Sojourner Morrell, an American Fashion Model born in Trenton, New Jersey in 1988, was raised partially in Princeton and Sarasota Springs, then relocated to England with family in 1998. She signed with Wilhelmina Models in 2011. She was named after a prominent female /abolitionist, Sojourner Truth. The name Sojourner is of French origin, and comes from the French word 'sejour' which refers to a short trip or stay.
Early Years As a child, Morrell was a hard-working student whose mother tutored her in the French language. Mom, who worked for Chase bank at the time, would later go on to teach French professionally. At 14, Morrell moved to Germany for a summer to work with horses, and the committed equestrian went back the following year as a foreign exchange student. Instead of a traditional Senior Year, she attended the Spanish Riding School in Vienna.
She was the only girl in the program. “It was very tough and intense being the only girl; they didn't exactly want me there. I [woke up] at four in the morning and was down feeding the horses by 6 a.m. If you were five minutes late, they’d be like, “Where were you?!”
She wrote the school and requested special permission to attend, as they didn’t accept females. The school wrote back and asked her to come for an interview. She arrived and rode for them “in some palace”. They liked her and asked if she could join the school the next day. “There were only 16 riders. Me and this other girl were the first girls to ever enroll. And I was the only foreigner. They were all from Vienna”.
After she left the Riders Club in Vienna, she moved to Switzerland where she continued her French studies. From there it was back to the United States and NYU to study Liberal Arts. Although she remained enrolled at the school, her success in the fashion world puts a return to finish a degree any time soon in doubt.
Living in New York City can make it difficult to indulge ones riding passion because the nearest grounds suitable are 3 hours away. “So I'm looking to find somewhere closer, maybe Westchester to ride”.
While involved in liberal studies at NYU, a friend introduced Morrell to an agent at Wilhelmina Models, and she jumped in head first. “I just signed up without any idea [of] what it really involved”. She was initially attracted to modelling as a way to facilitate travelling and meeting new and interesting people. The situation soon proved too much coupled with her studies, and so she took a leave of absence from school to pursue her professional modeling career. “But I don’t see myself going back to NYU necessarily”.
She’s walked runways for Chanel, Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, and done editorials for Interview, Dazed & Confused, i-D magazine, a spread in British Vogue, and the cover of Italian Vogue. Her resume also includes Chanel, Saint Laurent, Giles, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, and Zac Posen. She also worked with some famous photographers, to include Pamela Hanson, Karl Lagerfeld, Steven Meisel, and Daniel Jackson.
She’s currently signed to Wilhelmina in New York, and IMG Paris.