New Mexico teen walks runway at New York Fashion Week

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A New Mexico teen’s dream of strutting down the catwalk for New York Fashion Week has become a reality. The 17-year-old got to do not one, but two catwalks in New York.

Whether it’s the runway in New York City, or her kitchen in Las Cruces, people can count on Brooke Freilino to put on a show.

“The designer for this dress actually makes a lot of the Miss USA contestants’ costumes,” said Freilino. 

At just 17 years old, the New Mexico high school senior was recently offered the opportunity of a lifetime to walk in New York Fashion Week.

“How many people can say that? They’ve walked in fashion week?” said Laurie Freilino, Brooke’s mother. 

It is an especially impressive feat, considering Brooke hasn’t been in the business very long.

“Probably just about a year, if that,” Brooke said. 

She decided on a whim to enter her first-ever beauty pageant at 16, and ended up placing top five for Miss New Mexico Teen USA – turning the heads of some high-profile designers in the process.

Before she knew it, she was on a plane to New York with her parents.

“It’s like, am I really sitting here, and is she actually walking on a runway? And photographers are everywhere, and it’s just unbelievable. It’s just such a great feeling. I’m so proud of her,” said Laurie. 

“I just woke up one day, and I had gotten a text from a designer, and she was like ‘you and like some other models have made it onto a billboard in Times Square,’ and I was like ‘what?’ Like, I ran to my parents, and it was so crazy, like seeing myself on a billboard,” Brooke said. 

It doesn’t stop there, Brooke has been invited to walk for fashion week in Milan, London, and New York again in the fall.

Even though Brooke is living one of her dreams, she has her sights set on a career off the runway.

“After high school, I’m attending NMSU, and I’m a – I like – my hope is to get into the nursing program, and still do modeling on the side,” Brooke said. 

Until then, she has a message from one dreamer to another:

“You really just have to go for it, no matter what people tell you.”