Posts in "clipping"
A Bite off the Big Apple

New York is a glamorous and gritty maze of dichotomy: from the Chanel-suit-wearing ladies of Park Avenue to the leather-wearing divas of downtown, there is huge gap.  The cultural (and financial) divide between the creative caldron that resides in Brooklyn and the refined and established richness of the West Village is increasingly apparent.  From Harlem to the Upper West Side, the distance is not long, but the differences are vast.

This complex labyrinth of opposites actually propels the machinery of the city and is, in fact, what makes New York City great.  New Yorkers remain creative, independent and powerful as always, continuously imbibed with the alchemy generated from its diverse population. This population, unlike any other I’ve seen, exudes camaraderie, compassion and colossal creativity.

Most New Yorkers have their favorite neighborhood and mine is SoHo.  From my abode I can observe all the greatness of this cosmic collection of counter culture.  Thousands of tourists walk these streets daily, searching for bargains on products not found in their native land.  Locals, who vie for sidewalk space, have learned to live in the midst of chaos.  Adding to the mix, are street vendors, paparazzi and hundreds of celebrities who aim to remain incognito.

Before moving here, I always thought SoHo was an unbearably messy and pretentious neighborhood.  Over time, I began to realize the charm hidden in its cobblestone streets and the historic cast iron buildings, which once were the homes and studios of virtuosos like Keith Haring, Maripol, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and Basquiat. These same buildings have evolved into something a little more mainstream and now house every major fashion brand.  Prada, Chanel, Alexander Wang and Catherine Malandrino are only some of fashion giants that make of this neighborhood an economic gem of the fashion world.

Over time I have learned to navigate the side streets, away from the crowds, and to discover hidden treasures of the locals.  From restaurants to spas, from local brands to obscure cafes, everything here has a special feel and a unique story to tell.  Once again, opposites sit side by side, smiling – the tiny, family-owned Italian café is around the corner from the home of $1800 shoes and $6000 handbags.  I prefer the café – espresso anyone?

Sadly, but no less exciting, my neighbors are no longer famous modern artists (most of whom are no longer with us), but young models, actors and singers.  Claire Danes, Justin Timberlake, Tyra Banks and Adam Sandler are just some of the people with whom I share my favorite spots.  At Café Café I make my daily stops in the morning to grab some iced tea.  At Ground Support I can’t pass on a grilled ham & cheese and a soy latte made to perfection.  At night, a stop by Butter or Indochine for a meal remains a sure bet.  There, an encounter with Anna Wintour, Madonna or Fran Leibovitz is a strong possibility.

A recent addition to the neighborhood is the beauty clinic Erno Laszlo, named after the legendary dermatologist
who is known for his miraculous lotions and potions.  Dr. Laszlo had royal treatment during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s – for it was in that time that he looked after the beauty of the queens of Hollywood’s silver screen.  Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner and Katherine Hepburn were part of a very select group to receive his attention.  For each of them he developed individual and secret formulas.  After nearly twenty years away from the public eye, the same team responsible for the celebrated Molton Brown has acquired the Erno Laszlo brand.  Inspired by Laszlo’s principles, this team hopes to restore the brand to what it used to be, a place in which its clients can expect the most exclusive treatment available anywhere, just like Marilyn did.

Perhaps one of the most talked about and sought after shops in the area is Treasure & Bond, part of the portfolio of Nordstrom. The appeal is its luxury items available for affordable prices in two gigantic floors.  Selling furniture, housewares, books and clothes for all ages, this store reserves all its profit for charity.  To make sure the wealth is distributed equally to those who in need, the charities change every six months

A stop for lunch is a must.  Along with 100 Acres and others, The Dutch is another new arrival and its American Cuisine doesn’t disappoint.  Starting with its freshly baked corn bread and onto fried chicken, every bite here feels like a little piece of heaven.

SoHo is also home to one of the cities most renowned and successful Japanese restaurants.  After more than twenty years, Blue Ribbon Sushi remains a favorite.  The absolute freshest fish make this highbrow restaurant one of the best.  Don’t be fooled by its discreet setting however, its permanence in this city is proof that the food is impeccable.

From dusk till dawn, breakfast to dinner, SoHo is imbued with so many magical qualities.  I have grown to adore this neighborhood.  Everything I need is only a few steps away and the word “subway” has vanished from my vocabulary.  SoHo proves to be one of the most perfectly evolved areas in town, maintaining its original character and charm, even as masses of tourists and wealthy developers make their way through the historic cobblestone streets.


--- This article was originally published in Portuguese in Parochi Magazine, in Brazil. ---
 
Art is Sacred
 
 
Interview by: Gabriel Ruas Santos-Rocha

As the Tunisian youth rebelled against the system to fight for their rights and reclaim their country, one of their most beautiful and recognizable young faces was about to step into a public whirlwind of her own. Kenza Fourati would become the first Arab model to ever be featured in the best selling Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The significance was immediately established by the magazine, which added a political quote to Kenza’s introductory page. The response from the media around the world, and especially from her own country, was immediate. In the process, Kenza was to become one of the faces of that young revolution.

Already an active participant in her country’s political struggles, Kenza now had enough influence with the media to spread the word and make more room for Tunisian issues across the planet. Very bold and outspoken, the model was never discouraged by her critics, who often created negative facebook groups or used Internet forums that spoke out against her and her message. Kenza’s goal was clear - the model was going to use her success and public persona to benefit her country and raise awareness to what it has to offer the world, and to bring attention to the arts and fashion.

While working relentlessly on putting together her fashion line called By Kenz, (which will be launched in Tunisia during Tunis Fashion Week in 2013) the model discovered other ways to connect the dots and kill two birds with one stone. With a degree in French literature from Sorbonne as well as lengthy studies in filmmaking, Kenza has a lot more to share with the world than just her looks.

Gabriel Ruas Santos-Rocha: What lead you to the idea of bringing Tunisian artists to America?
Kenza Fourati: Pride probably. No one ever talks about my tiny country. Yet it is shaking the face of the world. And I’m not talking only about the Arab spring. When I walked around the Occupy Wall Street movements I noticed several slogans inspired by the Tunisian uprising. After revoking censorship, when the word became suddenly free, creativity erupted. New York is the conjuncture for artists. I have the duty to help building the bridge and exposing both of my worlds.

How do you expect to start bridging the gap between the East and the West?
The strongest weapon ever created is the Internet. There is no real geography anymore, just cultures to share. So I decided to launch a fashion blog this month that will also promote art and culture here and there.

How do you think Tunisia can benefit from the work you’re doing?
Tunisia is at an edge, it’s sculpting its destiny, its history; with the fundamentalists trying to establish dogmas everywhere. I want to expose people to new cultures, photography, etc.

Who are some of the artists who inspired you to start this work?
There are so many, but recently I met this young Graffiti artist called MeenOne, who is truly fascinating. First by the way he looks; he has dreadlocks. In Tunisia it is really rare to allow yourself to look “marginal”. People aren’t used to it and you are confronted constantly with harsh comments. Authorities will arrest you for questioning and so on. The irony is that it used to be people with long beards who looked suspicious. Then there is also the fact that he (MeenOne) grew up in a poor region of the country ruled by the extremists. Actually, his brother is a Salafist (Jihadist movement). MeenOne used to tag all over the country wearing a mask and after the revolution he showed his face, then he showed his work in an exhibit last June. The exhibit was considered an insult to the sacred. Some fundamentalists called for his death and it was his Salafist brother and the neighborhood he grew up in that ended up protecting him. I didn’t know him personally at that time, but I was stunned by what happened. For me, freedom is sacred above everything, and so is art. So, I started looking for an artist to work on an “Art is Sacred” theme for my website and my clothing line and came across MeenOne, and I found him to be extremely talented. I had no idea he was involved in the exhibit scandal at the time. I had already become obsessed with Graffiti when I went to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and discovered Pamela Castro’s work.

And how will you bring that work over to the west?
First through my online platform, and later on I hope to bring it to another level and allow some awesome art to be physically shown here.

How involved were you during the Tunisian revolution?
When the turmoil intensified I asked my family for their permission to start publishing articles and videos connected to the subject and they allowed me to do it. They really are the brave ones because the danger was really for them. I got even more involved when my friend, who is an activist, got arrested and disappeared. His wife reached out to me and it was right at the beginning, on January 6th, 2011. I decided to stop everything that I was doing and only focus on the history that was being made in my country.

