Like countless ambitious young models who migrate to New York before Fashion Week, Margaret Qualley moved to the city just this summer. After living in North Carolina for most of her life, the 17-year-old headed north with one valuable attribute: the encouragement of her mother, model-turned-actress Andie MacDowell. “My mother has been an advocate for me as far as modeling goes,” Qualley says. As she began her junior year of high school, Qualley walked in the Philosophy show of Alberta Ferretti, which proved a little more intimidating than walking through a cafeteria. “We were going down stairs to begin with, so that was slightly nerve-racking considering it was my first show. I didn’t want to fall.” The IMG model knows how to use her body. She studied ballet in North Carolina before taking classes this summer at American Ballet Theatre. She’s also currently taking drawing and French classes. While the big city can be a little intimidating, Qualley does have some supervision: Her SoHo roommate is a friend of the family. “It’s not like my mom just threw me out on the street,” she jokes. “I think being in the city is the perfect way to figure out what I want to do.”
Photo: Margaret Qualley in New York, October 2011. Top: Ports 1961. Jeans (layered): Christopher Kane for J Brand and Current/Elliott. Earrings: Jelena Behrend and Wendy Nichol. Belt: Longchamp. Cuff: Dannijo. Rings: Kenny JossicK and Qualley’s own.