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Meet Claudie's Book Model, Rio Lewis

One of the coolest parts about American Girl dolls is that the book illustrations are modeled off of real girls, which then inspire the dolls by way of illustrations. I was curious to see which lucky girl was American Girl's inspiration for their newest historical character Claudie Wells, and it's none other than Rio Lewis, an 11 year old from the Chicago area.

Just like Claudie, Rio is an artist and enjoys dancing, acting, music and modeling, which she has been doing since she was 4 years old.


Rio almost didn't get the part since the shoot would have taken place on the weekend of her brother's baseball game out of town. But last-minute, the game was rescheduled, and Rio got to model as Claudie. It's a good thing she got to- according to Wendy Walsh, the creative manager for Claudie's book, “This was one of those cases where the model gets on set, puts on the wardrobe, and she IS that character,” Walsh said in an email. “It doesn’t happen all of the time, but in this case it did. We all looked at each other on set and said, ‘That’s her! That’s our Claudie.’”


Rio has a few other dolls, including Addy Walker, but she considers it an honor to be the face of Claudie because "[she] touches people’s hearts [...] because it’s the first historical doll for like a long time, and also it’s the first Black American Girl doll with a positive back story."



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angelannie22
angelannie22
Sep 12, 2022

That is SO cool! I can’t wait to go to the AG Place and get my Claudie soon!!!!

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She is so preciously cute! Spot on choice. I love our new Claudie doll, but my daughter is terrified to touch her hair because she doesn't want it to frizz out. So, mom got herself a new doll 😋

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YYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY RIO! you are awesome, gir

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KirstenKitFan
KirstenKitFan
Sep 11, 2022

that's so neat! i saw pics of her at the ag store with claudie and they looked like twins! :D


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Congratulations Rio on being chosen as the model of Claudie. Continued success in your modeling ,acting and dance .

Marilyn and Marion

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