Kate Heldt: An All-American Girl

Through the strife and chaos of life, features have been quite scarce, yet I promised that this deserving feature would see her day.

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Katherine Anne Heldt, a Freshman in the Liberal Studies Program at NYU, is something to marvel at, an amazing talent. In between the short time she so graciously answered these questions till now, Ms. Heldt has had numerous stints behind the camera and even a trip to Fashion Week. The talented model is on the rise, a sure fact, and I was so lucky enough to be graced with her kindness and professionalism.

A natural model, the beauty and form of a professional, it seems as though modeling would be a lifelong profession for Ms. Heldt. “I started modeling when I was a junior in high school. I had always been told growing up that modeling was something I should pursue and when I started getting approached by scouts, I realized that it could be a reality. During that time, I even met with agencies in New York but felt like finishing high school in Miami was important so I signed with an agency there instead.”

And soon after signing, Katherine was sent on her way to stardom, her first shoot. “My first shoot was a test shoot to build my portfolio to send to clients. I just remember being a young and inexperienced 16 year old who was nervous but filled with excitement. We did a bunch of different looks and styles, which was a lot of fun. We shot some in his studio with music blaring and then we ventured outside to take some pictures out on the streets of Miami. Naturally, people walking down the street stopped to witness the photo shoot unfold and a crowd soon gathered around. I could feel their eyes glaring at me, observing my every move. It became motivation for me to perform and the pictures turned out great.  It was one of the first times I had been behind the camera, and I loved every second.”

And that natural demeanor, the ease that came to her helped her with all the modeling she has done, even helping her work for some major brands. “I would say that the most notable brand that I worked with was Tommy Hilfiger. Representatives who had seen my pictures online wanted to book me for a press shoot event they were having in stores. Tommy Hilfiger collaborated with George Esquivel to brand a new pair of loafer shoes and I had the “all American look” that they wanted. I made appearances on the news and fashion blogs and attended multiple launch events. It was such an amazing experience because I had always loved the classic Tommy look and I was glad I got the opportunity to represent their brand.”

With experiences such as Tommy Hilfiger, Ms. Heldt’s portfolio must be filled with incredible endeavors, so many to choose as a favorite. “My favorite shoot was completely impromptu. I was interning with a magazine photo shoot so I was responsible for steaming clothes, organizing accessories, and assuring a smooth shoot. Unexpectedly, I ended up behind the camera of one of the most prominent photographers in the fashion industry, Arthur Elgort. I didn’t have on any makeup, I only had the clothes I had on, and it had been quite a long day of assisting others so I guess you could say it was completely spontaneous. But I loved it because the shots were completely natural with a magnificent view of the bay surrounding the Hamptons. It was truly an unforgettable experience.”

With the talent she possesses, agencies must want to be snatching her up as quick as they possibly can. “I previously signed with Ford Miami prior to attending NYU. However, now that I am in New York City, I am currently looking for another agency to sign with. I was still under contract when I first moved here, but I terminated early so that I would be able to pursue modeling in the city.

And even without an agency, Ms. Heldt held the wonderful opportunity to walk in Fashion Week. “Fashion Week was a busy, yet surreal experience that I was fortunate to be a part of. I was involved in a number of shows including designers Laquan Smith and Lux Cartel. It was a dream come true as I had the opportunity to walk for Rozalia Bot at Lincoln Center, a venue I had visited but never been previously booked at. Although it can be quite hectic, participating in NYFW was such an incredible and rewarding experience.”

Well, I assure her that with her portfolio, professionalism, and personality, a career in fashion is a definite option. “I would love to make a career out of modeling! However, the industry can be very unpredictable which is why I feel as though it’s important to continue pursuing a college degree as well. If the opportunity were to arise to take modeling even further, I would be more than willing. My mom is 100% supportive of anything I want to do. Whenever I face criticism or rejection, which happens frequently in the modeling world, she is always there to pull me back up. If it’s truly a passion of mine, she would be willing to help me do anything to make it happen.

Perseverance is key in a world full of rejection, yet I am sure that with her talent the world is her oyster. What dreams does she have for this unpredictable world? “My biggest dream is to travel. For now, I’m working hard to get back into modeling in the city and see where it takes me. I just love experiencing new things and being given opportunities to do so is inexplicable. Modeling is something I could see myself doing, and I am working to make it happen.”

A tenacious, beautiful girl with dreams she can surely obtain, I am quite positive we will be seeing Ms. Heldt many times in the near future.

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