Fashion Models Finally Earn Money After Pleas For Cash.

U.S. fashion designers who haven’t been paying models for their runway work for years have finally started forking over the dough.

Over the past year, high-profile models have made repeated pleas for designers to pay them for walking in their runway shows. Some designers are finally responding, paying models in cash instead of clothes for their fashion week work.

A lot of labels, like Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, and Calvin Klein, have always paid models in cash for appearing in their runway shows during New York Fashion Week. But Marc Jacobs, a huge label in the same league, didn’t start paying models in cash until last season for his spring 2013 Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs shows, said Sara Ziff, who runs the Model Alliance, an organization that advocates for model rights (but is not an official union). Until then Jacobs had, like many labels, just paid models in trade, or free clothes. Free clothes are nice, especially when they’re expensive and beautiful, as many of these designers’ are, but they don’t pay the bills on their own — and models need that cash to not only cover living expenses, but also to avoid going into debt with their agencies.

Alexander Wang and Rag & Bone also started paying models in cash for the spring 2013 show season, Ziff said. But she said that a few big labels are holding out, including Anna Sui, Proenza Schouler, and Narciso Rodriguez — whose shows are all major highlights on New York Fashion Week’s calendar. They’re still just offering free clothes.

“If you think about how expensive it is to take out a full page ad in Vogue, which all of those companies do, you’d think they could compensate the models,” Ziff said. Reps for Anna Sui, Proenza Schouler, and Narciso Rodriguez did not return requests for comment.

Modeling agent

One modeling agent, who could only speak anonymously due to delicate relationships with designers, observed that while labels might be responding positively to models asking for cash instead of clothing for their work, “rates are still much lower than they used to be.” In the ’80s and ’90s, models could book runway exclusives with certain labels, go on to shoot their ad campaigns, and make “massive” amounts of money. Now, even with exclusives, those huge rates aren’t guaranteed, and not all labels with the most money pay good rates because they know models would kill to walk in their shows. “Well-off, well-known clients really should pay a lot more even if they have shows that models would kill to walk in,” this agent said, noting that some labels, like Michael Kors, are known to pay great rates despite their outsize status as a fashion week must-see.

In addition to the runway show itself, which is usually about two to three hours, the models must go to a fitting at a previous date, which is another half hour, at least. If a model makes only $100 for a show, after taxes and agency commission she’ll take home only around $50 to $60, which, depending on her schedule, might not even cover transportation costs to the fitting and show.

Project Runway

One model who has done New York Fashion Week shows told BuzzFeed Shift that $150 is common for “small shows” and $200 to $500 is often paid for bigger shows. There are exceptions — Project Runway paid models $900 for walking its most recent show, this model said. But a label in the realm of Marc Jacobs still might pay just $500 to $800 for doing a show. Ziff understood that Rag & Bone paid their runway models in the hundreds of dollars and offered trade in addition. (Not every model makes the same rate — more in-demand faces can command more.)

Some models who really need the cash will eBay the designer loot they’ve gotten for free — a time-consuming practice. And even then, the payoff is never equal to retail value of the items sold (if they go to a thrift store, they’re likely to make much less). Money from eBayed goods also doesn’t come through right away since not everything sells immediately, and the site doesn’t make the funds available until after a period of time.

Paying a model in trade is not illegal since they’re considered independent contractors. However, many models enter into debt with their agencies when they don’t make enough money to cover their start-up costs — which include everything from photo shoots for their portfolios to travel and housing expenses. Agencies may front the money, but even if a model has had a successful runway season, she might not make enough to pay them back.

Advising models

Ziff’s work at the Model Alliance often involves advising models about agency debt. “We’ve seen plenty of models who are like, $20,000 in debt,” she said. “I’ve seen one case where a model who’s actually a pretty established working model was $100,000 in debt to her agency.” Some agencies aren’t fully transparent about these costs, Ziff said. “It’s not just a question of whether or not designers are paying money, there’s also the issue of all these fees which are not always explained and that are adding up to debt.”

