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From the Bronx to Balmain,Newest Faces on Modeling and Diversity

For model Kayla Scott, it all came down to a fateful Google search. Finding herself at a career crossroads after a stint in college didn’t quite pan out, the 20-year-old innocently typed “modeling agencies” into the search engine and quickly dashed off an application to the first result that appeared: Ford Models. Within days the industry giant had called and signed her. A few months down the road? The sinewy, pixie-haired newcomer with the chiseled jawline was the face of Balmain’s Fall 2014 campaign. As she sheepishly puts it, “Life is weird.”

Plucked from obscurity, landing a tony gig without walking a single show, and shooting with Mario Sorrenti among a cast of names that included Binx Walton, Jourdan Dunn, and Cara Delevingne launched her suddenly into another world. “I was kind of a deer in the headlights!” Scott says. “It was my first shoot, everything is brand new to me—even just traveling that far out and meeting those big stars and those big models.” But the New York native discovered that her upbringing had prepared her for the competitive nature of modeling. “Growing up in the Bronx definitely made me more thick-skinned,” she says. “I’m able to withstand a lot of things most people can’t. You have to create your own opportunities there because they don’t really come around that easy. Once you find your path, you just have to stick with it.”