Chantal Adair, Student

Photo: Jake Chessum

What are you listening to?
Gwen Stefani. That new song of hers, the stupid little poppy one. My boyfriend, Michael, loads my iPod, and usually it’s rock and punk from the sixties and the indie rock of today.

Do you have style icons?
Victoria Beckham. She’s always so put together, and I grew up listening to the Spice Girls. I always liked how she’d be the one in the little black dress; she always looked so sexy. I still have pretty much every Spice Girls song on my iPod.

What do you do?
I study art history at Hofstra University. I really like contemporary art, or modern, as some people say, like Cubism, Kandinsky, and Marc Chagall. I’ve been studying for almost two years. Before that, I was modeling.

Why did you stop?
I didn’t like how the industry treats young models. It was just like being in a flock, really. I didn’t like how you get no respect unless you’re one of the top girls. And modeling, it really hurts your self-esteem. You have to always compare yourself to 16-year-old girls when you’re a real woman, and that’s not good. Studying art history is much better.

How did you get into modeling?
I was really awkward and geeky in high school. I was on the basketball team, and I didn’t have any friends. My sister entered me in the Cosmo model search because she felt really sad for me. When I won, I felt like I had a place for the first time.

Tell me about your style.
I like the color black a lot, but that’s just left over from high school. I wore black so much because I didn’t like to be noticed.

Do you like being noticed now?
Yeah, definitely. I’m not as awkward as I used to be.

Chantal Adair, Student