LOVE is looking for its next cover star: Anita Bitton explains #LOVEME20
Images courtesy of Love Magazine
With #LOVEME20 what are you looking for specifically? What about the panel collectively?
As with any casting, I am always looking to challenge the traditional concept of beauty, present a new idea, and an alternative vision. Collectively the panel is represented by some outstanding women, all with amazing platforms and voices, and all approaching this from their point of view. I cannot speak for them individually, but based on their accomplishments to date, I would say that collectively, we are looking to push the boundaries, challenge the status quo, and promote a sustainable and healthy vision for Love Magazine and DNA models that is inclusive, and thought provoking.
How did you get involved, in what ways do you work with Katie across the board?
I feel extremely honored to be listed among the group of my industry heroes, and personal favorites. We have been fortunate enough to have collaborated with Love Magazine since September 2013 and have worked work very closely with Katie Grand since that time. We have been able to tap into a mutual rhythm, and an understanding, that enables us to explore and constantly introduce and develop new faces, talent and ideas into the model and fashion space. Katie is a fast thinking, high functioning creative, who moves at a very fast pace, and has a photographic memory. To assist in this process, we have been able to research, file and manage these requests and requirements. There is no down time. We are constantly challenged to think outside of the box, and approach every project with a fresh set of eyes. There is no room for mediocrity. Katie is a visionary, she’s involved in any and all of the creative decisions, and is constantly pushing the boundaries. To be able to work alongside, and assist in this process is, and has been invaluable.
How have the traditional parameters changed for what makes a wanted model over the course of a few years? Has there been a dramatic shift?
As with any and all occupations, being a model is a job. It’s a job in entertainment, and to sustain a healthy and long career, you need to bring your own set of skills to the table. You need to build and sustain relationships. Build on and develop your body of work. The preparation is everything from personal expression, nutrition, skills (dancing, music). It’s like being a professional athlete, and all of the areas need to be touched upon, in order to come together, and produce a sustainable and healthy career. I think the change has been in the access and availability. The fashion industry was once a VIP arena, and the number of girls was exponentially less. I think now the playing field is larger, the opportunities appear easier to come by, but harder to sustain.
Does Instagram take any of the fun out of searching? Or does it make it more exciting?
Instagram has made access to individuals, exciting and fun. Fashion is about selling an image and an idea. These girls are able to present themselves, in the way that is most comfortable to them. There are less restrictions on height, race, size, and a lot more collateral in overall appeal.
With that, is fashion still influencing beauty standards, or has social media begun to influence fashion’s standard of what is beautiful and it is now the reactor?
Fashion is still influencing beauty standards. Social media has improved fashion’s international reach, and the cosmetics companies are responding accordingly. I don’t see this as a reaction, but as a response to a global economy that now demands greater inclusivity.
Doing what you do, do you still get surprised by a great find?
I am always excited at the prospect of finding and helping attribute to or redefine what is beautiful. Providing any one individual with this opportunity is a gift. On our panel we have some of the most iconic beauties in the world, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Adwoa Aboah and Ariel Nicholson. All were at one point discovered, and all contribute largely to the international landscape in many ways, and on many different platforms.
How do you think this process of #modelsearch compares to say a more traditional pageant-style model contest that is tiered from local to international?
I think they are two very different approaches. The traditional pageant is a very controlled, reliable and managed environment. With #LOVEME20, like many successful campaigns we’ve done in the past (#castmemarc), there is a greater tendency to be wild cards, and represent pockets of the world who challenge our conventional ideas.
Since social image, personality and exceptional talents are now tied to a model’s chances of success; if a model isn’t the “whole package” can they still have a long-term career? Are those aforementioned factors absolute must-haves?
To succeed in any career, you have to have a vision of where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. Without a mission it’s very hard to achieve your goals. As a model you are in charge of surpassing your own expectations, and molding a career, that is for you sustainable, and authentic. I think each career is a case by case study, and unlike the nineties, there are many different paths of achieving one’s goals.
Considering #LOVEME20 will introduce a brand new model, what keeps a model in the game?
Commitment, perseverance, authenticity, education, resilience, and determination.