By Sherri Coner
Southsider Voice correspondent
Soon after graduating last year from Perry Meridian High School, Cayley King left home to officially launch her modeling career in New York City.
King’s father, John King, accompanied her to the Big Apple to help her learn to safely navigate the subway.
A few months later King was one of only 50 models chosen to participate in the internationally known Milan Fashion Week. Her mother, Leighan King, traveled along with her to Italy.
“The show was amazing, such an adrenaline rush,” King said of her moments on the runway, clad in Versace. “The stress was about who was watching. Also, I was trying not to fall in the shoes.”
After that busy week ended the apron strings were tearfully cut. The 18-year-old model was left to share a New York City apartment with fellow models.
While working for six weeks in Japan, King sent Mother’s Day flowers from Tokyo.
Her next destination is Australia.
In the last year she has gained more confidence in herself and more knowledge about airports, taxis and the world outside of the Circle City, King said. So she frequently travels alone to various modeling assignments.
King said she definitely suffers some homesickness. That’s why she returns to the Southside every three months. She misses her siblings, Briana, 25, Cody, 21, and Bricker, 2, relatives and friends.
Modeling was not a career she knew a lot about, she said.
“Indiana isn’t that fashion forward, but I have learned to love fashion and appreciate it more than I ever would have.”
Four years ago when John King submitted photos of his willowy child to a Chicago modeling agency, this competitive industry quickly responded.
As a seasoned traveler now, with lots of new friends in her circle and many professional challenges ahead, King said she is still learning about the fashion industry.
Being on her own in a new environment with a different lifestyle has changed her.
“I've learned how to be independent and only depend on myself,” she said. “I've matured so much in the past year, mostly because I've had to.”