Fashion Models Share Off-Runway Tales

They’re the often- anonymous stars of New York Fashion Week – the models who walk the runways in designer clothes, looking mostly impassive and inevitably beautiful as they pose before cameras.

Their lives off the runways, however, remain for the most part a mystery.

They are young women like Mari Agory, whose family fled the South Sudan for Egypt to escape civil war; Adesuwa Pariyapasat, who was discovered by a scout in Nigeria at 17; Abiah Hostvedt, whose life on the road sometimes makes him homesick for his native Jamaica.

Associated Press photographers spoke backstage with models during New York Fashion Week, which began Thursday.

Here are their stories.

Click on any image to launch Fashion Models Share Off-Runway Tales gallery.



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Lead Image Caption: Jing Wen, center, of Guangzhou, China, waits to rehearse with other models before the Prabal Gurung Spring 2015 collection show Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, during Fashion Week in New York. Jing Wen, 19, began modeling at age 17.  She says that as a little girl, she loved the idea of modeling, but never dreamed that she would end up walking runways internationally. Although her mother and sister are back in China, she doesnít often suffer from homesickness. For Jing Wen, the struggle to stay emotionally balanced is far more difficult. “You have to keep your heart strong,” she explains. “It’s so hard to get the show, so you have to [stay] peaceful, all the time.” As for her future plans, Jing Wen sees herself as an entrepreneur. She says she plans to go back to school after modeling “and maybe after few years I will have my coffee shop.” (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

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