Model Lounge


Every model knows there is nothing more important than having a convenient place to go in between castings. When you’re far from the agency (or even just your apartment) a safe area to check emails, get a snack or even just change out of those sky high heels, is more than welcome. With the opening of the brand new Model Lounge, a safe haven is even closer than ever.

But just what is Model Lounge exactly? Think of it as an all access club for models only (ladies only, sorry guys!). Centered in New York’s famed restaurant Delicatessen in SoHo and sponsored by California sportswear label Vans, Model Lounge offers a space where models can go to unwind in between castings and shows. In addition to free Internet access and food, the girls can also pick up goodies each week from Vans’ hip girls line; not to mention the added bonus of access with the special discount cards that provide 15% off at NYC mainstays like Intermix and more. MDC talks to the Model Lounge creator Bernard Smith and Vans’ Maria Boschetti to find out more.


Model Lounge’s creator/partner Bernard Smith and partner Ben Garcia.

MDC: How you come up with the idea for Model Lounge?

BERNARD SMITH: My girlfriend is a model with Next and just seeing her daily schedule helped me understand that these girls need something to do in between castings. Obviously Ben’s background played a role too  – he’s worked at Wilhelmina and with Steven Klein so he has a great deal of knowledge about the industry.

MDC: How did you get so many big names involved in this project?

BERNARD SMITH: From day one there were people interested in participating. With Vans Girls being a new category they were very interested and Delicatessen was one of the first place we had in mind. They have this amazing space here that wasn’t being utilized during the day so it really just came together perfectly.

MDC: What makes the Model Lounge such a resource for the girls?

BERNARD SMITH: There are so many reasons why it’s useful and the agencies understand that. When girls live in Brooklyn or New Jersey, going back to their apartment can be a hassle or it can cause them to be late and miss their call time. Prior to this there weren’t that many places where a girl could go during the day to just take a breather. Many of the girls live in Soho, a lot of the agencies and photo studios are in Soho too so this is a great centralized location.

MDC: We know there are a lot of really cool freebies for the girls – how often does the merchandise change?

BERNARD SMITH: We’re two and a half weeks in and by now each girl has two pairs of sneakers, two bags, hats, jeans – the merchandise rotates quite frequently to be very honest. We tell girls that you never know what to expect at the Model Lounge. One day we might have new watches, the next day new sneakers – so really and truly it’s in their best interest to come by as often as possible.


Ataui (green dress) and Damaris Lewis (pink top) with some fellow beauties at the quiet back lounge.

MDC: How does teaming up with something like Model Lounge get the word out about the Vans brand?

MARIA BOSCHETTI: Personally, I was really excited because right off the bat I saw the girls wearing the pink sneakers from the first week. Walking down the street just now we saw a couple girls in the black pair from this week and that is exactly what I wanted to see. Not many people know we make high tops like this or that we have have a full line of girls apparel. When you see a beautiful girl on the street with our pink high top sneakers it raises awareness of us and it’s really great for a brand.

MDC: What is up next for Model Lounge?

BERNARD SMITH: The idea is to go from here to Miami and potentially L.A. to do them simultaneously. It’s natural to start here though since it’s the mecca of fashion. We’re also going to have all access vehicles during (September’s) Fashion Week to take the girls to and from the shows and we’re really excited about that.

(***FOR FEMALE MODELS ONLY***)Check out Model Lounge and their: Email,Twitter account,Blog info. All pics Betty for MDC.

  1. London Fashion has had this a few seasons now. It’s great that they can relax somewhere 🙂

  2. As if they don’t have enough perks already…what a stressful job walking & posing all day must be. And yes, I am jealous if anyone’s interested but really who wouldn’t be? One of the easiest jobs on earth and they get the royal treatment.

    And I agree with the poster above me- what about the guys? Girls get paid twice-in some cases 4 times- as much, have many bonuses & perks that male models don’t get, so therefore guys should get a model lounge as well then!

  3. ^ The model lounge is girls only.

    I believe the model lounge is open to all models though they have partnerships with NYCs top 10 agencies. I can double check this fact.

    The last question I’m fuzzy on – do you mean how long can the model stay there or how long will the model lounge be open? I think that the models are allowed to stick around as long as they want and the model lounge will be open through fashion week.

