From halls of Lakota to walls of Abercrombie


January 25, 2007

Drew Dunham is a familiar face at the mall these days. That's because the 16-year-old junior from Lakota East High School was chosen by popular retailer Abercrombie & Fitch as a model for its holiday collection. His photos currently appear on the Abercrombie Kids Web site, in the stores and on its shopping bags. So, how does it feel to see giant photos of yourself on display at the stores and complete strangers walking around with shopping bags bearing your picture?

"It's a little awkward," Drew said. "I've also been asked for my autograph."

Drew's modeling career began when he signed on with Wings Model Management of Cincinnati. The local agency took him to the 2006 Mike Beaty Model and Talent Expo in Dallas, where he was selected by Shirley Grant Management and Renegade Models, both of New York. The two agencies brought Drew to the Big Apple last summer, where he modeled for Time Magazine and auditioned for Abercrombie and various commercials and print ads.

"Abercrombie interviewed thousands of kids throughout the country. I never thought I'd have a shot at it, but it has been a sweet experience," he said..

In August, Drew traveled to a private island in Vancouver, British Columbia, for the two-day outdoor Abercrombie photo shoot. Joining him there were models for Abercrombie Kids, Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister from all over the country. Drew was the only Midwesterner. Despite donning four layers of Abercrombie clothes, including jeans and a heavy coat in what is traditionally the hottest month of the summer, Dunham said the weather conditions were perfect, not too hot, not too cold. Drew and the other models capped off their Canadian adventure after the final shoot with a festive dinner out.

When I Asked how his friends have reacted to his newfound modeling fame, Drew replied, "They're shocked." His mother on the other hand, is not. "People always said that Drew should be a model," said Marianne Dunham. "This has been exciting for Drew and our family. We think he has the potential for a great career ahead of him." Along with some audition opportunities right here in Cincinnati in the coming weeks, Drew hopes to do Abercrombie's spring and summer ads and would love to have the opportunity to sign on with other retailers like American Eagle and Aeropostle. He also plans to return to New York this summer.

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