Of The Minute
April 19th, 2015 by models.com
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What’s beautiful now? Confidence, elegance and a zest for life. As embodied by newly minted Jo Malone girl Poppy Delevingne, modern beauty comes to life. It isn’t about makeup it’s about an attitude and personality that are irresistible. View Poppy in her element in front of the camera and take a look at her sweetly scented Jo Malone favorites.

Photographer: Mark Rabadan
Assistant: Dominic Cabot
Digital: Luis Valiente
Retouch: Nadia Selander

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“My home is overflowing with Jo Malone London candles and I scented my wedding with Orange Blossom, which still gives me butterflies.”

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“I’ve been wearing Red Roses since I was 22. The first thing that drew me to my husband James was his scent, and when I asked him what it was he said, Amber & Lavender by Jo Malone

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Poppy’s Picks:

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Red Roses Cologne – a lighter take on the classic floral bouquet and one of the line’s signature scents. / Orange Blossom Home Candle – transform your space into a garden oasis with this luxurious candle / Amber & Lavender Bath Oil – As worn by Poppy’s hubbie James Cook, this spicy blend merges classic ingredients to create an eclectic scent.

April 16th, 2015 by Irene Ojo-Felix
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Tami Williams photo by Betty Sze for models.com

“It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves” (William Shakespeare). Embodying that steadfast resolve stands rising star, Tami Williams, who knew early on exactly what she wanted and persevered until her dreams became her reality. The Jamaican, statuesque stunner walked in an impressive 42 shows this past runway season (her 3rd) from Marc Jacobs to Alexander McQueen capturing the attention of many with her poised presence. Her recent editorial work in American Vogue showcases her with the best in the business from Peter Lindbergh and Craig McDean to Grace Coddington. What her images and runway jaunts fail to show you is her sweet disposition and charming humbleness or her appreciation for all the talents that make fashion happen. Tami talked to us about unleashing her brilliance when she’s in front of a camera, her first runway experience, and what’s keeps her grounded.

Where did you get your start? How did you get discovered?
I was discovered in Jamaica at the age of 11 but I was too short. So my agent told my mom to have me come back at 13; I entered a competition called Fashion Face of the Caribbean and won second place.

Did you ever think about being a model before that?
Yes, since I was young I always thought, “I want to be a model!” Naomi Campbell was the first model I saw that inspired me to become a model; that era of supermodels completely changed the world of fashion. My mom finally told me one-day “OK, you really want to be a model? I’m going to take you to Deiwght (Peters of Saint International)”. That’s how he found me.

How are you juggling your career while still going to school? Does your schedule ever clash?
As of yet it hasn’t clashed too badly. It’s kind of challenging but when I’m home I attend extra classes so I can catch up on things that I may have missed when I wasn’t in school.

You had a great season! What was your favorite show to walk in?
I don’t have one favorite! I have a lot of favorites. It was a pleasure walking for Calvin Klein as I love Francisco’s designs. I’ve truly loved being able to walk for so many designers and travel at this young age because everyone doesn’t get this opportunity.

What was your first show?
My first show was Alexander Wang as an semi-exclusive. At first, I was a bit nervous because it was my first show ever but during the show I was so happy and thankful for that moment. It was a good feeling.

Are there any designers that you really love to wear?
It’s amazing to get the chance to wear beautiful things and travel but I recognize it’s a privilege thanks to my job. I love accessories, especially handbags! I’m still more the little girl that would dress up in heels.

Where’s your favorite place to go in the World?
Paris! I love the Tuileries and shopping at the Champs-Élysées!

How was it being on location with Peter Lindbergh and Grace? Was it a difficult location to shoot in? How was the mood of everyone?
Firstly, I couldn’t believe when I got confirmed because my dream was always to be in the pages of American Vogue. Every shoot is a great experience and I was so excited to be working with Peter Lindbergh and Grace Coddington. Grace is really a sweetheart and she made sure I was comfortable on the shoot. The mood was all happiness. We all knew what it meant to be shooting for American Vogue. For me, it was like a dream. The shoot was extremely fun and it was amazing to shoot with such an amazing team and models, including one of my best friends Kai (Newman) who is also from Jamaica.

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Peter Lindbergh for American Vogue

How do you feel about your recent single girl shoot with Craig McDean for Vogue? How was the atmosphere working with him and Grace Coddington?
I really feel extremely blessed and grateful to have had the experience of working with Craig and Grace for American Vogue, especially for a single girl story so early in my career. Working with Grace again was really good and I learned so much from her. They are all clear on what they wanted and how the shot will look. They are very hard workers and I have so much respect for them. The atmosphere on set was very comfortable and nurturing. Sometimes I pinch myself and wonder if this is really happening.

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Craig McDean (Art + Commerce) for American Vogue

What’s one thing about you that might surprise people?
I like making people happy and making others smile. I have four sisters and I’m the second born. My sisters tell me “I want to be like you when I grow up” so I feel good that I’m a role model not only to people on the street but for them too. It means a lot to me.

What’s one thing you want to accomplish?
I would love to get a cosmetics campaign. It would be such a huge honor to represent the brand as one of their spokespersons because it reaches a broader audience. I hope one day to get to a level where I can use my voice to help others in need.

Who do you admire the most?
I would say my family and my mother agent because if it wasn’t for them pushing me, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

April 14th, 2015 by betty
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Left: Maisie Williams by Ben Toms for Dazed & Confused. Center: Emilia Clarke by Paolo Roversi (Art + Commerce) for British Vogue. Right: Natalie Dormer by Bjarne Jonasson for Self Magazine

Models.com and the rest of the world are enthralled by George RR Martin’s incredible world of fantasy and with this past Sunday’s season 5 debut, discussion of the show reached a fever pitch. The fashion industry loves the telegenic and dynamic cast members as well, putting them on their covers, in campaigns and in articles for Vogue and Style.com. While Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister is inimitable, what if we rehashed the rest of the players with some of our fave models for House Stark, Lannister et al in a giant fashion editorial? Let the games begin. (Don’t worry, no spoilers for those still catching up!)


 

Lena Headey, from Entertainment Weekly. Natalia by Paolo Roversi for Vogue Russia (2014)
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Cersei Lannister
The famed golden haired Lannister beauty could be portrayed by quite a few of the top models but our favorite would be Natalia Vodianova in the role of the Queen Regent. Natalia’s regal air and leonine mane of hair were the main reasons for our vote but the deciding factor is how long she’s ruled the fashion industry with her compelling beauty and poise. Runner ups Doutzen Kroes and Karolina Kurkova


Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Cover Magazine (2013) by Hasse Nielsen. Gabriel by Michelangelo di Battista for Hugo Boss (2013)
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Jaime Lannister
The modeling industry is filled with tons of square jawed handsome fellows but Gabriel Aubry would do a phenomenal job playing the rakishly dashing Kingslayer. We totally see him wielding a sword, atop a horse and twinkling his beautiful baby blues at the world. Runner ups Brad Kroenig, Ryan Burns


Sophie Turner by Horst Diekgerdes for InStyle (2015). Madison by Annie Leibovitz for American Vogue (2014)
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Sansa Stark
Sansa’s character has gone through quite a change on the show, growing from a more demure young lass to one finally embracing the power of her beauty and womanhood. Madison Stubbington reminds us of the earlier Sansa, a delicate beauty with the red hair just hinting at the fiery nature that later emerges. Runner ups Rianne Van Rompaey, Dani Witt


