- Associated Press - Sunday, January 26, 2014

DECATUR, Ala. (AP) - When Tatum Hogue was in kindergarten, the teacher asked students to write words they liked. The small blue-eyed girl wrote, “I like fashin.” Despite her lack of spelling expertise, Hogue knew exactly what she liked - fashion.

A decade later, Hogue remembered the French Revolution in history class by associating the era’s elegant and over-the-top clothes with designer Alexander McQueen.

Magazines with photos of the now 15-year-old Hogue line the leather ottoman in the Hogues’ home in Decatur. The Austin High freshman has walked the runway in New York Fashion Week and is in 17 Magazine’s “7-Day Beauty Looks” February 2014 issue. She also has appeared in Vogue and Quinscent Magazine.

“It’s a crave. I crave to be in front of the camera. I crave to be on a runway,” Hogue said. “Once you get a taste, it’s addictive.”

Hogue first became interested in modeling at age 8, when she went to a Pro-Scout event in Huntsville. She signed with a modeling agency in Orlando, but her career did not go any further.

At 13, Hogue wanted to give the modeling industry another chance, but didn’t know how to start.

“I was at the doctor and my nurse said, ‘You should get into modeling.’ She gave me the number of a local agent,” Hogue said.

Hogue signed with the local agency, which became her “mother agent,” and was in New York the next week to meet people in the industry and to develop her modeling book. While she was in the big city, Hogue mastered the catwalk.

“I had the worst trouble learning to walk down the runway,” she said. “I had a walking coach. I walked for three hours. My feet were blistered. They hurt, but it worked.”

Hogue worked with her mother agent for a year. She returned to New York in January 2013 for photo shoots and to book shows for New York Fashion Week. Hogue, her mother Holly, two fellow models and the mother agent lived in a two-story apartment in Brooklyn for a month. Hogue booked nine shows - six of which were at Lincoln Center. The 5-foot-10-inch blonde walked the runway in one show for Spiegel.

“It was like a dream. It was exactly how I pictured it, but more cut-throat because directors and agents want the best for their company,” Hogue said.

Hogue, an only child, was told her hair was terrible and had a “Southern highlight.” Chubby baby face, too long of a nose, and lips are too small were some of the other comments she received. Some things can be changed, Hogue said, adding that she changed her hair color.

“You can’t let what people say hurt you. Everyone has beauty,” she said.

Her mother said it hurts her when Hogue has to endure negative comments, but “that’s part of the game,” Holly said.

When Hogue returned from New York, she signed with Click Model Management in Atlanta. So, Hogue and her mother, who runs her PishPosh Jewelry business from home, travel to Atlanta at least once a month. Hogue’s father, Todd, said he works a day job as health safety security and environmental manager at the Decatur BP Plant.

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