By FRANCESCA MAYR ’16
Biology major Eden Klepper rocked the runway during Philly Fashion Week, which wrapped up Saturday after a series of shows held across the city. Fashion aficionados crowded into the Crane Arts Center on Friday for the Ready to Wear Runway Show, one of the events in which the freshman featured. Like any high-stakes production, this one got heated and hectic, yet Klepper kept her cool.
The Crane Center, which occupies an early 20th-century warehouse, was the perfect setting for the exhibition of innovative clothing, with its art installations and industrial vibe. Visitors explored the swanky space before the show, some nibbling finger food, while nail artists sat ready to manicure any wayward nail and a jazz-inspired R&B band added to the ambiance. When the runway space opened, it was with splashes of pink light flickering against streamlined, white backdrops and dance music thumping through large speakers. Once the show started, models wearing pieces by designers such as Addiction Boutique, Black Teal Brick and Steel, Nikki Angel, NYCC, and Trisha bounded down the runway—their disciplined strutting belying the commotion behind the scenes.
Klepper says the frenzied backstage conditions of fashion shows can only be described as “sweaty mayhem,” but no matter what challenge (or wardrobe malfunction) presented itself on the night, the ever-buoyant beauty showcased each article of clothing, whether a structured suit or a gold party dress, without missing a beat.
She attributes her calm to practice and her five years of modeling experience. “On my first photoshoot, I modeled prom dresses in a fancy hotel,” she says. “At first, I was a little uncomfortable because I wasn’t really sure what I was doing. You can only practice in a mirror so much.” But her hard work paid off. “As the shoot progressed, I became more comfortable and ended up getting some really good shots… I still get feedback on those images to this day.”
Klepper studies with the same persistence. “I came to Arcadia because of the Forensic Science program,” she says. Her career goal: to become a forensic scientist for a federal agency. The Honors student is on her way to fulfilling that dream in Arcadia’s 3+2 Accelerated Forensic Science program. “Now, obviously, this doesn’t really relate to my modeling at all, but it’s nice to get away from academics sometimes,” Klepper says with a chuckle, noting that she spent most breaks during Philly Fashion Week preparing for a chemistry test.
Through it all, Klepper strives for balance. “I hope to continue modeling throughout college, but if it gets too complicated and conflicting, then I won’t be upset if I end up having to quit. I’ve made a lot of great connections and new friends.”
For now at least, her modeling days are far from over. Klepper has gone from working freelance via a homespun website to being represented by Heyman Talent Agency in Nazareth, Pa., and Click Models in Philadelphia, while traveling and attending castings on a regular basis.
At the moment, she awaits an appearance on VH1. “One of the designers [I walked for at Philly Fashion Week] was actually Alicia from the television show Mob Wives. She had her model auditions day-of, so I walked for her on camera and made the cut.”