What about the revolution made you happy?
I felt infinitely proud. But I felt a kind of pride I had never felt before. Pride is a very individualist feeling, but back then it was a completely selfless collectively shared feeling of pride. I am quite moved and amazed by it. This revolution belongs to all of us. We are the revolution.

Were you ever afraid of any negative religious or political backlash due to your participation in these movements?
At the time, yes I was afraid of the political backlash my family could suffer. There was no question of religion at the time, but that problem came later and is actually very current today.

What do you still expect to see happening for your country?
Democracy is still unfolding. We are navigating through what is accepted and what is not, and having fundamentalists in power doesn’t help.

Do you feel that being a model was or still could be a problem for you in your country?
Yes, it sure is now, but it never used to be. I am extremely controversial in the country as its been getting more and more conservative.

Is there anything you think you would do differently in your career?
Last year I shot a cover for a magazine wearing a bikini and my body was covered by a Victor Hugo poem. I loved the idea and the poem preaching love and tolerance, but the magazine edited it in an aggressively provocative way and it delivered the wrong message. So yes, that would be the only thing I would do differently. I was too naive back then.

How about your clothing line? What are the links with Tunisia there?
First of all I am manufacturing my entire collection locally. People may not know that, but many of the great fashion houses like Giorgio Armani and Zadig & Voltaire make their products in Tunisia. So I will be using those same factories. The quality of my product is very important and my main concern. I will also be launching my first collection during Tunis Fashion Week in April of 2013.

Originally published on VAGA magazine.
Designing Woman
For my last Model Musing column with Look Books I had the opportunity to speak to one of China's rising stars, Tian Yi. A smart girl, Tian studied fashion and hopes to take full advantage of her modeling career to eventually go into creating designs of her own.

Have a read and enjoy getting to know this lovely girl by clicking HERE or simply read below.


Model Musing: Tian Yi

  Tian Yi is one of those girls who seem to have luck on her side. She was discovered by her agency on the modeling website models.com by pictures she submitted. Since then her career path was paved with bookings for top fashion magazines and designers. 
From the established brand names, Vogue and Bazaar to the edgy i-D and 10 magazine; the editorial goes hand in hand with the work Tian has been showing on the runway. Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent, Prada and Marc by Marc Jacobs are counterbalanced by rising stars like Alexis Mabille, Phillip Lim, Dries Van Noten and Rad Hourani. Graced this season with the campaigns for Vera Wang and Sephora, Tian’s path in this industry seems to be heading in the right direction and one that will keep her in the center of what she loves the most: fashion. 
Tian has been given the opportunity to see from the inside how it is to create an entire collection and bring it to the runway, an experience that will surely be helpful since she would like to soon start focusing on launching a collection of her own.
Here Tian picks her favorite modeling image and tells us why it’s so special.
Why do you love this picture?
Because I was happy to be able to work with a great team and these fabulous girls!
Who were the other models in this shoot?
It was me and five other girls: Liu Wen, Xiao Wen, Lindsey, Marie and Daria. They were so nice to me and I has really happy to be able to work with them.
Who took it? Were you excited to work with this photographer?
Inez and Vinoodh . Of course, so excited and I had the opportunity to learn a lot from this shoot!
How long was this shoot?
A day and a half, because i had to leave early on the second day to finish my school exams.
What direction did the photographer give you?
They just let me be myself and were very nice.
What was it for?
It was for the cover of Vogue China’s September issue.
What were you wearing?
I was wearing Louis Vuitton and a huge hat on the cover. I also wore a beautiful skirt for the editorial inside the magazine, I loved it!
What about this profession makes you the happiest?
The opportunity to travel around world and see a lots of different cities and also I really enjoy the opportunities to make new friends, eat some delicious food that I never tried before, that’s the most fun and cool part!
What have you learned from your career that you consider truly valuable?
I learned to be patient. Sometimes you have to wait a long time for things to happen, but you have to be patient and you will have an opportunity to show yourself. You have to be patient about your career.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
I would tell them to just be themselves and be confident, that is it; and welcome to fashion!
Do you see yourself doing something else in the future?
I love dressing up for the big fashion houses and I love fashion; in the future I would love to be a designer for one of those great brands. 
What were some of the challenges you conquered as a model? 
I’m more confident when I talk to people, I’ve also learned to be comfortable outside of my comfort zone. I actually love when I have challenges to face.
Tian Yi is represented by Fusion Model Management


From Tunisia, with Love.
This week find out more about the Tunisian model who is planning on turning the tables for some Tunisian artists in the New York art scene.

Follow the link or read below.




Model Musing: Kenza Fourati

A product of the world famous Elite Model Look competition, Kenza Fourati was the first Tunisian to enter the competition. Even though she comes from a very progressive family, Kenza’s parents had a hard time understanding how modeling could be an actual job and were afraid of what the future of her daughter could turn out like being in such a different cultural environment. After long hours of discussion it was finally agreed that Kenza would go to Paris to give it a try. 

From fashion publications like Vogue, L’Officiel, Elle and GQ to the top selling pages of Sports Illustrated, Kenza has climbed to the top echelons of the industry and has embraced the world with an open mind.

Currently living in New York city, Kenza is working on launching her own fashion label while working on her most bold and heartwarming project; an online community to bridge the cultural gap between the Middle East and the Western world through art.


Was modeling a dream for you or did it just happened by chance?

Well, it was so uncommon (in Tunisia) that I really never thought of it for half a second, it was all a happy accident.

What were your most remarkable experiences as a model?

All my “first times”; my first show, my first fashion week, my first casting, my first time in front of the camera, with the responsibility of a crew working around you. Then you understand it’s more than fun, it’s a job and you have to be the best you can.

Is there anything that bothers you in this business?

The lack of control; I’m a control freak, but this job is really like George Berkeley’s quote, “To be is to be perceived”, and that s very frustrating!

What have you learned from your career that you consider truly valuable?

At a young age I understood you have to be your very own knight in shining armor. I can be in an alien place alone and I can handle it with no fear. Thanks to modeling, I know now that I am a capable person.

What advice would you give to aspiring models?

Don’t loose sight of who you are. You will meet tons of people who will judge you and project all kinds of fantasies on you but at the end, you are the only one who truly knows who you are.

What were your biggest challenges as a model?

Coming from an Arab Muslim country with no real visibility of the future and as a model to keep it true to who I am.

What is you favorite modeling image?

A portrait taken by Cedric Buchet for Vogue Paris, I find it to be very powerful.

Were you excited to work with him?

I have always loved his work and I loved how he perceived me. Not only is he an awesome photographer but he is also a great guy.

Where was it taken?

We shot in the middle of the road in Chinatown in New York. I’m 5’11 and was wearing sky-high heels and a see-through top; let me tell you, there was a lot of staring happening!

Who was the stylist?

Julia Von Boehm. I work very often with her, she has the most incredible energy and speaks (what seems to be) two thousands languages.

Any wardrobe malfunctions in that shoot?

I was freezing, so that’s a malfunction to me!!

What was the theme of the shoot?

The diversity of faces in France: Black, White, Beur (North African origins), ...

The Best There Ever Was
Here is my latest article for Look Books, on the superb book Antonio - Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco. The book was edited by Mauricio and Roger Padilha, of MAO PR, for Rizzoli and is a must read. Read below or view the original by clicking here.


Antonio Lopez

Antonio Lopez’s name may sound foreign to you, or it may ring a bell or two, but you still won’t be able to place it. Maybe you won’t have heard of it at all. The brothers Mauricio and Roger Padilha hope to set the record straight with their book, Antonio - Fashion, Art, Sex & Disco (Rizzoli, 2012).

Antonio Lopez is one of, if not the most, famous and influential fashion illustrator to ever cross the earth. His world was inhabited by some of the world’s most brilliant and seductive creatures; from Halston, Karl Lagerfeld and Andy Warhol to Pat Cleveland, Jessica Lange and Jerry Hall. They were all struck by the innovative eye of Antonio Lopez. Alongside his lifelong creative partner, Juan Ramos, Antonio was able to give flight to his dreams and visions of beauty. Juan made it all possible, he put order to Antonio’s passion and gave it direction.

The importance and influence of this creative duo in the fashion and the art worlds, lives on and cannot be denied. For over three decades the work of Lopez and Ramos had transcended medias and hadn’t lived only on paper but in the collective conscience and daily life of fashionistas throughout the globe. Antonio and Juan put art and fashion side by side for the first time through the innovative and bold approach in their work, and soon enough there wouldn’t be a single living being who wasn’t touched by the end result of their creative efforts.

