Student Spotlight: Maleeka McCutcheon
Maleeka McCutcheon, freshman at Frostburg State University, earned the opportunity to walk at New York Couture Fashion Week in February 2016. The event is invite only, so she treasured every minute. McCutcheon was not new to the fashion world, having modeled in multiple shows and worked for Guess prior to her appearance.
McCutcheon says, “You have to have tough skin. Modeling is glamorous from the outside, but the inside work needed to put together a show is exhausting. It’s constant poking, prodding, and scrutiny. It’s exhausting physically and mentally.” With companies searching for a particular “look,” models can experience damaging feelings when they aren’t “good enough.”
She is extremely proud of the show, her performance, and her accomplishments. She worked with 12 out of the 20 companies at Couture. As one of three African American women representing the event, she felt very proud and confident.
McCutcheon recalls her favorite moments as those spent on the runway. “The hard work pays off for the adrenaline rush I experience,” she says. This milestone in her career helped her decide what she wanted from her future. She is majoring in marketing, and she plans to transfer after two years to pursue a fashion merchandising degree.
McCutcheon is also a member of Paparazzi, Frostburg’s organization for fashion modeling. Her future plans are to continue her career as a model and after graduation, start her career as a visual director. She says, “timing may not be working in your favor in this moment, but things will always work out. Never give up on your dreams.”