PeopleSep 01, 2013
Fresh off a shoot with L’Officiel Magazine, Ehren Dorsey is back home in St. Louis to show some love to local designers.
Story: Samantha Chadwick
Photos: Images courtesy of Mother Model Management.
Ehren Dorsey doesn’t look like your typical model. The tall beauty wears her hair tightly cropped and can often be found in a tattered t-shirt and jeans. It’s this look that has landed her editorial praise in the fashion community and work with international campaigns such as CK One Cosmetics and Edun. The St. Charles native jumped headfirst into her career in 2011 when, at the age of 19, she signed with local agency Mother Model Management and three weeks later moved to New York to model full time. She has since graced the pages of Interview Magazine, Vogue Russia, Harper’s Bazaar China, Bullett and more. You’ll see her on the runway during fall fashion week in New York, Milan and Paris. But this month, she returns to her roots for a shoot on the streets of Downtown St. Louis in her first ALIVE fashion feature (p.78).
ALIVE: How did you get your start modeling?
Ehren Dorsey: I went to an open call for Mother Model Management. When I went to meet them, I had recently shaved my head. They loved my look and sent me to New York immediately.
ALIVE: You’ve graced the pages of some pretty major publications. Which projects took your career to the next level?
ED: When I did the S/S 2012 campaign for Edun, I remember people calling me while I was in London saying my photo was in taxis everywhere. That was probably one of my first “oh wow” moments.
ALIVE: Where is your favorite place that you’ve traveled for a shoot?
ED: I was working on a shoot for Vogue Russia, and we traveled to an island off the coast of Africa called Lanzarote. One side of the island was completely white because all the sand from the Sahara blows onto it, and the other side is rocky and red like Mars. Where we were shooting, they don’t allow people to walk on the land, so I was walking on all of these rocks that very few people had ever even stepped on.
ALIVE: If you could relive any shoot, which one would it be?
ED: I did a shoot for South China Morning Post, and they transformed me into something like a mermaid. The makeup was very dramatic, and the wardrobe was very out of this world. I love acting, so I enjoy shoots that allow me to take on different personas.
ALIVE: You are known for keeping your hair very short, even shaved. Do you feel this aesthetic has helped create your identity as a model?
ED: Yes, absolutely. I also think my hair has created limitations for me as a model, which has empowered me to keep it short and find success because I have an identifiable look.
ALIVE: Modeling is highly competitive and an extremely fast market. Have you found it difficult to maintain success and still manage to enjoy what you do?
ED: This is an extremely competitive industry, and I think what keeps people successful is distancing yourself from negativity. As a rule, I never Google myself or other models, and I really stay in my zone. When I’m not working, I always come back to St. Louis because it keeps me grounded and reminds me where I came from. I think that is a very important element to success.
ALIVE: What has been the most rewarding part of your career thus far?
ED: Everyone that I’ve met since I started modeling. It’s amazing the number of people I’ve worked with who have given me valuable advice and direction. When you’re always on-location and traveling, your crew really becomes like your family, and it’s been extremely rewarding to see the number of people who have genuinely cared for me and my career.
ALIVE: What has been most challenging?
ED: I started modeling at a young age, and it’s been interesting to see how I have grown because of my surroundings. Everyone around me has an opinion, and it can be challenging to weed out the good from the bad and, at the end of the day, still remember that my opinion is the one that matters the most.
ALIVE: What’s next for Ehren Dorsey?
?ED: I currently have an agent and have been taking acting classes. Fast-forward five years, and I hope to be acting in films. And modeling still, of course.
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