Southern Influenced

A Jupiter Girl Stays Down to Earth

Photography by Travis Teate

It can be tough to stay grounded in the jet-setting world of international modeling. But just like rocking a two-piece on a 50-degree day or keeping her hair perfect under the hot lights of a studio, Alli Martinez makes it seem effortless. Repped by Wilhelmina, one of the largest modeling agencies in the world, Martinez has seen her profile soar over the last few years. And yet, whether the job takes her to the sandy shores of California or the fashion mecca of New York City, this Jupiter girl always finds the South calling her home. 

Calling it her “little slice of paradise,” she finds herself drawn after each shoot back to the serene coastal haven of Jupiter, Florida. Maybe it’s the way this laid-back boating community speaks to her down-to-earth soul. Maybe it’s the food. Maybe it’s the people. Or maybe it’s the way, as she puts it, that “the water is just a little bluer down here.” 

There’s a moment in every model’s life in which they were “discovered.” By and large, this moment is more a figment of marketing than reality, designed to give credit to the discoverer, rather than emphasize the hard work the discoveree put into their own journey. 

In the case of Alli Martinez, the fact that she can claim two different moments of discovery speaks volumes about her own agency in creating her career. First scouted at the age of three by a children’s magazine photographer while painting in a ceramic shop, she would take an extended break from modeling afterward until she was 18.

This time, it was while she was working at the front desk of a gym. But this time, it was by an agent of storied modeling firm Wilhelmina. Even with this big break, Martinez worked to ensure she was more than just a pretty face, earning a degree in business management from Florida Atlantic University. With her profile soaring as a model, jetting between LA, New York and London, she has managed to keep her feet on the ground and her heart in her hometown of Jupiter.


South Magazine: What do you enjoy most about the South?
Alli Martinez: Can I say the food? The food is wonderful, it’s delicious. But I’d say the people. I mean, I’m a huge people person. I love connecting with people. I love meeting people from different walks of life. It’s always really refreshing when you get to connect and hear their story and how they were raised and brought up and what they’ve been through. That’s the best part of the industry- there’s so much diversity in the people. There’s a warmth to people that is very authentic and genuine in the South. LA definitely… everyone is kind of on their own journey and everyone’s trying to build a career out there so that definitely plays a role in relationships.

S: A lot of travel is required in your work, what draws you to stay in the South versus a permanent move to Los Angeles or New York?
AM: It’s home. I definitely love the East Coast. My heart is here, and there is just something very comforting about it. I love to be out in California. It’s so much fun, but nothing is quite like home. My family is definitely a huge part. I’m the oldest of four. My cousins are all here. My whole extended family is here except for one… But also, I would say I just love the lifestyle of South Florida. I really do enjoy the beach and boating, and I always have that 10 minutes away from where I live. I’m definitely at the beach multiple times a week. I love being in nature. I love being outside. Although California does have great weather and beautiful views, there’s just something about Jupiter. There’s just something about the East Coast.

S: Some of your Instagram highlights include some amazing looking food. Would you consider yourself a “foodie?” Any local “foodie” spots you can’t wait to revisit?
AM: (Laughs) Yes! I definitely do! Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, I went there once in Charleston, and I was obsessed with it. We don’t have a lot of Southern food where I’m from so that was amazing. I love Party Fowl’s fried chicken in Nashville. Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ in Charleston… I had great barbeque there. 

… continued in our digital edition!

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