Model of the Year Awards 2014

February 10th, 2015

Models.com 2014 Industry Awards

While the Models.com Rankings are a barometer of the industry’s favorite models, and as such are continually updated throughout the year, we felt it was time to offer a bigger picture view – Introducing the first ever Models.com Model of the Year (MOTY) Industry Awards.

The Models.com Model of the Year (MOTY) Industry Awards are the voice of over 250 voters representing a wide range of the industry’s top professionals, including many of the industry’s top stylists, designers, photographers, editors, hair and makeup artists and casting directors, and a wide range of the next generation of the industry’s emerging creative talents. Notable participants include Edward Enninful, Katie Grand, Melanie Ward, Duffy, John Pfeiffer, Anita Bitton, Andrew Weir, Angus Munro, Daniel Peddle, Bethann Hardison, Giampaolo Sgura, Melanie Huynh, Mariano Vivanco, Jeff Bark, Nicola Formichetti, Tom Van Dorpe, Pierre Debusschere, Esteban Cortazar, Sophie Theallet, Sebastian Faena, Sir John, Santiago Sierra, Benjamin Puckey, Benjamin Huseby, and many others.

Fashion’s biggest fans also got in on the fun: the Readers’ Choice section offers an up to date and often surprising selection chosen by you, the MDC readers. The people have spoken – thousands of them in fact and their choices are every bit as exciting as those provided by insiders.

The awards are broken down in 11 categories as follows:

Model of the Year Women
Model of the Year Men
Breakout Star Women
Breakout Star Men
Comeback of the Year
Social Media Star Women
Social Media Star Men
Humanitarian
Celebrity Model Women
Celebrity Model Men

Model of the Year: Women

The biggest and brightest star of 2014 aka the girl or guy who has distinguished themselves via top tier work with the best photographers, stylists and magazines, leaving the competition in the dust and standing out as the year’s foremost star.
Industry’s Vote

EdieCampbellRunnerUP
Self Service Cover by Alasdair McLellan

Readers’ Choice

Cara500
Love Magazine Cover by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

Cara500
Love Magazine Cover by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Readers’ Choice

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i-D Spring 2013 by Matt Jones

All MOTY Women Nominees

Model of the Year: Men

The biggest and brightest star of 2014 aka the girl or guy who has distinguished themselves via top tier work with the best photographers, stylists and magazines, leaving the competition in the dust and standing out as the year’s foremost star.
Industry’s Vote

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H&M ad by Karim Sadli

Readers’ Choice

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Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Fragrance by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

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Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Fragrance by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Readers’ Choice

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Massimo Dutti F/W 13 Campaign

All MOTY Men Nominees

Breakout Star: Women

Like model of the year, the breakout star has had a substantial presence on the modeling scene, only their careers have just begun to take off in the past several seasons. As a newcomer to the fashion industry, these rising stars have racked up coveted campaigns and impressive editorial work in a short period of time and are set to leave a lasting mark on the industry.
Industry’s Vote

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Polaroid/Women Management

Readers’ Choice

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Polaroid/The Society

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

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Document cover by Roe Ethridge

Readers’ Choice

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Portrait by Jodi Jones

All Breakout Star Women Nominees

Breakout Star: Men

Like model of the year, the breakout star has had a substantial presence on the modeling scene, only their careers have just begun to take off in the past several seasons. As a newcomer to the fashion industry, these rising stars have racked up coveted campaigns and impressive editorial work in a short period of time and are set to leave a lasting mark on the industry.
Industry’s Vote

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Rollercoaster Cover by Philipp Mueller

Readers’ Choice

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Polaroid/Models.com

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

TimS-500
Cerruti Campaign by David Sims

Readers’ Choice

FilipHrivnak500
Rollercoaster Cover by Philipp Mueller

All Breakout Star Men Nominees

Comeback of the Year

Absence makes the heart grow fonder and these beauties took extended breaks from the rigors of the modeling world only to return stronger than ever. Whether they opened a noteworthy show, or found themselves on the cover of a cutting-edge magazine, these comeback stars have proven themselves essential.
Industry’s Vote

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Sunday Style Cover by Beau Grealy

Readers’ Choice

GemmaWardStyle500
Sunday Style Cover by Beau Grealy

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

NadjaA500
Vogue Germany Cover by Luigi & Iango

Readers’ Choice

NadjaA500
Vogue Germany Cover by Luigi & Iango

All Comeback of the Year Nominees

Social Media Star WOMEN

If the past year has taught us anything it is that every tweet, Instagram photo, and like adds up to a powerful presence within the world of fashion. These models have leveraged their followings into key bookings and heightened influence, inciting a media frenzy with each and every post.
Industry’s Vote

Cara500
Love Magazine Cover by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Readers’ Choice

Cara500
Love Magazine Cover by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

KendalJenner500
Polaroid/The Society New York

Readers’ Choice

KendalJenner500
Polaroid/The Society New York

All Social Media Star Nominees

Social Media Star MEN

If the past year has taught us anything it is that every tweet, Instagram photo, and like adds up to a powerful presence within the world of fashion. These models have leveraged their followings into key bookings and heightened influence, inciting a media frenzy with each and every post.
Industry’s Vote

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7 For All Mankind Campaign by Sebastian Faena

Readers’ Choice

francisco500
Made in Brazil by Greg Vaughan

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

seanO500w
Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Fragrance by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

Readers’ Choice

seanO500w
Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Fragrance by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

All Social Media Star Nominees

Humanitarian

Nothing is more important than giving back to the community and during the past year these models have inspired us all by putting charity first. Devoting their time, energy and celebrity to causes big and small, these women raise awareness and bring hope to those who need it most.
Industry’s Vote

ChristyTurlington500
Calvin Klein Campaign by Mario Sorrenti

Readers’ Choice

ChristyTurlington500
Calvin Klein Campaign by Mario Sorrenti

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

JacquelynJab500w
Elle Italia Cover by Matt Jones

Readers’ Choice

JourdanDunn50
British Vogue by Patrick Demarchelier

All Humanitarian Nominees

ChristyTurlington200Christy Turlington

As founder of Every mother Counts, Turlington works to make pregnancy safe for every mother worldwide, raising money and awareness about maternal health programs around the globe.