Maisie Williams by Marc Hom (2015). Binx by Roe Ethridge for Document Journal (2014)
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Arya Stark
Is there anyone who doesn’t love Arya Stark, the formidable young warrior? We feel model of the moment Binx Walton is the perfect person to capture the youngest Stark’s ass-kicking awesomeness. Runners up Edie Campbell, Sarah Brannon


Kit Harington by Marc Hom (2015). Marlon for Avon 2015
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Jon Snow
Like the Bastard of Winterfell, we may know nothing but what we do know is that from Season 1, we’ve thought Marlon Teixeira would play a fantastic Jon Snow. The hair, the intensity, Marlon’s got it all. We’d be severely saddened if Marlon wasn’t available for our imaginary story. Runners up Wouter Peleen, Simon Nessman


Natalie Dormer for Self Magazine by Bjarne Jonasson (2015). Miranda for Kora Organics (2014)
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Margery Tyrell
In a show filled with fascinating characters, Margery Tyrell stands out as one of the most memorable. Her cleverness is only superseded by her winsome beauty and that’s why we feel Miranda Kerr, with her alluring face, hair and figure would be excellent as the ambitious young Queen. Runners up Daria Werbowy, Yumi Lambert


Emilia Clarke by Marc Hom. Cara by Inez & Vinoodh for W Magazine
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Daenerys Targaryen
At first we were convinced the gorgeous Abbey Lee had the flaxen haired Mother of Dragons role wrapped up, but in the end, the incomparable Cara Delevingne with her blonde hair/dark eyebrow combo, British accent and her magnetically fiery charisma wins our hearts to play the last Targaryen. Runners up Abbey Lee, Georgia May Jagger

Who did we forget? Who would you cast in all the other juicy roles? Hodor? Let us know in the comments.

April 10th, 2015 by Steven Yatsko
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Evelien Joos, the photo director of CR Fashion Book, took some time to sit and discuss with us the process of casting and enthusiastically obsess over her current choicest models; akin to asking a cinephile their favorite flick–the answer is not so simple. For Evelien, casting is just one of the principal pieces of a good story. Find out who’s on her list of the industry’s creative stand-outs and what makes a magazine interesting.

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Photo Steven Yatsko for models.com

What attracted you to CR Fashion Book?

I like working for a magazine. I worked at an agency years ago, but you are quite limited in what you do there. You only work with a few artists and have to make sure they do well in their career, which I find so stressful. At a magazine, you work on a variety of things, you are on the pulse of all the new trends, work with models, musicians, stylists, photographers, actors, editors, agents. You don’t get bored easily. There is always something else to work on. Especially in the smaller independent magazines. At CR, I liked that it was a familiar group of people I was going to work with again. I knew them all from V so it was nice to go back to familiar grounds–and of course, I wanted to work with Carine. She is an icon and a great person to work for.

You’re doing a lot of casting as well–that was also something you were doing in the past?

Yes indeed. Through my sister I got into casting. I always helped Natalie Joos on her castings in NYC during Fashion Week. I never took it as a full time job though. I like the whole aspect of a shoot. Finding photographers, finding models, getting hair and makeup and studios. I love that I can talk to many people in each different aspect of this industry. It makes it more interesting. I do love casting though. I like finding models that fit within a theme rather than looking for a model because of her name. It’s more fun that way. And it’s definitely more fun if the people you work with listen to you and want to go for it. Take a risk. Otherwise we always end up looking at the same faces and that gets very boring.

Do you have any favorite models from this last season or in some in general?

Newer girls: Lineisy Montero! I just worked with Alix Angjeli at Major and she is an amazing model. Antonia Wilson is super cool. Also Tamy Glauser! Laura James, whom I found on the street while she was waiting to start her internship. She is very beautiful. Sophia Ahrens is to me the new addition to the British girls. She is smart, carries herself so well, is optimistic, beautiful–regal almost. I hope she gets the next Burberry campaign. And Laura Julie! I waited to see this girl for 6 months! Last season in September I remember she didn’t come for NYFW, then she wasn’t in London and didn’t go to Milan. And I didn’t go to Paris. When I finally saw her in New York this February I was very happy. What a cool girl! I love also Hayett McCarthy. And in general I like Candice Huffine, Liu Wen, Ashleigh Good (love her dark hair!), Anna Ewers, Lindsey Wixson, Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy, Sasha Pivovarova and Gemma Ward. In the very early 2000’s I loved Carmen Kass, Frankie Rayder, Kate Moss and Natalia Vodianova. I always loved models! There are so many girls I like; it’s hard to start naming them. I could name a 100 more!

Any models who haven’t broke out yet or is your secret you can’t share?

Barbara Gerasimova. I finally booked her for an online shoot we did for CR and she is amazing! She was stuck in Russia for a while, so I couldn’t book her for anything, until finally in January she was in Paris. She is amazing. And Poppy Okotcha at Select. We booked her for a shoot in January. I would have loved seeing her do shows!

What is it that gives a model that extra “something”?

You mostly need to have it all–hah! The hair. The body. The face. The personality.  For me a lot of times that extra something you know when the girl walks in and you meet her. I like to meet the models. I want to talk to them. See how they move, how they dress, how they carry themselves. I don’t like model books. I want digitals and I need to meet them and I like to take my own polaroids. During those big pre castings for the shows it’s weird, how in a group of a 300 models there is one girl that you are WOW about. It’s when you see that perfection all of a sudden.

This last season was a big one for newcomers. Why do you think that was? And is there any room for longevity?

We live in a time where yesterday is old news and we want more and newer and unseen and undiscovered. To the point where there is no more top models anymore actually. It’s all about the next new model. We want things faster, newer and we also want to be the first person to discover a model and launch their career. Which is quite a nice feeling when that actually happens!

Is this partially a product of social media? 

I think there are different categories with that. With a new runway model, usually these girls have like 300 followers on their Instagram when they start on the runway. Nobody cares really what their Instagram looks like. Even better when nobody knows them, I would say! It’s maybe when they become more famous and they have a couple of seasons working already that social media can count. It shows how popular they have become and in a way how well they evolved in this industry. For a commercial client, it will help for sure if a girl has a ton of followers. It sells their brand. And then you have the models that are the kids of some famous person. For them, social media is how they become famous mostly. I will play with that as well if I am looking for that type of model for that type of client or for that type of shoot. Just depends what you are casting for. But in general, I don’t need an Instagram account to book someone.

What happens when Instagram goes away (will it?)?

It will not go away. It can make a job easier if you are trying to find someone new. I have found a boy on Instagram before, showed to Carine, and we booked him. His name is Maarten Convens. We shot him for CR 6.

What about emerging creatives? Who are some photographers, stylists, designers and talent you think we ought to be paying attention to?

The designer Vetements! It’s exciting, it’s cool, you want every piece and it’s unpretentious. I am a big fan. For photographers: Johnny Dufort, Sloan Laurits, Theo Sion, Marili Andre, Amanda Camenisch, Gareth McConnell and Lea Colombo. For stylists: Raphael Hirsch, Max Pearmain, Ben Perreira, Constance Feral, Britt Mccamey, Christina Sulpizio and Haley Wollens. And I love my friends Tom Van Dorpe, Zara Zachrisson and Elin Svahn, of course. They are amazing talent.

