Ashley Diana Morris was just one face among many at a Dierks Bentley concert last February in Vancouver.
But it was her face that drew photographer Odette Sugerman.
“The photographer came up to me at the end of the show and introduced herself, and said she did a lot of work with Guess,” Morris said.
Initially the 24-year-old Scarborough native was skeptical.
“How often do you meet somebody who’s a huge, famous photographer that shot for Vogue and shot for Guess, and they look at you and they’re interested in shooting you?” Morris said. “It just seemed so surreal.”
Everything changed after that.
Morris has since gained celebrity status as the new face of Guess Lingerie and Bikini, joining a list of some of the biggest names in modelling, including Claudia Schiffer, Adriana Lima and the late Anna Nicole Smith.
With no experience in the field, modelling never crossed her mind as a viable career.
Morris is a University of Toronto Scarborough English and theatre graduate. She later graduated from sports journalism at Centennial College.
Going through school as a self-described “normal” girl, Morris said she didn’t fall within any cliques.
“I believe she was genuine, polite and kind,” said Jeremy Choi, who attended junior high and high school with Morris. “She was a girl you can definitely take home to your parents.
“I wasn’t surprised to see her named as the new face for Guess Lingerie. She definitely has inner and outer beauty, and she’s always been a go-getter.”
Following graduation from Centennial, Morris moved to Vancouver to “chase the dream” in broadcasting as an intern with CTV.
“The main goal was to get into the sports side of journalism,” Morris said. “I really wanted to do sideline reporting for a Major League Baseball team or I wanted to get into just reporting for the news.
“When I got the CTV internship out here, I thought it was a great opportunity and I could maybe get my foot in the door.”
Morris came close to realizing that dream.
“I had an interview for reporting with the Canucks and I came in second, so that was a bit of disappointment,” she said.
Then came that fateful concert.
“I guess everything worked out for a reason,” she said with a laugh.
Morris has high hopes for her new career as a model.
“A dream for me would be Sports Illustrated or walk the runway show at Victoria’s Secret,” Morris said.
But she hasn’t given up on her love of sports journalism. Morris said she hopes her career in modelling will translate into a sideline reporter position for a Major League Baseball team.
Make a note, Blue Jays.