Over the past year, famous models like Doutzen Kroes, Shalom Harlow, and Coco Rocha have all spoken out about the issue of designers not paying for runway modeling. Last year, Ziff, a model herself, met with Vogue and the Council of Fashion Designers of America — which partner on a “health initiative” that arose following widespread concerns about models being unhealthfully thin — to discuss the matter of payment for runway work, among other issues the Model Alliance works on. Ziff is happy that the industry is responding to their pleas and that models have started talking publicly about this problem.

“Just the fact that it’s even being reported on I think is significant because the industry is so insular,” Ziff said. “Considering how resistant the industry is to change, I think it’s a pretty big step.”


Jourdan Dunn Harlem Shake: Model Does Popular Dance During London Fashion Week.

We’re still baffled by the popularity of the viral “Harlem Shake” videos, mainly because no one is doing the real Harlem Shake (see: this) and because even if they were, the dance move hit its peak over 10 years ago (see: that). But technicalities aside, it is fun to see folks let loose and get their dance on.

A new installment of the meme comes courtesy of one of our favorite fashion models — Jourdan Dunn. The British bombshell was joined by fellow models Cara Delevingne and Rosie Tapner to perform their version of the dance craze during London Fashion Week on Sunday. The trio decided that waiting backstage for the Topshop Unique fashion show to start was as good a time as any to turn their downtime into a dance party.

While most people look downright silly doing the dance, these gals make the moves look hot, which we’ll 100 percent attribute to the fact that they are supermodels.

Check out Jourdan, Cara and Rosie getting down in the video above, and flip through the slideshow below for other versions of the “Harlem Shake.”

Extremely Concerning

Doctor Calls Giving Fashion Models Discounts To A Juice Fast Store “Extremely Concerning”.

An eating-disorder specialist said the fashion industry’s partnership with a company known primarily for fad diets on top of its size 0 standard gives us “double reason to worry.”

Models and health professionals came down hard on the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s partnership with Organic Avenue, a company best known for its juice fasts, which gave models a 50% discount during fashion week.

“It’s extremely concerning and confusing,” said Dr. Evelyn Attia, director of the Center for Eating Disorders at New York Presbyterian Hospital, Monday night. She was speaking on a panel of health experts and models, including Crystal Renn and Amy Lemons, who came together as part of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week to address the problem of the fashion industry’s extreme standards when it comes to body shape and weight.

CFDA CEO Steven Kolb defended the deal with Organic Avenue prior to New York Fashion Week by pointing out that the company offers plenty of solid-food options that would also be discounted. “Organic Avenue is well known in the fashion industry and we believe they are aligned with our message of beauty is health,” he told Fashionista. “They have amazing salad, soups, wraps, and tacos.”

But Attia argued that while that may be so, the messaging was off because the company is primarily known for its juice, which it markets as a liquid-only diet.

“When you’ve got an industry where you know there’s an occupational hazard” — meaning, the pressure to maintain a very low weight — “put that together with a fad diet, and real commercial interest regarding these juice cleanses, and we really have double reason to worry,” she said.

Moderating the discussion was Sara Ziff, founder of The Model Alliance, a labor organization that fights for better working conditions for models, who also expressed concern about the Organic Avenue deal. “People were worried, myself included, because you go on the website and the first thing you see are juice cleanses, which require liquid-only diets.”

Ziff also cited a study that showed 64% of models had been asked to lose weight by their agencies, and that “a significant number lost weight by going on these juice cleanses.”


The panel was a reminder that the industry’s troubling size 0 ideal has felt largely static over the past several years, despite the breakout success of “plus-size” faces like Renn and Lemons. Chris Gay, the president of Marilyn Model Agency in New York, described his frustration with the reality that the high-fashion market — which includes runway shows and very high-end campaigns — almost always demands a size 0 frame. “The industry standards are ridiculous,” he said. “They’re not standards I think a woman can [maintain] throughout the course of her life or career.”

