We recently spoke with 19-year-old up and coming model Angela Mariano. She told us her unique story of how she went from taking care of turtles in Costa Rica to appearing on the cover of DEZINE and all the bits in between and beyond!

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into modelling?
So I’m from Upstate New York and I always knew that I wanted to model. I’ve always been into art and fashion my entire life. My parents were both accountants and had desk jobs and were very much like ‘Oh you need to go to college and get a real job’ and that never really interested me ever from day one, I always knew that’s never been what I wanted.

After High School I kinda had a freak out and really didn’t want to go to school so I, I wanted to help people so I volunteered in Costa Rica. I was working with kids and teaching them English, helping them with homework and things like that. Then I also was volunteering with sea turtles (laughs) taking data and also working with monkeys a little bit. Yeah, it’s so random!

When I came back, I really liked Costa Rica and the weather so I applied to the University of Hawaii, got in and was all set to go. And then, had kind of another freak out like “I don’t wanna go to school, I don’t wanna do this I really really wanna be in New York City – I wanna try modelling” and I like moved here with no plan I didn’t know anyone, I was by myself. I’d just turned 19. From there I just kinda met a bunch of photographers and small brands through Instagram and that’s how I got started.

“I was by myself. I’d just turned 19. From there I just kinda met a bunch of photographers and small brands through instagram.”

I suppose that’s like the American Dream isn’t it? To just go away and try something?
Yeah, literally when I moved all my friends were like so concerned ‘Is Ange OK?’ “Ange is gonna be homeless’ but it’s working out! I never had a plan B. I don’t believe in those – plan A needs to work out. I want to earn my success, I don’t want anyone to just hand it to me.

Is it something you’re doing full time?
Yeah, currently full time. I’ve been struggling with money a little bit because I didn’t realise ‘oh groceries and laundry and the subway’ that’s a big expense! I mean I knew it was going to be expensive, especially being in the city, it’s like you breathe and they take ten dollars right there. Everything is so much money, everything. I go to the grocery store and I see like three cantaloupes for two dollars, “OK I guess I’m having cantaloupe!”

My boyfriend always is like aggravated with it a little bit, my parents – not to say that they’re not supportive – because I’m not in college or anything they’re kind of like “figure it out on your own”. Which in a way I kind of like because I’ve always been an independent person.

But when I’m struggling with money a little bit it’s kind of frustrating for them to be like “Well, figure it out!” But then I got a cheque from a really big job and I had like $2,000 in my account and I’m like “Whoa, I’m ballin’ I could go to Mexico right now, I’ve never had this much money” It works out, and now that I’m being signed I’ll have consistent work all the time, which is nice.

Read the full interview with Angela Mariano in Issue 04 of DEZINE