Strutting through senior year

Volleyball player models for area designers


Taking center stage, senior Makayla Wagner models at the Kansas City Fashion Week 2014 last September. Photo provided by Makayla Wagner

By Kate Rettig

All eyes are on senior Makayla Wagner as she walks down the runway. The cameras flash as the crowd admires Wagner’s designer couture. I got this, she thinks to herself. She strikes a pose and struts back down the runway.

Sophomore year, Wagner began runway modeling for Kansas City Fashion Week. She has since modeled at the event this past year and has done photo shoots in between.

“My friend that was a senior was in one of the fashion design classes,” Wagner said. “She heard about Kansas City fashion week and has told me forever that I should model. So I went and tried out and I made it in. Since then I’ve just been doing it as fun.”

Kansas City Fashion Week is a biannual event held in Union Station that is held as a memorial to Kansas City’s thriving garment district in the 1940’s.

Arriving at Union Station at 8 a.m., Wagner goes straight into hair and makeup. She spends five hours getting her hair and makeup and only has 10 minutes to perfect her walk.

Wagner lines up with the other models. She patiently waits to amaze the crowd with St. Louis clothing designer Lauren Bander’s designs.

“All you’re thinking about is, ‘I just don’t want to fall off the runway’ because if you do, that’s just really embarrassing,” Wagner said. “It’s nerve wracking, but once you get up on to the runway, it just all goes away because of the initial reactions to it.”

That feeling of confidence coming off catwalk encouraged Wagner to keep modeling. The long days and aching feet have no effect on Makayla’s enthusiasm toward modeling.

“It is fun to see Makayla model because she is having a good time,” said Wagner’s father, Cress Wagner. “It is also an accomplishment that she has done all on her own.”

Wagner’s parents have attended each audition, rehearsal and show Makayla has been in.

“Not only has modeling taught Makayla how to walk with poise and grace,” he said. “It has given her confidence. Modeling opened doors that gave her the opportunity to represent Lawrence in the Miss Teen Kansas USA pageant 2014.”

Wagner also has been involved in volleyball, track and field, LINK crew, and National Honors Society. She also volunteers at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Because of her involvement in other activities, she only models during Kansas City Fashion Week but hopes to continue modeling through college.

“I know she wants to be an anesthesiologist,” senior Kenzie Garvin, a friend of Wagner’s, said. “So she’ll have to do modeling on the side if she wants to do it. I bet she definitely could.”