Antonio’s illustrations were featured on magazine covers, fashion editorials, advertising campaigns and even came to life on the runway, as clothes. Their visionary influence touched the likes of Anna Sui, Norma Kamali and Karl Lagerfeld. Those who crossed their paths would not leave their side and every day was treated as if it was an opening night at the most seductive club in town; life for these beautiful children of the world was a cabaret.

After creating the best selling art book of 2009, The Stephen Sprouse Book, the brothers Padilha took time to work in this remarkable book, that will transport you to a place in which everything that is beautiful, is possible. Here is what they have to say about their book.


How do you choose your subjects among so many interesting and enticing things to write about in fashion? 

Mauricio: Our motivation for the book, as with our previous tome on Stephen Sprouse, was to acknowledge and credit the work of an influential artist who seems to have been forgotten over the years. Antonio Lopez was one of the most famous and influential artists in the fashion world during the 60s, 70s, and 80s but it seemed that while his influence is still around, knowledge of him or his life was not prevalent.

Is this book also an homage to Juan Ramos, seeing as he was so present in Antonio’s life and work?

Roger: Absolutely. In the first chapter of the book, we very clearly state that "Antonio" was actually the work of two men working side by side. Antonio Lopez and Juan Ramos met at F.I.T and worked together for 25 years. While Antonio was the genius illustrator, Juan was the one who directed the drawings and worked on the business end of things. Juan Ramos was integral to Antonio's success and they both made a decision early on to just publicize Antonio solely, but everything really was a collaboration between the two of them.

What do you hope to achieve with this book?

Mauricio: Growing up, we were both so inspired and awed by Antonio's work and we hope that future generations will get to experience the magic of his art. 

Roger: We also wanted to showcase Antonio as an artist and not just as a commercial illustrator. Aside from the illustrations, Antonio was a master photographer, a stylist, and also responsible for discovering many of the world's most famous faces such as Jerry Hall, Grace Jones, and Jessica Lange. He influenced many designers such  as Karl Lagerfeld and Norma Kamali and his influence is still being felt today.

Were there ever any difficulties when doing research for this book? I can imagine there was pretty vast material available...

Roger: Not too many. We were lucky to befriend Paul Caranicas who holds the rights to the Antonio Archives many years ago and he trusted us and knew that we were going to be respectful of the truth. Also, Juan Ramos outlived Antonio for 8 years and during this time he (among other things) organized the archives so we didn't have too much trouble identifying subjects or finding the most iconic images. The one difficulty was the vast amount of materials available to us. Everything Antonio did from a finished work to a doodle on a napkin was exquisite so it was difficult to edit down what we wanted to put in a book. We had 304 pages which we jam-packed with images but honestly we could do 10 books with the amazing work that is in the archives!

Does Antonio have any influence in your daily work?

Mauricio: Yes. Antonio lived his work. There was no real separation between his social life, personal life, and work life--it was all one and the same. And we to a certain extent behave the same; when you love what you do, you don't want it to end after you leave the office!

There was a fearless and daring quality to Antonio's work, who in your opinion has been doing the same thing over the past fifteen years?

Roger: There are so many talented people such as Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Rick Owens, the women behind Rodarte, Carine Roitfeld, Steven Klein; but they are all very specific and working within one field. There doesn't seem to be so many people who work in various medias doing the same thing. Maybe Madonna...

By breaking boundaries and pushing the envelope with his work, do you believe that Antonio was also a strong influencer in fashion and a trend setter?

Both: Absolutely! You tell us after seeing the book!


Biologic Clock
Who could ever imagine that the same model who was once featured on more than 40 covers of Cosmopolitan magazine would turn into a biologist? I certainly couldn't, but in this week's Model Musing I had the opportunity to chat with the stunning Fabiana Tambosi to find out what's so attractive about genes and cells.

Follow the link for the original post or simply read below.


Model Musing: Fabiana Tambosi


Born and raised in a small town in the countryside of Brazil, Fabiana Tambosi wanted to go to school to study biology. While going to etiquette classes when she was fourteen, Fabiana was spotted by the same scouter who discovered Gisele Bundchen and Alessandra Ambrosio, so the outcome could only be one.
With a modeling career that spans more than 12 years, she has become one of the most sought after beauty models in the industry, signing contracts with every major brand in the world: L’Oreal Paris, Elizabeth Arden, Clarins, Garnier, Revlon, Almay and Clairol, to name a few.
Her Brazilian beauty caught the eye of great photography masters like Mario Testino Raphael Mazucco and Ellen Von Unwerth who have shot her for prestigious jobs such as the Victoria’s Secret catalog and campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Guess by Marciano and Alfred Dunhill Fragrance. Tambosi has graced the covers of top selling magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Marie Claire in several different countries, but probably one of her most remarkable achievements is having appeared on more Cosmopolitan magazine covers than any other model.
Today, Fabiana pursues her dream of becoming a biologist and proves through very hard work, that it is possible to hold the highest grades in her class and still maintain a successful and fruitful career as one of the world’s top models.

So modeling wasn’t really in your radar?
Not at all, I wanted to be a biologist, but my sisters kept telling me that it would be a great opportunity to travel the world and get to know other cultures and learn other languages as well as making money and becoming a more responsible and independent person, because I was very over protected at home.
How did your parents react when you told them about the opportunity to model?
They didn’t want me to do it at all, but my older sisters reminded them that if I were to go to school for biology I would have to leave home anyway. They gave me a year to try modeling and I started working from the moment I stepped into Sao Paulo.
What have you learned since you embraced your modeling career?
I’ve learned that I have to be in charge of my own life. You have to pick goals and work very hard towards achieving them without ever losing sight of what you want. I love the person I have become, I had financial freedom from a young age and became very responsible early on. Traveling the world has taught me a lot, but above all, it has taught me to be disciplined  because without discipline things don’t always work out. 
Is there a job you absolutely would not do?
I would not be photographed naked, I would feel weird about my family seeing it.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
I would tell them they should know what they want, they need to be disciplined and have a lot of patience to achieve it.
What is your favorite image from your modeling career?
The cover of Vogue Greece, shot in Rio de Janeiro in 2001.
Why do you love it?
Because it was shot in Rio, with beautiful natural light and no retouching.
Who took it?
Thanassis Kaloyannis 
What were you thinking when the picture was taken? 
I was thinking I wanted to look gorgeous for the magazine to sell a lot! (laughs)

Fabiana is represented by Elite Model Management in the United States and Ten Model Management in Brazil.
Full Frontal
This week, Model Musing would be giving full frontal if the website wasn't G-rated. I took the liberty of posting the actual picture which Samuel de Cubber was talking about, here in my blog. He is really proud of it and I didn't want to keep any of you from seeing why.

Follow the link for the original interview on Look Books or read below.