Gay continued, “Girls can come in and they can fit a dress they can walk down a runway — you don’t have to have a lot of skill set to be able to do that, you just have to have the body type.” Yet he said it takes two to three years for girls, many of whom are scouted at 14, 15, or 16 years old, to become “exceptional models.” Many get pushed out around the age of 17 or so, when their bodies begin to change and their hips begin to fill out. “And at that point,” Gay said, “you’re just replacing good models with new models, and a lot of that has to do with unrealistic standards.”

The industry has proved unable to regulate itself. There have been efforts, like the CFDA’s ongoing Health Initiative and its misguided Organic Avenue deal. But nothing has changed the scarily thin body type that has dominated the vast majority of runways and magazine editorials for the past decade.


The panelists on Monday night proposed a few solutions. Renn argued that designers should work with a size 8 sample instead of a size 0 or 2. “By having a size 8 sample, you are giving freedom to a designer,” she said. If the standard is a size 8, “most of the models are going to be size 6s and 8s, and you could have 10s, and if a really amazing model walked in who was a size 0, you would tailor the dress down to her.”

Ziff believes the solution lies in enforcing existing laws governing child labor and making sure the regulations for models are similar to those for other performers, like child actors. If models were subject the same regulations as child actors, they’d have to have a tutor on set and a chaperone present — she believes clients wouldn’t want to pay for all of this and would start hiring older girls. “There would be a noticeable change in the kinds of images the industry produces,” she said.

Ashley Mears, a former model and assistant professor of sociology at Boston University, said that since the size 0 problem has festered for so long in the business, “legislation is probably the right way to come at it.” She also suggested consumers boycott brands if they’re unhappy with the beauty ideal put forth on their runways. So if you don’t like what you see in Calvin Klein’s runway show, don’t buy its perfume, sunglasses, or underwear.

But at the end of the day, “modeling is about beauty, but it’s also an energy,” Renn said. “That’s not a size.”


Fashion Models Shatter Stereotypes, Demand Labor Rights.

When you think of models on runways and in magazines, do you think of an abused labor force?

Strip off the gloss, says model Sara Ziff, and you have a workforce of young women classified as independent contractors, not covered by minimum wage laws, who are often paid in clothes rather than cash, and are in debt to their modeling agencies. Many in the U.S. are undocumented.

Youth and powerlessness are sought by modeling agencies, who recruit models as young as 12 and 13. “The industry relies on a labor force of children,” said Ziff, who started working as a model at 14.

Ziff and other models formed the Model Alliance last year to establish fair labor standards in the fashion industry. The effort has implications for women beyond the industry because mainstream fashion sets the tone for how women are expected to look.

The extreme youth, whiteness, and thinness promoted by fashion advertising reflects a workforce that is picked for its powerlessness. Even racial discrimination can’t be challenged, because, as in Hollywood, bias is excused as art.

The models have paired up with two unions that represent live performers, Actors Equity and the American Guild of Musical Artists, and they’ve been putting pressure on magazines, agencies, and fashion shows, with some success.

Indignities abound. Model Anja Rubik noted that, when she started, models at fashion shows had privacy when they were changing, but at a 2010 New York Fashion Week there was no privacy. “When we were backstage everyone [including photographers] could see us naked.”

The Model Alliance fought back and this year models changed in privacy, stopping the invasive photography that had been driving them up the wall.

They’ve also put pressure on Vogue, wresting an agreement in May from all 19 international editions of the magazine. The company promised not to hire models under 16, or models who appear to have an eating disorder.

Working conditions


Ziff spent five years filming her co-workers backstage at fashion events, recording what they want to see change about their working conditions. In 2010 she released the resulting film, “Picture Me.”

