Modeling gives student an understanding of vision and art

Lydia Troy

Lydia Troy

Maggie Wachtel

Lydia Troy does not have the typical job. While her peers are busy working in retail and waiting tables, Troy spends her time as a model, doing photo shoots and walking the runway.  

Troy is a senior fashion merchandising major from North Canton, Ohio. Her path to modeling wasn’t stereotypical. Troy did not start modeling until she was a senior in high school. Even after being told she was a natural by photographer Sarah Loven, who did her senior pictures, Troy still had doubts. At only 5 feet 3 inches tall, Troy thought she didn’t fit the conventional “model” look.

“I had no experience and also no self-confidence,” Troy said. “But Sarah encouraged me to pursue it, so I started doing shoots with her so she could build a portfolio.”

Troy said Loven was a huge part of her inspiration to start modeling and to stick with it. After working with Loven, Troy’s career blossomed. She did shoots for online fashion magazines like Dream Factory and Winds of Change. Loven also allowed Troy to work with her behind the scenes on shoots, which added to Troy’s passion for visual design and creativity.

Thomas Sawyer is a Cleveland-based photographer who has worked with Troy in the past, and believes Troy is a natural at what she does.

“Lydia is so much more than a model; she is an artist,” Sawyer said. “The moment she walks into a room, she just commands it.”

Through her experiences, Troy eventually connected with SoHo Chick, a small company located in Wooster, Ohio. Troy started out modeling for them but eventually took on a bigger role in the company. She became the assistant buyer, visual merchandiser and sales representative.

In 2013, Troy was able to travel to Hong Kong with the owner of SoHo Chick to meet with vendors and collect samples for the spring/summer clothing line.

Troy is signed with Taxi Talent Management, a Cleveland-based talent agency. Through them, Troy has done photo shoots and campaigns for Dick’s Sporting Goods, UN1TUS Athletic Wear, Nexcom Magazine and Step2.

Despite the glamour that comes with modeling, Troy looks at it as more than just taking pretty pictures.

“To me, modeling is about engaging in the art,” she said. “I love discussing a vision and then being able to collaborate and be creative with people.”

Despite her success, Troy has considered giving up modeling on several occasions.

“I have wanted to quit solely because of comments I would hear from others about my image,” she said. “But my advice is to never quit something you’re passionate about.”

After graduation, Troy does not plan pursue modeling full-time. She hopes to use the skills she gained from the modeling industry, and her college experience to pursue a job in visual merchandising.

“Modeling has brought a whole new eye for visual design to me,” she said. “I would love to work for a public relations team to create a beautiful image for their brand.”

Troy knows she’s lucky to have a good support system. Her family, specifically her mom, Michelle Troy, taught her to have a good work ethic, but to stay humble.

“I can remember when Lydia told us she wanted to model, and we told her to go for it,” Michelle said. “The next thing we know she’s flying to China for Fashion Week. She’s always been an inspiration to many.”

Troy also has a strong group of friends who she credits with supporting her no matter what. Carly Eisner, one of Troy’s best friends, sees how important her work is to her.

“A lot of people make assumptions about models and the work they do, but Lydia is far beyond that,” Eisner said. “To (Lydia), modeling is a true art and she makes every vision come alive.”

Being a fashion merchandising major has put Troy at an advantage for the work she does. Her experiences with SoHo Chick and traveling have only added to her resume and fashion experiences.

“Managing modeling along with being a student would be very hard if my major didn’t reflect fashion,” Troy said. “My professors are more willing to let me miss class for experiences that come along with modeling.” 

Despite all the fun she has, modeling is still Troy’s job. She offered some advice for any other students also trying to manage a job and college at the same time.

“It’s OK to say ‘no’ to things,” Troy said. “I’ve definitely learned the hard way. My multitasking skills can get me into trouble. Do only what you can and stay focused on school.” 

Maggie Wachtel is the finance reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].