runway of dreams: how katie hozak achieved her goals at age 20


Photos by Katie Hozak, collage by Maryrose Ceccarelli

“Saying that I achieved my life goal at age 20 is something I will forever treasure and something I acknowledge not many people are able to do,” stated Katie Hozak, a junior fashion student here at Kent State, who recently walked in New York Fashion Week. 

Since age 13, Hozak has been doing freelance modeling work and submitting her photos to agencies. After being told she’d be “eaten alive” in New York, a phrase that I’m sure terrified her as it scares me to even hear, an agent set her up with the company GWM in Chicago. Since then, she has been contracted with Muse Management in New York.

As a “Project Runway” and fashion week enthusiast, I knew I needed to get the inside scoop from Hozak. When asked about the process of castings and fittings, Hozak said that runway is way more stressful and exhausting than photoshoots. She said that for runway, her agent sets up her castings and emails her the schedule for the next day. From there, she would go to the castings where different casting directors would then select who they liked. She’d have a fitting or two, but said the job isn’t really confirmed until you step out on the runway. 

“I’ve heard stories of girls being pulled out of line when they are lined up to walk because they didn’t like the look anymore,” Hozak said. Hozak, however, received her confirmation as she strutted down the catwalk of this season’s Carolina Herrera and Jonathan Simkhai fashion shows.

For photoshoots, Hozak said you don’t have to do any casting or fittings, you’re either selected and get an email with details about the shoot, or you don’t hear from them. She said she tries not to get her hopes up for anything because of how much can change, even after technically booking a job. 

As for New York Fashion Week, Hozak said she is still numb with shock and that “it definitely still feels like [she] walked a Kent fashion show.” Elaborating, she said that in reality, fashion week is pretty small, and backstage feels like any other show, similar to the shows she’s participated in here at Kent.

“Never once did it really go through my mind that I would be on Vogue Runway or something like that, or that at the Emmys, some celebrities would be wearing dresses from the Carolina [Herrera] show that I saw in person. That was definitely weird to see, I feel like it almost ruins the illusion of celebrities being these holy beings though, because girls like me wore those exact outfits in the show,” Hozak said. 

In regards to her future plans, Hozak is still studying fashion here in Kent and plans on traveling back to New York for future work opportunities. Next semester, as she is studying in Italy, she hopes to be able to work abroad and travel for modeling jobs. Students like Hozak are what make the Kent State fashion program so unique and successful.