Catherine Smith, 21

W 21st St between Seventh and Eighth Aves

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Photograph: Allison Michael Orenstein

What do you do? I'm a strategist for political campaigns.

Really? Well, I'm interning with a firm that works on press for some of them. I also go to school for political science, and I'm a model.

Hm, politics and fashion... I suppose you could say they're both about posturing. I'm not so much focused on electoral politics, though. I'm focused on crisis management. I was in Paris last semester, studying the power-sharing government and conflicts in Zimbabwe while scheduling fittings for my photo shoots. [Laughs]

How do you give a shit about the photo shoot with the more important stuff on your mind? There is definitely a superficial element to clothes; however, I think fashion and celebrity can bring attention to these conflicts. I have these two sides, and I'm trying to live a life that is about both.

What are the implications of having a name as common as Catherine Smith? You don't strike me as someone who's going for anonymous. I'm not going for anonymity, no. But you're right, there's an advantage to not always being googleable all the time.

This way, if that sex tape gets released, you can just sink into a crowd of Catherine Smiths. [Laughs] Luckily, you will never hear a sex-tape rumor from me. That is for sure.

More from Catherine

"My labor of love is my own blog, which I call Crisis Couture. It's about international fashion and humanitarian issues, and the threads that tie them both together."

"I just got back from my twin cousins' graduation in Alabama. There is nothing down there—no coffee, no people, no nothing."

"The business I'm interning for does tourism marketing. We're working with Southcoast USA, an organization of all the towns that have been affected by the BP oil spill. We've been working to get funding from BP to do advertising for the tourism industry down there. It's still a beautiful place with an incredible culture."

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