V’s Class of 2018: Ella Bales

V’s Class of 2018: Ella Bales

The model is destined to make a huge impact this year.

The model is destined to make a huge impact this year.

Text: Staff

Ella Bales is fairly new to the modeling world, but she's immersing in that world seamlessly. In the first ever open casting call for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit, Bales shined. Her ability to assert herself probably comes from growing up in Brooklyn, New York, as does her independence. Get to know Bales a little bit below, as a member of V's Class of 2018, before she starts appearing everywhere you look.

Where did you grow up? 

I’m born and raised in Brooklyn, New York! The city has been so influential in my ability to adapt to modeling. You grow up fast, you watch your back, and you are independent from a very young age. I wouldn’t trade those lessons for anything.

What was the first fashion show you walked in? 

I haven’t actually walked in any major shows yet, but my love of this industry stemmed from reading magazines like V. Editorials and high fashion are fascinating to me and fashion shows have so much creativity behind them so I can’t wait to stomp down some fierce runways!

How did you know you wanted to get into modeling? How did you get your start?

I didn’t always know I wanted to get into modeling. I was scouted a lot on the street when I was 11 and 12 and saw the possibility of modeling. At the time I was more interested in drawing and playing basketball. Over the years my interest in fashion matured and when I was ultimately discovered I had learned so much more about how those beautiful images in the magazines I loved were created. As far as getting my start, I’m still on my way and enjoying every minute of it! Shooting for V was such an amazing experience and hopefully the start to many more opportunities.

Did you ever dream of being a model or was it something you fell into? 

When I was younger I was more interested in getting to the WNBA than I was becoming a model. Growing up in NYC exposed me to the fashion industry and eventually lead me to being discovered.

What was the process like when you were discovered and signed to an agency as a model?

It all happened very quickly. I was approached in Union Square by Laine Rosenberg at age 16 and we stayed in touch. She decided to wait until I turned 18 to introduce me to an agency and I was signed very quickly with the amazing Lisa Benson at IMG Models. A month later, I was working in Australia! I’m extremely grateful, it just takes one or two people believing in your potential to give you that shot. It’s still a little surreal that I am where I am, doing what I do.

What moment are you most proud of in your career so far?

To be able to break into the editorial world is something that really excites me. To join the models who have shown people that sexy can be high fashion is a very proud moment for me. Shooting an editorial with V was a definite turning point in my career, and in my own belief in myself and in my belief in how people in the industry see women.

What do you hope to achieve in your career for the New Year? 

I would love to continue shooting editorial work and keep expanding my portfolio.

Are there any designers or photographers you dream of working with one day? 

It would be a dream to work with the photographers whose work I’ve seen for years in the pages of magazines and on billboards. This is a constantly evolving and changing industry and I’m excited to create new art with people who are just as passionate about it as I am.

Credits: Photo by Nicola Formichetti

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