What makes an interesting publication these days?

A publication that doesn’t only use their advertisers in such a way it looks like a lookbook for the brands. A publication that doens’t try to be doing what everyone else is doing and uses new and unseen photographers and models, but mixed in with some big names too! It should be both and they should get the freedom to create something without any restrictions.

What makes a particular body of work standout?

The choice in models and talent is super important. Who you are shooting. Understand what model works and I don’t mean you can only shoot top models. Just find the right person for your story. It’s also important shooting with the thought that you don’t need to please an advertiser or a brand. I don’t like “credit catch” shoots. You can tell immediately. You should be shooting for the sake of creating cool and amazing images. That’s when the work becomes really good. When you almost don’t have to use clothes or brands or a famous face to make a point!

Is it better to be modern or classic?

The now version of classic. It all comes back to the classics. What’s modern is what’s on trend and now, and what’s on trend and now is gone yesterday. So better to stick to the classics. Lasts longer.

Dream team for an editorial?

Carine Roitfeld and Steven Meisel.

Have you ever held any odd jobs?

I worked at a chocolate shop in Belgium for 6 months.  And I worked at a modeling agency as an agent for 4 months… I ran away! It’s not my world. That was an odd job for me.

If you weren’t in this industry what do you think you would you be doing?

When I was 7 years old, I loved going to the dentist and I wanted to be a dentist. I also always loved acting and I was pretty good at it.

Last question: what’s the future like?

Getting married! I am taking pictures and we are ​slowly ​on our way to becoming a photo duo​ maybe​.​..​

April 8th, 2015 by Jonathan Shia
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Spring was in the air for one sweet evening as the crowds swarmed West Chelsea for the annual Jeffrey Fashion Cares silent auction and charity fashion show, which the department store hosts every year to raise money for a spate of LGBT causes, including ACRIA, the Hetrik-Martin Institute, and Lambda Legal. Zachary Quinto chatted with Anna Wintour as the guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, looking to bid on prizes ranging from small pocketbooks to deluxe fantasy vacations. Joseph Altuzarra, Prabal Gurung, and Narciso Rodriguez were all in attendance, as were Catherine McNeil and Jasmine Tookes, there to support Miles Langford, Tobias Sorenson, and other model friends who took to the runway showing off the famously edgy designer wares available at Jeffreys, from Dries Van Noten and Givenchy to the tiny swimsuits on Chad White and Parker Hurley. Those two received, unsurprisingly, a loud cheer from the raucous crowd on hand, one surpassed only by the applause for the charismatic River Viiperi, who stripped off his Bobby Abley sweatshirt halfway down the runway and flashed a smile around the room. All for a good cause. Take a look at Casey Vange’s exclusive backstage shots below, only on models.com.

Casting by Andrew Weir

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River Viiperi

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Henry Watkins

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Miles Langford

casey-vange-jfc-03Trevor Van Uden

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Dae Na and Conrad Bromfield

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Brian Shimansky

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Trevor Van Uden & Ellis McCreadie

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River and Abiah Hostvedt

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Henry and Abiah

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Conrad, Roberto Sipos

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Chad White

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River, Adam ButcherJordan Barrett

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Daan van der Deen and Abiah

casey-vange-jfc-30Trevor Van Uden , Oli Lacey

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Henry W, Henrik Fallenius, Vladimir Ivanov

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Tobias Sorensen, Parker Hurley

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Armando Cabral

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Parker Hurley

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Abiah

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Vladimir

April 8th, 2015 by models.com
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Carine Roitfeld‘s Beauty Queens / Image Courtesy Harper’s Bazaar

Carine Roitfeld provides the week’s key beauty inspiration with a gorgeous story in Harper’s Bazaar shot by Brigitte Niedermair. Featuring Carine’s roster of fashionable favorites including Gigi, Jing Wen and Ondria the story puts a beauty twist on the season’s look complete with blue lipstick and plenty of geometric eyeliner. Harper Bazaar

This week the beauty business mourns the loss of one of its true innovators, Dr. Frederic Brandt‘s passing leaves a void not only within the lives of his friends and family but also within the fashion and beauty business. As dermatologist to everyone from Hollywood royalty like Madonna, to fashion legend Stephanie Seymour. Brandt shaped the way in which we view beauty and aging, popularizing fillers like Botox, collagen and Restalyne.

After years of working with Victoria’s Secret the beautiful Lindsay Ellingson launches her own line of beauty products

Ever wonder what prompted model Tamy Glauser to opt for her signature shaved hairstyle? Find out how she came to have the look and see a rare picture of her with long blonde hair!

In industry shake ups makeup artist Gucci Westman (Art + Commerce) leaves Revlon to explore new endeavors after seven groundbreaking years.

The beauty blogosphere just got a whole lot bigger – Youtube phenom Michelle Phan ditches the social channel that made her famous in favor of her own network.

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Pretty boys of the world rejoice, Fantastic Man offers up a spirited take on male beauty this month with Andres Velencoso Segura trying on all manner of blush, lipstick and eyeshadow — could a beauty contract be in his future? Only time will tell!

April 3rd, 2015 by contributor
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Collage of recent shots taken by Lia and Odette

Recently in Milan, model watchers marked Russian new face Lia Pavlova as one to watch after she opened the much anticipated Gucci show with an exclusive. Just a few days later, her twin sister Odette Pavlova glided down the Jil Sander runway, exhibiting the exquisite grace that they both possess, from their years in traditional Russian dance. Between the two of them, for their first season, the twins walked also for Balenciaga, Celine, Dior, Lanvin, Miu Miu and Saint Laurent amongst others, proving the duo’s ethereal beauty was alluring across the board.  We spoke with the sisters to find out more.

interview by Emmie America for models.com. For the interview in Russian see below.

Emmie: Congratulation on a great first season! Let’s start from the beginning. It’s an uncommon occurrence to have sisters, and twins, both in the modeling industry, and both off to such a great start, at the same exact time. Tell us about your “Cinderella story.” 

Odette: When we were 16 years old we were walking to a supermarket in our hometown and a modeling agency director approached us. When we signed eventually with TANN, our new agent told us straight away that she would place us separately. I ended up at Next Worldwide and Lia at several agencies in all the major cities.

E: And you think that was a good call, since now you are being managed individually?

Odette and Lia: Definitely.

O: My agency didn’t even know I had a twin until Lia opened Gucci.

L: Same here. My agency first found out about Odette at the Gucci casting and they got nervous that she might replace me.

E: Would you say having a twin sister in the industry makes it harder on you?

L: If anything I think it’s more the agency’s worry. Of course sometimes we get compared, but I am not competing against my sister.

O: Yes, I’m just happy that my sister is doing well. I think jealousy is silly. Of course when she did Gucci and I got cut last minute it was a little frustrating. But it wasn’t anger; I just felt a bit sorry for myself.

E: Do you try to be each other’s support system? Did you always get along so well?

O: Yes, we tell each other everything! We are always talking, asking each other for advice, even though we are often at different ends of the world.

E: Was modeling for you a childhood dream or something you fell into? And how do you like the industry now that you’ve seen it from the inside?

L: Everything happened so spontaneously. I love shows! I often watch videos from the runway and backstage.

O: Same here. I look at websites because I’m interested who is doing what. Who is having a good season, which girls are booking exclusives – we are working with these people, we know them.

E: Lia, you mentioned that you love shows the most. Why?

L: Maybe it is because we used to do dance and performed on stage. I love the energy while I walk – the music, the runway itself, because it’s always different, the clothes I’m wearing. I’m only on stage for a few minutes but I am showcasing what a designer has been working on for months! I can do shows 24/7 with no sleep.

O: I agree! Shows are an amazing process; it’s a performance. Sure you’re showing the clothes, but you’re also showing yourself. 

E: Ok, let’s talk about this season. How did it feel to be doing the top shows?

L: It felt too good to be true. I think this worked out so well largely due to the efforts of my Russian and Milan agencies. After I did Gucci suddenly everyone wanted to book me. Every job was so magical that I never got tired! It’s an incredible feeling to have people you admire who want to work with you!

E: Which moment was your highlight? 

L: My favorite moment was Gucci, for sure. Everyone who was at the show – all the dressers were people I knew from doing looks for 7 days. Since I was the first girl to walk, everyone was very supportive, including Alessandro Michele, especially since it was his first womenswear collection!

O: At the end of day, it was the Saint Laurent exclusive, of course.  I came to Paris after Jil Sander and just started doing castings when I got a call from my agent saying I booked the exclusive. I didn’t believe it at first. I was so happy on the inside but was too scared to jinx it! I didn’t tell anyone for the whole week! Most memorable part was the night rehearsal. I slept from 11 pm to 3 am, then we all were driven to the show location. They started doing our hair and makeup backstage and there was nobody there, not even the press! I can’t describe this feeling, but we felt like rock stars with painted faces, dressed in all black!

E: Do you have any advice for girls just starting out in the industry?

O: The most important thing is to believe in yourself and not take what others say too close to heart. You need to be morally and physically strong (fashion week is like training for a marathon.) A weak person won’t survive in this industry.

L: Look after yourself! Learn English; always be open to new people and things. Remember everyone who you work with – this is a small world. Oh, and don’t get too full of yourself.

Russian translation below

На минувшей Неделе моды в Милане внимательные зрители отметили новичка из России – Лию Павлову – после того, как девушка открыла Gucci с эксклюзивом. Но всего через пару дней ее сестра-близнец, Одетт Павлова, проплыла по подиуму на Jil Sander с присущий обеим моделям грацией танцовщиц – наследие многолетнего опыта в русских народных танцах. Между тем, в дебютном сезоне близнецы прошлись для Balenciaga, Celine, Dior, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Saint Laurent и других: кажется этот дует не оставила равнодушным, никого. Мы поговорила с восходящими звездами-сестрами, чтобы услышать историю из первых уст.

Эмми: Привет, девочки. Поздравляем вас с отличным первым сезоном! Давайте вернемся к началу вашего пути. Редкий случай: родные сестры оказываются в модельном мире и обе одновременно добиваются заметных результатов. Расскажите свою «историю Золушки».

Одетт: Когда нам было 16 лет, нас остановила директор модельного агентства во время прогулки. В итоге, через некоторое время мы подписались с TANN и наш новый агент сразу сказала что по миру нас будут представлять разные агентства. Так я оказалась в Next, а Лию теперь представляют несколько агентств по мировым столицам.

Э: И вы считаете, что это пошло вам на пользу – ведь теперь вами занимаются отдельно?

Одетт и Лия: Да, определенно.

О: Мое агентство даже не знало, что у меня есть сестра-близняшка, до того как она сделала Gucci.

Л: Да, мое тоже. Они впервые увидели Одетт на кастинге Gucci, и сразу испугались – вдруг меня поменяют на нее.

Э: Если говорить начистоту: сложнее ли работать модели, у которой есть сестра-близнец?

Л: Я считаю, что это заботы агентства . Иногда, конечно, сравнивают, но у нас нет с сестрой конкуренции.

О: Да, я просто рада, что у моей сестры все хорошо получается. Мне кажется, завидовать глупо. Конечно, когда она сделала Gucci, а меня слили, то было обидно. Но это была не злоба, а обида на саму себя.

Э: То есть, никакой драмы: наоборот, подставляете друг другу плечо?

О: Да! Мы постоянно переписываемся, советуемся, хоть зачастую и находимся в разных точках света.

Э: Модельная карьера для вас — везение или детская мечта? И как вы представляете себе мир моды теперь, повидав его изнутри?

Л: Все вышло спонтанно и случайно! Мне нравится это работа, но следить за трендами не успеваю. Показы я очень люблю, часто смотрю видео с подиумов и бэкстэджей.

О: Аналогично. Я просматриваю сайты, потому что мне это интересно: кто какие сезоны сделал, какие девочки взяли эксклюзивы. Мы с этими людьми работаем, пересекаемся, надо быть в курсе.

Э: Лия сказала что больше всего любит подиум. А что нравится именно тебе?

Л: Может быть, потому что мы раньше занимались танцами и выступали на сцене. Мне нравится энергетика, музыка, сам подиум, потому что он всегда разный, то, что на тебе надето. Ты выходишь буквально на пару минут и показываешь то, над чем дизайнер работал месяцами. На показах я могу трудиться сутками, не спать ночами – запросто.

О: Согласна! В неделях моды мне нравится сам процесс, это выступление. Да, ты показываешь одежду, но ты так же показываешь и себя.

Э: Давайте, наконец, об этом сезоне. Каково это: делать топ-шоу в мировых столицах моды?

Л: Слишком хорошо, чтобы быть правдой. Я считаю, что это большая заслуга моего материнского и миланского агентств. А после того, как я сделала Gucci, в Париже все стали меня брать! Каждое задание было настолько прекрасным, что я совсем не уставала! Очень приятно понимать, что люди выбирают именно тебя, хотят с тобой работать.

Э: А какой момент ты могла бы выделить?

Л: Самый яркий, конечно, Gucci. Вся команда бренда, персонал были мне знакомы, потому что предыдущие 7 дней мы провели на примерке. И так как я была первая, меня все очень поддерживали. И сам дизайнер, ведь это было его первое женское шоу!

О: Для меня – это, конечно же, эксклюзив Saint Laurent. Я приехала в Париж после Jil Sander и начала делать кастинги, когда позвонил агент и сказал, что я взяла эксклюзив. Я сначала даже не поверила – внутри был взрыв эмоций, но из личных суеверий я молчала целую неделю. Что запомнилось больше всего? Ночные репетиции! Я спала с 11 до 3 ночи, потом нас посадили в автобус и повезли на место шоу. Нам начали делать макияж, прически — все по-настоящему. Но вокруг не было никого, даже прессы! Я не могу описать это ощущение, мы были все как рок звезды с накрашенными моськами, все в черном.

Э: Прежде чем попрощаться, оставьте несколько пожеланий для моделей новичков.

О: Главное – верить в себя и не принимать чужие слова близко к сердцу, быть морально и физически сильными (неделя моды закаляет получше марафона). Человека, слабого внутри, эта индустрия сломает моментально!

