Eighteen-year-old Heather Johnston gets the opportunity of her life when she is signed by a premier New York modeling agency. She leaves her small Virginia hometown behind for dreams of Vogue spreads and a luxurious loft overlooking Central Park. Arriving in Manhattan, she is instead given the key to a cramped one-bedroom downtown apartment furnished with bunk beds and IKEA floor samples. Her roommates are exotically beautiful girls boasting a considerable array of vices, including alcohol, cocaine, backstabbing, and fabulously expensive haute couture. Despite their humble quarters, they form an unlikely family. By day they shuttle between castings and shoots, and at night they come to life in the VIP rooms of New York's hottest clubs. While this world is fast-paced and fun, Heather soon questions whether modeling is the fairy tale she imagined it to be. When she gets a part-time job at a prestigious gallery and discovers a passion for art, Heather realizes she might be ready to say good-bye to her dreams of wealth and celebrity and follow a different path.
Fun, campy, and ultimately full of heart, Secrets of the Model Dorm takes readers behind the scenes of the world's most glamorous industry -- exposing all of its dirty little secrets and what it really takes to make it -- or break it -- as a model.
Amanda Kerlin first signed to a top international modeling agency at the age of fourteen, and spent most of her teenage years in Paris, Milan, Cape Town, and New York. She has appeared in magazines such as Elle, Glamour, Teen Vogue, and Marie Claire; been featured in advertisements for Abercrombie & Fitch and Naturalizer Shoes; and modeled for John Galliano and DKNY. She is now an art history major and lives with non-model roommates in Manhattan.
Phil Oh graduated from New York University with a degree in history. He now runs a global street fashion website called Street Peeper, occasionally DJs, and spends his time traveling to far-off lands. He met Amanda when he was a guest in the model dorm and now resides in Brooklyn.
Publisher: Washington Square Press (August 21, 2007)