JacquelynJab200Jacquelyn Jablonski

Since her brother’s diagnosis with autism, Jacquelyn has tirelessly dedicated her support to autism charities. This year she brought out the stars for A Night for Autism a silent auction benefiting Autism Speaks.

JourdanDunn200wJourdan Dunn

Jourdan is an ambassador for the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America and started her own campaign #CellForGratitude to help research and find a cure, an issue very close to her heart as Jourdan’s 4 year-old son, Riley was born with Sickle Cell Disease.

KyleighKuhn200wKyleigh Kuhn

Kyleigh has been working to improve the lives of children in war torn Afghanistan since her 13th birthday. With the launch of her jewelry line, Roots of Peace, Kyleigh aims to promote a sustainable business model that will provide economic support to the Afghan people.

LiyaKebede200wLiya Kebede

As founder of the Liya Kebede Foundation Liya works to advance safe motherhood and pregnancy throughout Africa. Her clothing line LemLem also supports traditional weavers in her native Ethiopia in an effort to preserve their rich history.

NaomiCampbell200wNaomi Campbell

Naomi is actively involved in many charities including Fashion for Relief, Amfar and the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and is organizing two upcoming fund raising fashion shows to raise awareness of Ebola and funds to fight the disease.

NataliaV200wNatalia Vodianova

Natalia’s Naked Heart Foundation builds playgrounds for disadvantaged youths throughout Russia. Natalia is also involved in several other foundations including Hear the World and the Tiger Trade Campaign to stop trade in tiger parts and products.

NykhorPaul200wNykhor Paul

Nykhor partnered with the International Rescue Committee to raise awareness about the plight of refugees and displaced individuals in Ethiopia and Sudan.

SaraZiff200wSara Ziff

Sara’s tireless work at The Model Alliance, especially for child models; giving models a voice and a safe haven, along with campaigning against labor abuses in the modeling industry deserves acknowledgement.

Best Street Style

The sidewalk is the new catwalk and these models bring fashion to the streets with outlandish and eye-catching looks that have made them the girls to watch for off-duty style. Some have taken their street style prowess one step further, broadening their horizons by acting as stylist on editorial shoots.
Industry’s Vote

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Street Style photo by Melodie Jeng/Models.com

Readers’ Choice

anja500
Street Style photo by Melodie Jeng/Models.com

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

binx500
Street Style photo by Melodie Jeng

Readers’ Choice

joan500w
Street Style photo by Melodie Jeng

Street Style Nominees

Celebrity Model: Women

Celebrities have become an unavoidable presence in luxury advertising, but certain stars are every bit as captivating as the models. Putting their posing skills to good use (often honed during their career beginnings as models) and bringing with them an air of Hollywood glamour, these are the celebrities who play the role of model with ease.
Industry’s Vote

TILDANars500
Nars Campaign by Francois Nars

Readers’ Choice

rihanna500
Vogue Brasil by Mariano Vivanco

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

LupitaLancome
Lancôme Campaign by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Readers’ Choice

TILDANars500
Nars Campaign by Francois Nars

Celeb Model Nominees

Celebrity Model: Men

Celebrities have become an unavoidable presence in luxury advertising, but certain stars are every bit as captivating as the models. Putting their posing skills to good use (often honed during their career beginnings as models) and bringing with them an air of Hollywood glamour, these are the celebrities who play the role of model with ease.
Industry’s Vote

JamieDornan
Interview Cover by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Readers’ Choice

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H&M Bodywear F/W 12 by Alasdair McLellan

Runner Up
Industry’s Vote

PharrellGstar
G-Star Raw Campaign by Henrik Bulow

Readers’ Choice

JamieDornan
Interview Cover by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Celeb Model Nominees

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Posted in Cover story, Features | 7 Comments »

Street Style

March 7th, 2014

Street Style

Take a look back through Melodie Jeng’s lens at what modeling’s chicest faces wore during fashion month as they hopped around the globe traipsing through the Tuileries, navigating the wilds outside Milk Studios, making their presence felt on London and Milan’s backstreets and making it all look easy.

Photos by Melodie Jeng for Models.com

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Posted in Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week, Features | 10 Comments »

Victoria’s Secret Show 2013

November 15th, 2013

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Victoria’s Secret Show 2013

The annual Victoria’s Secret show is more than your typical runway show. VS is a global media moment; with Taylor Swift performing and millions tuning in on television this isn’t your average catwalk – it’s bigger, brasher and designed for mass appeal. The mega-brand has always had its own niche within in the world of fashion – occupying the space where sexy and glitzy converge into Swarovski embellished lingerie and angel wings – but this year they turned it up a notch. 2013’s twist on the now classic holiday treat involves a whole lotta blingy, bubbly fun wrapped up in a pink bow. Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karlie Kloss, Lindsay Ellingson, Cara Delevingne and more were all front and center, dolled up to perfection and strutting their stuff on the world stage.

Photos by Billy Rood for Models.com
Text by Janelle Okwodu

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Posted in Cover story | 59 Comments »

Bethann Hardison on diversity in fashion

September 24th, 2013

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Diversity in the fashion industry has been a hot-button subject for years, but the issue came to a head this season with Bethann Hardison & The Diversity Coalition‘s open letter to the CFDA. With a concise list of designers who have either eschewed minority faces on their runways altogether, or engaged in tokenism, the Coalition succinctly captured the gravity of this enduring problem. Nowhere is the issue of race in fashion more visible than on the runways every fashion week. The runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris serve not only as a showcase for clothing, but also a powerful representation of the industry’s physical ideals and beauty standards. When women and men of color are all but excluded from that vision, what does it say about the industry as a whole? How can a business, praised for its creative spirit and tolerance be willfully ignorant about the messages it sends out with regards to diversity?

In this MDX exclusive interview we connect with the pioneering Ms. Hardison to discuss the roots of fashion’s continuing diversity issues, the impact of her now famous letter and the road towards a more inclusive fashion community.

A Models.com interview by Janelle Okwodu

Cover Photo: Bethann and Iman – Getty Images / Mike Coppola / Staff

J: On the one hand it’s amazing that you’ve called designers out, but on the other hand it’s a shame that you have to call them out.

Bethann Hardison: That’s what Eric Wilson (of The New York Times) said to me. He said that to me when I was saying to him that one time I had asked Franca Sozzani,  “Why do you think that it’s so difficult to get people on board with diversity in fashion?” I was asking a question that I already had the answer to but I wanted to hear what she said.  Franca answered “You know it’s simple Bethann, people have to be reminded” and I told Eric she said that and that bothered him. He said “I don’t understand why does anyone need to be reminded?” But obviously they do and they shouldn’t need to be, like you said.

I had asked Franca Sozzani,  “Why do you think that it’s so difficult to get people on board with diversity in fashion?” … Franca answered “You know it’s simple Bethann, people have to be reminded.”

J: It speaks to the way fashion doesn’t concern themselves with social issues these days.

B: You’re right on point. Before it was just a quiet little island that nobody knew anything about because unless you were a buyer, retailer or one of the few editors, no one was allowed to go in and see fashion shows and no one was interested. Now it’s gotten to be such a part of popular culture, and now anyone can see a fashion show if you turn on the TV. Before manufacturers were frightened to let anyone see anything because of fear that they would be copied. Now it’s become jazzy but with that jazziness it’s become kind of sad that they’ve gotten elitist. Fashion was always naturally elitist before because it was a quiet little place on its own, but now it’s become elitist to the point that the ignorance and the arrogance becomes more prevalent.

I think that it’s unfortunate that anyone has to say, why would you need to tell people to do something that’s so obvious because it only seems to be helpful to the greater all, but in this particular case they got stuck following the leader, no one even remembers how it got started… We’ve always said that the designers all follow each other even though they all think they’re individual; they all follow what’s going on for who did what- they don’t want to go “here” for fear they might miss out on what’s going on over “there”. It’s unfortunate that it is that way. That’s why it’s not a problem for us, or myself, to speak on this point so blatantly because they do it so blatantly.

J: Looking at the shows that just concluded in New York, would you say that there has been a reaction to your letter? I mean Calvin Klein had more black models than ever before. We haven’t seen the big girls as much this season though.

B: I don’t want big models—just give me really good. Everything from head to toe should be like slammin’, you know, and they’re still trying to be like, oh we have to discover and all that, but how much of that is true? At Marc’s last show, you didn’t recognize any girls in that show but they were diverse. You don’t know who any of them are per se, but that’s the whole fun of it all.  

If you’re going to use a girl of color, don’t just grab a girl of color, you really make sure that girl of color is competitive to her white counterpart. Just the way you scrutinize her, please scrutinize us because I’d rather them use none than use one or two bad ones. And I don’t mean they’re bad, because it’s in the eye of the beholder.

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Joan Smalls at Michael Kors, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com
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Jasmine Tookes at Calvin Klein, photo by Betty Sze / Models.com

J: Why do you think that designers are still so caught up in these old school ideas? You know when it’s summer and you need somebody to wear a leopard bikini it’s like.. black girl. Or when the collection is centered around a stereotype about geisha designers go for an Asian girl. It just feels like designers just feel very entrenched in these incredibly old ideas. 

B: That’s very interesting because Iman was saying the same thing, you know because she heard me say it, and now she’s reiterating it every time we do interviews. I said it’s like in the winter, they all think we stay in the house and wear dashikis, and when it’s summer it’s like oh put it on the black girls. Spring/Summer, it looks better on their skin coloring, or if they do an ethnic collection, let’s use the black girls. They need to get it together.

Just take a hint, look at television, take House of Cards you know, Newsroom, or Ray Donovan, just look at shows that are so diverse, I wish that our designers would really make an effort…

Just take a hint, look at television, take House of Cards you know, Newsroom, or Ray Donovan, just look at shows that are so diverse, I wish that our designers would really make an effort… I’ve worked with designers and they’ll use one brand new girl, bad weave, just starting out, doesn’t know how to walk, scared to death, you have to hug her just to get her to relax, and then the rest they save for someone else.

Because it’s so political now, I feel so bad for the model agencies. I’m a little mad at them in my own way, because when I was an agent I was always trying to educate the girls and the clients, but not everybody is here to educate; there’s more followers than there are leaders but they just really are caught up in the politics of it all. [Agents] really have to try with the dark girls that they start to make appear- they want to make them better and better so they get caught up in this idea of “well if I put her with this unknown designer, what will it rank her in the sense of what this passing person or stylist will think of her and not want to use her…”. All this stuff they do, it’s not nice.

