As I mentioned earlier, I had put off writing about this experience until I could include pictures. Well it turns out I could have just googled myself and found plenty of pictures already on the web! A quick search produced stories on nydailynews.com and the Daily Herald, among a plethora of other news sites and blogs. But because I’m sure you’d rather hear the rundown from my perspective, complete with a few of my “behind the scenes” photos, I will give it to you now.
Polo Ralph Lauren was chosen as the designer responsible for outfitting all of the Olympians this summer in Beijing. This includes both the opening and closing ceremonies as well as 22 days of lounge wear to relax in around the village. In order to reveal these designs to the public and the media, Ralph Lauren chose a few Olympic hopefuls as their models. Well I just happened to be one of those athletes. In all, there were four of us. U.S. Olympic team boxer Deontay Wilder, Giuseppe Lanzone, a member of the U.S. Rowing Team, archery athlete Joy Farhenkrog, and myself. Word on the street was that we were hand chosen by Ralph himself, but of course that could just be a big, fat rumor. The only reason I even get slightly excited about the thought of Mr. Lauren giving my picture a big thumbs up is because the photographer told us that Ralphie called him personally the night before to ask him to be the man behind the lens. He almost thought it was a prank and was a bit surprised himself. So I figured if the man handpicks his photographer, perhaps he picked us as well. I’m honored either way.
The shoot took place in New York at the Ralph Lauren studio. It was an all day affair as these things usually are. They wanted to get a bunch of different combinations of athletes as well as all the different looks they have created. The clothes are great…definitely preppy, as you would guess anything Ralph Lauren to be. I saw myself heading out to play cricket or having afternoon tea. Lots of white…lots of crispness, just a very refined look. Even my hair and make-up was very subdued. I came to the shoot with just mascara on and the makeup artist informed me I was wearing too much of it. Definitely my most understated look that I've ever done. I guess "fabulousness" is not the look they were going for. I figured I would include this picture of Giuseppe just to show you that sometimes what you see in magazines is not always the perfection you think it is. I guess our "athlete" bodies might have been a little larger than the sample sizes they brought? I'm not sure...either way I thought this picture of the back of his shirt was hilarious.
The pictures will be used in press kits and press releases as well as the cover of Hamptons Magazine. It will be the August issue I believe. Of course I will tell all my friends and family members who have subscriptions to the mag to definitely save me a copy. I probably won’t make it out to the Hamptons this summer, since I plan on being busy in China and all. In all seriousness though, it really was a great opportunity and a tremendous honor. I've done my fair share of being an athlete posing as a model this year and these are experiences that don't arise that often for most people. Imagine the difficulty I'd have trying to book a print ad for Ralph Lauren on my own? They'd be like, come back when you grow 5 inches and lose 20 pounds. And it's not like I'm a superstar in my sport, I'm just a girl with a goal trying to make it a reality. And to be honest, taking pictures has made it that much easier to obtain my goal from a monetary standpoint and I am extremely grateful for that as well.