    Hope this answers your questions.

  4. Unfortunately for the boys, it’s for girls only. As an ex model agent and now a mother, I think that’s actually quite smart. It’s a place for the girls to just relax, without dealing with unwanted attention from male models/promoters, etc. It doesn’t cost anything… The lounge provides non alcoholic beverages and snacks, food is offered at a discount. Girls have to be with the top agencies in New York. They can stay as long as they want during the hours that the lounge is open.


  5. U answered my ?. Im sure some girls will fall asleep……but thats messed up because male models get no respect in the industry really….male models 9.9 times out of 10 look better than female models and thats because they have too. I personally think agencies should take only 10 or 15% from males instead of the norm 20%. The subject of male models is a whole nother conversation…..their way kool.

  6. Male models dont need a model lounge since they dont work as much as the girls…methinks!
    besides, its gonna take forever until the guys get some REAL attention in the modeling biz, and please dont tell me that im wrong cause ive lived and breathed fashion for more than anyone can think of. This is just good news for the girls, like always!

  7. WOW thats soo kool 😀

    so they get free stuff from vans? or they get discount on the van product?

  8. Oops, sorry, missed Betty’s comment. I need to read closer.

    Regardless, thats a really cool idea! Great thinking and kudos toBernard and Ben!!

  9. The Model Lounge is open M-W 10:30AM to 5pm

    Follow them on their twitter and blog!

    The Model Lounge is completely free to the models as well as the VANS merchandise,snacks, beverages, and services there.

    I also heard that they have a special massage therapist who comes in once a week that gives hand massages and manicures. (also free)

  10. Mika you obviously have no idea about the modelling/fashion industry, otherwise you would know its a common misconception that modelling is an easy job. You just sound like a idiot..

  11. In the final photo..the two unidentified girls seem to be Kareen Taylor and Sosheba Griffiths from Jamaica

  12. its kool now dat the models have a place to unwind and relax…dey r super busy and deserve it completely…model lounge is so FIERCE!!!!hehehe

  13. Sorry YO you’re the idiot, seeing as you make assumptions based on something that is a personal & an observational opinion You have no idea what I do for a living. Anyway, it IS one of the easiest jobs on earth based solely on the fact you have a career based around your body & face structure and whether on not your genes gave you the “look” that’s craved at the moment. It has it’s hardships- like running around to get to various castings at all hours of the day & sometimes night but it’s by far one of the most responsible free industries out there, as a model at least. You’re also not responisble for how the clothes are (only fitting them), make up, hair, photography, choreography, settings, lighting, etc. The most important thing is to show up on time & get ready to be “on”. And I say all this as a former model. Cuz trust me, having a regular 9-5 job is much, much harder than *any* percieved hardships of fashion models. IMHO.

    If I had to make an assumption about YOU “Yo”, it would be that you get all your modellling facts from America’s Top Model. I’ve got news for you: ANTM is nothing but a circus and no way a reflection of how it actually is in the industry.

  14. Mika what do you do for a living I am curious? As I have to agree with YO, modeling is NOT an easy job, models work their butts off to actually make it in the industry and when they make it work 10 times harder to stay there.

    Maybe you need to take some time and actually make research on the real lives of models.

    If you want a small idea of what modeling really is, surf more through or visit and you can see how models really live, ANTM is a great platform for models to start but those are lucky models that got on the show, the reality is quite different.

    And yes I do this for a living for over 10 years so I do know…

  15. My daughter is a new face, she has worked very hard on a daily basis to become a new face. Yes she won the genetic lottery but maintenance, AP classes, eating right, skin care, working out everyday. Being ready for a shoot if the stylist, doesn’t show…. I see her schedule, I see her responsibilities, she invests a lot in clothes, staples, that a model is expected to have despite what the stylist brings. Staying on topic…..she is from a small town and she LOVES the model lounge and being able to take a break there in the midst of a HARD DAYS WORK!!! Yes she is lucky, but don’t say she doesn’t work hard……..DON’T. Hope you get a better job soon.

  16. Honestly as a male model, I’ll live if there isn’t a model lounge available for guys even if it’d be sweet. But this just goes to show how little guys matter in the fashion world. We definitely get the short end of the stick, sadly we’re just accessories.

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