Next Years Star

By Erica Valente

On March 6, 2008, Ashlyn Chesney, a junior at Lasell College, was named “Next Year’s Model” by a panel of judges at Lord & Taylor in New York. In celebration of their 181 years of retail, Lord & Taylor created an advertising campaign to renew their look. Ashlyn will be featured in Lord & Taylor’s 2009 ad campaign, alongside professional models, with her image captured by a world-renowned photographer.

As a student at Lasell College, Ashlyn is a Fashion and Retail Merchandising major with minors in Psychology and Event Planning. Upon graduation, Ashlyn hopes to take some time off and “visit the Egyptian pyramids and the Mayan temples as well as go to Europe and Australia and possibly Japan, depending on what happens.” Career-wise, Ashlyn says, “My ideal job would be to direct high-end shows or be a wardrobe consultant.”

So what made Ashlyn try out in the first place? With no professional modeling experience or training, Ashlyn states, “I entered the Lord & Taylor competition after a recommendation from Professor Anne Vallely, and with the encouragement of two close friends.” With eleven other contestants, the chances of winning were slim, and Ashlyn says, “I wasn't sure how well I would do because in the fashion industry I have always been in the minority -- I'm well under 5' 10" and a redhead.  I never expected to win; I just wanted the opportunity to try.”

Since her win, Ashlyn states, “my name has appeared in the local paper of my hometown, the Herald, WWD, Forbes, The Washington Post, and several other papers and websites.” In the campaign, Ashlyn will be featured in the Lord & Taylor ads that will run in fashion magazines nationwide.  As for the future, Ashlyn says, “I am hoping that with all of the publicity, I will get the opportunities and make the connections I will need to further my career in the areas that interest me most.  I’d like to learn what a model's job entails so that I can better work with them, having the ability to push them to success without pushing them to insanity.”

Ashlyn will make her celebrity debut on April 8, 2008, at Lord & Taylor’s Benefit Bash and Fashion Show. Ashlyn will be accompanied by twelve Fashion and Retail Merchandising students from Lasell who will be working behind the scenes to make everything run smoothly. The Bash, a day of many events, is open to the public; ticket proceeds will benefit local charities



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