Health and safety were primary concerns. Sexual harassment and assault are widespread but underreported because models fear retaliation. One model who recalled a sexual assault at 16 later asked that the account be stricken from the film because she feared losing work. Others spoke out about sexual harassment on camera, braving retaliation.

Models compromise their health to keep their jobs. Model Amy Lemons said that her agent told her to eat only one rice cake a day—and if she still didn’t lose weight, eat half a rice cake.

“They’re telling me to be anorexic, flat out,” she said. She was 17 at the time. Some contracts stipulate that more than a 1 centimeter gain in hip size is grounds for firing, said Ziff.

One model interviewed by Ziff said she became anorexic after she was told by a photographer that she needed to lose weight. She said her immune system was compromised and her skin became grey. Anorexia is a serious disease that can be fatal.

Lemons said she saw young women eat cotton balls soaked in lemon juice to reduce hunger pangs. They knew it was unhealthy, Lemons said, but they needed the money, making the calculation: “I might get really sick for a short time from the cotton ball but I’m going to be able to pay for my family to eat.” Some were immigrants from Eastern Europe.



In the 1930s, actors unions developed standards to protect child performers, enforcing contracts and eventually winning laws in California and New York guaranteeing tutors to actors who miss school for work, and creating trust accounts so that adults don’t pilfer their pay before they reach adulthood.

Models have none of these protections. “It’s still like the Wild West,” said Lemons, who started working at 12 and was on the cover of Italian Vogue at 14.

Not coincidentally, many who work in the New York fashion industry are undocumented and just learning English, as well as being minors. It all adds up to more power, and a cheaper workforce, for the agencies, labels, and magazines that employ them.

As more models saw the film, it became an organizing tool, and they contacted the filmmaker for advice and help.

Ziff said she met models who were in debt to their agencies, some for as much as $100,000. Agencies claim they are spending money to promote the models, but they don’t allow models to see the accounts. Financial transparency is a Model Alliance demand.

Pay has dropped. A few years ago runway shows paid between $1,000 and $5,000, said model activists, but now many agencies now don’t even tell the workers what they’re being paid, and many are paid in clothing rather than cash.

“You can’t pay your rent with a tank top,” said Ziff.



The pressure on these workers to look prepubescent and emaciated has an impact beyond the models themselves, setting impossible beauty standards for all women, said African-American fashion writer Vanessa Williams. “If you’re Black and tubby all you want to be is white and thin…if you’re a guy, all you want are thin white girls.”

Williams’ sentiments echoed the feminists who first picketed the Miss America Pageant in 1968, denouncing artificial beauty requirements and throwing bras, girdles, curlers, and fashion magazines into a “Freedom Trash Can.” (Counter to legend, no bras were burned, but only because fires were banned.)

“Every day in a woman’s life is a walking Miss America Pageant,” said Rosalyn Baxandall on a TV talk show after she and hundreds of other women picketed the contest in Atlantic City. A secret delegation unfurled a banner inside the hall announcing “Women’s Liberation,” the first time the phrase hit the mainstream press.

Following feminist organizing in the late 1960s, clothing and beauty standards for women loosened for a while. Flat shoes and natural hairstyles became fashionable, while girdles and heavy makeup went “out.” Women students won the right to wear pants to class, and women lawyers the right to wear pants in court. Black liberation established the beauty of natural hairstyles for black women.

We’ve lost ground, say feminists, as high heels have made a comeback. Racially, the runway is nearly as segregated as ever. Ziff recalled casting call notes that read, “no ethnic girls,” and she noted that in other industries that would be grounds for a racial discrimination lawsuit.

Alongside whiteness, there’s youth and thinness. Now 30, Ziff asks why that’s become the ideal. “Why do we have this perverse fascination with images of such young girls who are so small and inexperienced and really quite vulnerable?”

It’s hard to ignore the fact that fashion employers’ economic interest in a compliant, young, powerless workforce—a workforce that rarely even eats—happens to match their taste in what is fashionable.

