It’s likely that few members of the class of 2009 have enjoyed the instant success of Jacqueline Jablonski. The 18-year-old from Fair Haven was just four months out of Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School and there she was, strutting the stuff of Herve Leger, Marc Jacobs, and other top fashion designers as a model during New York Fashion Week.
Jablonski signed two years ago with Manhattan’s Ford Models—the same agency that gave the world Christie Brinkley, Carol Alt, and Stephanie Seymour—but she had to wait for school to end before committing herself to full-time work.
Jablonski’s rise to catwalk prominence was largely self-propelled. On a trip to Manhattan with her mother during her sophomore year, “we just decided to drop off some pictures at some agencies. Then one day I got the call and got signed. That was it!” she says.
Though it sounds like a breezy process, it was actually the culmination of a longtime dream. “Modeling was something I wanted to try from a really young age,” says Jablonski. “I would look at other girls in magazines, and my mom had this huge dress-up box in the basement. I was always trying on clothes, always really into fashion, ever since probably kindergarten.”
Since graduating in May, Jablonski’s work has been nonstop. “Fashion Week was crazy,” she says. “I thought the work would slow down after Fashion Week, but it hasn’t. I’ve been back and forth from London to Paris so many times, shooting for this campaign season.”
Though the results of her latest shoots have yet to reach newsstands and websites, it’s easy to find Jablonksi’s image in magazines, where she is the featured model in ads for Calvin Klein accessories. Anyone who shops for Calvin Klein’s CK jeans is apt to come face-to-face with pictures of the 5-foot-9 beauty, too: “I’m on the point-of-sale ads, so if you go to Macy’s, for example, you see the ads there,” she says.
Back home in Fair Haven, people have started paying a little more attention to fashion, Jablonski says. And that makes her proud.
“Everyone is really happy for me. Most of my friends are in college now, and they’ll look me up online and see me in shows, then I’ll get a text saying they can’t believe it’s me.
“They’re excited,” says Jablonski. “No one from my town has ever become a model or an actor before.”