Model Musing: Samuel de Cubber

Nudity in the modeling industry has always been a big topic for discussion, but for Samuel de Cubber, it is nothing but his proudest moment. His big career break came in the form of a campaign for an Yves Saint Laurent fragrance, in which he was asked to pose wearing nothing but fragrance. 
Samuel knows the ins and outs of the modeling career and believes it’s a blessed one; “If you are a very successful male model you work three to four times a week at the most, so there’s plenty of time to enjoy life!” says de Cubber.
The top male model, who has traveled the world shooting with some of the most beautiful girls in paradisiac locations now takes from all the experience and networking he gathered through the years  and is applying it to another end of the industry.  Today Samuel works as a model scout for one of France’s leading modeling agencies, New Madison. Looking ahead, Samuel contemplates the possibility of working in the health and fitness industry: “I want to open up gyms, promoting boxing and Taekwondo as the best way to lead a healthy and happy life.” - And if he continues to take advantage of his body like he did in his modeling career, we don’t see any reason why his gyms wouldn’t be packed.
Once you were discovered, did you have support from your family?
I didn't need anyone’ s approval or support, growing up in Marseille you take every opportunity  you get to improve your life.
Was modeling a dream for you or did it just happened by chance?
I had no idea  guys could be models, I got lucky. 
What have you learned from your career that you consider truly valuable?
I learned that I am my own business, therefore I became the greatest sales person ever! (laughs) In that respect I am the product and this not only can be applied to modeling but also to my every day life. I have also  learned a great deal about myself, I  learned to recognize my good and bad sides, and that ability, I owe to the modeling business.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
Don’t believe everything people say, learn to listen and make your own opinion, be patient and organized  and also, save money when you are lucky enough to make some!
Do you love fashion?
Not really, I wear T-shirts and jeans all the time, nothing else. 
What was your biggest challenge as a model? 
Not much of a challenge there, I always get very upset when I hear models complaining about their job; no one is forcing them to do this and if they had any other job in their life before modeling they would realize how easy they got it compared to anyone else.  
Why do you love that fragrance campaign?
Because I’m naked on it, and there’s nothing better than being naked (laughs)! No, seriously, it profoundly changed my life, I don't know of many pictures that were able to change someone’s life so much, I had no idea what I was stepping into when I took that job. 
Who took it? Were you excited to work with that photographer?
Solve Sundsbo took it, but I had no idea who he was.
Who else was in the crew?
From what I recall it was Tom Ford , Solve and his assistants, Sam McKnight and Thomas Lenthal on the set. 
What direction did the photographer give you?
Solve is really cool, we spoke a lot the day before the shoot and he showed me pictures of Greek statues and similar references, so once we were on the shoot we just went with the flow and tried a few different things, until Tom, Solve and Thomas where happy with it. 
What was it for?
The fragrance M7 by Yves Saint Laurent.
A Love Affair in Tiffany Blue
I have once again interviewed the artist Danny Roberts. This time we talked about his collaboration with the iconic jewelry brand Tiffany & Co. Have a look at the original after the jump or below.



Tiffany & Co.'s Love Affair with Art


When Tiffany & Co. decided to settle in a new location in the heart of SoHo, they also came with a set of fresh ideas, in a concept that attracts attention to their upcoming store without advertising it, in low key and elegant manner, like the brand itself. Tiffany commissioned  four artists to paint their massive store front on 97 Greene street: Danielle Dimston, Ellis Gallagher, Danny Roberts and Natasha Law; each creating something in their own vision and style. The first three artists showed between July 16th and August 17th; and Natasha Law, is showing between August 18th and 27th. On Fashion’s Night Out the artists  will mix with the usual hurly-burly of fashion when videos and photos of all of the artistic productions will be displayed at the store.
The only requirement for the artists was that they showed their interpretation of what love is and that the iconic color “Tiffany Blue” should be incorporated in their work. Love is not a theme that is foreign to the company, which is probably the brand that is more associated with romance than any other in its field.  As for the color requirement; well, ask any woman how they’d feel if they got a box in Tiffany Blue as a gift and there will be your answer. For the moment though, see what Danny Roberts has to say about his collaboration.

How did you come up with the concept for this mural?
Since the theme of Love is an essential part of the Tiffany and Co. brand, they wanted the theme to be my interpretation of love. My first thought was of a guy and a girl in love, and the girl wearing a dress in Tiffany Blue. From there, the picture began to center around things I love. Since I love painting, couture and high fashion collections, I thought to incorporate that into the composition. The guys clothes were inspired by 1837 which was the year Tiffany's was founded. Also, I love castles and old architecture, so I decided to set the picture in a palace.  
Were you nervous about producing something in such a large scale?
Yes, definitely, but it's something that I am a little used to. Whenever I try something different, there is a nervous excitement that comes with it, but it's a feeling I actually love.
Are any of the characters in your painting inspired by people in your life?
Yes, not all of them, but a few. The guys, for the most part, were referenced off of me, just because it was the most convenient. Some of the girls were inspired by Lily Cole, Ali Michael, and Sophie and Gemma Ward. I chose them because they are girls I am used to drawing, and I really enjoy drawing them.
Anything curious happened while you were working on it?
Not really, except that the brand had asked me to sign my name in the mural in the back of the store, where the two other artists had already signed too and the whole wall was tagged by graffiti artists, so I had to climb all the way to the top to sign. I think they saw Ellis’s signature (which resembles a tag) and felt inspired. (laughs)

You can also follow Danny Roberts and Igor & Andre on Twitter.

Light Blue
The Model Musing column this week features Daniela Lopes and her memorable ad for Dolce & Gabbana's fragrance Light Blue, shot by none other than Mario Testino.

Have a read after the jump or below.




Model Musing: Daniela Lopes

Daniela Lopes had never imagined she could be a model. In fact, Daniela wasn’t even aware of what models did or who they were so, naturally, when she was approached on the street by the mother of a model and invited to join a modeling agency she set out to do some research on the subject. As a fourteen year old she was taken by a teenage magazine and immediately swept away by the images in those pages. That was it, a love affair of more than fifteen years with fashion had begun.
With campaigns such as Roberto Cavalli, Alberta Ferretti, D&G and L’Oreal under her belt as well as covers for the top selling magazines like Vogue, W and Elle, Daniela continues to work steadily in an industry that can be ruthless about age. With an appetite for the new, Daniela has also explored possibilities in the fields of interior design and acting, while she works on making time to fully dedicate herself to her true dream: journalism.
Here we explore some of Daniela’s modeling memories and have a look at her favorite image from a long and successful career.

Did you have support from you family?
All the way, my mother especially, she was always there, even when I was miles away, oceans apart, she was there, and the entire family celebrated every new job, a new magazine editorial or an ad.
What about this profession makes you the happiest?
The opportunities I have had so far,  I learned new languages, traveled all over the world, met different people; great people! It has been great to understand and live with different cultures and keep an open mind. It’s a huge opportunity for a girl from Brazil. I also learned a lot about taking care of myself physically and mentally; being away from home for so long can be really hard on us. The financial  side of this profession is also great as it allows me to help my family. But at the end of the day what makes me the happiest is a job well done. 
And the most disappointed?
That even though we travel to the most amazing places in the world, we are always on our own. I wish I could have a loved one with me to share the beauty and experience of those places.
What were your most remarkable experiences as a model?
I can’t pin point a specific job or anything like that, but what the modeling career has provided me. I have to say living in New York and enjoying the practical, fast paced lifestyle that I adore has been fantastic. I have also lived in Paris several years ago, and that was just remarkable, I will always have those years in my heart, forever.
What have you learned from your career that you consider truly valuable?
A sense of fashion? (laughing) Just kidding, but yes that too! But truly, I’ve learned to be humble, always.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
Do your homework when searching for a modeling agency. Plus, really look into the business you’re getting into in order to find out what it really is like, as it is not for everyone. Can you picture yourself wearing a heavy winter coat on the most hot and humid day of the summer for a shoot? Or being away from your family for months? Being a model is not only what you see in the magazines, there is a lot of hard work behind it, and if you do want to be a model, be yourself, believe in yourself, and always remember where you came from. The world is waiting for you.
What's your biggest challenge as a model? 
To make time for myself.
So tell me, why do you love this picture?
Because even though it was for a fragrance campaign, it doesn’t look like a fragrance ad. Also, there is just me, my face nude and clean, nothing else to embellish.
Who was the photographer?
Mario Testino was the photographer, and even though I had previously worked with him for V magazine, I was as excited and nervous as the first time.
How long did this shoot last?
The shoot was done in less then  three  hours!
What direction did the photographer give you?
“Think of your boyfriend, think that you are seducing him...”  Or something like that... (laughs)
What was it for?
A new fragrance from Dolce & Gabbana that was coming out, called “Light Blue”
What were you wearing?
My jeans and a bra from D&G. I also had a lot of Vaseline on my face and upper body and my hair kept getting caught on it all the time.
What was the theme of the shoot?
I don’t think there was a theme, I can’t remember, but even if there was one I wouldn’t have known, my English was so limited back then and Mario’s Portuguese too...

Daniela Lopes is represented by Elite Model Management.
The Pig and the Muse
This week's Model Musing involves a pig and a lot of laughter. Have a look at what the model-photographer Zuzana Lettrichova has to say after the jump, or below.




Model Musing: Zuzana Lettrichova
Being tall and skinny can be a torture for many teenagers, as Zuzana Lettrichova puts it, “it wasn’t exactly one of the beauty standards when growing up”; so modeling was definitely not in her radar. When she was approached by a model scout while roaming the streets of her home town in Slovakia she was surprised, but the support of her family played a big role in making the final decision to embrace this opportunity.
As Zuzana took off to explore the world, the only thing she absolutely could not forget to do every day was to call her mother, “to make sure her little daughter was ok and alive” as she reminisces.
Currently, Zuzana spends most of her time between Paris and Manhattan, where she calls home and explores more of her artistic side by taking photographs and making collages, a craft that she has grown to love.
Here we have an opportunity to find what Zuzana’s favorite modeling image is and why.

