Tupelo teen hits the runway during “Fashion Week” in New York

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – A North Mississippi teen recently returned from a trip and experience of a lifetime. We caught up with the Tupelo High School student who walked on the runway during Fashion Week in New York City.

Sixteen-year-old Hailee Spradling has a full schedule. The Tupelo High School Junior has a part-time job and a full schedule of extracurricular activities. She is also the Pure International Junior Teen for Mississippi.

In that role, Hailee takes part in community service projects, like a recent celebrity wait night at Harvey’s for St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

And a couple of weeks before the St Jude fundraiser, Hailee was working the runway during Fashion Week in New York.

“I love modeling, I’m all about it, I find a huge passion in it, I love working the stage,” said Hailee.

As a title holder in Pure International pageants, Hailee was invited to New York for Fashion Week, a semi-annual series of events when international fashion collections are shown to buyers, the press, and the public.

Hailee says she learned a lot about modeling, and fashion shows during her week-long trip.

“A lot of unknown things happen when you are in fashion shows, it gets chaotic and a lot of things can go wrong and so I was waiting backstage, I had on my outfit for my first show, which was Jonathan Cain, and Mr. Renee came to me and said, ‘change’ and I said, what am I changing into, so I actually got to walk in three shows, rather than two,” said Hailee.

There was time to see the sights, and Hailee’s photo was even on a billboard in Times Square.

“It was kind of a shocker, apparently my mom knew about it but forgot to tell me about it until we got there and I was like, what? it didn’t even feel like real life. I love Times Square, it’s magical, exhilarating, and something you will never know what it feels like until you are in the middle of Times Square,” said Hailee.

Hailee also sees modeling, pageants, and fashion shows as a way to promote her platform, “Faith for Fosters” inspired by her mom, Dana.

“I go to orphanages and foster homes around where I live and take supplies they need, school supplies, books, stuff like that. I was raised in a broken home, and my mom is also adopted, so hearing stories from my mom and thinking about how fortunate I am to have such an amazing mom and where I could be without my mom, sparked that idea,” said Hailee.

Hailee looks forward to bringing joy to foster kids through her platform and preparing for her next major pageant, the Pure International Southern Regional early next year.

The Southern Regional pageant is tentatively set for February in Tupelo.

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