Columbia native makes it work on Project Runway

9 months 1 week 4 days ago April 13, 2016 Apr 13, 2016 Wednesday, April 13 2016 Wednesday, April 13, 2016 7:51:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
By: Taylor Reid, KOMU 8 Reporter and Sheila Wang, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - Alea Saunders is probably living in every girl's dream by being a model. But she's somehow made it even dreamier by modeling for the reality TV show Project Runway.

Born and raised in Columbia, Saunders said she jumped into her modeling career with some "dorky pictures in her backyard" with her mom as the photographer.

"(The agency) was like 'we'd like to meet you'. Literally within a week I was signed. And it kind of went up from there," Saunders said.

She began her first modeling job in Kansas City and then moved to New York City for three years to take her career up a notch.

And that's exactly what happened.

Starting this February, Saunders became one of the models for season 5 of Project Runway All Stars.

As glamorous as the industry looks, Saunders said she's always grateful for growing up in a small town like Columbia.

"It's an advantage. It kept me really humble."

Even with years of professional experiences, Saunders said it's really weird for her to model for Project Runway.

"On the show it was crazy. Long hours, long days. It's really fun to get there, but at the end of day I was like 'thank goodness I'm done,'" she said. "And the designers are amazing but that is another thing."

For Saunders, to be a professional model means more than looking pretty. It means a lot of hard work and overcoming a lot of self-doubt.

But she's found a way to talk herself through hard times.

"I've definitely had those times where I'm like 'I don't know if this is right' thing but I've never stopped. And I always take that as a sign. Everything always happen for a reason," Saunders said.

Saunders said she also enjoyed working with celebrities on the show, especially the judge Alyssa Milano.

"She is such a cute mom. She's really cool and really cares about us for sure," she said.

Saunders is graduating this May from Paul Mitchell's Columbia academy and said she'll continue with her modeling career but also hopes to get a chance to travel around the world.

Project Runway All Stars airs every Thursday at 8 p.m. on the Lifetime Channel.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said it arrested two armed robbery suspects Monday. Detectives said they arrested 26-year-old... More >>
6 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 10:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - One person was hospitalized after being shot in north Columbia Monday evening, according to the Columbia Police Department.... More >>
8 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 8:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- A recent study from researchers at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University show sedentary... More >>
9 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 70-year-old man who told investigators after robbing a Kansas bank that he'd rather be... More >>
10 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:15:01 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's new Republican secretary of state has been defending his decision to appoint a securities industry... More >>
10 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:08:05 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking to improve its apartment recycling program. The program provides recycling containers, which... More >>
10 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:39:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation regarding the safety of Missouri law enforcement officers and first responders continues to be a hot... More >>
11 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 5:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft had a crash landing on Monday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport. The... More >>
12 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CST in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A proposed bill would impose penalties on Missouri gun owners who don't report a lost or... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 3:16:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - If you're a Missourian and have purchased dairy products in the past 14 years, you might be eligible... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again). Sleep is incredibly important. It’s... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:47:00 PM CST in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A Vandalia man was sentenced to seven years in jail after he encouraged a 13-year-old to have... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:43:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit on Shelbina municipal court in northeast Missouri that found... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:13:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Economic Development Director Stacey Button is not looking for a new airport manager. Former Columbia Regional Airport... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 12:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are looking for a possible link between a shots-fired call and a shooting victim who showed... More >>
19 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 9:35:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposed body has been found near a bridge in a Kansas City... More >>
22 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM CST in News
LA MONTE - The Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against three men after a home invasion Saturday night.... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The MFA Oil Break Time shootout featured talented athletes from all around Missouri on Sunday. There were six... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:45:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 33°
6am 33°
7am 33°
8am 33°
9am 36°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
5:00a
Paid Program
5:30a
Paid Program
6:00a
King of the Hill

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld