Auto Show's Economic Models Sport Figures to Rev Recovery
An old wives' tale insists that you can predict the veracity of the approaching winter by counting the brown bands of fuzz on woolly bear caterpillars. An old columnist's tale is that you can predict the strength of an economic recovery by counting the number of good-looking models standing next to cars at the upcoming Chicago Auto Show.
"I just got home from the Portland Auto Show," says model Caitlyn McCabe, 25, of Wheaton, who also has worked auto shows in Los Angeles and Detroit and is scheduled to work the Lincoln display at the Chicago Auto Show, which opens to the public Friday at McCormick Place and runs through Feb. 20. "From what I hear, auto shows are on the rise. People are buying cars again."
McCabe, who graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor's degree in communication, began modeling her senior year and knows about the effect of the economy on the modeling industry.
"It really tapered off in 2008," says McCabe, a former Wheaton North cheerleader and Miss Illinois International 2007, whose TV career has spanned opportunities from her former job as a production assistant for WFLD Fox News Chicago to her 2010 gig as a contestant on "The Bachelor" TV show. Seeing the recession cut into her modeling gigs, McCabe diversified.
"I went into real-estate leasing, and that dropped off. Thankfully, the model and talent industry came back," says McCabe, who makes $250 to $1,000 a day for modeling.
"We've seen an increase not only in the number of people looking for models, but in the available budgets they have for staffing their booths," says David Gascon, owner and president of Models 4 Trade Shows, a national model-staffing service of the MDC Agency. Gascon says his agency sent four models to last year's Chicago auto show and will double or triple that number this year. …