As a new model, fresh to New York, you might very well find yourself making the trek to Elle's towering offices on one of your first go-sees and chances are you will be meeting Cynthia Weinstein. Do not be intimidated. Elle's Model Booking Production Director has a reputation for being one of the most sincere and considerate editors working in the business today. Hers is the eye that filters through the thousands of composite cards, Polaroids and headsheets submitted to the magazine to decide which girls gain visibility in its widely read pages. Here, MODELS.com catches up with the multi-tasking editor in her comp-card covered office to get her unique insights on the industry.
MODELS.com: Cynthia, could you outline for the benefit of our readers, what it is that you do at Elle magazine?
I didn't know this job existed until
the day I started. If you're good with details and working with people
this is an ideal job and those were the things I enjoyed doing. Looking
from the outside in you don't think there is a person who has to arrange
all the elements that go into making the photo shoot happen but I learned
there is a lot of logistics involved in this business.
I was working for a photographer as a production rep when I landed the
job here as an assistant. I eventually moved up to being the booking
a great job because you are the nucleus of all the different strands
that combine to make Elle what it is. I work with the fashion department
in terms of tracking the clothes and the seasons; with the art department
because when the creative side of the magazine hires a photographer,
I have to understand what they are looking for in a girl.
also my job to know who all the the girls are, whether that be the newest
girls just arriving in town or the availability of the more established
girl. It means constantly maintaining relationships: working with model
agents and knowing about these new faces as well as knowing the specific
tastes of the photographers we are working with on specific stories.
Working for Elle I have to keep the casting within the world-view or the taste point we are known for. We have to make sure the type of model, the location, the concept all gels with the identity of the magazine. So in a nutshell (laughter) I'm here to keep it all aligned.
MODELS.com: Elle has a great tradition of breaking strong new girls very early on in their careers. If I'm not mistaken Angela Lindvall and Karolina Kurkova were a part of that tradition.
Cynthia: It is definitely a part of the Elle tradition. We're willing to take risks because we try to represent a wider range of girls. The more range we present the reader with, the greater the chance of that reader relating to our pages. We've used a girl like Caroline Ribiero as a beauty page long before she became so popular. We used a page on Ana Claudia long in advance too. Sometimes it's important to go with your gut response to a girl.