Why do you love this picture?
Because it’s a photo of a spontaneous and real moment; even now when I look at it, it makes me smile.
Who took it? Were you excited to work with this photographer?
Danish photographer Torkil Gudnason and some of the photos from this shoot ended up in his book "Torkil Gudnason - Selected Photographs 2005-2010"
What was so curious about this shoot in particular?
The presence of a 3 weeks old baby pig! It was a really fun job, it doesn’t happen so often that I shoot with animals, it brings a different vibe to the whole shoot and you never know what will happen because you can’t really control them.
Who else was in the crew?
Muriel VanCauwen for hair and Anne-Caroline Ayotfor make up.
What were you thinking when it was taken?
“Do not  drop him!”;  he was moving a lot and every time he was uncomfortable he started squealing super loud.
What direction did the photographer give you?
He said I should bring lots of energy and expressions, but he also gave me freedom to do my thing. I don’t think too much direction is necessarily a good thing.
What was it for?
French Marie Claire
Who was the stylist?
Laurence Alexandre
What were you wearing?
Victor & Rolf dress
What has modeling taught you about the fashion world that you didn’t know?
That as fun and glamorous as this industry looks like, it’s still a business!
What have you learned from your career that you consider truly valuable?
Being independent, confident and open minded.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
Always have something else going on,  it is a very up and down kind of business so its important to have other activities and do something valuable with your spare time.
What would be your ultimate modeling job?
A big cosmetic contract or perfume campaign.
Is there a job that you absolutely would not do?
I can’t say what I would never do because it all depends on the situation and circumstances of  the job...

To see Zuzana's photography and art work check out her blog. Zuzana is represented by Trump Models.
Comb
How many people can say they had their pubic hair combed by Tom Ford? Not many, but the subject of this week's Model Musing column certainly can. Have a read after the jump or below to find out more about Christopher Camplin.




Model Musing: Christopher Camplin

Christopher Camplin is your regular handsome English bloke, a web developer who lives in London, he is also the perfect tale of the accidental model. Approached by identical twins at an after hours club one night, he was asked whether he would like to be presented as an option for a shoot with Tom Ford. At the time it didn’t seem like a bad idea, and it turns out he was in fact chosen for the part. Being naked in GQ was not what he was thinking when he signed up for this gig, but after a few shots of vodka he was ready to have Tom Ford combing his body hair, and as Norma Desmond would say, he was ready for his close up.
With a modeling career that was kicked off with one of the biggest blessings in a very  exclusive industry, Christopher’s path was set. A collection of selective and high end bookings have followed since then, always in parallel with his work as a web developer, as well as stints as a DJ here and there. Here he picks his favorite picture as a model and tells us a little bit more about his thoughts on the industry.
Do you think modeling is perceived by society in a different way for men than it is for women?
Not specifically, I don’t think society’s perception of female and male models is particularly different, models often seem to be regarded as unintelligent regardless of their sex.
Was modeling ever a dream of yours?
It was never something I’d really considered, I was scouted purely by chance and it gradually snow balled from there. I never expected to get more work after each job in the beginning. I still wonder now!
What were your most remarkable experiences as a model?
I would have to say Tom Ford combing my pubic hair or walking down on an elevated travelator for Walter Van Beirendonck’s “Dream The World Awake” video for a retrospective of his work.
So why is this image your favorite?
This was a recent shoot I did , for Lee Paton’s latest collection. I mostly love it because I got to work with the Huskies, they were beautiful and really well behaved.
Who took it?
The photographer was Lee Roberts, always a pleasure to work with - a lovely man.
What were you thinking when this picture was being taken?
“I want to own some Huskies.”
Was there a theme for the shoot?
The theme of the collection was an arctic exhibition.
Is there any advice you would like to share with aspiring models?
I didn’t really make any effort to become a model so I can’t advise on that, but... learn to be comfortable in your own skin and accept yourself is the advice I would give.

Christopher is represented by Models 1.
Supermodel of the World
This week's Model Musing column on Look Books features the Brazilian stunner Liliane Ferrarezi.

Check it out by clicking here.



Model Musing: Liliane Ferrarezi

At the young age of fourteen, Liliane was instantly catapulted to fame in her native Brazil when she won (over 350,000 other contestants) her country’s round of the Ford Supermodel of the World contest in a televised event that aired on MTV. A position as the second runner up, out of 45 finalists, in the world’s final in Punta Cana followed, as well as an immediate contract with Ford Models worldwide. Talk about starting off with a bang. 
In the Big Apple, Liliane’s career rocketed to the top. Campaigns for Hermes, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Miu Miu and Michael Kors, among others followed; along with covers and editorials for some of the world’s most celebrated magazines like Vogue, W, L’Officiel, Allure, Elle, I-D and V - all shot by the industry’s top photographers. Liliane reached a top position in models.com’s coveted top 50 - place in which she stayed for more than three years in a row. 
Now married and back to the arms of her native Brazil, Liliane only comes out of her beach front home in Florianópolis for very special bookings. Macy’s was the most recent, in which she is the leading lady in an all things Brazil commercial that is an homage to the beauty of her native country. For this one, she didn’t have to go too far; the location was an iconic house designed by Brazil’s most renowned architect, Oscar Niemeyer, in Rio de Janeiro.
Here Liliane picks one among so many memorable images from her career and tells us why this one is particularly important to her.
Why do you love this picture?
This was one of my first bookings, I had to make different faces and poses and that was all new and challenging at the same time. I didn’t know how to model and I was surrounded by so many influential people in the fashion industry.
Who took it?
It was David Sims, he always asks us to make so many different poses and faces. (laughs)
What was it for?
W Magazine
Was this a long shoot given your level of experience?
I’m not sure how long, but it was a long, long shoot. I didn’t know how to model properly and having to pose in so many different ways was a little complicated at the time 
Was anyone else with you?
My mom; I was so embarrassed to shoot in front of her! (laughs) But she was always with me in the beginning, she gave me so much support in my career, and I was so young.
Was modeling always a dream of yours?
I wanted to be a model, but I wasn’t desperate about it.
What was your most remarkable experience as a model?
Winning the Supermodel of the World contest in Brazil, because in my head I never thought I would win, it really was a surprise!
What are some of the most valuable lessons you learned from being a model?
Giving value to my family, my country and learning different cultures from different countries are some important ones. I also learned to be more patient, because one of the qualities we have to exercise the most in this profession is patience 
What about this profession makes you happy?
Getting to know different people from different parts of the world. It made me grow up really fast, faster than all the other girls my age.
What’s your biggest challenge as a model?
I really wish a could live in Brazil full time and still get to work in the US and in Europe as much as I always did. This is my current challenge. I suppose this is what makes life fun and interesting, always having new challenges to conquer; I am sure pretty soon I will have a brand new one!
Can you give an advice to the young girls out there who dream of becoming models?
Trust your dream and pursue it. Never think it will be easy, because it really isn’t, but don’t give up, because it’s all worth it.
Liliane Ferrarezi is represented by IMG Models.
Proud Legend
Out today on Look Books is an interview I did with the legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson.

Have a read by clicking here.