Look, I’m a former model, all we want to do is walk down the runway. The models just want to walk. They’ve gotten stuck in this political game; they have to be concerned with a stylist and those casting directors. Oh my gosh, why, why, oh why do they exist? That whole world of allowing someone to get between the designer and the model? I mean when you come from where we come from, there’s no longer a muse nowadays… Maybe because she’s so out of orbit and genius, I’d say that Karlie Kloss is as close to a muse I can imagine, maybe in the last 20 years. It’s terrible. And these people, they decide who and it’s just not good.

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Grace Mahary at Michael Kors, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com
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Cora Emmanuel at Helmut Lang, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com
J: It is definitely hard for a girl to even connect with a designer because you have to go through all these other people before you can even get to the person at the top  And a lot of the time you have these people at the top that left to their own devices they would cast a very diverse cast. Look at Raf Simons, when he did his first collection he did like his own street casting; those were always very diverse, but at Dior…

B:  When we came up it was the job of the house to find models to develop so they were much more committed to the girls. It was not their job to just find models. Their interest was to find girls who made their collections and their clothes look good, a girl who had style, a girl who put the coat on and would change the whole vibe of how to wear it. I used to go and help Calvin himself and sit there with him and talk about things and give him ideas. You have something great and this whole relationship… and this is all gone because these other people come in and it’s their job to find a girl, to tell you which girl to use, to tell you, oh please don’t let a black girl open the show because then that’s taboo. The average designer won’t do that. They won’t open the show with a black girl or with a black guy. It’s always wonderful when someone sees the right guy or the right girl and just says ‘that’s the one’ and never thinks about the color.

J: That’s very, very true.

B:  It’s gotten to a place that… I think that they don’t care so much about being conscious of making sure they have girls of color or boys of color. I think that the menswear is just as equally important as the womenswear because for me, when I look at the men’s show that’s when I get more upset. I really do, because there’s so many good black male models; these black kids that I think are really significant. What is so unfortunate about not having these kids work is because the fact they exist… this goes back to what young girls of color will think when they constantly see it’s white, white, white, white, and you know I’m always concerned about what young white kids will think. That’s my concern I don’t want them growing up thinking it’s okay. For me it’s more important to educate whites because black, Asian, Latin and mixed people, they all know what’s going on and the people that seem to not know what’s going on are the people of Caucasian descent. It is very important to me to help because the young designers are coming up and doing exactly what the one before them did, exactly what they’ve seen been done, because that to them is how to do it.

J: I looked at your list and I noticed that so many names on the list are from my generation of people and it’s like you didn’t really grow up in a world without diversity. You’ll have designers who are themselves people of color, yet you don’t see people of color on their runway. What I wanted to ask you, how would you compare sort of the fashion industry and the racism faced by models in the 1960s to what’s going on today? Would you say that it’s different or sort of the same?

B: You know it’s interesting that you say that. In the 60s it was completely different because we didn’t have what you call a fashion industry; it was the garment district. It was so different- a different mentality, a different attitude. The people who were working in the 60s worked for print, advertising, they were commercial models and they were good ones who eventually became actors or moved into other things, but they were good. We have some that worked also and did designer shows and things like that and it wasn’t so hard I think, because of the world we lived in. Until it changed to what it is now; back then, you had models that worked for design houses and they did runway and it was a whole different division for print girls who were never on a runway, never worked with designers, they never worked in the garment district, they just did catalog and editorial and advertising.

So in the 60s when black became beautiful, it was really a moment. The young white advertising kids, after that whole slogan ‘black is beautiful’ they took it up and noticed how media was all so milky, boring, flat, and they were looking for something, to change what was going on. Someone that came along at that time period, talking about the mid 60s, was like a Lauren Hutton, completely unusual because she was a not tall girl, yes she was blonde and blue eyed but she had a flaw, this big gap in her teeth. The discovery of Naomi Sims, that was a switcheroo. Here they found this very tall, beautiful, dark like my skin coloring, gorgeous girl, and they put her on the cover of Look Magazine.

You didn’t have to have money, you didn’t have to be anybody, if you had style you could go to a lot of fancy places. So it was a whole different thing. People appreciated people for much more authentic things; fashion was more organic than it is now. Now it’s subsidized by celebrity and confusion.

That was the beginning of black is beautiful. So it wasn’t like the same as it is now, the struggle. Everybody was happy at that time and we were embraced by people who had style and people who believed that if you had style you were in. You didn’t have to have money, you didn’t have to be anybody, if you had style you could go to a lot of fancy places. So it was a whole different thing. People appreciated people for much more authentic things; fashion was more organic than it is now. Now it’s subsidized by celebrity and confusion. So we don’t have the same struggle.

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Conrad Bromfield at Michael Kors, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com
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Malaika Firth at Calvin Klein, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com
J: Andre Leon Talley had mentioned how difficult it is for someone who’s of color to become an editor, or to rise through the ranks of the magazine business. Do you feel that’s part of the problem?

B: I think always that’s the case but the issue is complex. Many young people that want to be designers, or editors and are of color they think that they’re being held back just based on their color but that isn’t necessarily the case. Our business is elitist and nowadays you have to look a certain way, you have to know the right people, you have to act a certain way.

I do think that it would be really wonderful for the industry to have people of color behind the scenes and rising up the ranks, but I don’t really think that would change a lot for what’s going on in front of us. What winds up happening, if you’re the only person of color in the room, is that you start getting shut down. If you start talking too much about what they’re not talking about, eventually they start making you feel like you’re in the wrong.  “Why are you always talking about black stuff? What’s with you?” It becomes the elephant in the room, so I think it’s a little hard especially at the higher levels. I do think that it would be helpful if there was someone around who was conscious, didn’t get in and get lost, but got in and loved what they did.

