Dream Catcher

Jetting from coast to coast, zealous 9-year-old influencer Haileigh Vasquez chases her dreams in acting and modeling, complemented by a dash of fashion design.

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After a long week of guitar, soccer, swimming, acting and homeschooling, Haileigh Vasquez paused before her weekly tennis lesson to relay her busy life over the phone. “It’s very nice to hear from you,” she says, practiced and poised. But as soon as the 9-year-old’s acting and modeling ambitions enter the conversation, her mild-mannered tone is traded for a youthful timbre bright with enthusiasm. “When you’re doing what you love, nothing feels like a waste of time,” she says of her packed schedule. “I have fun everyday!” 

Splitting time between her family’s two homes in Los Angeles and New York, Vasquez frequently auditions for movies, commercials and modeling opportunties on both coasts. “There isn’t really a ‘typical day,’” says the already seasoned multi-tasker. “You just forget about everything else and focus on one thing at a time,” she adds. “Because you never know when you’ll get to do it again!”

When not in front of a camera, Vasquez enjoys channeling creativity into her own fashion designs. Four years ago, she began sewing dresses (with some help from Mom) for her Barbie dolls. “I would take pieces of old curtains or other fabric my mom bought, cut them up and sew them together,” she says. Vasquez has since graduated to designing outfits for her American Girl dolls, even creating jewelry and accessories to accompany her clothes. “Purses and shoes are my favorite to make since they’re my favorite part of any look,” she says, adding her next challenge is to design clothing for family and friends.

Vasquez’s atypical kid’s life has attracted thousands of social media followers and generated hundreds of likes on everything from an #OOTD (outfit of the day) post to a sweet moment with her 9-month-old brother. “I like interacting with followers on social media and responding to comments,” she says. “Sometimes people even spot me on the street and say hello, which is really fun!”

How would you describe your personal style? I don’t really follow a certain style. I like to change it up with all the outfits in my closet. Anything I can accessorize makes me happy.

Do you have a favorite accessory? Jewelry and jackets are always fun to throw on, but I’m most obsessed with purses. I have 58—I probably own more bags than clothes!

What about shoes? High heels. I don’t wear them out yet, but I borrow my mom’s and wear them around the house. Besides that, my favorite shoes right now are glittery ballerina flats from Gap.

Any particular trend you’re obsessed with? I like the fanny pack trend because it’s so useful. It’s hands-free yet you can easily grab whatever you need. Plus, it’s just so cute! I also like longer coats that go down to my knees.

What’s your go-to everyday outfit? My ballerina flats and jeans. I also like wearing tunics a lot, and, of course, I can never go without a bag!

How about dressing for a party? That’s easy: a fluffy pink tutu with pink ballerina flats and a cardigan. Anything cute, bright and bursting with love!

Where do you like to shop? Shopping in New York is always best. My staples are Saks, Bloomingdale’s, Burberry and Fendi.

Do you shop online? I look at things online and put it in my cart just in case stores don’t have it. But I don’t really like to shop online. I like to feel the fabric and know it’s authentic. It’s also hard to try it on when you’re shopping from home. How am I supposed to know what it looks like on me? Going to the store is usually the best way to avoid wasting time—and it’s more fun!

What do want to be when you grow up? Wherever life takes me. I could be an actress, a director, a doctor, an astronaut, a baker—so many choices! I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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