Л: Следить за собой, учить язык, открываться всему новому и главное – быть собой! Запоминать, с кем ты работаешь и на кого – этот мир очень тесен. И не отращивать на голове корону.

March 30th, 2015 by Steven Yatsko
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Mari Agory, Mari Malek, Grace Bol, Rina Kara, Elizabeth Arjok, Nyamouch Girwath, and Nykhor Paul

All photos by Cliff Watts, courtesy of Stand 4 Education

“Whoever is meant to receive it, will receive it,” says Mari Malek speaking of the message her nonprofit Stand 4 Education aims to transmit. The thirty-year-old model, DJ/producer and South Sudanese refugee is using her network within fashion and music as a megaphonic platform to aid the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Her most recent collaborative effort involved a series of portraits featuring women refugees Mari Agory, Elizabeth Arjok, Grace Bol, Nyamouch Girwath, Rina Kara, Nykhor Paul and herself photographed by Cliff Watts. Between them they are mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, models and activists with hefty resumes that stretch from working with Vogue and Louis Vuitton to UNICEF and the United Nation’s 2015 World Economic Forum. The striking images double as tribute to the indigenous beauty of South Sudan (which Malek wishes to preserve) and serve as a call to action. Much of the world is unfamiliar with the African country’s ongoing civil conflict and its devastating social consequences. Over a million people have been displaced since internal fighting broke out in 2013 after South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011. That makes it the newest country in the world, but one fragile and begotten by woes.

She explained the statistics and the severity of the situation sitting amidst the exhaustive hustle of New York City, painting an almost unimaginably stark contrast. The most staggering figure: a population that is nearly 80% illiterate. That distance can create a certain science fiction, one that reads as out-of-reach dystopia. But it’s a definite reality and a huge problem Mari that says demands global attention. Stand 4 Education’s manifesto is focused on providing education to the women and children of South Sudan and to drum up global awareness for her culture.  Education needs to be ubiquitous. “Because education is not only academic, it’s for all aspects of life,” she says.

 

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Mari Malek

S: Stand for Education. What’s it about and what’s the message there?

M: Stand 4 Education is a nonprofit that is dedicated to providing access to education for children and women–globally. Because every child who is in need deserves to have education. We are now focused on South Sudan because I’m from South Sudan and the girls in the images are all from South Sudan. We are all refugees who have risen above many adversities. So it makes sense for us to start with our country. Our country is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world with many issues such as a lack of education, gender inequality, early child marriage, discrimination and war. 80% of our country is unable to read or write. It is the youngest country in the world. We are now 3 years old. We got our independence on July 9th, 2011.  51% of the country are children under the age of 18 so it’s very important we focus on the children because they are the future generation. 64% of our country are women. Ultimately, we want to build quality schools throughout South Sudan. But it doesn’t make sense for us to start building schools when there are schools that need help. When the time is right we also want to build boarding schools for girls where we bring these girls to live, protect them, help mentor them, and teach them about basic health, basic education, and also finding out what they are good at so that we can help them develop that. It’s also important to focus on girls because most of the girls get married off at a very early age and tend to lose their self-identity. Girls drop out as early as eight years old to prepare to become a woman. How do you know where you go at the age of eight years old? How do you even know your self-identity at that age? Education is the only way you can find who you are. As simple as reading a book, reading a sentence that can help you discover something. That’s basically what Stand 4 Education is: It’s about discovering, it’s about enlightening, it’s about knowing. And we choose to do it through different platforms like fashion, music and art–because we are creative beings.

S: How did you get involved? Can you tell me about the beginning process of Stand 4 Education?

M: I have always been a humanitarian. When I escaped from South Sudan with my family, my mom was always helping other refugees. So in our home we would have people come in and my mom would take care of them. She was a nurse. Until we left and came into the USA she continued to do those services for people–helping people. From there I discovered how much helping others is a part of my soul’s mission. I advocated with a few organizations including Unicef, which is all about helping and empowering children all over the world. They have been a tremendous help in South Sudan. All of the experience I received working with others as well as me being a refugee helped me to want to start Stand 4 Education. I started thinking what could possibly help my country the most right now? I did some research and found education is what is significantly needed in our home. Children do not have access to schools, and quality education is missing in South Sudan. Because of war many people were displaced and scattered or in refugee camps and their focus is to just survive. It would make someone’s day to just come to a refugee camp and bring these children coloring books to color or just bring them a notepad. To teach them the alphabet, you know? Those simple gestures are missing because of war.

S: These are things that a lot of the rest of the world can’t even imagine because it’s so simple–it’s like water.

M: Yes! Basic human rights. These are needs that we have in this world that are so unreachable in a third world. Coming from a third to first world country, I can see a significant amount of difference. At this point it’s not just about getting aid or bringing food: It’s about the individual helping themselves to become self-sufficient. We can never help anybody if they aren’t able to help themselves.

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Grace Bol

S: How are you going about building this school system that you spoke about?

M: The goal with Stand 4 Education is that we build an entire school system that is sustainable, that is of quality, that is adequate, that provides teachers, that provides school supplies and that provides lasting solutions and not just a temporary solution. Education can bring us peace! We will partner up with different schools and help them figure out what they need to get them going and keep them going. So far we’ve partnered up with two different schools in South Sudan. For example, the first school we partnered up with is called the Malek Primary School. Funny it’s my last name, too.

S: So…it’s not named after you, it just happened to be that?

M: It just happened, so funny. It’s not my school. It’s a school that we found that happened to be called the Malek Primary School. So I called them up and a woman who helped build the school is a woman from California and she has a nonprofit called Impact a Village. She had met some Sudanese refugees and learned about where they came from and what they needed. They were able to raise some funds to build the school. After the recent conflict that happened in South Sudan, which happened December 2013, the school got destroyed. All the children are gone. They’re living in refugee camps. Their families are either dead, displaced, or just unable to help themselves. Right now the school is empty. What we’re going to do with such schools is raise funds for them, advocate to bring teachers and school supplies as well as mentor some of the children. Fix it up and see how we can bring safety so the children can return back to school. The school has five classrooms and it started off with three hundred students, boys and girls. Since it was the only school in that village, more children and families started to send their kids there. The school ended up having up to six hundred or so children.

S: It’s a good thing they’re all showing up for school.

M: [laughs] Yes they were. The kids just want to learn. But there aren’t any teachers. Teachers are unreliable because there is not enough pay or there is no way to get around as far as transportation goes. Or they’re just not teachers, you know?

S: Can you briefly explain the situation that is going on in South Sudan?

M: Before South Sudan it was Sudan, the biggest country in Africa. For over two decades we have been going through a civil war. I was born in the 80’s during the second civil war. What happened is a conflict that has to do with religion, culture and differences of skin color. The Northerners started to enforce their religion upon everyone. And that’s what really caused the rift between the entire country. Slavery was happening and unfortunately it still happens. Villages were getting burned down. South Sudanese were getting targeted, being killed, being treated as less of beings. And that’s when the South Sudanese started to escape. There was a time where young boys and men were just being killed by the Northerners. Actually there’s a movie that just came out called the Good Lie, everyone should watch it. It basically explains all of that. Many young boys and children started to escape and walk for hundreds and thousands of miles from the villages in South Sudan to the refugee camps in Kenya. Many died along the way. Died of starvation,  dehydration and disease. The few who made it got to the refugee camps in Kenya. The other South Sudanese that were in the north escaped to Egypt. When you stay in the refugee camp, whether you were in Egypt or Kenya, a system was developed like some sort of a lottery system where the refugees were being sponsored and brought into the USA. Some of us got lucky. A lot were left behind, a lot died and a lot are still in the camp right now.