J: I think sometimes people don’t think of these things, sometimes people don’t see beyond their own perspective.

B: The ignorance is there, it’s like the Italian lawmaker said, you know we have a law for the girls being underweight, for ones who have anorexia, and the underage girls, we made that a law but we’ve never deliberated on skin color. Fair enough, but Milan is very big and powerful when it comes to advertising and designers.

They don’t have a big community of blacks there and that’s why it’s really hard for people to imagine necessity of having black models on the runway and pushing for it. You’‘ll hear people say “Oh I don’t expect much from Milan.” I give Milan a little of a pass because they don’t have, like we do here, many black people walking into their stores like Dolce & Gabbana or Versace. When they do, it’s like Jay Z and Beyonce or Kanye and Kim. You know what I’m saying? It’s people who have money, but it’s never like the local person that you’re going to see at Bloomingdales here or walking down Fifth Avenue in New York. That diversity just isn’t there.

J: But in other cities there is no excuse –  London and Paris are incredibly diverse.

B: Paris is like Detroit.

J: Ha! With regards to brands and their casting directors, your letter got people talking.

B: I’m sure. It is their brand, they pay attention to the public consensus. At this point it is uncertain whether it’s the designer, the casting director or the stylist who makes these final decisions, but the casting directors and the stylists really have become a real point of this whole thing, because the designers have allowed themselves to relax a bit and let these people come in and guide them and I think they’re not doing an appropriate job.

You look at the presentations that you see and you don’t even notice the clothes, you’re so shocked by the girl. It isn’t even just about race; this isn’t a Linda Evangelista, a Christy or Stephanie Seymour, this is like, what is this?  Where’s the style, where’s the glamour as Johnny Casablancas would say. The train is going down some tracks we ain’t ever gonna see again because the glamour and the style of the business are gone..

J: Why do you think that the glamour is gone? What do you think caused that overall?

People sit there and they look at shows like they’re at a funeral, they’re really unhappy, they’re like so sick of this being show #16 or something, they just don’t give any energy to anything anymore. At the last couple of Zac Posen shows, Pat Cleveland and I would sit together and we would just yell when clothes came out – just to make it fun again!

B: I think it was the development of the casting director, which is not their fault in this case, and the opening of Eastern Europe, and having that opportunity to go and search for girls. What helped to ignite it further was when Miuccia Prada said no more to the supermodel and she decided to do a strict editorial, where they all looked alike and you only noticed the clothes. They were all the same height you know, and that became a trend that never ended.  So if you take away the glamorous girl you definitely can’t see a girl with color, because you want to take away anything that has any sort of spirit, or individuality and once that ended it never came back.

People sit there and they look at shows like they’re at a funeral, they’re really unhappy, they’re like so sick of this being show #16 or something, they just don’t give any energy to anything anymore. At the last couple of Zac Posen shows, Pat Cleveland and I would sit together and we would just yell when clothes came out – just to make it fun again! So our industry is really needing a little oomph even to just make this letter and say to people and tell it, because the industry needs a little tickling. It’s flat!

J: You’re right, people are just over it; there is too much of everything.

So the glamour and the style of the business has changed because it’s not that anymore. It’s Instagram now. It’s quick and fast. It’s like, let me show you my crazy stuff and then I keep it moving; but there is no nurturing, you know?

B: They are! I think people are over it but they have no choice- they gotta do it, you go and you go and now it’s turned into a circus. The Bryant Park tents were one thing, that was calm, then they started having all these things inside the tent and now Lincoln Center is like a true circus. Every fool is outside taking pictures – it has gotten out of control. So the glamour and the style of the business has changed because it’s not that anymore. It’s Instagram now. It’s quick and fast. It’s like, let me show you my crazy stuff and then I keep it moving; but there is no nurturing, you know?

J: It’s that with the girls too. So many times you’ll have a beautiful girl one season, do every single thing, and then she’ll fall off the face of the earth.

B:  That’s because the designer is not involved and the job of the other guy is to keep it moving. If his job was to develop girls things would be different.  We’ve lost control and that is an unfortunate thing because it should be a little different, it really should.

J: Now would you say, is there any small glimmer of hope? Are there any designers that you think are doing it right? Or models that you think are making things exciting?

B: Perfect old-time examples are Issey Miyake and you could count on Jean Paul Gaultier to do it right. I got a little worried because someone told me that Marc Jacobs only had one girl of color this season, but my assistant and I sat there and we looked at his whole show and true to form he had 4.

J: What started that movement in the 80s with the rise of all those great black models?

B: Well thank god Régis Pagniez came in from Paris from Elle Magazine when they needed to put an American Elle here. Thank god for that man; that changed everything because Régis Pagniez loved women of color, he loved women and he didn’t hesitate putting black girls on the cover. That magazine changed so fast that Condé Nast, all of a sudden they had to jump with it just to stay relevant.

And there were a lot of great girls. It’s not like today where they grab anything and they think that’s a good one. Those girls had figures, they had legs – the legs of these girls today are so bad, I can’t get over how they don’t look at it. They think that because that’s what they have, let’s accept it, but you can’t.

That said, I think now we can make a difference.  When you start hearing them say, they’ll take a girl, a brown girl, but if she becomes famous or successful, then she’s too famous. And then they’ll take a brown girl for a season and then they get rid of her because they all used her that season. I mean, you know, the girl that’s really good sometimes can’t catch a break. It takes a good fight for an agent to keep a girl afloat, especially a girl of color, I know the fight that they have.

