It’s a classic tale of overnight success: cute, all-Canadian, buxom blond is spotted in a crowded arena by world-renowned photographer. Weeks later, she’s flown down to L.A. to meet one of the biggest career-launching designers in the fashion industry. Boom—instant glamour model! Sounds familiar, right? That’s because, as has become legendary, Pamela Anderson was discovered under similar circumstances.
Only this time, it wasn’t a B.C. Lions game but a Dierks Bentley concert. And her first break isn’t related to Labatt Blue; it’s a Guess lingerie and bikini campaign. So just who is this busty bombshell? It’s Ashley Diana Morris, who recently sat down with the Straight in her downtown digs to talk about the whirlwind fairy tale that’s been in the works since February 2012 but only started making news recently when the first batch of pics began hitting newsstands in Europe. Since then, it’s been nonstop media attention for the Toronto-born beauty. People can’t get enough.
“I think it’s because it’s very much a Cinderella story that doesn’t normally happen,” says the university grad, who won’t give her age. “I feel like I didn’t put any dues in. I don’t have a portfolio of a hundred pictures or five years of work behind me. It just kind of happened overnight. And I’m sure there’s lots of girls out there who are trying to make it that aren’t gonna like to hear that. But it really was just the right place at the right time and horseshoes up my butt. That’s the only way I can describe it.”
With so much god-given sex appeal, it’s hard to believe she wasn’t discovered earlier. But according to Morris, she wasn’t always the Brigitte Bardot–esque kitten we see today.
“In the last five years, I’ve really grown into my looks,” says Morris, who was waiting tables at the Blue Water Cafe before she signed on the dotted line with Guess guru Paul Marciano. “I was the kid with glasses, braces, and pimples and the headgear at night. In high school, I was not the hot girl. I was not the cheerleader at all.”
But despite suffering from ugly duckling syndrome in her teenage years, Morris always dreamed of being a Guess model.
“I remember when I was 14 or 15,” she says, “I saved up all my money that I made from a coffee shop that I was working at, and I went and got photos done at Walmart and submitted them to a Guess model search. I never heard anything. So it’s kind of funny. And I actually told Paul Marciano that the first night I met him and he said, ‘I guess I didn’t get the pictures.’ ”
Now that that’s all water under the bridge and her dream has come true, what’s next? Morris and her agent have their sights set on landing some work for her with Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret. But for now, she’s still processing everything that’s happened since word got out that this hometown girl had done good.
“It’s been crazy,” says Morris, who only celebrated for the first time earlier this month. “I got a glass of champagne when I got the photos and I was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s real, like, it’s real. It’s actually out there. I can officially say that I’m a Guess girl.’ And I’ll be able to say that for the rest of my life.”