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Nykhor Paul

S: So your life could have been dramatically different had you not gotten lucky?

M: I could have been dead. I could have been married off with a ton of children. I could have became mentally ill, because some South Sudanese have post-traumatic disorders due to war. But I’m lucky. Even sitting with you right now here is almost emotional because…sorry…I’m getting emotional, but what are the odds that I’m one of the lucky ones to be able to sit here. I still have relatives who are in the camps or who have just died even after our independence. All I can do is really just do my best to tell their story because they don’t have a voice nor the platform I now have. The world needs to know this story because we are a planet of beings and there should never be any separation.

S: Would you like to tell a little bit about your story and experiences? At what age did you come over to the USA?

M: I came to the USA with my mother and two sisters when I was fourteen years old. In Sudan, our home was attacked and things got insanely intense and crazy. My mom decided to take us out of the country. She said, “Kids, I’m taking you three girls with me. It’s time for us to go.” Because my mom knew if we stayed, especially being girls, we’ll end up getting married off and losing ourselves. She went through that, too. My mom was married at thirteen. I had over twenty sisters and brothers from my father and we were all living in one home and my mom who was taking care of all of us.

S: How is that even possible?

M: Exactly. But it was possible. It was crazy, but fun. When holidays came around my father would get a bus for all of us to go somewhere to enjoy the holidays because there were so many children. When things started to get crazy with the war and the attacks she decided to leave. My father never left South Sudan. He stayed behind. We escaped and we ended up in a ship and took it to Egypt. We ended up staying there for four to five years until we got our sponsorship.

S: You were at a refugee camp that whole time just waiting?

M: Basically. All the refugees were living there. Egypt was a little bit different because we didn’t necessarily live in a camp or a tent and it was all Sudanese refugees in that area. We all just waited. Waiting until you get the sponsorship. It may never happen. Wait and wait. Within five years we got our sponsorship and my mom brought us here. You go through a situation where they interview you, they find out your story. You can even get your name changed so it’s easier to pronounce.

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Nyamouch Girwath

S: Is your name the same?

M: Yes. Well,  most of us have tribal names and American or Christian names.  My tribal name is Adut and my other Christian name is Mari (which is also Mary). So we had to somewhat adjust our names and things like that. The place we got sponsored to was in Newark, New Jersey. We were living in the projects. Well, we didn’t know it was the projects, but we were living in the projects and there were crazy things going on around us, too, again.

S: So you went from one bad place to another different not-so-great scenario?

M: Yeah, we were very grateful no matter where we went because there was opportunity. Literally,  America is the land of opportunity. Now we can go to school without having to be afraid that someone is going to kidnap us or marry me or kill us or rape us. It was a different scenario, but at the end of it all it’s another scenario where problems do exist in every part of the world. They just exist differently.

S: I imagine a lot of it stems from education…

M: Yeah! Again it goes back to education. Because if we know better, than we do better.

S: How did you get scouted and start modeling?

M: I was always teased about my skin color and how tall and skinny I was. It almost brought me to be self-hateful. Why am I this color? Why am I so skinny? Why am I not like the other kids? But that was a blessing in disguise because that’s what brought me into modeling. My unique strange “ugly” look [laughs]. I was working in the airport and people would see me and say things like, “Wow you should be a model!” I had no idea what that was for a long time. What is modeling? I looked into it, my cousin and I. My mom found relatives in San Diego so we moved to San Diego. That’s where I met my cousin and my cousin now is a supermodel. Her name is Atong Arjok. We went to a scouting in San Diego and we both got picked by so many different agencies that day.  Atong was more bold than I was and she made the choice to start modeling right away. For me, I was a bit scared, my mom was adamant about school first. I waited until I was eighteen. I briefly started in Los Angeles and came to New York when I was twenty-one.

S: And now it’s going on nine years. So you also DJ and produce music–South Sudan’s first. How’d you get into that?

M: So in the modeling industry…I’m a unique personality for sure. I always change my hair and my look. Sometimes it’s extreme to the industry. They’ll be like, “Mari! You can’t be changing yourself so much–the clients!” But, honestly I’m very self-expressive so I think it works for me. I had to follow my heart. I got invited to so many cool parties and when I would go and I barely found any women DJs. That triggered the thought maybe I should be a DJ. After all, music got me through the toughest times. I looked into what I needed to do. I bought some equipment and I just started messing around with it and connecting with other DJs to help me figure it out. I wasn’t doing it so I could become a professional DJ. It was more like a hobby. From there it started to become its own thing, people would tell me, “Hey you’re DJ’ing now, you should do this party!” It just started to build into something and now I am getting more into it because I produce my own music. It’s evolving into something that I never expected. It’s also making me realize how I can help artists from my country by producing music for them. Which again ties back into why we want Stand 4 Education to use fashion, music and art in order to bring education. Because education is not only academic, it’s all aspects of life.

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Mari Agory

S: Have you gone back to Sudan? Is it an easy thing to say, “I want to fly to Sudan.” And then to arrange it?

M: I am going back for the first time since we left. It’s not that easy to just travel and especially to South Sudan.You need to have papers and safety. That’s why I haven’t been able to go back. I am a citizen of the USA now. I’m Sudanese-American. So now it’s easy for me to travel. I would like to document and film me going back for the first time with my colleague Mari Agory.

S: Which is confusing at first…

M: I know! Two Mari’s right? Mari Malek and Mari Agory. We want to go back this year together and document it. First of all, really visit the schools that we are helping and connect with our own people. The children back home need to see that their own people care. That will be empowering. They’re used to seeing many foreign activists coming to aid them. I think it will be a very important message to let our people know that we are here too, that the African Diaspora is involved . We want to empower our people to know that we are in it together. We were able to rise above all the difficulties. If we can make it you can make it too.

S: Let’s talk about the project that you did with Cliff Watts for Stand 4 Education. What was the thought process behind that?

M: I was thinking how can I make an impact and raise a high level media attention to bring awareness to what is happening in South Sudan now. The media barely talks about it. We are facing a famine! The thought came to my head–duh! You’re a model, you have a platform, use it! The Sudanese models here are the face of South Sudan. We are the voice for the voiceless. As a sisterhood, let us stand together and bring awareness. Agory and I started contacting the girls and decided we should do a powerful photo series to demand attention. We were like, “Yeah!” We want the world to know. Although our country is war torn, there still lies beauty. This photo project is really about us educating the world about where we come from. And educating in all different aspects of life whether you are an artist, a politician, a mom, or an activist. We wanted to open a dialogue with the world on South Sudan. Women, men, walk around the village naked decorated in beautiful beaded jewelry that they make. It’s so beautiful. And we are dark-skinned people of color who have been conditioned and told that our skin is ugly. Let’s embrace that. We wanted a photographer who was aligned with the vision. The perfect person that came to mind was Cliff. I told him about where we come from and how we wanted to capture that as well as demanding that media attention. He said, “This is fucking beautiful. Let’s do it.”

