Natori Cruz

Natori Cruz, a junior at Horizon Community Learning Center, has always shown a passion when it came to the modeling industry.

She recently got her first break into the industry by becoming a winner of the 2014 Wet Seal Model Search, which only five winners were selected throughout the entire country.

The 2014 Wet Seal Model Search was a contest of finding five young models, from the ages of 14 to 18 years old, to model the company’s clothing brand.

Cruz, 16, went through an application process in which she submitted a video on her passion for modeling and why she thought she should win.

“I explained that it would be great to win this so I could inspire other girls,” Cruz said.

A voting process was conducted on Facebook for the contestants and the top 25 were selected for the next round where they were judged on their video submissions.

Cruz has a family history when it comes to modeling; her mother, Alnisia Cruz, was a model and now owns a modeling agency, Natori’s Club, named after her daughter.

Natori said she would love to follow in her mother’s footsteps by becoming a model while learning the business side of the agency.

“It would be great to make her proud,” she said.

Natori will head to California for a weekend where she’ll model and do photo shoots for Wet Seal.

She’s hopeful that by winning the contest, it’ll put her in the right direction of pursuing a career in modeling.

“Hopefully, things go well and I can continue with modeling,” Natori said. “It hasn’t hit me yet that I’ve won this out of hundreds of girls.”

Alnisia believes Natori has always had that “it” factor when it came to modeling. She said her daughter showed a deep passion for the business during a career day when she attended Kyrene Centennial Middle School.

Alnisia hosted a brief discussion about the business and her modeling agency, and Natori became instantly hooked.

“To see her do this makes me really proud and excited,” Alnisia said. “I’m hoping that this would take her to the level to take over the business I started in her name to help other girls be successful like her.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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