Columbia native makes it work on Project Runway

3 years 6 months 1 week 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
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:41:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Grassroots organizations are working across Missouri to persuade gun-related business owners to join efforts to limit... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY — Three Saline County children abducted in 2017 were found in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to the... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Lincoln man is dead following a crash between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer Friday night on... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 1:19:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Water and Light department said it believes all power has been restored in Columbia. About... More >>
2 days ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:05:00 AM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 8 Game of the Week features a dominant Helias (6-1) visited by a surging... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:44:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA — The True False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema are dissolving their relationship with Columbia church The Crossing. Cinema... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:33:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Springfield Mayor Ken McClure hosted a group for a strategy session that included Governor Mike Parson in October.... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 4:18:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY - The extent of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes' leg injury sustained during the team's Thursday night... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 3:07:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Sports
JEFFERSON CITY - A damaged downtown Jefferson City building is scheduled for demolition, but the owners have filed an appeal... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 2:26:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - A drug company's decision is causing new worries for the families of children with cancer. Vincristine, a... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:55:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police investigated a threat at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Friday. TJMS sent out... More >>
3 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 1:27:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
9pm 52°
10pm 52°
11pm 51°
12am 50°