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ali_stephens_final.jpgGoogle the name “Ali Stephens and you’re likely to find a few dozen sites featuring a girl whose beauty is simply otherworldly, clad in Balenciaga, Chloe, and Prada (among many others) strutting down the runway like a seasoned pro. When I searched for her, I kept clicking through the list, hoping to see more photos (really, why were there so few!) and started coming across statistics for a cross-country runner named Ali Stephens from Utah with an interest in marine biology.

As it turns out, these two girls are one and the same: the girl that glides down the catwalk can also run a blisteringly fast cross-country race (albeit in more practical shoes). And the reason why photographs are relatively few and far between? Ali was discovered only last August—yes, August of 2007—yet landed on the runways of the crème de la crème of designers’ weeks later in the Milan and Paris shows.

Whether wearing purple lipstick for Louis Vuitton or barely-there makeup at Chloe, she transitioned from harshly modern to a classic French look effortlessly. Her new lifestyle doesn’t seem to be going to her head either; Ali still has her sights set on college and is one of the only models that will flash a genuine smile for photographers while backstage at the shows.

Now that the breakneck speed of the fall fashion season has calmed down, Ali can be found blazing past her fellow runners on the trail and maintaining a near-perfect GPA in between shoots. A mere sweet sixteen and already a designer’s darling, Ali’s career promises to be as luminous as she is!

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