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Jessica Marie’s versatile beauty is heightened by her down-to-earth charm. This long-legged, California native confidently walks the line between editorial and commercial appeal. Having appeared in resort presentations for Diane von Furstenberg, Bill Blass, Luca Luca and Lela Rose, she’s primed for a New York Fashion Week debut.
Home state: California
Birth sign: Gemini
How did you get into modeling?
“I had wanted to model since I was a kid, but my mom said, ‘No, not until you can drive’. I was determined, so six months after I got my driver’s license, I went to San Francisco and signed with the first agency I walked into.”
What are your modeling goals?
“I kind of want to reach for it all. I can do sexy, I can do Victoria’s Secret, but I can also do editorial. I can do edgy stuff. I love doing the creative side of editorial. I just wish it paid!”
“I’m a California girl, so of course I like Diesel. Dsquared. And Chanel always has a sex appeal to it.”
You have two tattoos?
“I got a dog, my first dog on my own. So it’s kind of my ‘independence paw’ behind my ear. And I have a Gemini symbol on the back of my neck because I am so very much a Gemini. I go from goofy to spastic to the comedy girl to the ‘don’t mess with me’ kind of thing.”
Do you have a favorite body part?
“I do love my legs. I was always the tall, dorky girl in school and everyone used to call me ‘Legs.’ Actually, my e-mail used to be ‘callmelegs’.”
Were you really the tall, dorky girl?
“I was. Boys didn’t like me! It’s funny going from boys not even looking at you — I was invisible. Now, you can’t get them away.”
What are your favorite wardrobe pieces?
“It’s all about my Jimmy Choos! These were a present to myself when I was in Paris. I had never spent more than $100 on a pair of shoes because I run through them so quickly. It was the one little cherry on top that I had. They make me feel confident, and I love to walk in them.”
What’s on your iPod?
“I love all kinds of music. Scissor Sisters cracks me up. Gorillaz, Muse — Lady Gaga, of course, because she’s one of the best to dance to — and Bob Marley. I love everything but country music, except on that rare occasion when you’re at a rodeo.”
What do you do when you’re not modeling?
“I like to go to the movies by myself.”
What’s the last movie you saw?
“I’m going to say that it was ‘Inception,’ but it was actually the new ‘Twilight’ movie, which was actually really good! I read the books and was a little disappointed with how boring the first two were, but the third one was great.”
If you weren’t a model, what would you be?
“I’ve always loved landscape design. That was something my dad was really good at. If it wasn’t that, I love doing makeup. So somehow I would want to stay in the fashion industry.”
Is there a model that inspires you?
“I love Daria [Werbowy]. I get compared to her and Alessandra [Ambrosio] a lot. And, of course, Gisele [Bündchen] and Naomi [Campbell]. They have a strength about them, a sex appeal.”
You just came to New York three months ago and this September will be your first New York Fashion Week. How might this experience be different for you now than it would have been maybe six years ago?
“At 17, I didn’t have nearly as much confidence in walking the runway. I would have been terrified and may have failed with lack of experience. You really only get one chance. Come the following season you can bet the client will say, ‘Oh, I’ve already seen her.’ That alone is enough to do you in. It’s a little embarrassing being 23 in a room of teenagers, because at my age you're usually considered too old to be discovered. But now I’m stronger, smarter and better at my job than any 17-year-old I know. I realize that it is make-it-or-break-it time. It’s now or never. I’m excited to finally have a shot at a long successful career in what I love doing! I am 23! I’m young! And I will rock it out.”