COULD THIS BE THE NEXT SUPERMODEL?
- 5'11, at age 14. No that's not a typo.
stands 5'11, sports a size two dress, and is probably the envy of
every young teenage girl out there. Who is she and what does she
do? Well, this Jr. Amazon woman goes by the name Ashley Suliman,
and at the tender age of 14, she may very well be on her way to
becoming the supermodel of the new millennium.
For Ashley, the dream of becoming
a model began at a very young age. "I didn't think it was possible,"
she says smiling to our cameras. "I didn't know how to get
So the million-dollar question
is how did Ashley get there?
According to Steve Young, president
of Canoe Girl Productions, "The answer is in the stars. The
planets were lined up because everything that could have gone right,
For this Maui girl, destiny
began with a regular family trip to the beach. It was at that beach
that a local modeling agent from Hawaii Sports Models scouted her.
"Unfortunately I couldn't
get any work at that time from Hawaii Sports Models," Ashley
recalls. "I wasn't right for that market at the time."
A year later, Steve Young, bored
through the midnight, turned on his computer and surfed into the
Hawaii Sports Models website in search for models who could participate
in an upcoming event. He contacted the agency the next day and soon
after, received pictures of potential models. Immediately taking
notice of Ashley, Young forwarded the photos to his contacts at
New York Model Management, sister agency to the renowned west coast
modeling agency, L.A. Models. The agency's reaction was instantaneous
and they rushed to sign Ashley. The agency's president, Heinz Holba,
even went to the lengths of flying to Maui to meet with her parents
to introduce the idea of modeling into their family.
"I was surprised on how
down to earth he (Heinz Holba) was. You hear horror stories about
stuck up fashion people can be," Mike Suliman, Ashley's father
The entire family then sat down
together and made the family decision to follow Ashley's dreams
of becoming a professional model.
Ashley and family
from left, Ashley,
Troi, and CJ Suliman.
"We wanted to make sure
that she understood that this was a business and not a hobby,"
Mike said. "That she understood that people, businesses, would
be making an investment into her, and she had to be responsible
One month later, Ashley was
in L.A. participating in the L.A. Model search sponsored by L.A.
LOOKS. She was the runner up and won a $30,000.00 modeling contract
from L.A. Models.
And now, the billion-dollar
question; is Ashley a wealthy 14 year-old that all of us should
envy or maybe even loathe? We'll, let me say this first off
you feel the need to loathe any 14 year-old supermodel or not, you
have problems. Secondly, she's not wealthy, not even close. See,
what a lot of people fail to understand about the modeling industry
is that the start up costs to becoming a professional model is extremely
expensive. Compare it to starting a business; there are dues that
need to be paid. To start, there's air travel, model portfolios,
model housing expenses, cutting into a paycheck that is already
depleted by agency fees and taxes. Work for a beginning model also
does not pay very well as work can be done for as little as twenty-five
dollars just to generate publicity or reputation in the modeling
industry. It's the gauntlet that all models must pace through before
running in the glitz and glamour of the modeling industry.
only photo of Ashley's dad that we have.
"It's been tough,"
Mike says. "The money isn't there yet and Ashley began home
schooling to dedicate a little more time to modeling so her social
life has suffered a little. But her mom has been doing a great job
managing her career."
What's Ashley's take on the
"It's fun. I feel very
fortunate that I'm doing things that I dreamt about all my life,"
"I'm hoping she makes it. She's level headed and with her being
very close to her family, hopefully she'll stay that way. The modeling
industry needs a positive role model like her," Young says.
on the look out for this young girl in the May issue of Seventeen
and YM Magazine. Aside from modeling, Ashley resides on the board
of directors for an upcoming anti-tobacco event, Generation Life.
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