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Rina Kara

S: One of my questions was going to be: how do you intend to keep the interests piqued of those you are trying to reach? How do you keep the interest of people who now are so fragmented? But then again I don’t think its about trying to reach everyone, as you said.

M: You can’t force people to listen or do anything. All you can do is your best to spread the message and whoever is meant to receive it–will receive it. It’s for those who really want to listen. It’s for those who really want to make a change in the world.

S: If someone wants to help and reach out what do they do?

M: If someone wants to help they can reach us our website is: www.stand4education.org. Our main thing is to get people involved by purely just wanting to be involved. It’s not about giving us money, it’s about how can we work together. How we can stand together and stand up for our basic human rights. We highly believe in collaborations! Of course we take donations and we are looking for sponsors for our coming events and projects. We are using fashion, music and art as a platform to spread the message.

S: Whatever you have to offer.

M: Yes. What can we as individuals do to make a change? I donate my time and music towards our cause. I truly believe in it. And I want to be the example of what I’m saying.

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Elizabeth Arjok

Photographer – Cliff Watts
Creative Direction: Mari Malek
Producer – Grandpastyle
Casting – Julia Samersova
MUA – Lanea Singleton
Styling – Dapper Afrika
Jewelry – Silly Simone, Martine’s Dream
Ta Meu Bem Jewelry

March 27th, 2015 by models.com
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If the beauty looks of Fall 2015 can be summed up in one word it would have to be extreme. After seasons of bare skin and casual hair make up artists and hair stylists have brought back avant garde and edgy to the runways. Whether it was the maharajah inspired facial jewelry at Givenchy or the glossy black lips seen at Ungaro the best beauty this season pushed the boundaries.

GIVENCHY

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Image Credit: Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho / Contributor

At Givenchy Pat McGrath (Streeters London) and Luigi Murenu (Streeters New York) expanded horizons with a look that merged the intricacy of traditional South Asian jewelry with the pomp of the Victorian era.


HAIDER ACKERMANN

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Image Credit: Antonello Trio – Getty Images Entertainment

Katsuya Kamo kept all eyes on his hair creations backstage at Haider Ackerman, blending sewing and sculpture into one with hair that reached loft heights and even featured bits of thread woven into each updo. When it comes to sheer imagination Kamo is hard to beat!


Yohji Yamamoto

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Image Credit: Antonello Trio – Getty Images Entertainment

Pat McGrath (Streeters London) has never been afraid of pushing makeup to its limits and at Yohji Yamamoto she gave the world extreme black liner on eyes, brows and even cheeks. Combined with Eugene Souleiman (Streeters London)’s geometric hair styles the look was anime meets otherworldly.


Kenzo

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Image Credit – Victor VIRGILE – Gamma-Rapho – Getty Images

A smoky eye in a dark color is always chic, but so is going the opposite direction. Backstage at Kenzo Aaron de Mey (Art Partner) swiped opaque white shadow across model’s lids for a dramatic look that was meant to echo the feel of Amazonian warriors and felt just right with Kenzo’s tribe of cool beauties.


UNGARO

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Image Credit: Antonello Trio – Getty Images Entertainment

At Ungaro Lucia Pieroni (New York: Streeters New York, London: Streeters London, Los Angeles: Streeters Los Angeles) experimented with the rawness of Punk rock sending models down the runway in slinky gowns and daring black lips. The contrast between the sexy clothes and the “don’t mess with me attitude of the makeup created a glam yet rebellious dichotomy.


RICK OWENS

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Image Credit: Antonello Trio – Getty Images Entertainment

Gold leaf is frequently utilized by makeup artists for that final touch of luxury, but at Rick Owens beauty maestro Lucia Pieroni (New York: Streeters New York, London: Streeters London, Los Angeles: Streeters Los Angeles) took the idea one step further coating model’s faces in layers of silver and gold to channel the allure of Mayan goddesses.


CHANEL
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Image Credit / Antonello Trio – Getty Images Entertainment

Badass isn’t a word we usually associate with Chanel, but backstage at the fall show Tom Pecheux (Home Agency) gave models the kind of dramatic smoky eyes that wouldn’t look out of place at a punk concert. Combined with the sleek and at times dainty updos and ponytails created by Sam McKnight (Bryan Bantry) the look was pure ladies who lunch.

March 26th, 2015 by Jonathan Shia
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Lucky Blue Smith, photo by Betty Sze for models.com

If you’ve been on Instagram’s Explore page recently, you may have noticed a cheeky sixteen­ year old with piercing blue eyes shining from beneath a shock of platinum hair. A tap on his profile would reveal—as of this writing—697k followers, although by the time you read this, there’s a good chance he’ll be above 800K. Lucky Blue Smith has managed to amass, seemingly out of nowhere, a massive fan base in just the past few months, a male counterpart to the Cara Delevingne phenomenon, but without the cameo appearances by Rihanna, Taylor Swift, and Karl Lagerfeld. As the only male model signed to Next (you’ll find his card tucked into the women’s board, as there was nowhere else to put him), Smith is in many ways a sign of the future, a perfect example of the way social media can turn new faces into overnight stars with a built­ in market to harness. Still, Smith, who speaks carefully and humbly about his newfound fame, has been careful not to let it get to his head, thanks in part to a supportive family, including three older sisters who are all models as well. With just one show season under his belt, he’s already one of the biggest names in the industry, even if not everyone knows it yet. But Smith is just trying to be a regular teenager, one whose default attitude is that every new experience he encounters is “fun” and “cool.” Even the mobs of girls who chase him down the street. Our latest Hot List inductee talked to us after his first New York Fashion Week about Insta­fame, his family band, and how got his signature look.

A Models.com interview by Jonathan Shia

Jonathan Shia: How did you get discovered?

Lucky Blue Smith: My family and I used to live in Utah, and when I was about ten years old, my sister Daisy got scouted and I was with her. Alexis, the director at Next LA, said, “I want to see you in a couple years,” and I was like, “Uh, ok?” I was ten, I didn’t really care. Then when I was twelve, my family took a road trip to meet with Next. It was summer vacation, so we went in and Mimi, who’s my main agent now, saw potential, I guess. I thought she was crazy—I had braces—but she signed me and my whole family as models and as musicians too because my sisters and I are all in a band. I kept wanting to go to the beach in Orange County and the agency would say, “Wait, come to LA, we have a shoot for you.” My very first shoot was with Hedi Slimane for Vogue Hommes Japan. I didn’t really care about modeling until I was about fourteen. That’s when I booked my first job and then my family moved to LA for music and modeling. I really want to do acting too, so it was like, “Why not try everything while we’re out there and go for it?”

JS: How do you balance modeling with school and the rest of your life as a teenager?

LBS: When I moved from Utah to LA, I wanted to go to a normal high school because I wanted
a normal high school experience and I wanted to have the friends and go to the football games and everything. We ended up doing independent study, and then I didn’t want to go to school because I just kept getting busier and busier. So I go in once a week to a teacher and turn in work and get new work. When I’m traveling to Europe I just take my book and finish it. I’m graduating in two months, a year early, so doing independent study has let me graduate faster and just do what I want to do.

JS: How was your first show season?

