With high cheekbones, long legs, full lips and the kind of blond hair only Texan women have, she’s any brand’s dream model. A little bit Anna Nicole Smith with some Elle MacPherson sprinkled in, Kellie Stewart is the ultimate GUESS model.
Stewart, a Fort Worth native who now lives in Los Angeles, began her modeling career in pageants and was named Miss Texas Teen in 2014. From there, she began modeling for dress, hair and makeup companies. But when her agent sent a DM to GUESS’s creative director, Paul Marciano, her career changed.
After her agent sent her photo, Stewart says Marciano asked her to do some test shoots for GUESS. It apparently went well because she booked the 2019 holiday campaign. (In an email, a representative for GUESS said, "Paul booked (Stewart) after a test shoot on campus.")
“GUESS had always been a big goal of mine, a dream that I had always wanted,” Stewart says. “I just think it’s such an iconic brand and I think they’ve stood the test of time. You’ve seen GUESS evolve throughout the years. I mean so many supermodels in the past have worked with GUESS, so I think it’s such a staple in the modeling industry and it’s just an American brand that’s recognized worldwide. They’ve done such a great job, so I was really excited to get to be a part of that with them.”
Other models for the brand have earned international fame, like Claudia Schiffer, Valeria Mazza and Laetitia Casta.
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But Stewart has been drawing comparisons to the late (and former GUESS) bombshell, Smith. With similar blond hair and Texas roots, it’s no surprise.
“It was fun to learn about the stories of her life through the people on set,” Stewart says of Smith. “The hair, the makeup, you know the people that were there during her time and to hear about how over-the-top and wild and eccentric she was as a person.”
Today, Stewart has seen her photo on billboards in LA, buses in London, on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and in magazines like Cosmopolitan and InStyle. Even though it may seem like an overnight success, she says she’s been working toward this for years.
“Since I started doing the pageants and everything, I think I knew that I wanted to model, but being from Fort Worth and stuff, I just felt a little silly being like, ‘Oh, when I grow up, I want to be a model’ because that feels like saying you want to be a pop star, you know,” Stewart says. “So I think I always knew and I was always trying to guide my decisions to direct me towards that.”