Inspiring Lives Magazine Spring 2017: Issue 4 - Page 85

After Super Model and Super Mom, KIM ALEXIS Reinvents Herself Again By Dr. Shellie Hipsky • Photography by Angie Candell Brandon “I always had wet hair, I didn’t care how I looked, and I didn’t have a portfolio.” That doesn’t sound like a promising start to a long-term modeling career, but that’s ex- actly how Kim Alexis began. Before her first year of college, Alexis joined a mod- eling agency to help her earn money for school so her dad wouldn’t have to pay for everything. “People said I was pretty, and I should try to model.” But she didn’t think she would last long. “I kept thinking I was going to get kicked out because I was swimming 5 hours a day…All these girls were decked out, and I was a tom- boy.” Then one night, she noticed a man staring at her during a class. She assumed she was done. “I thought I was going to get kicked out [of the agency] when he called me into his office. He said to me, ‘Do you want to go to New York and model?’ and I said, “No, I am going to be a pharmacist. So I said that over and over, but the talent scout wouldn’t stop asking. So I said, ‘Ok, take your stupid pictures.’ I literally said that,” she laughed. Alexis’s pictures were sent to New York, and John Casablancas, a modeling agent and scout, came to Buffalo for Discover a Model Day. “Those same girls who had intimidated me were parading in front of John trying to get his attention and meanwhile, me— the tall tomboy competitive swimmer—I was the one with the contract in her hand. All of a sudden I was going to New York.” She was 18 years old. Two days after arriving in New York, she flew to Rome and then Paris to model for Harper’s Bazaar Italia, and four days later she shot her first cover, which was for the magazine. Since then, Alexis has traveled the world and shot over 500 maga- zine covers. An author as well, Alexis wrote books such as A Model for a Better Future, which is a memoir of her ear- ly days and then her life as a mother while modeling. As a working mom, Alexis raised five children in a blended marriage. She juggled running around for the kids’ extracurricular activities with speaking engage- ments and photo shoots. Alexis knows what it is like to be a mother trying to keep life in balance. Now, it is her time. Alexis experienced another new beginning after her children grew up and she got di- vorced. She moved from Colorado to the busy pace of New York with premieres, parties, and fashion buzzing around her. “By faith, I was ready to make any move in any di- rection needed and have that open mind to explore and learn. I peek around every corner to discover and think ‘Is this something new?’ I am meeting new people all the time. I am just at that point in my life where I can be anywhere or do anything that I want, and I know that I will have huge plans, but I don’t know what they are yet. The plans are not fully developed yet…I am willing to try and explore while I learn and grow.” One spontaneous thing she did was hopping a flight with a friend to Jerusalem. “I had been married for SPRING 2017 INSPIRING LIVES 85