Models of the 21st centuries are not just beautiful cloth hangers, who become well-known by chance thanks to their looks. They are also smart, well-educated, strategic and self-driven. A perfect example of a successful 21st century model is Allyson Zanalotti. The model is also Chief of Operations Manager of a resort in US Virgin Islands.
Allyson Zanalotti strikes me as a bright and energetic person. But, her path to happiness and success is not perchance. It is all thanks to her hard work and determination to rise above difficulties.
How a poor girl from South Carolina became a model
Allyson Zanalotti is of Italian and Native American descent. She grew up very poor, raised by her grandmother in Beaufort, South Carolina. After her grandmother passed away, she was moved around and even put into foster care.
At 17 years old, she decided to change her life by herself. Allyson move to another state by herself. “I have been on my own journey ever since”, she says. “I moved to Maryland for the majority of my life. As I’ve gotten older I have lived in places like Hawaii, St. Thomas USVI and many other states.”
Though growing up in a challenging environment, Allyson Zanalotti always dreamed of being a model. “I remember, as a child being by the pool or in the ocean, I would be practicing my poses, pretending as if someone was photographing me”, she recalls.
Though, she would go on to study administrative field. “I’ve done Accounting, HR, Property Management, Stewardess for Yachts, and Administrative work”, she recounts. Vastly different job compared to modeling! “It’s mostly paperwork, phone calls and errands!”, she laughs. But, Allyson Zanalotti never gave up on her childhood dreams.
How modeling changed Allyson Zanalotti
Four years ago, Allyson Zanalotti finally came across an opportunity to try out modeling. “A few photographers reached out to shoot with me about 4 years ago. We did a few different ideas. I had no idea how life changing that experience was going to be”, she recalls.
At first, she was nervous about standing in front of the camera. “I was insecure, nervous, and almost discouraged at one point. I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough or good enough.” But the experience brought her new confidence and energy. “I developed self-love, embraced my insecurities, and gained this amazing humble confidence within myself! This changed so many aspects of my life. I’m forever grateful for that event!”
Why is Allyson Zanalotti so fascinated by photoshoots? She thinks that there is so much beauty in the world and photography helps preserve such moments. “I think there is beauty in everything and everyone in life we just have to be able to see it and in a sense photography shows us how!”
Allyson Zanalotti on how to succeed as a model
People may assume that models can only become successful if they are beautiful. However, for Allyson Zanalotti, energy is more important. “I don’t think looks has anything to do with modeling. I think it’s all about your energy, your confidence and your purpose within the industry. Beauty can fade but everything else that can be felt will never go away.”
It is important to keep up your energy in the modeling business. Because this field is very competitive. Self-love is important because “when you feel good about yourself inside and out you’re able to accomplish anything”, Allyson says.
New models also need a good support system. “Having [people] rooting for you on every step of the way is important too”. Allyson specifically counts on her friend Taylor H. – they have been best friends for 15 years. “When we’re together we are always laughing, making jokes, talking about growth, or ways to improve, and elevate our lives together!”
Luxury fashion and diamonds inspire Allyson
Allyson Zanalotti loves luxury fashion, because she thinks we deserve the best things in life. Her favorite brand is Chanel, because of the sophistication and artistic level. “I also like [Chanel] because it is a woman-started company. Her story is inspiring to many women.”
The first ever luxury item that she owned is set of jewelry adorned with diamonds. Her brother bought them for her as a birthday present. “I felt so glamorous”, she says. Diamonds are also like women, formed through immense pressure. “Diamonds are really a girls best friend!”
Model: Allyson Zanalotti @atzx0x
Photographer: Mosaab Alsaray Art @mosaabalsarayart
PR and Location: House of Paradise @houseofparadise01
Fashion designer: Nina Rose @maisonoz
MUA: Mikki Erickson @mikkis_makeup
Agency: Next Level Modeling Agency @nextlevelmodelingagency
Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam