Ali from the block

Text by Naomi Bikis

Photography by Marcus Mam

Styling by Aya Kanai

Ali Stephens is quoted as saying "it's important to remember that models are humans. We're not just ghosts." Watching her in the New York sunshine it's hard to imagine this sporty brunette ever looking ghostly - the closest she'd get would be as an Angel of Harlem. Joking aside, ever since she walked an exclusive show for Prada SS08, she has remained down-to-earth. Despite wanting to become a marine biologist, over the last five years Stephens has built a steady career as a versatile model in an environment that can be a high-pressured environment for young girls. While Stephens thankfully hasn't lost her enthusiasm, she has grown up and married her boyfriend Nicholas Lund in early August of this year (fellow top model Toni Garrn was a bridesmaid). "I try to balance work with my home life in Utah with my husband and two dogs," she says. Babies may yet be a little way off for the newly-wed 21-year-old but it seems the dogs are more than making up for it in the meantime: "I'm like a paranoid mom reading canine nutrition books and watching documentaries!" Stephens ran track and cross country at high school, so it makes sense that her idea of a great time is in hiking in her native Utah Mountains or learning to surf. Her genuine love of nature is also apparent in her charity work with Oceana, a group dedicated to saving the oceans and their threatened species. "I love sharks, and Oceana have an amazing campaign which has made a lot of headway," Stephens explains. Perhaps, if she ever finds herself seeking more adrenalin in the day job, swimming with sharks could hit the spot.

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