When September began, Allyson Chalmers was just a high school senior in Philly. On Thursday, she walked on a Fashion Week runway, and not just any runway: Chalmers was an exclusive at Calvin Klein Collection's Spring 2016 show. Her only only prior strutting experience involved a lot of YouTube videos. Her fast-track to the catwalk? Instagram. (Yes, you read that correctly.) The 17-year-old was discovered by submitting herself to modeling agency IMG's #WLYG contest. "I practiced my walk in my dining room when nobody was home, so I could play my music as loud as I wanted!" Chalmers told Refinery29 of her self-taught training via YouTube.
NOW ANNOUNCING our newest #WLYG girl: Allyson Chalmers (@allysonchalmers)! Two weeks ago today, Allyson was a regular 17-year-old from Philadelphia, PA, and now she is one of the #IMGirls and making her runway debut for @CalvinKlein at #NYFW!! ✨Dreams do come true! ✨ Just tag #WLYG on your photos and you could be scouted and signed by @imgmodels next!
"Two weeks ago, I never really thought of modeling as something that I could do as a career," Chalmers told Refinery29. "It had always been a thought in the back of my mind, and finally I just decided, Why not?!" She's now signed with IMG, and is currently in London going to castings. Considering that models like Karlie Kloss and Toni Garrn have made their NYFW debuts as Calvin Klein Collection exclusives (and IMG is one of the top agencies around), expect to see Chalmers crop up at a number of shows this season and beyond.
If you're hoping for a modeling Cinderella story of your own with YouTube training and not much else, here are some suggestions for working on that walk: First, crib a couple moves from Kloss via this glorious compilation video (and get even more pointers from her here).
Then, study up on Naomi Campbell's signature swagger...
And don't forget to commit Gisele Bündchen's moves to memory. (She is the top-earning model of the year according to Forbes, after all.)
For more explicit directions on how to be catwalk-ready, here's a tutorial by fashion show choreographer Mac Folkes:
Lastly, a must-watch for how to handle a runaway shoe with aplomb, like Karolina Kurkova. (No limping!)