Beverly Johnson: Proud to be a Legend

Many people are iconic but only a few are legendary and not many of these legends are alive to tell their stories. Today, Beverly Johnson is more active in her professional and personal life than ever. With a career that spans more than 40 years of history, Mrs. Johnson is a shining beacon of the modeling industry.
Being the first African American woman to be featured on the cover of Vogue, Beverly was given an opportunity to make a difference in the world not only for women of color, but to women in general. Proving that a successful modeling career goes beyond good looks, Beverly became the first “modelpreneur” launching books and a hair care and beauty line in partnership with Target. 
Most recently Beverly added to her credits her very own reality TV show, entitled “Beverly’s Full House”, in which the development of her company and the relationship with her daughter Anansa are open for public viewing in what has become OWN’s second most watched show of the season.
What drove you to do this docu-series on OWN?
It was the perfect opportunity to have my daughter around me. I knew that my daughter would never consent to going into therapy or any of the other things I had been involved with all these years, and she loves reality shows, she got me into reality TV, so she was thrilled with the whole idea, and that’s why I pitched  Oprah , it was a great way to get closer to my daughter and work in our relationship. 
So, now you are working on this docu-series on your life and company, but looking back on your career you have been in film, now you are on TV, you’ve done runway, you’ve done advertising and more. What are the mediums that you worked with throughout your career that excite you the most?
Today digital media is something that really excites me, I love the podcasts, I read several blogs, I tweet, I Facebook; it’s really about sharing your feelings with people and there is a connection there. I believe that the internet has really made us able to connect with each other like we never have before.
Can you point out a moment in your career in which you look back and you say “this is it, now I have everything I could have asked for and I am happy!”?
I knew that being the first woman of color in the cover of Vogue was something that nobody would ever be able to take away from me because I was the first and Vogue was and still is such an important media, not only in fashion but in the culture of America. So I always said that if I never get to do anything else, I have achieved a huge accomplishment! And that was in the beginning of my career, so it was all uphill from there.
How did it make you feel; were you blown away? Because when you went to shoot the editorial, did you know it was going to be a cover? 
No, in those days you never knew you would be the cover until you saw yourself in the stand. But I knew it was a big deal, it still is a big deal to be on the cover of Vogue, but I didn’t know what it meant to be the first woman of color on that cover, and what it meant for people of color around the world. I wasn’t prepared for that kind of responsibility to be thrust upon me at such a young age, but it gave me a purpose and kind of a road map of where I should go and how I should honor that achievement.
How do you feel about being called a legend, are you proud of the title?
What's not to like!? It's an honor to be acknowledged for your passion and work in life.

Beverly Johnson is represented by Trump Legends. 
Follow Beverly Johnson on twitter at @BeverlyJohnson1 and check out her website by clicking here


Influencer

Influencer of a Generation

The year was 1983, and the collaboration between Maripol and Madonna would enter history to become one of the most legendary and iconic trends in history. The punk influenced look, composed mainly by rubber jewelry and crosses created by Maripol for Madonna’s Like a Virgin album cover and music video became a fashion phenomenon however, that was just one among many projects in which Maripol had her hands on.

With a sharp eye for fashion and innovation, Maripol was not only styling looks but creating art and new concepts of her own. Working for Fiorucci as a creative director, she was responsible for all the buzz around their then famous New York store, which rocketed their designer jeans concept to fame. “We brought in Lamé Jeans on monday and by wednesday we didn’t have anymore left. Even Calvin Klein said he got inspired to do jeans by Fiorucci”, observes the artist.

The innovative rubber jewelry worn by the likes of Madonna and Grace Jones were completely created by Maripol in her NoHo apartment, in which she still lives today. The pieces became a hit, Maripol opened her own store and also worked on developing special merchandising for Madonna’s tour. On the flip side, becoming such a huge style icon back in an era  when copyright and patents weren’t really a priority, led Maripol’s company to a closure. “How can you survive when millions of people start making their most horrible supposedly rubber jewelry, which was actually made out of plastic? Mine was made of genuine rubber. I had a factory in Hong Kong, I had this dream to help the rubber industry in places like Malaysia and helping poor people by giving them work. Nobody else had that dream, it was pure greed! Now I know how it must feel to be Prada or others and see your knock off’s everywhere!”

Even though bankruptcy wasn’t ideal, it definitely did not stop Maripol in her tracks. Placed right at the core of the New York downtown scene, in the company of Andy Warhol, Jean Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Deborah Harry, the group was creating whatever they felt was relevant and exciting.

Going on to produce and direct documentaries like “Crack is Whack” and music videos for talents like Elton John and Cher, this artist experimented in all realms available. It was with the feature film “Downtown ‘81”, produced by herself along with Glenn O’Brien and Edo Bertoglio that she really transcended her time. The film, which depicts a day in the life of the then emerging artist Jean Michel-Basquiat, was the portrait of the times in which they lived in, made with love and honesty for their generation and the many others which would follow and admire them.

Throughout her career Maripol had a couple of common denominators: curiosity and a polaroid camera. Known widely for her work with polaroid pictures, Maripol’s work has been shown in museums across the globe and featured in top art and fashion magazines. A book, Maripolarama was published in 2005 featuring her most remarkable images, and most recently in 2010 a more complete look at her career was brought to our attention by Damiani in a book entitled Little Red Riding Hood. In this book we are invited to take a closer look at Maripol’s oeuvre, drawing a finer picture of who this artistic genius really is. 

Her work with polaroids is not over, nor is her passion for rubber jewelry. In 2010, while working on Little Red Riding Hood, inspired by an 80s resurgence that was in the air, Maripol felt compelled to bring her creations back to life. Like any good inventor, the light bulb went on and the designer decided to approach Marc Jacobs for a collaboration with his line Marc by Marc Jacobs. Maripol was taken to Marc by the resemblance of his Bleeker street store with Fiorucci’s back in the 80s. The return was a huge success via 17 pieces that included jewelry and t-shirts and brought attention to Maripols name and brand to another generation of hipsters.

Currently working on independently relaunching her line, she never seems to stop; but why should she? Not many can say they have influenced a generation. Maripol can.

Model Designer
Last week I sat for a talk with Inga Savits, an accomplished model who recently started her own shoe brand out of Milan. Her love affair with designing for fashion dates from long before her modeling years and it's interesting to see how she took advantage of her work as a model to pursue her dream of becoming a shoe designer; and a great one too.

Already in her third collection, Inga's designs have been spotted in red carpets across the globe and in collaborations with emerging french designer Alexis Mabille.

Have a look at the full article here or read below.


Model Designer: Inga Savits

After a successful career in front of the camera, some models open up night clubs and restaurants, others launch their own fragrances and skincare lines and many of them work in collaboration with large brands to launch fashion collections with their names attached to it. When it comes to Inga Savits however, it goes the other way around.
At the age of 19, Inga was attending fashion school in Estonia, her home country, when she was approached by a model scout while shopping. Puzzled by the idea of having an opportunity to see how fashion was done from behind the scenes, the student took that chance and went to Paris. Inga’s first job was with Mr. Yves Saint Laurent, in 1998. Inga spent a few days with Mr. Saint Laurent in his atelier, hair coiffed and red lipstick on, while he worked on his collection. “My eyes were open to see how he was making his dresses, what kind of accessories he was pairing with them, pretty much everything!”. After walking YSL’s famous catwalk, Inga was thrown into the arms of the fashion industry, which embraced and still holds her dearly.
During the time spent as a model in Milan, Inga met the shoe designer Brian Atwood, who then lived there. In observing his passion for shoes, Inga realized that shoe making was what she wanted to pursue in fashion. With more than a decade of experience as a model, it was time to dive into her long time passion and for that, she moved permanently to the Italian city. She was delighted to be closer to the shoe factories she worked closely with as well as old friends who constantly inspire her to create her own namesake line, Inga Savits.
Still unsure of whether she should go back to school to study the craft of shoemaking or not, Inga took some time to research the industry. “I went to a friend of mine who works at Versace and asked his opinion. He said I had the best teachers in the world, from Mr. Yves Saint Laurent to Galliano and Donatella Versace, teachers that most students would never have a chance to meet in their lives. In his opinion I was better off with the experience I had gathered as a model. He said if I went to school for shoe design I would not allow my creativity to take flight and could be restrained by the practicalities.”
Inga’s designs are a reflection of her years on and off of the catwalk, and are inspired by her life. The main goal is to create designs that are stylish and feminine without having to compromise in comfort and versatility. “Unfortunately in fashion when you say comfortable people think about medical shoes, or ugly shoes, and my goal is to show that it is possible to create very feminine shoes that can be comfortable at the same time. I had to learn to walk in very uncomfortable shoes, so now I want to make the type of shoe you can feel good about and wear anywhere at any time of day, I don’t want women to be fashion victims when I can combine both things.” explains the designer.
Production costs may be a little steep, but Italy is where she brings her designs to life; her goal is to really establish her brand at the top, so she only works with the best factories. Entirely self-funded, Savits explains that her business is the size it was meant to be, her goal with her brand from the start was to begin small and build up from there.
Already in her third season, scheduled to debut during the September shows in Paris, the designer has gathered great compliments from her peers and has even managed to secure a collaboration between her brand and the emerging French designer Alexis Mabille for whom she is also developing a second collection for his show.
Knowing exactly what she wants for her brand, and when asked if she would ever consider going into clothing, the answer is immediate and firm: “No! I could maybe do some bags, but not clothes. I recently started looking at some bags and was really interested in them, it would be a good complement to my collection, but at the moment I am really focused in expanding my shoe collections and establishing my brand in the market.”

