In 2006, at the age of 15, Olivia Mignone, frustrated and discouraged with the standards in a modeling industry that would hold her back from her dreams, decided to embark on a brave journey. “If society wasn’t going to allow my 5’1” body to walk a runway, then I was going to create an agency that would allow myself, and other girls that did not fit these standards, to show the industry we are just as capable!” Olivia’s concept of Shortstack was born and what happened next Olivia could not even fathom.
“Girls of all shapes and sizes were interested in joining our program and lining up around the block,” reflected Mignone. Shortstack grew into an 8 month self esteem program, with magazine coverage, celebrity visits, and an annual NYC Fashion Show every June to benefit Windows of Opportunity, the parent company of Shortstack. To date, Mignone and her team have impacted over 100 girls, helping to increase their self-esteem and confidence, and giving them a taste of the modeling enticement. Olivia is most proud of how many of her models have gone on to several different aspects of the fashion industry including working in Paris, photography and design. This year her models will embark on a global leadership initiative to help in the rebuilding efforts of Haiti.
Olivia’s training began at Windows of Opportunity where her instruction as an HIV/AIDS Peer Educator led her to becoming a citywide HIV Conference Coordinator. She has coordinated youth led conferences for over 500 students annually from various NYC high schools as well as presented several leadership development workshops to 6th through 8th graders. Despite her passion to shift the modeling industry standards, her HIV education remains consistent, providing annual workshops, and assisting in the writing, editing, and illustration of the HIV Empowerment and Leadership Program (H.E.L.P.) curriculum. Olivia currently sits on the Board of Directors of Windows of Opportunity, and has assisted in raising over $100,000 towards the agency’s vision.
Although Olivia will no longer be walking the runway at Shorstack’s annual Fashion Shows, she is continuing to work behind-the-scenes on all aspects of the program to oversee and ensure it’s growth, progression and continued success.
For matters concerning Shorstack and Olivia, including but not limited to event sponsorship, program information and questions, volunteer and modeling opportunities, or even how to book Olivia or any other Shorstack models for fashion and charity events, please e-mail her at