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Diversity at Its Finest

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This Educated, beautiful, self-proclaimed “Tough cookie” loves family, fashion, and getting dirty.

Industry: Has your background played a part in your modeling career?

Allyson Elyse: No one ever guesses that my background is a combination of Sicilian and Russian. Growing up, my house was always loud, hot-tempered, and high-drama, which taught me to be strong-minded and how to make myself heard…important traits to have in such a competitive business. I think the mix of my nationalities lends to the unique coloring of my hair and light eyes, and being unique is a sure advantage in this industry

Industry: Where do you call home?
AE: I was born on Staten Island and grew up in New Jersey from the age of 3, so I would say it’s safe to call myself a “Jersey girl.” I find myself back here on the island frequently because my husband’s family business is located here.

Industry: How did you become a model?
AE: People have always told me I should model, but I’ve always felt more comfortable on the styling side of the industry. Being in front of the camera all started for me recently when I took pictures to have an edge on a contest I was entering. The photographer asked if I wanted to send them out to get some feedback, and not expecting anything, I said, “sure, why not?” The feedback was great; I never would have thought I’d be starting out modeling at 35 years old!

Industry: What type of modeling are you most interested in?
AE: I’m open to all types of modeling, but I feel most comfortable working in fashion.

Industry: Do you see any acting in your future?
AE: I would absolutely love to try acting, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do!

Industry: What do you consider your full-time job?
AE: I worked in the fashion industry for years, but now I am a wife and mother of two. On top of that—which is surely a full time job—I work as a hostess at Angelina’s Ristorante. Modeling is something that I am just adding to the mix now.

Industry: Where did you go to school?
AE: The University of South Carolina as a business major, and The Art Institute for fashion design and retail management.

Industry: What are your interests and hobbies? What do you enjoy?
AE: I might not look like it, but I’m a tough cookie. I love kick boxing, mountain biking with my son Brady, adventure racing…basically anything that’s challenging, tough, and dirty! My goal, this year, is to train to climb Mt. Rainier. I also love to read and write, and I hugely enjoy spending time with my family. In addition, I raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. It’s a charity very close to my heart; my mother passed away almost 5 years ago from the disease.

Industry: …and your future career goals?
AE: I’m in the process of starting my own personal styling & wardrobe renovation company. I’d love to eventually open a high-end super boutique. If I can ever find the time, I’d also love to write a book some day.

Industry: Describe your look in 3 words.
AE: Classy. Sophisticated. Sexy.

Industry: …and your personality in 3 words.
AE: Inviting. Tough. Lovable.

Industry: What do you love most about being a model?
AE: Modeling is not as easy as it looks, but it’s definitely a lot of fun. There is such a sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from seeing y

Photos by Maria Demartino Photography

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