Inga Savits is available for sale in New York at Patron of the New in Tribeca and on line at Feminin Rascal.
You can follow the designer on twitter at @IngaSavits  and check out her website at www.ingasavits.com



Thank You Palm Springs
Dan Murphy is a bright young fella. A model, entrepreneur and hockey instructor, he is the kind of guy you can sit next to and have a chat about nothing for hours. It doesn't hurt he's good looking too.

I featured Dan in the latest Model Musing column for Look Books, and you can have a look at it here or read below.

Enjoy!


Model Musing: Dan Murphy

Dan Murphy is not your guy if you’re looking for a fairy tale story of the boy that was found by an agent and turned into a superstar. After a short-lived career playing hockey in Canada, Dan decided he wanted to go where the sun and the palm trees were. Palm Beach seemed to be the right choice to study business management. While in school his friends encouraged him to take a drive down to Miami and try his chances with the modeling agencies to make some extra money.  After being turned down by nearly every agency, he found a ‘yes’ in the last call he made. 
With a manager by his side, Dan started a career that led him to the four corners of the world. Working for the best magazines in the industry and designers like Abercrombie & Fitch and Armani, Dan has enough experiences to fill a book. From hanging out on a beach with Kate Moss while eating ice cream, to spending time at Bruce Weber’s home in Montauk, it all adds to the incredible journey that has taught Dan some of his most important life lessons.
With great support from his family, whether financial or emotional, Dan has successfully established himself in an industry that is fickle and looks to the future with excitement.  At the moment this male model is working on combining some of his passions, which include hockey and flying airplanes, with the knowledge from business school to put together a charity yet to be named. 
Why do you love this picture?
This was taken on a really emotional day for me not long ago - a pivotal moment in my life and career. Of course, the depth of the black and white that Tony (Duran) is known for is incredible. At the same time however, I look at this photo and I am immediately feeling what I felt that day.
Were you excited to work with this photographer?
I had been talking to Tony Duran for over two years while I was on the road; discussing everything from fashion to childhood memories of Minnesota winters. By the time I found myself in LA working with him on this shoot we were great friends, so I was extremely thrilled to be working with him.
What direction did Tony give you?
He kept making me do less: “Stop thinking, just be.”.
Was this a long shoot?
By the time we were done taking photos and discussing how to solve all of the world’s problems it was 7pm!
What do you think is the biggest challenge in the modeling career?
Becoming / staying relevant in such a high turnover industry. 
Do you think modeling is perceived by society in a different way for men than it is for women? 
For women, perhaps fashion is seen as an exclusive glamorous feminine profession and means to express their creativity and beauty. For men however it can be perceived as “un-manly”, for the lack of of physical labor or corporate structure, almost as if being a model required a zoolander-esque mental capacity. I think of what I do as an intricate part of the sales process, whether it is an advertising campaign for a fashion brand or a catalog for a department store. It has become essential to me to be conscious of the type of fabric or shape of the garment for example, and how I can show these attributes best to make the consumer understand what it is and want to purchase it.
Do you think that it is more difficult for men than it is for women in modeling?
One of the biggest differences between men and women in this industry is that there are less jobs overall for men and that we work for a much lower rate than our female colleagues. Sure, some would argue that there are more girls than boys in the industry, but proportionally, it’s hardly equal. That’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison though.
What have you learned from your experiences in the fashion industry?
I think it is clear that we all need to count our blessings and appreciate what we have in our own way, we need to give back in whatever way feels right. We weren’t doomed to go through life being stressed out.
What has made you the happiest in being a model?
You must be very clear on why you want to be a model. When I first started I thought I was going to make a ton of money immediately; it didn’t happen. Then I wanted to use modeling as a tool to travel, so I packed up and lived out of a suitcase around the world for a few years straight; but that gets mentally exhausting. So I moved back to New York, and just wanted to stay put for a while and enjoy being in my country. My reasons for why I model have changed a bunch of times, and each time I’ve been able to use modeling as vehicle to do something I really wanted and in turn bring me happiness. If my reason from day one never changed from “make money immediately”, I would have never been able to experience the world and make the friends that I have. Not to mention you kinda have to enjoy the creative process and being in front of the camera,  which I love.

Follow Dan Murphy on twitter at @DanMurphy30
Dan is represented by Ford Models and Nous.


More than Followers
Who knew male models could be so smart and interesting? I did!

For many years I've had to defend my male model friends, as people see the profession in a very dumb and marginalized way. The same doesn't happen with female models. But why?

In an effort to show the true beauty of men, I have now started to include them in my bi-weekly Model Musing columns on Look Books. My goal is to show the beauty that these men carry inside them, and to show that being a model is not only about looking good in the picture or having perfect abs.

Enjoy.


Model Musing: Fabio Nunes

It was when Fabio found himself in front of a camera and had the photographer ask him to “smile with the eyes” that he realized what it was like to be a model. Fabio’s career didn’t start by chance, his sister always said he would be a model. The minute the boy turned 16 years old, she took him to an agency near their small home town, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, for a test shoot. From that first shoot on, Fabio has accumulated trips around the world, jobs with renowned photographers and designers and a smoking hot girlfriend that would not have been possible if it wasn’t for his job.
The owner of his own business alongside his loved one, the model Carolina Fontaneti, Fabio took some time from his busy schedule to tell us why this picture means so much to him.

Why do you love this picture?
Because it’s me and my girlfriend, working together for Vogue Brazil. I really admire my girlfriend’s career as a model, she is a constant source of inspiration. It was a great pleasure working with her.
Who took it? Were you excited to work with this photographer?
It was Renne Castrucci, who along with Fabio Delai also created a video editorial. I really admire their work, they are great in what they do. These two do their job from their hearts, and you can see it in the images.
What was the location for this shoot?
It was a 500 year old coffee farm from Brazil’s colonial times; it was a truly beautiful and inspiring setting.
Who was the stylist?
Giovanni Frasson, the fashion director of Vogue Brazil.
What were you wearing?
Calvin Klein underwear.
What was the direction given to you by the photographer?
“Act natural! Think that you are in your honeymoon with your wife!” - and that was easy, is there anything better than that?
Do you see yourself doing anything else besides modeling?
I do;  in fact I do several different things at the same time. I know that most people who like to cook seem to think they are great at it, and I also believe I am. I believe I am a great cook and I would love to have my own restaurant when I reach my 40’s. I have also been contemplating doing something in real estate as an investment, but currently I am invested in this clothing store that I have opened with my girlfriend back home and in which I sell exclusive products with the help from my close friends who are a part of my sales team.
Do you love fashion?
I do, and I respect it a lot too.
And what have you learned from your career as a model?
I’ve learned that life is what you make of it. You can’t separate your personal life from work but you can’t also make of this connection something bad, you have to find balance so that with each moment you can become better as a person and as a professional. I love  the chance to meet new people through work and with that to see the difference between the good and the bad ones and to learn to differentiate what I  want to be from what I shouldn’t be. I learned that having a friend is more important than having a thousand followers.

Fabio Nunes is represented by Way Model and you can follow him on twitter@F1Nunes


Van Hoorn
In my Model Musing column two weeks ago, an interview with the Australian bombshell and musician Cheyenne Tozzi who is finalizing her first album to be released at the end of 2012.

Have a look and enjoy!

click here!

Model Musing: Cheyenne Tozzi

After releasing the musical collaboration with top DJ Carl Kennedy “Once Upon a Time”, Australian model Cheyenne Tozzi is excited for the next step: launching her first solo album, which she describes as a more soulful and heartfelt collection of songs she has written on her piano over the last five years. 
Cheyenne was born into a family in which modeling was just as normal as making tea; her mother and aunt were both very known faces in the modeling industry in Australia and by the time Cheyenne was fourteen years old she was already making her first moves into the same industry, when her big break came via the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Australia. 
Since then this blonde bombshell has graced the covers of publications likeCosmopolitan, Vogue and Grazia and traveled the four corners of the world a few times, but always escaping back to the loving arms of her family.
Now at the young age of 23 and more than a decade into her career, Cheyenne gives us the scoop on why this image is so special to her.

