Lights, camera, action! 

From getting buckets for his different basketball teams to runway walking at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), senior Sawyer Stone went through a unique experience in New York City to formally introduce himself to the competitive fashion industry. 

“I’ve never really been into modeling or designer clothing or anything like that,” Stone said. “The whole thing kinda happened randomly.”

Ever since the start of his athletic career, Stone’s second home has always been the basketball court. Now that Stone is a senior and preparing for college, this unexpected emergence of high-level fashion into his life has given him another option to pursue for his future. 

“I definitely would make a career out of this,” Stone said. “If I’m lucky enough to have the opportunity moving forward, I definitely want to do it. I want to learn more about it, since I don’t know much, but I’d love to do this.”

Stone’s new fashion journey began over the summer, as a modeling agent scouted him while on a family vacation in Savannah, Georgia. With the help of the agent’s business card and information, Stone was able to sign with an agency and ultimately get the green light to go to different castings during NYFW. 

“In my first casting, I was definitely nervous,” Stone said. “When I first walked in, I realized how attractive and intimidating everyone was. I started to feel a bit self conscious, but then I remembered I was there for a reason too.”

In an attempt to remain as humble as possible,Stone did not want to make a big deal out of the situation or brag about it to lots of different people. Because of this, only his close friends and family knew about the castings.

“I was really happy for him when he first told me about what he was doing,” senior Colin Mcallister said. “I’m all for seeing my friends win.”

Before NYFW, Stone couldn’t go into the event without any technique at all, so he arrived in New York City a week before to undergo the proper training in order to ensure the best catwalk possible. For several days, he practiced the same walk and different poses repeatedly before he was ready to impress the judges.

“Going into New York, my walk was actually terrible,” Stone said. “If my walk was better, I would have gone to many more castings, including even a casting for Tommy Hilfiger. Apparently the judges over there are usually meaner to the new people in the industry, so their harsh critiques were definitely made known.” 

While Stone was in the big city he stayed with his grandmother, but ultimately spent a lot of his time by himself. He was able to learn how to navigate through the madness of New York while also staying on top of the school work that he was missing while away. 

Despite this time spent in solitude, Stone was surrounded by several people during his castings but was always the youngest one. While he was 17, many of the other models were in their 20s and had prior modeling experience that he never had.

“They [the other models] were all super cool ,” Stone said. “I was able to really get along with people even though I was only 17. It was a very maturing experience hanging out with older people.”

After all of the castings, Sawyer wasn’t able to get picked up by one of the distributors, but by no means has his modeling journey come to an end. 

“My agent is going to sign me up for the fashion week in Paris, which is in February I think, so that will be really cool,” Stone said. “In the meantime, I might go do some more test shoots in Atlanta if I’m around that area, and since it’ll be a minute before I get contacted again, I’m just going to keep doing my own thing here.” 

With his experience in New York as a whole, Stone was able to grow as a person and an aspiring model. His journey was truly unique and shows that even those from smaller cities and communities can thrive in big time areas and industries.