h2. NAME: Andrea Willis
YEARS MODELING: 5
HOW SHE GOT HER START: Willis, then almost 15 years old, was at a concert in Salem when Darren Dyck, owner of Portland’s Mode Models, spotted the leggy girl and gave her his card. (The clean-cut twist: The band was Delirious, a Christian rock group.) After a series of local test shots revealed big-league potential, Willis went to New York for “go-sees” with photographers and designers. Designer Zac Posen was an instant fan.
STUMBLING BLOCK: Willis’s parents insisted she come home to finish high school before resuming her career.
BIG BREAK: After four months back in New York, she landed the Just Cavalli print campaign.
BEST THING ABOUT THE JOB: Being paid a lot to be beautiful. “I did a runway show for Calvin Klein and made $1,200 in 90 minutes,” says Willis. “I thought, Wow. That’s good money!”
THE PART THAT BITES: As in all workplaces, boss-employee relations can get personal. “I used to butt heads with one of my bookers who said my hips had to be an inch smaller if I wanted to work more,” Willis says. “But I’m sorry, I tried, and this is as small as they get.”
IT IS A REAL JOB, DUDE: No, she’s not out partying every night. “You don’t want to be that girl who shows up late for a shoot and doesn’t look good; it’s not very professional.”
‘MODELS ARE DIFFERENT FROM YOU AND ME’ QUOTE: “I’m trying to gain about five pounds right now. People hate it when I say that, but it’s true.”