Arrowhead Alumni Becomes Model Overnight

Arrowhead Alumni Becomes Model Overnight

When graduating Arrowhead, most students move on to college, graduate and get a job. But this is not how Arrowhead Class of 2013 graduate John Economou, has been spending his years after graduating from Arrowhead.

Economou tried out the college scene at University of Milwaukee, and decided that he wanted to go to Los Angeles, California, to continue the  modeling career he started when he was young.

When Economou moved out to LA, he didn’t have housing, so he ended up living and sleeping on Venice Beach.

Economou’s mother Jill Economou says, “He’s homeless by choice or ‘un-housed,’ as he likes to put it. He’s using his savings to work out there.”

When Economou was ‘un-housed’ on Venice Beach, he noticed an entourage and bodyguards surrounding some girls and one boy sitting on the beach having a picnic. Soon, seagulls tried to attack the group.  Economou ran over to shoo the seagulls away.

It just so happened that the two girls with the entourage and bodyguards were supermodels Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, who just walked the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Their friend Ansel Elgort from “The Fault in Our Stars” was also with them.

Economou sat down after the seagull shooting and started talking to the group.

Jenner explained what happened on her website: “Gigi, actor Ansel Elgort and I were in Venice shooting for ‘Vogue’ earlier this year, and during our lunch break, we decided to have a picnic on the beach instead of on the concrete next to the wardrobe trailer. We saw this kid just sitting on a sand dune. I was like, ‘He’s kinda cute,’ so Gigi and I kept looking over at him. Seagulls started attacking us or something, so he came over and asked if we were all good.

“We asked him his name (John) and what he was doing. He told us he was homeless—so we were obviously like, ‘OK, please sit with us!’ After talking, we found out that he’s 20; he ran away from home and came to L.A. to model. After we got back from lunch, we gave him my agent’s info and Ansel was so sweet and suggested we bring him more food. When Ansel went over, John was so happy! Later on, John and my agent got in contact and now he’s a ‘Romeo’ with a contract—amazing.”

And just like that, a former Arrowhead High School student became world news. Big name news channels reported on Economou’s story including publications like ELLE, PopSugar, Huffington Post, Entertainment Tonight, MTV, Glamour, and Daily Mail.

A local channel, Fox 6, interviewed Economou over FaceTime when this happened. Economou said, “It went to London, and France, and Germany, and Paris and Hungary. Everyone from around the world is messaging me. It’s blowing up. I like it.”

He also said, “They looked all presentable and good looking. I saw bodyguards at the corner. I thought they were police at first and I thought ‘What are they doing?’. Then I saw seagulls swarming around the girls because they brought the food out, and I started walking over there to shoo them away. One of the girls said to me, ‘You’re cute,’ so I turned around and we struck up conversation. I didn’t realize who I was speaking to at first and it finally clicked who it was: [Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Ansel Elgort, and Kendall’s manager, Ashleah Gonzales.]

“We were just talking and they said I should take up modeling here in LA. I told them my story, I told them how I was a model back home [in Milwaukee] and how I came here to follow my dream and try and get an agency, how I’m living the hippie life, living out on the beach crashing on the sand right now. They said they could help me out and get me an agency and they got me with Two Management, the agency I signed with. Kendall was cool, she was super down to earth and chill. We were just having a normal conversation talking about life, acting, modeling, personal lives. It’s a crazy story. I’m super grateful. I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Current Arrowhead students were also enthused by what happened.

Senior Lizzy Friend said, “I just think it is so cool. I mean I saw him on Snapchat and you can tell he is going to become famous.”

Senior Maddie Kopecky said, “My brother and him were in the same class and it is neat to see how one’s future can progress so quickly.”

Economou also has a sister that goes to Arrowhead right now. Niki Economou. Says, “ My brother has truly been a great role model to me throughout this process. He puts so much time and commitment into his jobs everyday. His drive to continue his passion for what he loves is what makes him stand.”