Hutzelman prepares for life on the runway

Reva Rampalli | The Chronicle

Mason High School (MHS) senior Avary Hutzelman is making her way into the intense world of modeling.

Hutzelman has been in the show business game for a little over nine years. Unlike some usual teenage hobbies, she chose to take a unique path: modeling.

Hutzelmans’ modeling career did not just take off as soon as she began; instead, she started with dancing. Hutzelman was a part of the Cincinnati Ballet for six years until she was cut for being too tall. Hutzelman said that she felt there was no point in putting in so much effort in ballet if she was not going to be able to dance in their productions. However, this did not stop her from pursuing the spotlight. 

“I love the fashion industry and my height,” Hutzelman said. “I obviously have an advantage being so tall so that’s why I jumped into modeling.”

Hutzelman’s drive for becoming a model is derived from her genuine love for fashion and its creativity. She likes to share stories and express herself through the art of pose. Hutzelman said that becoming a model has shaped her into the person she is today, as it has allowed her to explore a new variety of tasks.

“It’s made me step out of my comfort zone and do things that I once would have been terrified to do,” Hutzelman said.

The modeling game requires a lot of confidence, especially when it comes to others’ opinions. Hutzelman said that no matter what others in the industry may say about her, it is important to remain thick-skinned. 

“Fake it till you make it,” Hutzelman said. “It’s all about your mindset; there are some nasty people in the industry with some hurtful things to say.” 

The modeling field requires Hutzelman to travel around the country to cities like New York and Los Angeles. For Hutzelman, more time means everything, especially when trying to balance school and extracurricular activities. 

“I just find pockets of time where I can really hone in and focus on school and not let it distract me from modeling and also not let modeling distract me from my schoolwork,” Hutzelman said.

One of the first long-distance trips Hutzelman went on for modeling was to the East Coast. Hutzelman attended the Coco Rocha Model Camp hosted in New York City. Future models who attend this training camp got the chance to be trained by Coco Rocha, widely known as the Queen of Pose. Each model gets a one-on-one session to speak with Rocha and discuss what campaign they should shoot for. Hutzelman got the opportunity to be featured in a 1990s Versace campaign. She said Rocha is her role model and has taught her so much about modeling.

“Learning from the best, learning from the actual Queen of Pose, it was just so surreal,” Hutzelman said.

Being a novice in a field as competitive and demanding as modeling requires her to learn the ins and outs. Hutzelman said Rocha not only taught her the fundamentals of modeling but also how to make the right choices and stay safe.

“She taught me so much about not just modeling, not just the basics, but the business side of it and how to protect yourself when it comes to contracts and agencies and things like that,” Hutzelman said.

Since then, Hutzelman has signed with Select model, a modeling agency based in Chicago. Despite having an agent, Hutzelman’s job opportunities are still limited. As a minor, there are many contracts and laws put in place for safety. Hutzelman said that once she turns eighteen, she will have access to more opportunities.

In August of 2022, Huztelman traveled to Indianapolis to model for her first professional modeling gig. She modeled for the popular American athletic apparel and shoe chain, Finish Line. She had to go through an intense casting process for this assignment, where she was photographed in multiple looks. Hutzelman said that she enjoyed her experience because the environment was so encouraging and uplifting.

Hutzelman, who has chosen a unique career path, is dedicated to giving her best while enjoying what she is doing. She is fueled by her love for design and fashion to continue modeling.

“I think it’s the same thing when you’re passionate and genuinely interested and you care about something so much you’re gonna want to put the work in and be as committed as possible,” Hutzelman said.

Photo contributed by Avary Hutzelman