Gabrielle Shamon — Gail, to her friends — is a junior majoring in Industrial Design (with a minor in photography), but Friday, May 13, her talent as a model will be in the spotlight as she takes the runway in the annual CCAD Senior Fashion Show. This is the third year Shamon, 20, has modeled in the show, but it’s far from the first time she’s taken to the catwalk.

The Chicago-born, Hong Kong-raised Shamon first walked the runway seven years ago. She says there’s great demand in Hong Kong for models of mixed race (she’s biracial), and many schools stage fashion shows. They left the auditions open to the public, they didn’t just keep it to their schools. So I did it pretty much every single year,” she says. Hear more from Shamon below — and be sure to check out “Fashion Forward,” our series featuring some of the designers whose collections hit the runway later this week.

Taking the Runway

Shamon first learned of the CCAD Senior Fashion Show from a flyer. “I immediately got very, very excited, since that was something I loved to do in high school and didn’t really think I would have much of an opportunity to do here.” Since the model casting in the fall, there have been several fittings, a photo shoot featuring the students’ designs, plus a small number of rehearsals leading up to the show.

Shamon says striding down the runway “is maybe my favorite part” of modeling. “I don’t tell too many people about it, because I don’t want to sound braggy about it, but it is my favorite thing. I feel confident in my walk...because I’ve spent so long refining it and perfecting it.” This year, she’ll also be timed beforehand to see how quickly she can switch between looks — she’s modeling three in all, for three different designers.

The Looks

Shamon will be walking for Brittany Carpenter, Lauren Metelitz and Jacob Maitland. “What I love is they’re incredibly diverse. Brittany has done athleticwear for men and women, which I think is really cool. I haven't seen a lot of that in the past. It’s very eclectic, very young, (with) a lot of vibrant colors and prints,” says Shamon. “I'm wearing this cool, Spandex-y gym getup. It's an olive green, which is a color I adore.”

Metelitz’s design is an edgy black jumpsuit with straps and a small cape, Shamon says. “It’s functional, and even though it’s high fashion, it’s really comfortable to wear. … She made my garment really quickly, I think maybe two to three weeks,” Shamon says. Metelitz “has been hustling, and I really, really enjoy working with her.”

Maitland's “entire line is just absolutely stunning,” Shamon says. “He’s doing very etheral couture gowns, and he’s used such unconventional fabrics and materials for them, which is what I think I love most about them.” The lavender gown he created includes a corset, embellished with Swarovski crystals and loops made of a “liquid silk” organza. “It’s really really interesting. It’s really cool,” Shamon says.

Photography, Design and Beyond

As a young teen model, “I started realizing I didn’t enjoy being directed as much as I enjoyed directing,” Shamon says. And modeling helped her understand which poses would look best on-camera, says Shamon. Now, she says, “I end up shooting other people’s stuff more than modeling it, which I guess is kind of ironic.” Initially beginning school as a photography major, Shamon shifted to industrial design with a mind toward developing herself for the job market. “I think it’s important to have balance in your skills and in the things you understand about art and design,” she says.

With modeling and photography in her arsenal of skills (Shamon will shoot Maitland’s collection after graduation, and has also done beauty, fashion, and product photography for the Fashion Meets Music Festival), she’s now tackling high-end photo retouching. “I'm busy, but I like to be busy,” she says.


Join CCAD for the hottest runway event in Columbus. The CCAD Senior Fashion Show gets underway Friday, May 13. Click here for more information.