Senior Claire Albergotti, getting ready for a modeling shoot. Excited to be on the camera. (Merritt Rast)
Senior Claire Albergotti, getting ready for a modeling shoot. Excited to be on the camera.

Merritt Rast

The girl behind the image

December 15, 2022

Flashing lights and camera clicks. A new pose every second. All the work of being a model starting at a young age. 

Senior Claire Allbergotti models for print and runway, while also being a full time high school student.

“I did my first photoshoot when I was about 6 or 7, and then I didn’t do anything else after that for a while until I was introduced to Greenville Fashion Week when I was 11,” Claire said.

Claire is still young and feels it’s hard to work with an agency while still being in high school. She works independently, but has hopes to sign later as her career continues.

“My biggest goal for modeling is I [want to] be signed to Calvin Klein. That’s way up there just cause I love their style and the vibes their models give off,” Claire said.

In order to achieve her dreams, Claire must start small. Her mom, Missy Allbergotti, put Claire in modeling classes through the Millie Lewis Greenville Modeling agency. From there, her dream was able to start.

“I really did not consider modeling anything special at the time when she took the modeling class at Millie Lewis,” Missy said. “It was just …an extracurricular activity for young girls to do like boys, play baseball or something like that. It was something that a little friend of hers was doing at 4 years old and it really was just …a fun thing,” Claire said.

Despite thinking that her modeling classes were just a way to pass time, Missy has now been with Claire every step of the way

 “My mom has helped me the most. She is very willing to go and do it with me and she wants to be there and she wants to experience it with me which is really nice. Everywhere I go, every photoshoot she’s always there,” Claire said.

However, her mom did not think of the big results that could come out of Claire modeling. Claire now works with Patrick Cox, a professional photographer she was discovered by in 2021.

“After the year at Millie Lewis she really didn’t mention anything about modeling until Patrick Cox came along when she was in Middle School,” Missy said.

Claire was able to start her career on the runway at New York Fashion week. 

“In New York Fashion Week 2021, I walked for Krissy King and Patrick Cox and both of them are out of Greenville, South Carolina,” Claire said.

Working with Cox has been a major part in Claire’s modeling career.

 “She’s highly intelligent, she’s smart, she’s a hard worker and she learns quickly. She’s willing to show up, she’s punctual and she brings talent,” Cox said. “There was a page shoot that we did for a beauty company that she did very very well in and everyone was pleased. She walked in New York fashion week for me. I’m a designer and she wore my brand on the runways of New York and she was fantastic.”

After all of the runway shows, Claire was still able to try new things and step out of her comfort zone by joining a beauty pageant.

“In March I competed for Miss South Carolina teen USA and I won Miss Congeniality. It was a three day competition for Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina teen.” Claire said.

 “It was the first pageant I competed in and I didn’t win but I won the Miss Congeniality award and I thought it was so fun. It was very different from things I’ve done cause it was very formal with fancy dresses but it was so much fun.”

Miss Congeniality is an award voted on by the other contestants. It is awarded to the contestant who is most charismatic, inspirational, and congenial. Missy expected nothing less from her daughter.

“She competed alongside 30- 40 girls that were career pageant girls 18- 19 years old, and Claire went into that pageant never even watching a pageant before … And at the end of the pageant, by unanimous vote, Claire won the Miss Congeniality award… to me that is an extraordinary honor that shows you how genuine she truly is,” Missy said.

Despite already succeeding in so many things as a highschool student, Claire still has lots of hopes and dreams. She says her biggest dream in modeling is to be in Vogue.

“It’s just such an iconic magazine to be in,” Claire said.

She is able to take inspiration from the people in the spotlight now and dreams to be like them. Her biggest celebrity inspiration is Zendaya.

“She’s so well rounded and she’s one of those people who can do everything that she wants to do in life and not be dragged into all the other effects of being in the spotlight,” Claire said.

Claire continues to make her family proud as her career in modeling takes off.

“Being around her is infectious in the greatest way. She is going to do amazing things, maybe modeling, maybe something else, either way, amazing,” Missy said.

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