HJ/EDApril 17, 2006

Dassel model featued in Vogue magazine

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

When Lorayne Pitchford called her mother in Dassel about her fashion shoot in Vogue magazine, at first her mother thought she had been in a car accident. Pitchford was gasping with excitement, she said.

However, the news was good news. Pitchford, a junior at the University of Minnesota, was selected to be one of seven girls nationwide to be in an advertising campaign for Wal-Mart, and featured in an 8-inch by 12-inch photograph in the May edition of Vogue magazine.

“I just couldn’t believe it. I had to pinch myself,” said Pitchford, a 2003 graduate of Dassel Cokato High School.

Pitchford is no novice to the fashion modeling business. She has done runway modeling before. She modeled in three wedding fairs in Minneapolis and for Guess at the Mall of America. Pitchford is studying retail merchandising at the university and works at Herberger’s in Bloomington.

Pitchford, the daughter of David and Mechele Pitchford, said she was involved in art, dance and band while at Dassel Cokato High School, so modeling was just an extension of her general interest in “expression.”

In September, Pitchford spotted an advertisement in Vogue soliciting entrants for a modeling campaign. Wal-Mart wanted to upgrade its fashion line, she said.

Pitchford mailed in photographs and submitted a short essay about her style. Pitchford had written her style was “casual trendy” but “still able to turn a few heads,” she said.

In January she received a call from contest officials asking for her height and measurements, so Pitchford figured she must have been one of the finalists. Two weeks later Pitchford was told she was selected for the fashion shoot and would be going to New York City.

“It was really amazing,” Pitchford said.

Pitchford stayed at the Millennium Hotel on Broadway and had car service while in New York. She was taken to the pier area, she believes was on Coney Island, to a large building that looked like a warehouse on the outside, she said.

Actually it was a major magazine photographic studio that included Vogue’s studio as well.

“It opens into a beautiful scene,” she said.

The studio included palm trees, restaurants, world-class photographers, designers, and make-up artists, she said.

Pitchford was directed to dress like “Kind of a rocker chick,” she said.

She wore a mini-skirt, five-inch wooden heeled shoes, a tank top that buttoned up the front, and purse and belt. Her hair was waved, Pitchford added.

All the clothes were from Wal-Mart but the accessories were Gucci and Prada, she said.

During the make-up session, the make-up artist continually told the girls to relax. “Everyone is human here,” they were told.

One of the things that Pitchford admires about high-fashion model Tyra Banks, in addition to her business savvy, is her ability to keep her perspective. “She’s real with herself, she’s real with other people,” Pitchford said.

So when Pitchford walked out for the photo shoot with photographer Patrick Demarchelier and the 30 officials from Wal-Mart and Vogue watching, she was surprised at how relaxed she was, she said.

“I pretty much did my own thing,” Pitchford said.

In addition to having a fan blowing her hair up and back, music was playing in the background. Pitchford started to dance along with the music while Demarchelier snapped the photos, she said.

Afterward, she was told her photo shoot was the best of the group, Pitchford said.

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