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How one international model is using the Web to break into the industry.

by Matt Valluzzi
eTalent Spotlight

We’re all familiar with those fairytales about the makeup-less beauty who was working nothing but a t-shirt and cutoffs when she happened to catch the eye of a scout and, shazam, she’s signed with a top-tier agency. But for every chance tale there are a kabillion would-be models toiling away on go-sees, hoping for a gig that will launch a career.

Still, in some ways, it’s become easier for unsigned models to make an entrance into the industry, says Klaudia Arapiles, a Madrid-born model. An expanding collection of modeling sites offers a way in by giving models much-needed exposure. The 19-year-old student who is studying law at the Complutense University of Madrid began modeling “seriously” thanks to one of the sites. The catch? All these sites make it much more difficult to actually succeed, because as Arapiles notes, “there are tons of models everywhere.”

It’s easy to become disenchanted when you realize just how many people are chasing a space on the catwalk. The key, says Arapiles, is to be selective. Joining every site you come across might seem like a way to maximize your opportunities, and at first Arapiles followed that path. “But I realized I joined way too many sites when I didn’t have the time to follow up on them all.” Being an active member—posting new pictures, answering inquiries and staying connected—became too big a commitment. So now Arapiles concentrates on the handful of sites “that I really find useful.”

Here, some other useful thoughts from Arapiles:
What She’d Change About The Industry: “Unfortunately height is much more valued these days than attitude or actual beauty. I’m only 5’3” so I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved so far. To me, expression in front of the lens is much more important—that and LOTS of hard work.”

Career She Most Admires: It’s a toss up between American-born Emily DiDonato and the Hungarian model Barbara Palvin.

Her Preferred Gig: “Photo shoots are my thing; I can express myself more there than on the catwalk.”

Something You Wouldn’t Guess About Her: “When I was a kid I hated being photographed. Man, has that changed.”

See Klaudia's Profile