I think that we have a chance now. I’m not here to help black people though, white people need help. They need to see what’s happening here is not going in the right direction. Black people don’t need the help. It’s the other guy that really needs the help understanding. I think that now we have a chance… I do think there’s a chance now, I don’t know how much and I don’t know how permanent it will be.

J: Which designers need the most help in that regard?

B: Céline needs a wake up, because people really love their stuff. They really do. And I think that Phoebe has got to be a cool girl, but she’s just never thought about being diverse. I don’t know why, because I just believe that she’s a cool person. You know of course someone spanked me a bit in my Twitter account, I think she was from Germany, she said, “You cannot write letters accusing racism and then turn around and say that designers are good people, it’s confusing” and I thought, “Wow”. And I don’t respond to comments or anything but there are so many things I wanted to say to her.

I don’t want the people whose names are on the list to think that I think that they’re bad or racist, but the act is definitely.

I don’t want the people whose names are on the list to think that I think that they’re bad or racist, but the act is definitely. It can improve a little bit, but the thing I’ve learned from what I’ve done, is that activism has to remain active. You can’t be an activist and then go on too long a holiday. Because everything will slide right back.

J: That’s very wise words. I mean I feel like fashion doesn’t have as much of an activist spirit anymore, not many people speak freely about things that go on.

B: Not anymore, definitely in the past you may have had people speak up about things, I mean everyone is pretty much excited about their emails and their social media. They quoted me saying in the paper, “that someone of power needs to slap these guys around” “Do you want to explain that?” I didn’t mean you have to do it physically; I meant that someone in power, in a way of speaking should say, “You know I think we need to change this”, and if that person in power does that, then things would be like that (snaps). Because things would be under that light. A designer was told by her stylist that if she used this many girls of color she wouldn’t get editorial recognition, and she said, well I guess I’m not going to get any editorial recognition, because I have to use these girls of color. I also had someone say to me that just using this particular girl that the editorial world has sort of stopped using, no one is coming and trying to support them.

People have said to me… Are you afraid of their backlash and I said, if they’re not afraid, I’m not. I mean what is there to be afraid of? I’m not going to get a garment? There’s none of that. I know my industry. I grew up in this business before most of these people were even here. It’s a business… it’s a simple industry business that’s apparel driven… They just don’t realize the effect they have and that’s where ignorance is bliss.

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Cindy Bruna at Calvin Klein, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com
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Grace Mahary at Helmut Lang, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com
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Kai Newman at Calvin Klein, photo by Billy Rood / Models.com

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Posted in Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week, Interviews | 27 Comments »

12 Portraits by Daniella Rech

March 21st, 2013

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12 Portraits by Daniella Rech

Experience the season’s superstars at their finest in this striking black and white portrait series by Daniella Rech. Stepping away from the chaos of Paris fashion week and capturing girls behind the scenes during fittings. Rech gives a window into the world of each beauty, capturing their personality and poise in these simple, evocative images that run the gamut from adorable to serene – only in MDX.

Photography by Daniella Rech

Grace Bol
Saskia de Brauw
Joan Smalls
Cara Delevingne
Ashleigh Good
Maria Bradley
Ginta Lapina
Caroline Brasch Nielsen
Marie Piovesan
Catherine McNeil
Kel Markey
Daphne Groeneveld

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Numero Uno: Joan Smalls

September 1st, 2012

Numero Uno: Joan Smalls

What does it feel like to be the number one model in the world? KlossLondon goes straight to the source to find out in this exclusive peek into the world of brand-new numero uno, Joan Smalls. Find out how she rose through the ranks to the top of the heap, and what snagging that coveted place atop Top 50 means to her. See a whole new side of the groundbreaking beauty and celebrate her victory with this MDX special.

A Models.com video by KlossLondon

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Victoria’s Secret 2011

November 10th, 2011

VS angels can’t help but be sexy, the moment the music starts and the lights go on they are there to bring good ol’ fashioned seductiveness back to the runways. Before that all happens though, there is the calm before the storm. The moments when they’re just carefree girls getting ready to do the one show that lets them share their beauty with millions of viewers. For a glimpse at what happens before the wings come on, MDC takes you behind the scenes of the world’s biggest show.

Photos & Video by Billy RoodFig Photos

Casting by John Pfeiffer
Hair by Orlando Pita
Makeup by Tom Pecheux

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Posted in Videos, Womenswear | 81 Comments »

V 74 Preview – the model issue

October 31st, 2011


V has always loved to feature the moment’s hottest catwalkers inside their pages, but for the first time in years fresh faces are truly the stars of the show. With 2011’s top girls headlining the whole issue V74 serves to encapsulate a moment within the industry. It’s been a long while since magazines have embraced models as viable cover options: given the omnipresent images of actresses, musicians and Kardashians on American mags of late, it is refreshing to see a model staring back at you. Candice, Joan, Lindsey, Bambi, Sui He, Daphne, Saskia and Hanaa are the stars of today and the mix of distinctive faces says a lot about the current mood. Now is the time for individuality: gone are the days of cookie cutter girls who couldn’t resonate with the public. The new breed of fashion stars are characterized by their uniqueness.

Presenting an exclusive models.com preview of V 74 / the model issue, with a behind-the-scenes video of the cover shoot – shot by Terry Richardson and styled by Carine Roitfeld, a never before seen preview of the new Inez and Vinoodh major retrospective book “Pretty Much Everything” (coming out in December) and the powerhouse feature once again tapping New York’s best agencies with contributions from DNA, Next, Ford, Women, Supreme and IMG showcasing their girls and boys at their most beautiful. View the hot off the press images – only in MDX.

