Four Days in the Skin Trade
The contestants arrived by more humble means. Karin Manson, 17, of Tempe, Ariz, earned the $250 entry fee working for Marcia Fine, director of a local modeling school. "She was so gorgeous when she arrived to sit with my kids that I knew I had to get her into classes," Fine remembers. "She helped pay for her classes by sitting for my kids." Manson's resolution paid off: She agreed to join the classy Manhattan agency Wilhelmina. Another hopeful, Karla Kempf, 18, of Las Vegas, exceeded her wildest hopes by attracting interest from both Casablancas and Tichka. "I can't believe it!" she gushed, tears tumbling on the mink she had borrowed from a friend for the runway competition. But after she chose to sign with Casablancas' Elite agency, the recent high school grad had second thoughts about the life she was leaving behind. "What about school?" she said, hugging her foster mother. "Oh gosh. What am I going to do?" She will soon find the answer on Fashion Avenue.