4 Stunning Chicago Models And Why They Won't Move To NYC

We'll never leave this snowy metropolis we love, and we know most Chicagoans feel the same way. But what about people in industries that thrive outside of the Windy City? Meet four fearless models from Ford Models that live and work right here in town. We were curious to find out why they chose our city over New York, where the modeling industry is nothing but booming. As it turns out, Chicago's got a pretty good eye for a perfect pose, too, and these four are dominating their field. Click through to see why these stunning Chicagoans have risen to the top of their game, and read up on why they're totally happy to live and work right here. From professional posing to spot-on personal style, it's no wonder Chicago's cameras can't get enough of our girls.
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Models and Chicagoans Jennifer Wicks, Ashley Augenbergs, Anastacia Lupu, and Elena Greenwell, of Ford Models.


Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Elena Greenwell

What do you love about modeling in Chicago?
"I love the energy and people of this city, Midwesterners are the best! Chicago has a laid back approach to fashion that I love, too!"

Why do you prefer modeling here to other cities like New York, where models are in higher demand?
"I have traveled a lot over the years and it's so wonderful to be close to my family and friends plus I love working with Ford Chicago they are amazing!"

What is your favorite gig you've ever booked?
"My first editorial with Chicago Magazine. It was like having a "first kiss" magical moment and one to always remember. It taught me so much."


Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Why have you based your career in Chicago, rather than New York?
"I love Chicago and can be just as successful living where I love."

Where do you love to shop in Chicago?
"Fix and Mulberry & Me."

What's one beauty secret, that only models know, that you'd be willing to share?
"Don't eat salty food the night before a shoot."

What is your most prized fashion possession?
"All my hats. They're a must have accessory and a go-to for bad hair days."


Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Jennifer Wicks

What do you love about modeling in Chicago?
"Everything is just a little more laid back in Chicago. Similar to other markets, it’s important to be responsible, work hard, and put your best foot forward. However, there’s a constant sense of support that this market offers. We have great people here."

Why do you prefer modeling here to other cities like New York, where models are in higher demand?
"Although I began my modeling career in Miami and spent almost two years in New York, the Chicago modeling market has provided me the opportunity to be settled. I own a condo and live 10 minutes from most of my friends and family. We also have amazing clients here. Of course I’m willing to travel for work when necessary, but Chicago is my home and I’m happy to live and work in the city I love."


Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Why have you based your career in Chicago, rather than New York?
"After living there about five years ago, I realized that Chicago offered me the best opportunity to book consistent work while also allowing me to settle down and establish roots. I also got really tired of the daily New York grind. I love visiting, but I knew I wanted to own real estate and spend as much time as possible with my family. Chicago offered me that opportunity." 

Where do you love to shop in Chicago?
"I’m originally from Evanston, and grew up shopping with my mom at the TJ Maxx on the Evanston/Skokie border. That particular store is still one of my favorites and is probably the most amazing TJ Maxx ever! They carry high-end designers, including Gucci, Missoni, Fendi, you name it! They also have great stuff for the home. I can spend hours there searching for hidden gems – and I’m almost always successful!"




Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Ashley Augenbergs
What do you love about modeling in Chicago? "Chicago has a great vibe, the people are laid back and the clients are always fun and easy to work with. I love seeing familiar faces at bookings. It’s nice to feel a sense of community here."

What is your favorite gig you've ever booked?
"I had an amazing opportunity to shoot on location in Newport, Rhode Island. The Gilded Age mansions are so gorgeous, it’s hard to take a bad picture. History, fashion, architecture– an unmatchable environment. There’s nothing better than having a great team, having fun and getting great shots."

Where do you love to shop in Chicago?
"I have a crippling weakness for vintage jewelry. I’m spend equally at antique shops and vintage stores."


Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Why have you based your career in Chicago, rather than New York?
"When I moved back to Chicago, I had to switch gears, and tone it down a bit. I love going to New York, but I’m a mid-western girl at heart. I love a good cornfield. Chicago has all the big city fun but it’s way more accessible."

What is your most memorable moment as a model?
"When I first started modeling I went on a big runway casting. I ended up in front of the designer in my underwear, which is not terribly uncommon, but it had never happened to me before. It was terrifying. Was it a negative moment? No way. It builds character. A healthy relationship with rejection is so important in this industry–it keeps me on my toes. Every time I go to a casting or job, I think: Well, it can’t be any worse than that."


Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Anastacia Lupu

What do you love about modeling in Chicago?
"Chicago is home and a wonderful market. I've been lucky enough to find success in the city I grew up in and love. I've never had a reason to look elsewhere."

Why do you prefer modeling here to other cities like New York, where models are in higher demand?
"I personally prefer commercial print and the clients in this area become like family. This market is a better fit for me. Its also a quick trip to New York and Miami from here"

What is your favorite gig you've ever booked?
"The annual Macy's Glamorama fashion show. Its held in four cities Minneapolis, Chicago, LA and San Francisco. Its a fashion show that helps raise money for Children with cancer."


Photographed by Heather Talbert
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Why have you based your career in Chicago, rather than New York? 
"New York is one of my favorite cities to visit and I've loved working there however, I prefer the lifestyle of Chicago."

What's one beauty secret, that only models know, that you'd be willing to share?
"Witch Hazel! It tightens pores and balances. Also helps with bruising."

What is your most memorable moment as a model?
"Doing a Victoria's Secret TV segment on Oprah with Heidi Klum."



Photographed by Heather Talbert
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