V 74 will be on newsstands November 8 2011 – for more V please go to www.vmagazine.com or on Twitter @vmagazine

There is no formula. You just know when you see her. It's like falling in love. - Carine Roitfeld on discovering models

Photography: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin
Styling: Melanie Ward

For more visit: inezandvinoodh.com
and follow Inez & Vinoodh on Twitter: @inezandvinoodh and on Tumblr: inezandvinoodh.tumblr.com


Art direction Paul Rowland, Photography Salvatore Morale, Illustration Sissel Kardel

Photography Alex Cayley, Styling Maher Jridi



Photography Terry Richardson


Photography Knoepfel & Indlekofer, Styling Deborah Afshani




Photography Tommy Ton, Art direction Jason Duzansky, Still life photography Jarren Vink




Photography Terry Richardson



Photography Catherine Servel, Styling Roxane Danset

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Posted in Cover story, Exclusives, Magazine Previews, Videos | 39 Comments »

Girls of Autumn/Winter 2011 Fashion Week

March 10th, 2011

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To celebrate the close of the Autumn/Winter 2011 season we have a very special and fun treat. We are very excited to present an exclusive collaboration between models.com and video director Justin Wu with the very kind support of LaneCrawford.com.

models.com and Justin Wu take you on a whirlwind tour of fashion week in Milan and Paris, from castings to backstage, the shows and the models off-duty, lip-synched to the classic fave of ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off of You’!

Video directed by Justin Wu (see more of Justin’s videos at www.jwuvideo.com)

Cover photo: Marija Vujovic, Natasha Poly and Candice Swanepoel backstage at Dolce & Gabbana

Models in order of appearance in the video:
Natalia Osikova (Why Not, VNY)
Martha Streck
Magdalena Frackowiak
Tali Lennox
Constance Jablonski
Hailey Clauson
Josephine Skriver
Zuzanna Bijoch
Emily Blunt
Alessandra C (Why Not)
Julija Steponaviciute
Melodie Monrose
Samantha Gradoville
Carola Remer
Caroline Brasch Nielsen
Suzie Bird
Debora Muller
Julia Saner
Liu Wen
Alessandra Ambrosio
Candice Swanepoel
Karlie Kloss
Lindsay Lullman
Jacquelyn Jablonski
Joan Smalls
Mirte Maas
Natasha Poly
Irina Kulikova
Marija Vujovic
Hanne Gaby Odiele
Laura McCone
Maud Welzen
Hildie Gifstad
Flaviana Matata
Anja Rubik
Daphne Groeneveld
Myf Shepherd
Jourdan Dunn
Hanna Samokhina

A very very big thanks to Justin Wu, all the models, their agencies and LaneCrawford.com who have made this possible. To see Behind-the-scenes pictures, and learn more about Justin Wu, please go to www.lanecrawford.com




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Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 2011

February 15th, 2011

There can only be one king of New York, but who owns the crown? For several years now that rarefied honor has belonged to none other than Marc Jacobs, but with his last few collections Alexander Wang appears to be giving Marc a run for his money. Wang’s streetwise, downtown look is instantly recognizable – so much so that when he went in a different direction last season, the fashion crowd didn’t quite know what to do with itself. For fall Alex is back to black and cruising through familiar territory with the ease and confidence of a designer with a CFDA award under his belt. Keeping with the very East Coast theme of grunge meets glam, fur and satin were added to Wang’s usual repertoire of leather and jersey. Models strutted down the runway in heels embellished with mink and sunglasses tipped with fox; a decidedly luxurious touch for a label associated with ease and accessibility. Wang’s girl has grown up and is ready for splendor; with his Soho boutique launch only days away, the sudden foray into opulence seems perfectly timed.
Alexander Wang
Fall/Winter 2011

Photos: Betty Sze
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Stylist: Karl Templer
Casting director: Anita Bitton for The Establishment
Makeup: Diane Kendal
Hair: Guido Palau








Alexander Wang
Fall/Winter 2011

models:
Caroline Brasch Nielsen
Karolina Kurkova
Caroline de Maigret
Kate King
Suvi Koponen
Ruby Aldridge
Ming Xi
Jac Jagaciak & Frida Gustavsson
Daphne Groeneveld
Caroline Trentini
Jacquelyn JablonskiEliza Cummings
Joan Smalls
Lily Donaldson
Kasia Struss
Alla Kostromichova
Natasa Vojnovic
Joan Smalls
Fei Fei Sun
Aymeline Valade
Suvi Koponen
Iselin Steiro
Natasha Poly
Britt Maren
Marique Schimmel
Liu Wen
Karmen Pedaru
Mirte Maas
Aline Weber
Fei Fei & Jourdan

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Posted in Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week | 22 Comments »

The Blackallure: Vogue Italia backstage exclusive

February 8th, 2011


Vogue Italia is fashion’s foremost source for inspirational imagery; you can always count on their editorials to push boundaries and raise eyebrows with the kind of visuals you can’t see anywhere else. The magazine’s combination of A-List talent and a desire to innovate never fails to dazzle. When you combine the artistry of Emma Summerton, Edward Enninful, Mathias van Hooff and Jimmy Paul, the end result is bound to blow your mind. Throw in the unrelenting beauty of models Joan Smalls, Jourdan Dunn, Lais Ribiero, Melodie Monrose, Arlenis Sosa, Kinee Diouf, Ajak, Rose Cordero, Sessilee Lopez and Chanel Iman and you’re in for the kind of eye candy that only one glossy on earth could provide. MDC takes you behind the scenes of this very special VI shoot, for an exclusive look at the moments before the magic happens.

