For Cheshire resident and model Ally Dubuc, there is a spontaneous feeling that takes over when she is in front of a camera. In working with multiple designers and photographers, she enjoys the chance to create a shared vision of their project.
“There are different people and personalities in the industry,” said Dubuc, a 2014 Cheshire High School graduate. “You get thrown into a career every day.”
As someone who doesn’t believe in overthinking, Dubuc chose not to practice walking before participating in Fashion Week shows last fall in New York City and Washington D.C.
“Walking came easy for me,” reflected Dubuc. “There were so many people there. There are scouts and designers that you don’t know, watching you.”
To get into New York Fashion Week, she submitted head shots.
“They (organizers) look for models who are in shape and healthy,” stated Dubuc. “I don’t like the image of modeling being unhealthy.”
Starting on Sept. 12, Dubuc walked three times in swim suits.
“I was offered swim, ball gown dresses, or casual,” recalled Dubuc. “I was told that ‘Swim is your thing. You are confident and doing your thing in it.’”
She managed to stay calm during a footwear issue. For a walk on the runway, her heels were originally supposed to be nude, but 30 minutes before the show, the color was changed to black. Since Dubuc didn’t have that color of heels with her, she had to run across the street to Forever 21 for a new pair.
“They didn’t have my size in black heels, but I had to go with what they had,” recalled Dubuc. “I walked with toes bleeding. I put on slippers afterwards and had to get bandages for my feet because I was wearing shoes four times too small.”
Despite that situation, she enjoyed her experience.
“New York was so much fun and I had the time of my life,” said Dubuc.
Shortly after walking in NYC, she traveled south to Washington, D.C. for DC Fashion Week. She modeled in three shows from Sept. 23-25.
“I was the first one there and helped the designer get ready,” recalled Dubuc. “I’m 100-percent passionate about my work ethic and being kind to people.”
Growing up, Dubuc recalls her grandfather telling her that she should be a model, but she didn’t consider it as a career choice until a chance meeting changed her life. Back in 2020, she was approached by a Vogue and Gucci talent agent in front of the book store at Cornell University in New York.
Dubuc started out with a successful test shoot in NYC. Modeling opportunities were limited by the pandemic, but she enjoyed getting to do a swim shoot in 2021. She dedicated the experience to the memory of CHS classmate Isabella Gozzo, who passed away back in 2014.
“Modeling was a dream for Isabella. When I was shooting, there was a shooting star. I thought that was a sign that she was with me and I messaged her mom about it,” explained Dubuc. “If that (shoot) didn’t come out perfect in every way, I don’t think that I would be doing modeling.”
Later in 2021, Dubuc spoke with Style Cruze Founder and CEO Divyesh Pillarisetty about shooting for them. She ended up on the magazine’s cover for March 2022 and appeared on her first billboard in Times Square.
Dubuc has since been on eight more billboards and has modeled for companies like Beautica Magazine, Style Cruze Magazine, and Victoria’s Secret.
“I’m very natural at it,” stated Dubuc, of modeling. “I was told that my strengths are swim and fitness. I know the moves.”
While shooting for brands, she has been talking with a friend about working in sustainable fashion. Dubuc feels that this effort can help counter “fast fashion” — a method of rapidly producing large quantities of clothes.
“Fast fashion is bad for the planet,” said Dubuc. “I’m going to see her (my friend) in LA. We may be coming out with a brand.”
Dubuc is also passionate about working out and promoting body positivity in the modeling industry.
“I like my figure and I work hard on it,” stated Dubuc. “I can bench 235 pounds. My trainers say that they’ve never seen someone so small be so strong.”
Dubuc has faced challenges, such as being diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition in which cells grow outside the uterus. While the disorder has tested her, she has persevered to build her modeling career.
“I’m not perfect, and no one is,” said Dubuc. “When I work out, I feel my best.”
Dubuc takes pride in being able to spread awareness of endometriosis. A couple of years ago, she wrote a letter to the ABC medical drama series “Grey’s Anatomy” to see if they would create an episode about the condition.
“It is very painful, but I don’t think it gets the same attention as other conditions,” explained Dubuc. “In my letter, I said, ‘If you can include this, that would be even better.’”
Last year, she was pleasantly surprised to see that “Grey’s Anatomy” producers received her feedback and aired an endometriosis episode.
“I went back to watch (the episode) and they used the story. On their script, they used, word-for-word, what I said,” explained Dubuc, who reached out to the show producers to thank them. “I hoped to spread awareness for something with no cure. That (response) was the most rewarding feeling in the world.”
Approximately seven months ago, “Grey’s Anatomy” contacted her via Twitter about having her dog, Coco, appear in an episode, too. Instead of bringing the dog to a set, Dubuc actually filmed at home in Cheshire.
“I have a backdrop in my house,” said Dubuc. “I had her walk and filmed it. She will be edited in (for the show).”
Along with assisting in her dog’s acting debut, Dubuc has forged a career in show business. She has worked in multiple music videos and appeared on a billboard in Times Square.
Due to contractual agreements, Dubuc can’t go into detail on an upcoming TV show appearance, but she enjoyed showing that she can expand her repertoire beyond just modeling.
“For acting, I can get right into a scene quickly,” explained Dubuc. “You have to be able to adapt. That is a skill that I’m really proud of.”
She believes that doing commercials is good practice for acting. One of her goals is to do a spot for luxury automobiles.
“My dream is to be in a Mercedes Benz commercial,” said Dubuc. “I’ve loved cars since I was 5.”
She has done shoots around the country, but feels that it would be extra special to do a spot in her hometown. If businesses are interested in commercial work, Dubuc said they can email her at email@example.com.
“Family is everything to me. It would be great to give back to them and my hometown,” stated Dubuc.
This month, Dubuc is looking forward to a shoot and videography session in Miami.
“There is going to be a drone above me in the water,” said Dubuc. “Videography is like a commercial. You need to pay to get a subscription to the photographer’s content.”
She has booked considerable work herself, but with her career expanding, Dubuc has looked into representation with an agency.
“I think it is time for a new chapter because so many doors have opened for me,” explained Dubuc.
For aspiring models and actors, she believes that it is important to have thick skin and be able to accept criticism.
“I’ve gotten far with my character. I feel that gets you a lot farther than just looks,” reflected Dubuc. “The sky is the limit.”