your walk. I did really well. I also did the Project Runway finale. I'm a big fan of the show, so I was totally happy about it.

What was that like?

There were so many releases to sign. It was like top-secret FBI stuff, but it was fun. I got to meet all the designers.

What is Fashion Week like for a model?

From the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep, you're on the go. Two weeks before the show, you might do 10 castings a day. Some days, you might have to work (doing catalogues) for Macy's from 9 to noon, then from noon to 7 do show castings, and then maybe go to a fitting from 7:30 to 8:30. It was morning to night.

How do you keep up with it all?

You answer your phone and check your e-mail. It's like being a robot. You go to whatever address they give you.

Do you have a signature walk?

[Laughs] I wouldn't say it's a signature walk. You have to give off a certain confidence. You have to be very sure of yourself.

How did you get into modeling?

My theater teacher in Jackson thought I had tons of personality. She took me to Colors [talent agency in Memphis]. It sort of snowballed. I think I was 15.

How old are you now?

I'm 22. In this business, 22 is sort of old. I'm working with girls who are 14 or 15, and when I tell them I'm 22, it's like I've told them I'm 50.

What do you like better: runway work or photo shoots?

Photo shoots are where the money is. But I have a passion for the runway. There's nothing like it.

What's the strangest thing you've been asked to do?

In one show, I had to walk with a raccoon, which really freaked me out. It was on a little leash. All the models were walking with animals. It was weird. It was in Paris. One girl had a goat, though, so I guess I shouldn't complain.


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