supermodel: she codes, builds apps + graces the catwalk…

If you have preconceived notions about models being dumb and coders being nerdy white dudes, prepare to abandon them. Lyndsey Scott has modeled for brands like DKNY, Victoria’s Secret, Gucci and Prada. But she also knows Python, Objective C, and iOS, and builds apps in her spare time.

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In a profile by Carmel Diamicis on Pando Daily, Scott explains that she graduated from Amherst in 2006 with a dual-degree in computer science — and 3 years later, found herself modeling for Calvin Klein, as “the first ever African American to get an exclusive contract with the company for New York Fashion Week.”

screen-shot-2014-01-02-at-3-28-48-pm“It’s been a rather jarring experience having people see and treat me the way they suddenly do now. I was bullied and often friendless throughout puberty because people automatically judged me…The difference between then and now though is that back then, they wouldn’t give me the chance to show them that I was kinda cool, and now they readily give me a chance…and are then often disappointed that I’m kind of a nerd. ;)” ~Scott in response to a post on Quora {the response went viral with 3800 likes}

One of Scott’s apps — available in the Apple store — is called iPort, and it’s basically a digital portfolio for models. (She tells Business Insider she started coding in middle school!)As seen in this tongue-in-cheek video, Scott is not just smart and beautiful — she’s also got a sense of humor. She also wrote a moving Quora post about going from physically unattractive to physically attractive:

I clearly take advantage of my looks. I’m a model for pete’s sake… And in general, having beauty and intelligence is super useful during occasions that require me to assert a bit more authority. When I need to feel most powerful, I’ll do my hair, throw on a nice outfit, put on a bit of makeup and it helps a disgusting amount. In general, I feel extremely lucky to have been granted this new super-power. But when I’m home and completely myself, when my hair is a mess, when I’m wearing my now broken glasses with the tape in the middle, and I’m up coding at 3 AM, I could give my middle-school self a major run for her money. I have to wonder, why didn’t they like me then when I’m still the same person now? Why do they like me now? How do I know that they like me now? Does anyone actually really even like me now?

All throughout her modeling career, Scott has continued to program on the side. Few in the industry know that Scott taught herself Python, Objective C, and iOS, and built 7 or 8 apps, two of which have made it into the Apple store. She says she’s the only coder-model she’s ever met, and does not make a habit of telling people about her side hobby.

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Her first publicly released app, coded in iOS, benefited a charity called Educate! which sponsors young Ugandan scholars. Her second public iOS app, called iPort, offered a digital way for models to carry around their portfolios.

“I built that app because it was something I personally needed,” Scott says. “My book always ends up looking terrible, the books fall apart, the pages are tearing, it’s dirty, and it’s a mess.” Scott has started to market the app to agencies and other models, but she has no plans to exchange her modeling career for app selling.

Lastly, she’s working on a third mystery app but wouldn’t give any details. She hinted it will help people develop romantic, friendship, and professional connections. read more..

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