When our interview with model Mariah Strongin began, we went straight to the question we had wondered since she came across our radar. How does someone from Oregon and now living in New York City while traveling the globe, stay grounded?
“I don’t go one week without talking to my family. My mom and my Nana keep me grounded,” Mariah shared. “My mom is one tough cookie. My family is my support system.”
At one time, her grandpa – “Papa” as Mariah refers to him – had 13 horses on his ranch in Oregon. Mariah competed on three of them in sports, including in barrel racing. During our interview, she references this time fondly, and it is evident throughout our discussion she holds her family in high regard.
Mariah seems to be continually pushing herself and this is certainly a driving force behind her success. She just recently came back from Europe where she walked for Milan Fashion Week and for German fashion designer Philipp Plein for his Philipp Plein Sport runway show in Cannes.
“My pinch me moment [was] when I walked for Philipp Plein Sport.”
“This last year I had been working so hard and this industry is so full of artists that this last week was my pinch me moment, when I walked for Philipp Plein Sport,” Mariah shared. “People believed in me, and I got to walk, which had a ripple effect. I got another show and meetings set with the IMG agencies in Milan and Paris [during Haute Couture].”
Mariah continued, “Making it to Paris as a model is amazing. My team and many successes opened that door [for me], and I’m excited for what is next. I was supposed to stay for only two weeks in Europe, and it will now be four months in total.”
“Between the food and the culture, Tokyo was a beyond amazing experience.”
With so much traveling under her belt, she admits Milan makes her “feel at home”. As for her favorite city – she counts Tokyo as one of them and shared the following with us in regards to the capital of Japan.
“Between the food and the culture, it was a beyond amazing experience. I went there for work, on a visa, and stayed for two months.”
To stay in shape while traveling, she credits bedroom workouts, including dancing for cardio – she grew up dancing, along with playing many sports. If she had a long day of castings, traveling, working, etc., she tries to squeeze in some quick toning with resistant bands and does not travel without them. Although friends have said she is “strict” when she eats, she does find the quality of food in Europe on a different level. It also may help she has a keen interest in nutrition and is currently looking to get her nutrition license. Her mom was and is very into fitness, so health and nutrition seem to run in the family. As for surviving jet lag, she credits yoga with helping her or any workout that “gets your body moving”.
Between her European trips, Mariah was back in the U.S. briefly when we spoke with her, where she was working with Lands’ End. She has wanted to be a model since she was 11, and her story is one that proves that with hard work, doors can open for you.
Follow Mariah on Instagram @mariahstrongin.
Mariah is represented by IMG at imgmodels.com.