Photography by Ali Mitton
“It’s been like a Cinderella story,” says Allie Leggett. Indeed, her trajectory is the stuff of childhood fairy tales—and Playmate tradition. Born and raised in a small town in the middle of the Bible belt, Allie soon found herself scraping by as a student at Western Kentucky University. At 19, she competed for the title of Miss Kentucky in the hope of earning some scholarship money. We defy any of you to feign surprise when we tell you that she won.
Allie, though, was surprised: “I wasn’t your stereotypical pageant girl.” Perhaps it was her cosmopolitan leanings that distinguished her. In no time, she was scouted by a modeling agency. “I moved out to L.A. two months later, and I’ve been here ever since.”
The move seems natural now, but at the time it was far from a given. “Nobody really leaves a small town,” she says. “All my high school friends have babies and are married. That’s what you do in a small town. I kind of broke the mold. I always had the mind-set that I wanted to leave. Luckily, I had an out, so I took it and ran with it.”
Maybe it’s not surprising that, Southern roots aside, Allie exudes the California-girl persona. Sun-streaked blonde hair? Check. Easygoing attitude? Check. Intense love of the ocean? Double check. A tattoo of a wave graces the wrist of her right hand—a clean, sharply curving line symbolizing her bond with the sea. “I’m definitely a beach girl,” she says.
The youngest of five kids, Allie never thought she would be a model, but she thrives on the spontaneity of a job that requires travel at a moment’s notice. “The best thing about modeling is you never know what’s going to happen next. I just woke up one day and had a message: ‘Hey, do you want to go to Iceland to do this shoot?’ Absolutely incredible, and I never would have had the opportunity if I hadn’t stuck with it and thrown myself out there. Sometimes the best plans are no plans.”
As to what makes Allie feel sexy, her adoptive home once again looms large. “I feel sexy when I’m tan, strong and active—when it’s warm and sunny outside and I can jump in the ocean. There’s something about salt water on your skin and salty hair.” Spoken like a true California girl.