Columbia native makes it work on Project Runway

3 years 5 months 6 days ago Wednesday, April 13 2016 Apr 13, 2016 Wednesday, April 13, 2016 7:51:00 PM CDT April 13, 2016 in Top Stories
By: Taylor Reid, KOMU 8 Reporter and Sheila Wang, KOMU 8 Digital Reporter
loading

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
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman and her late husband, who was killed by the suspect in four... More >>
1 hour ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 1:11:00 PM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Fourth Ward Councilman Ian Thomas confirmed Mayor Brian Treece suggested he resign over what became a criminal... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 11:45:24 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City, Missouri, police are urging people not to leave grenades "just lying around" after the... More >>
3 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 11:23:32 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri announced a $1.5 million gift Friday, which will be used to help improve business... More >>
4 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 10:54:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in Top Stories
FULTON (AP) — Madeleine Albright says during a Missouri speech that democracy worldwide "appears to be in retreat." The... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 9:39:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A climate strike is taking place on the MU campus Friday at noon. It's part of a... More >>
5 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 9:38:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
FULTON - A man was arrested early Friday morning after he attempted to evade arrest after a foot pursuit, according... More >>
6 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 8:49:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Parks and Recreation Department is getting ready for the Heritage Festival & Craft Show this weekend. ... More >>
11 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 3:13:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police said they found seven shell casings in the southern part of the city late Thursday night. ... More >>
14 hours ago Friday, September 20 2019 Sep 20, 2019 Friday, September 20, 2019 1:02:00 AM CDT September 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - During the first week of Show Me Climate we've discussed many of the basics of our changing climate.... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 9:02:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in Climate
COLUMBIA — The Columbia community came together Thursday night to remember the life of a Columbia College student killed in... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:55:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - For the third straight year, the Capitol Avenue Historic District in Jefferson City is considered a "Place... More >>
18 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 8:22:47 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is sending highway patrol troopers and other state workers to St. Louis... More >>
19 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 7:29:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
WILLIAMSBURG — A woman running for a seat in the U.S. Congress said Callaway County Sheriff's Department wrongfully searched her... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:39:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - For investigators, finding Megan Shultz's likely remains in the Columbia landfill after only eight days of searching was... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:36:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — In an earlier story we discussed the difference between weather and climate . While they’re not the same... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 6:20:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in Continuous News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri health officials say the state has recorded its first vaping-related death. The Missouri... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 4:05:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA- One Columbia neighbor was left feeling uneasy Thursday after a burglary resulted in a death on her street. ... More >>
23 hours ago Thursday, September 19 2019 Sep 19, 2019 Thursday, September 19, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT September 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 86°
3pm 87°
4pm 88°
5pm 84°
6pm 81°