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Danville's Teen Fashion Star

Danville’s Gianna Pope leads a double life as a high school student and high-fashion model.


Blue Skai Photography

For San Ramon Valley High junior Gianna Pope, 17, traveling the world for photo shoots and runway shows is getting to be old hat. Yet when she isn’t jetting off to fashion shoots, Gianna maintains a regular teenage existence in her hometown of Danville. “I go to school, hang out with friends, go to the gym,” says Gianna. “I just kind of do what any other normal teenager would do.”

Still, the rising model’s routine isn’t exactly ordinary. She slips out of school discreetly once a week for photo shoots in San Francisco, where she’s represented by JE Model Management. She recently went to the Greek island Mykonos for a swimsuit campaign shot by a former Vogue art director. And she spent some of last summer vacation walking runways for designers in Paris—not at the pool.

Show business is in Gianna’s genes. Her mother, Karen, was a model on Let’s Make a Deal for five years. But despite Gianna’s experience in front of the camera, she isn’t completely comfortable with her glamorous double life: She was a full year into modeling before classmates discovered her side gig. “I used to not want them to know, but it’s been a few years now, and everyone knows,” she says. Gianna’s schoolmates first saw her high fashion photos on her Instagram account, and sent screenshots to each other. But Gianna says there was no malicious intent. “Their first reaction is usually to say how different I look in modeling photos, when I have professional hair and makeup done,” she says.

Charles Schoenberger Photography

While Gianna’s star is rising in the modeling world, her biggest point of pride is a typical teenager’s dream: “My biggest achievement is buying my own car with the money I’ve made from modeling,” she says. It’s a white 2016 Ford Mustang.  

Follow Gianna on Instagram @pope_models.

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