Her life revolved around her horses so much so when photographer Justin Borbely noticed her while she was reading on a subway in 2006, the first thing that came to her mind was “creepy.” Catie (as she’s known to friends) saw that the stranger was staring at her and she moved to the other end of the car as far away as possible. Unknown to the stunning girl, Borbely was so much enchanted by her mysteriousness so she approached her for a short but important conversation. The photographer/scout asked her if she’s ever tried modeling but Chant just said no. He suggested she try modeling. Without an inkling of what was about to happen, Cate just took the piece of paper with the man’s e-mail, put it in her pocket and went home and forgot about it.
That would have been the end of that. But as luck would have it, after several months of much egging from friends and family, Cate Chant decided it was worth giving a try. She met with Chantale Nadeau early that summer. If not for that fateful meeting, we would have missed our chance to witness the transformation of the Cate Chant from a horse whisperer to an enigmatic model.
A diamond in the rough
Nadeau is the founder of Chantale Nadeau Model Placement, the Toronto-based agency that has launched the careers of many Canadian models like Addison Gill. She introduced Chant to Sutherland Models, who built her up well in the Toronto fashion industry. She was getting offers for photo shoots right and left and with that she quickly developed an eye-catching portfolio. Suddenly, the reality of being a model began to sink in.
Modeling was worlds apart from what she knew best, riding horses. Chant had to spend a lot of time practicing the signature stride of a model. It was hard because she was more accustomed to being in her riding boots before. Walking in high heels became a real challenge and it took her more than two weeks to master the walk in time for the Toronto Fashion Week.
In no time at all, New York Models were convinced she is perfect for the Big Apple fashion arena. They signed her up in the summer and were just waiting for her to arrive in the city. Projects were already lined up for her as well as other plans that were in the making. However, a blessing in disguise unexpectedly came in the form of a message from her cell phone during a horse show. Cate Chant was shocked that her agency wanted her to fly out to Milan that very evening. The good news – Prada wanted her.
New York Models knew that Chant was about to get exclusive so they went to work removing references to Chant in their website. Toronto was also advised to keep the direct-booking under wraps for the moment.
It was pure tension that night in the overnight flight to the city of Milan. Upon landing, Chant went directly to the meeting with the perfectionist Prada icon herself, Miuccia Prada. It was not until the following morning when she received confirmation that she was in the show. Still, it was not yet totally final as Prada is known to change the line up moments before the models walk. Chant sat patiently and waited, surrounded by veteran models. She was the 22nd to walk.
Fashion, here I come
Although still a relative newcomer, she has now secured recognition and admiration due to her fateful Milan trip. Thanks to New York Models booker, Christopher Michael, who practically pleaded for the 16 year-old’s U. S. rights. He believed in the stunning Canadian so strongly that he even shouldered the fare for her last minute flight to Milan.
The following days and months sped by quickly. Armed with her distinctive chin and arresting eyes, she experienced going to two dozen castings in a dizzying four days. She got featured in probably the hippest fashion blog, Confessions of a Casting Director, where the best faces in the industry gets prime exposure. Models.com also didn’t fail in becoming aware of this statuesque looker and did a story on her. She was featured, too, twice on Hintmag.com’s Model Mania. Editorial clienteles, like Italian Vogue and Flare, also wanted her to appear in their glossy pages and she did.
Right on track
In spite of her hectic schedule, this bright newcomer still manages to spend time on her equestrian duties. She still travels to compete in jumping shows and practices as much as her extra time would allow her. Such is her dedication to her sport that she even purposely chose a high school that gives leniency to students with special circumstances. Even when she barely showed up in school, she was a straight A student – proof that she’s not just another pretty face.
Like in her other pursuits, she also applies this kind of drive to her modeling career. Cate Chant continues to improve herself and judging from how everything’s falling right into place, we’ll be seeing more of her exquisiteness in the future.
Some fast facts on the charming Cate Chant:
She was born in Toronto, Canada in 1990
She is statuesque at 5”9”, has brown eyes and brown hair
She has a pony, a jumper, a hunter and an equitation horse
She goes to West Palm Beach for equestrian competition
She has a wicked sense of humor and likes to pull pranks on others (horsing around, maybe?)
She’s signed to Sutherland (Toronto), Folio (Montreal), Storm (London) and New York Models (Manhattan)