Katy sisters, Angel and Sherry Shi, take on the world as high fashion models
By Emme Enojado | KATY MAGAZINE, September 2017
In 2008, Angel Shi, 13, shot to the striking height of 5’11. Her father, Stone Shi, was flooded with suggestions from friends to introduce her to the world of modeling. “Several of my friends kept telling me that we should take Angel to a model agency,” Stone says. “We didn’t pay too much attention, but one day a friend got upset with us because we hadn’t taken action with Angel’s modeling. So, I promised that I would take Angel to the best model agency in Houston.”
After doing research, Angel found herself at the Neal Hamil Agency. Her height and exotic look left the agents in awe, and she was given a full-ride scholarship to attend their modeling school. Agents weren’t her only admirers. Her younger sister, Sherry, wanted to model once she saw her sister on the runway, and received a scholarship to the same modeling school. Soon, the Shi sisters were rocking the runway together.
From Seven Lakes High to New York University
The Shi sisters were raised to value efficiency, and discovered the urgent nature of the runway to be exciting. But as teenagers, they had to learn how to balance their lives in the studio and in the classroom.
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In 2011, Angel was the youngest girl to model at Fashion Houston. “Being able to be in the biggest fashion show in Houston with experienced models I admired made my 15-year-old-self feel special,” Angel says. She modeled from 2009 until she left Katy to study at New York University, where she is now a sophomore studying economics, entertaining the idea of a marketing career in fashion. She accredits much of her success to Seven Lakes High School, where she graduated in 2015. “The competitive environment of Seven Lakes pushed me to be a more proactive person, both in school and modeling,” Angel adds.
Tompkins High School Success
Sherry, a sophomore at Tompkins High School, says she is drawn to modeling because of the art, from the clothes to the different people she interacts with. “I like the feel of walking on stage and demonstrating the beautiful clothing the designers made,” she says. Even though Sherry lives part-time as a model, she lives her life as a normal teenager. She loves to sing, laugh with friends at Katy Mills Mall, and volunteers in her community. “Tompkins teaches me not only academically, but socially,” she adds. “I have great teachers who teach me how to be kind and patient.”
"Modeling taught me how to be myself. I used to worry about what others thought about me. Now, I am focusing on my life and my future.”
- Sherry Shi
The Gift of Confidence
Sherry, now a model for Neal Hamil, says that confidence is the greatest gift she has gained from modeling. “It taught me how to be myself,” Sherry says. “I used to worry about what others thought about me. Now, I am focusing on my life and my future.”
In six years, Angel has bloomed from a shy tween to a confident woman. “When I was 18, I went to a casting that I was not selected for,” Angel says. “I was told by the coordinator that the designer had finished picking the girls, but I insisted that she should see my walk. The designer was kind enough to watch me walk and added me to her show afterward. I would have never imagined myself to be that confident if I had not spent those five years in modeling.”
From busy schedules to conflicts, the Shis have grown closer together. They talk for hours during drives to photo shoots, and even work at the family restaurant, where Angel manages advertising and Sherry works as a hostess.
Sherry considers her first magazine photo shoot a defining moment; not because of the modeling, but because it was shared with her sister. “We had our differences, and we were not best friends like most sisters,” Sherry says. “But during my first photo shoot, I spent the entire day with my sister in the studio. She was very patient with me and took good care of me, and I realized that she really loves me.”
Because of modeling, the Shi sisters are not only walking the runway, but walking the path of life together, side-by-side.
EMME ENOJADO is a student and freelance writer for Katy Magazine
Photo by Debbie Porter, Courtesy of Neil Hammill Agency
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