LBS: It was really fun. When I first went to Paris for castings, I was intimidated by being in a
room with sixty guys, just waiting. I didn’t know that at some castings you have to walk in front of all the models and I was like, “Uhhhhh ok,” but you can’t say no and not walk, that’s what you’re there for. But after the first few castings, it became fun. I started making friends and I would see them at the same castings and we would all just follow each around to different cities and then I’d be on the same jobs as a lot of them, so it was really cool and fun.

JS: How are you enjoying New York? Is it your first time here?

LBS: Yeah. Last year, I did a cK one ad near here. I landed and the car picked us up and we
started driving past and getting farther and farther away and I was like, “Isn’t it that way?
There’s all the buildings.” And he was like, “Oh no, we’re going upstate.” So this is my first
time in the city. I like it a lot. It’s probably one of my favorite cities. I like not having to have a car and taking the subway. I like the energy, there’s a lot going on. In LA, it’s kind of laid back, but here it’s cool. I like it a lot actually.

JS: How did you decide to bleach your hair?

LBS: I got an editorial for Interview and Karl Templer said, “Let’s bleach his hair.” I was not
about it at all, but my agent told me they could dye it back. They bleached my hair and my eyebrows and it looked really cool in the pictures. Then a few months ago, my agent Mimi
was like, “Hey, let’s lighten your hair.” My hair is naturally lighter, dirty blond. She was
like, “Let’s bleach it white,” and I was fine with it. It seems to be working out.

JS: How did you get started on Instagram?

LBS: I had Instagram in Utah and I had like a thousand followers and just posted pictures of my
friends and what I was doing. Then I moved to LA and my sister got this music video job with a bunch of people who had millions of followers. She became friends with them and then she introduced me and then I just hung out with these kids with like 700,000 followers, 1,000,000, 1.2 million followers, 2 million followers, and then it would just naturally happen. I would be in a picture with them, they would tag me, and then I’d get a lot of followers. It kind of just built up. I got to 20k and then 35 and then 50 and then 75 and then 100, and then when I got to 100k, it just went. I got to 200k when I was in Milan and now I’m at 577k right now [end of February], so I more than doubled my following in like two weeks. An average day, I get two thousand new followers. When I was in Europe, one time I got like sixty thousand overnight. It’s really crazy, it just kind of built on its own after a while. I don’t know, I don’t see why people are so obsessed with me on Instagram. I don’t understand it at all.

JS: You have a lot of very enthusiastic fans. How do you deal with them? Does it ever get to be too much?

LBS: No. I did a little meet up in Paris and like 250 girls showed up and I couldn’t leave. Girls were holding on, they wouldn’t let me go. I felt really bad, because whenever I get noticed on the street and there’s a group of people, I always try to take the time and take pictures with them. I never want to be that guy who is like, “Whatever, don’t follow me around.”
Some are really nice and sweet and just want a hug, and then one girl tried to stick her hands down my pants. They can get very aggressive. Most of them touch my hair and grab my shirt, but they’re usually fine. There’s a lot of enthusiastic fans out there. You get a lot of different types.

JS: How did you decide that you want to be so interactive with them?

LBS: I just started getting to that point where I have enough followers to say, “Come meet me
here,” and then two hundred girls will show up. I noticed that a lot of people in the YouTube world are really rude and aren’t nice to their fans, even though the fans got them to where they are right now, so I was like, “I’m not doing that.” Taylor Swift is really nice to her fans and I wanted to do that. I feel the need to hang out with them a little bit and not be so snobby. I don’t want to be that kid that gets a bad reputation about being rude to his fans. I want to be nicer and be different from the whole crowd.

JS: Now that Instagram is such an important tool for fashion brands, do you think your following has helped you get jobs?

LBS: Yes. They’re all realizing how important it is. I’d say a quarter of the castings I go on, on the sign­ in list, they ask for name, agency, age, and then Instagram name and how many followers you have. I did the cK one ad a year ago and I didn’t have the following then, and then six months ago, I did a #mycalvins post and if I didn’t have the following, I wouldn’t have done that. It matters now, the clients want to know how many followers you have. I just did a job and they were like, “Can you post?” That’s in the arrangements now, so it does matter and it does play a role.

JS: Tell me a little bit about your band. What do you play?

LBS: It’s called the Atomics. I play the drums. My whole family got instruments one year for Christmas. I got them when I was six or seven. I didn’t touch my drums for like three years and they got really dusty in the corner, a waste. Then we started wanting to play music together. When we started, it was just for fun, and then we started playing covers of instrumental surf music, like the Ventures and Dick Dale. When I was thirteen or fourteen, we started playing little shows, like a car show at the library or the diner, really small things like that. Then when we moved, we were like, “Maybe we can do something with music,” because when I got signed, they were like, “Wait, you’re in a band, can you play?” They got us a studio and we played a cover, and they were amazed and shocked that we could play. We all play together, it just happened naturally.

Right now we’re doing an EP of originals, we want to write our own stuff. We’re holding off on gigs until we have our songs out, then we’re going to go on tour and everything. I love to play gigs because they’re some of the most fun things I’ve ever done. It’s kind of a waiting game right now. I get asked about the band in a lot of interviews, so there’s a lot of hype, everyone’s waiting to hear music, so I’m excited to finally give them stuff to listen to.

JS: And now you have a built ­in audience as soon as you have something ready to share.

LBS: It’s such a shortcut. Right now, if we had three songs out that I liked, I could say, “Here’s the link to our YouTube channel, go look at our music video.” They would go, I’m sure. It’s automatic fans, it’s a huge shortcut. It’d be really easy to get people to go listen and buy our music. I can tell them to buy a pen right now, and they probably would. If it was a
Lucky Blue pen, they’d be all about it. It’s really cool that we already have a bunch of people that we can get it out to.

JS: How would you describe your musical style? Who do you like to listen to?

LBS: I like a lot of music. I like the Black Keys, and that’s how I would describe our sound right now. I like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, there’s some rap that’s good, then there’s some
dance, fun music. It’s kind of all over the place for me. I always grew up having the last
chance to put my iPod in, so I’ve just listened to whatever’s on. I’m not picky about music.
I’m picky about what kind of music I play and what we release, but other than that, it’s whatever. We like the surf sound, but that won’t sell right now, so we want to have that flavor but totally modern, new, cool stuff.

JS: What does you family think about your newfound fame?

LBS: They think it’s crazy. My friends in Utah, whenever I go visit, it’s so weird, they treat me like a celebrity. I don’t think that, but my friends think it’s really cool. [Laughs] Some of
them are jealous and ask like, “Oh, post me, tag me.” My family thinks it’s really awesome I have something behind me other than just being a model. I have a following and I’m doing something else, so they all are happy for me and think it’s really awesome.

JS: You’re only sixteen now. Where do you see yourself going in the next five or ten years?

LBS: I see myself getting into music heavily, going on tour, and that being one of the main things I’m always doing. I’m not going to stop modeling, I think something could happen there. I think I’ll be doing the same thing, music and modeling, but it’ll be a lot crazier, a lot busier, a lot more jobs and gigs and shows and going on tour all the time. In five or ten
years, I know for sure I’ll have a couple businesses, I just know for sure. We’ll see.

Special thanks to Alexis Borges and Mimi at Next LA

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