Why do you love this picture? 
It is very raw and innocent.
Who took it? 
Brook Coffey. Brooke is beautiful and so amazing to work with.
How long did this shoot last? 
20 minutes since it was really cold. 
Anything curious to report about this shoot?
It was almost snowing in Central Park and having this innocent girl with antlers like a newborn I think contrasts with the whole grown woman in a tuxedo.
What were you thinking when it was taken?
Where are my UGG boots?
What direction did the photographer give you?
It was very candid so it was almost as if she wasn't there.
What was it for?
My album, entitled Van Hoorn
What were you wearing?
Dolce & Gabbana men’s tuxedo jacket (a tux includes pants), American Apparel suede bow-tie, vintage snake skin pants, white reindeer antlers and minimal makeup.
Do you love fashion or not necessarily?
I’m pretty simple but I appreciate how much work goes into it. 
What about this profession makes you the happiest?
Seeing the world and meeting new people puts a smile on my face.
And the most disappointed?
Being away from my loved ones, my home and missing out on my childhood.
What were your most remarkable experiences as a model?
Starting off with a Bazaar cover gave me the confidence to take on my modeling career. I love that I get to experience the greatest and most beautiful places in the world along with seeing the newest fashion before it hits the market as well as meeting wonderful people.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
Stay in school, enjoy your childhood and let it come find you….
Do you see yourself doing something else?
Yes, I’ve performed my music all over the world with some of my favorite artists and am getting ready to release my first album this year.
What's your biggest challenge as a model? 
Staying in shape when there is so much good food around the world.
Is there anything about the modeling career that you would change if you could? 
I wish everyone could see the beauty that is inside everyone.

You can follow Cheyenne on twitter at @CheyCheyTozzi
Cheyenne is represented by Priscilla's 


In Bloom
This week I spoke with the Dutch model Lisanne De Jong for my Model Musing column at Look Books.
Have a look at the full story here or read below.
:)

Model Musing: Lisanne de Jong

Lisanne de Jong is one of those girls that is almost too smart to be a model, but in her career she has taken her smarts and put it to good use. Lisanne recognizes how helpful this career was in turning her from a local girl into an international woman and appreciates every second of it.
From the moment when she was discovered in Amsterdam when she was fourteen, Lisanne was very interested in the adventurous side of the business, roaming the world and meeting people were extremely appealing to her. She finished school first, and only then took a second look at that modeling opportunity.
The offer was still standing and the modeling world took her with open arms. It all started with a Prada exclusive booking in the summer of 2010 that then led to a series of blue chip bookings that included campaigns for the biggest fashion houses in the world, including Balenciaga, Celine, Missoni and Burberry; and editorials for W, V, Vogue Russia, Interview and Vogue Japan.
Here Lisanne picks her favorite image from her career so far and looks back on her four years in the business. 
Why did you pick this image?
This is a picture I did for Dazed and Confused, the editorial was called “In Bloom” and I love this picture because of the power behind it; the colors and the shape make this picture incredible to me.
Who took it? Were you excited to work with this photographer?
Viviane Sassen took it. I was very excited to work with her, she is very talented,  She is also Dutch, it is  always fun to work with people from my own country.
What direction did the photographer give you?
I was allowed to do anything I wanted which was great. I was running and jumping around. It was a lot of fun, because there were no limits. Sometimes I would jump and fall over in the fields, but anything for an amazing picture! 
You seemed to be in a stunning environment; was there anything curious about this shoot?
This is what I also love about this picture, it was shot in Holland, in the tulip fields. We have these flower fields only once a year, for two weeks during spring and they are amazing. There are loads of different colored fields that can go for miles, it is one of the things that Holland is famous for. We went to the farmers houses and asked if we could shoot between the tulips, and he was happy to agree. They told us they don’t even use the flowers, just the bulbs in the ground, to sell. Also, it was extremely good weather, the sun was shining constantly for those two  shoot days.
What were you thinking when it was taken?
I was just having a lot of fun, and wanted to create this effect of being a flower in the fields.
 Who was in the crew?
Styled by Katie Shillingford, make up by Irena Ruben and the casting director was Noah Shelley for AM casting.
What were you wearing?
I was wearing a lot of layers, which made it look very cool when I was air bound. Also in every picture I'm wearing tutu's which make the shape almost look like a flower.
Do you love fashion or not necessarily?
I’ve always been quite interested in fashion, when growing up I used to read magazines, and cut out clothes that I liked and make a poster out of it. Or I would cut out nice advertisements and hang them in my room.  I love wearing nice clothes. When I see brands like Celine, Prada or Balenciaga (my favorites), I’m always amazed by the designs. So beautiful and inspiring. 
What have you learned from your career that you consider truly valuable?
I have learned a lot over these four  years. When I look back on when I just started modeling, I was a completely different person. I was still a child when I started, and I've grown up so much psychically and emotionally. This industry made me a stronger person. I'm happy that I did it, because when I started out I was quite shy, it made me more open and I feel much more comfortable about myself.
What advice would you give to aspiring models?
Don’t take things personally, don’t take everything too serious and enjoy every moment.

You can follow Lisanne on twitter at  . 
Lisanne is represented by New York Models.
American Beauty
Click here and have a look at the latest interview I did for Look Books. This week I spoke with Claiborne Swanson Frank about the launch of her latest book American Beauty, out now in stores worldwide and published by Assouline.

Enjoy!

American Beauty: an Interview with Claiborne Swanson Frank

The more you stare at Claiborne Swanson Frank’s portraits of women, the more your mind wonders - Who are these women? Where did they come from and what was the message about themselves that they were trying to convey when they sat for these portraits? The image that initially could seem banal starts to tell you stories that could come from some knowledge you have about that person, but also tales of a life that solely lives in your imagination, because for many, the subject of the portrait is unknown. It’s almost like staring at the Mona Lisa and trying to understand what was going on at her time, what drove her to sit for that portrait and what her life was like.
In American Beauty, Mrs. Frank wants to tell us stories of success and achievements, of women who excel in what they do, women who had a dream and a vision for themselves and followed through with it, and through their lives bring out the true beauty, that for Claiborne lives in women everywhere.
Throughout more than one hundred portraits amalgamated in this book you get the opportunity to know at least a little bit about the lives of these women, and you get to understand why the photographer felt inspired to shoot them. Through these portraits you also get the opportunity to learn a little bit more about the author, since much of her passions and inspirations are reflected in the subjects of her photographs.
Here Claiborne shares her thoughts on her most important creation thus far, the book American Beauty.
In your book there is a quote by Carrie Latet about never waking up from the American dream. Do you feel you live the American dream - or at least what that would dream would be like nowadays?
I’ve been so blessed and I am so honored, I am definitely living my dream, but I believe the American dream is more about the idea of reaching for your greatest potential. Each of the women in this book for instance, are a product of their own American dream, and that is the message here, I have never met two women with the same dream, they all come from different places and have different stories to tell, and I tell their stories through portrait.
What was the criteria when choosing your subjects?
As an artist I have to be inspired and these are all women who are contributing to society in some way, but then there was an intuitive choice and the inspiration I felt coming from these women.
Through this experience of discovering the lives of these women, did you also come upon things about yourself that you were unaware of?
Definitely! This project started out as a portfolio of my work, which took the form of an exhibition, which then led to this book. Because I wanted to have a genuine collaboration to show who these women were I think I also grew into myself and who I was meant to be, I became an artist. It’s been a true gift to follow my own heart and vision and learn that I didn’t really know who I was before.
Did you know from the start that you would have such a diverse group of women as a result of your work?
I was thoughtful about that and I wanted to celebrate diversity, the country is in a different place now, and over the past ten years women have taken a different place in society and what they represent to American women. Even looking at myself I see such a mutt, I am American with a Cuban, Swedish, German and French mix and that’s also why I love asking people when I meet them what is their background, because what makes us so beautiful is our mix.
And how about the men in your life? Will they have the opportunity to show their beauty through the lenses of your camera?
Not really, I don’t think so; I have an amazing husband and I love men, but my ability and comfort zone is in finding and trying to capture the beauty in women, to me women are the perfect representation of beauty, and that’s what I like to photograph, that’s what inspires me. Also, I find that most men don’t like to be photographed nowadays, and I think it’s a shame, men used to enjoy being documented at some point and it changed with time, but I do believe that every great man should have a great portrait. 

American Beauty is published by Assouline and is available for purchase atAssouline boutiques worldwide and online.