See the editorial and a second backstage video on the Vogue Italia web site

Vogue Italia / Feb 2011

Video directed and edited by Alec Maxwell & Herod
W/ additional footage by Stephan Moskovic for models.com

This video is also available on youtube

Team

Photographer- Emma Summerton
Fashion Editor- Edward Enninful
Make-up Artist – Mathias van Hooff
Hairstylist- Jimmy Paul
Manicure – Honey
Set Design – Mary Howard Studio
Production – Heather Catania

Models

Rose Cordero @ Ford
Lais Ribeiro @ Women
Jourdan Dunn @ Storm
Melodie Monrose @ Wilhelmina
Joan Smalls @ IMG
Chanel Iman @ IMG
Aminata Niaria @ IMG
Kinee Diouf @ IMG
Ajak Deng @ IMG
Arlenis Sosa @ Marilyn’s NY
Sessilee Lopez @ Major Model

Soundtrack: Etheric Device by Glass Candy

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Posted in Cover story, Videos | 37 Comments »

Yves Saint Laurent S/S 11

October 8th, 2010

Everyone remembers the scene in The September Issue where Anna Wintour admonishes Stefano Pilati for the lack of color found in his muted collection for YSL. Looking back on that chilling moment, one has to wonder how everyone’s favorite editrix must feel about the vibrant and elegant show Pilati put forth for spring. For a designer who has been critiqued strongly in the past, this season’s impeccable lineup almost feels like a coy nod to naysayers. Showcasing his skill for precision cutting and a newly optimistic point of view, Pilati turned out one of his best (and brightest) collections for the house.

The classic Yves references were there; crisp white trenches, billowing silk blouses and sleek jumpsuits all called to mind the seventies heyday of Saint Laurent without resorting to mimicry and the fashion savvy will also spot a thoughtful reprise of Le Smoking, done with subtlety and grace. There was also a touch of flamenco flair, via a series of ruffled dresses that are certain to become repeat players in the editorial pages. This variety offered may seem like a retrospective of Saint Laurent signatures, but Pilati adds his adept touch. Finding the balance between respectfully embracing the heritage of the brand and adding your own mark, can be a difficult task for designers, but it is one that Pilati seems to have mastered. His look for spring is classic YSL but Pilati’s unique breed of sexiness is especially evident in those sheer numbers from the streamlined finale.

Yves Saint Laurent
Spring/Summer 2011

Photos: Stephan Moskovic
Text: Janelle Okwodu

Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2011

Stylist: Joe McKenna
Casting: Kannon Rajah and Philippe Contini
Makeup: Pat McGrath
Hair: Guido Palau

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Alexander’s Army

February 22nd, 2010

The 40 faces of the Alexander Wang Fall/Winter 2010 line up (in their looks)
Casting: Anita Bitton for The Establishment

See also our exclusive look at the backstage scene here: Alexander Wang F/W 10 Backstage

In alphabetical order:
Abbey Lee Kershaw
Agyness Deyn
Aline Weber
Alla Kostromichova
Anja Rubik
Anna Selezneva
Antonella Graef
Edita Vilkeviciute
Elsa Sylvan
Freja Beha Erichsen
Hanne Gaby Odiele
Heidi Mount
Iris Strubegger
Iselin Steiro
Jac Jagaciak
Jacquelyn Jablonski
Jenny Sinkaberg
Jessica Miller
Joan Smalls
Kamila Filipcikova
Karlie Kloss
Karmen Pedaru
Kasia Struss
Lindsay/IMG
Liu Wen
Magdalena Frackowiak
Mirte Maas
Natalia Vodianova
Natasha Poly
Patricia van der Vliet
Regina Feoktistova
Rose Cordero
Sara Blomqvist
Sasha Pivovarova
Shu Pei
Sigrid Agren
Snejana Onopka
Valerija Kelava
Yasmina/1 Models
Ylonka Verheul

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Posted in Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week | 36 Comments »

Alexander Wang F/W 10 Backstage

February 16th, 2010

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Alexander Wang F/W 10
Designer: Alexander Wang
Stylist: Karl Templer
Hair: Guido Palau
Makeup: Diane Kendal
Casting: Anita Bitton for The Establishment

1-Anna Wintour, Alexander Wang
2-Antonella Graef
3-Joan Smalls
4-The lineup
5-Ylonka Verheul
6-Iselin Steiro, Miguel Avalos from Women
7-Jenny Sinkaberg
8-Alexander shows Anna the collection
9-New face Yasmina with 1 Models.
10-Karmen Pedaru, Snejana Onopka , in their own clothes; line up for rehearsal
11- Tavi in front of the camera
12-New face Lindsey with IMG
13-F/W 10 Accessories
14-F/W 10 Shoes
15-Detail, shoes
16-Yasmina with Karl, first looks
17-The crowd awaits
18-Ylonka Verheul
19-Sigrid Agren
20-Abbey Lee Kershaw in black and white
21-Karlie Kloss
22-Agyness Deyn
23-Natasha Poly
24-Abbey Lee Kershaw
25-Wall Street grey
26-Anita in action
27-Jessica Miller
28-Jessica Miller, Jacquelyn Jablonski, Edita Vilkeviciute
29-Lace on Iris Strubegger
30-Anna Selezneva
31-Jenny Sinkaberg
32-Natalia Vodianova
33-Shimmer
34-Finale

Photos: Betty Sze

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Posted in Cover story, Fashion, Fashion Week | 27 Comments »