San Diego Model Profile: Meet Saam McBride

Athlete, model, designer, mother. Saam McBride is a unique talent with a high fashion future built upon a track and field foundation.


The UC Berkeley alum has starred in global campaigns for Nike, Target and Russian Vogue, and now operates an emerging fashion empire from home base in La Mesa. Fashion leggings are the focus, and they’re proving to be big business.


Meet Saam McBride in this week’s San Diego Model Profile.


Q: When did you begin modeling?

A: When I was competing for Nike in the Heptathlon event, a teammate overhead me saying I would love to do commercials. She walked me into her agent, and soon I began doing sports modeling. Then during my time as a design student, I would often wear my own fashions in school shows. Other students began requesting me to wear theirs, to the point where they would fight over me.

I really fell into the industry because of my quest to acquire a degree in fashion. I was surrounded by it. Finally, I signed with a fashion agent. Now I have an agency here in San Diego, L.A. and New York.


Q: What would we be surprised to find out about the industry?

A: A few things. Your success in modeling has very little to do with beauty or physique, but rather timing, luck, accessibility. Models aren't physically the most beautiful people. It may be something that is simply different or unique about them that sets them apart from the rest of the world. Models have a tendency to be insecure.


Q: How do you stay in such great shape?

A: I am living off my track/field upbringing. My husband teases me and deems it my athletic fumes. I do live in fear that eventually my good genes and youth will run out and I'll have to pay the price. I don't have a workout regimen, but there are some things I don't do. I avoid fast food restaurants and don't eat junk food.

When I began having children, I wanted to set a great example for them. I stopped eating candy and made an effort to eat better. I now cook foods closest to their natural state - fresh organic kale (I grow my own!), broccoli and green beans.


Q: Tell us about your clothing and jewelry line, SaAm Designs.

A: I am the Levi's of the couture fashion leggings. I started SaAm Designs officially in 2009. This was out of demand over my signature fashion leggings. I couldn't go anywhere without someone asking where to get a pair. Consequently, through designing my leggings people wanted tops to go with them and then accessories, therefore, I began adding these accessories to compliment the leggings.


Q: Favorite spring fashion trends?

A: I love the color block looks for spring, the head to toe floral textiles in pant suits, leather in anything and the crazy 8 inch heels...I call them monster truck shoes.


Q: How did your meet your husband and settle down in San Diego?

A: Mostly, if I wasn't hanging out at gay bars with my gal pal designer friends, I would be at home and in my PJ's by 6 p.m. on a Saturday night. Eventually, I figured that in my industry, being a designer's muse was not going to lend itself to a glorious dating life. Through coercing from friends and my own sister, I joined This is how I met my husband! It happened so fast, engaged after only five months and married exactly one year and one day after our initial first meeting.

We have been happily married eight and a half years. Our rambunctious boys are 4 and 7.


Q: What is your perfect San Diego weekend?

A: In the winter, it's all about skiing every weekend if there is snow, spending time with my family visiting relatives or having a wonderful meal at Cafe Chloe's.


Q: Fun facts we don’t know about you?

A: I am insane about Drum n Bass music. I'll fly even to London to see my favorite DJ: LTJ Bukem. I've met him and we are friends now. I've been told I look pretty intimidating or vampy, but I am really one of the kindest people on the planet and a priceless friend.


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