“If women started modeling at 25 the whole industry would be different and nobody would boss models around!” wrote a commenter on the Model Alliance website.

Ziff predicted that if models had more power, they themselves would change the kind of images we see—for starters they’d be older, healthier, and more racially diverse. And that would decrease the intense appearance pressure on all women. On International Women’s Day, that would be a reason to celebrate.


Fashion Matters: Proper-fitting bras.

I think it’s time we talk about an area of fashion often overlooked in everyday style. It’s something that has a major impact on your overall appearance, but it is so easy to overlook because it’s part of a woman’s everyday routine: the bra.
I can remember when the time came to start thinking about wearing bras. When you’re younger, there’s a sense of excitement that can come along with it. But that excitement diminishes as you grow older and things such as child-bearing, age and gravity come into the picture.
It’s so easy to get measured once, by someone who may not even truly know what they’re doing but you trust them because they have a measuring tape, and then roll with that bra size. I’ve been guilty of it myself. Being told I’m one bra size, and ignoring all the signs that it might be time to go up or down in size, I’ve continued on with an ill-fitted bra.
Mind you, the top I’m wearing over it is fabulous, but the question as to how much better that top would look if I had a properly fitting bra is the real underlying issue. So as someone who on one sunny day went to a “bra-whisperer” and found out I was wearing a bra FIVE sizes off, there’s no time like the present to pass along some pertinent knowledge.


The first step is to play a game of truth with yourself. Is it really physically possible that the same bra size you wore when you were 16 years old is the same size you are wearing at 42? Is it really feasible that after having children (and in a lot of cases breastfeeding them), that your bra size stayed the exact same? Could it even be imagined that the “perkiness” you had at 25 is still alive and well after menopause?
For some women, the answer is yes (and I’d like to shake your hand). But for most of us, the answer is no. With all the things a woman experiences in a lifetime, the body shape changes. And your bra size is likely changing as well.
The next step is get out there and get yourself a bra-whisperer. I’ve met a handful of women who I could say are true bra-whisperers. The definition of a true bra-whisperer is someone who can just look at you and tell what your bra size is, and then proceed to measure you and confirm the size she just told you.
So what does this mean you shouldn’t be looking for? Random salespeople who were put in the lingerie department with no training. Your best bet is to find a specialty shop that is solely in the business of women’s under attire.
Here are some tips I learned from Kiss and Makeup in Richmond:
Your hooks should always be put together on the first hook, not the last.
Your bra straps should be very fitted, borderline tight, never loose.
Your bust should stand at attention in a forward direction, versus looking like they’re trying to have a conversation with your belly button.
The cups of your bra should lie against your skin, no gapping.

Ford Models

See Kris Humphries’ Sister Kaela’s Ford Models Debut!

Kris Humphries shines on the court—now it’s sister Kaela Humphries‘ turn to shine behind the camera.

The former medical-sales rep from Minnesota recently scored her first campaign since signing with Ford Models’ plus-size division a month ago—and we’ve got the pictures right here.

Kaela struck a pose in a various summer looks from the Limited’s new plus-size line, Eloquii.

“The line is really fashion forward, the clothes fit and they look amazing,” she told People. “It’s been a really good experience.”

Kaela previously appeared in ads for Nordstrom and Kohl’s while signed to Wilhelmina Models a few years ago, but this is her first pro gig in awhile—and it’s clear she had no trouble picking up where she left off.

Fashionably Late

Tunisia: Fashionably Late – Fashion Week Kicks Off.

From far away, the Acropolium in Carthage looks much like a castle on a hill.Up close, it is just as imposing with high walls that overlook the city. Colorful frescoes and paintings decorate the interior walls. A long catwalk was set up for the event, lined with rows of delicate clear chairs. Ads for GOSH cosmetics and the luxury beautystore Fatales hung from the walls, along with blurred photographs of dancers on a catwalks.

The first show began a fashionable one hour late. It featured the creation of students from the Institute of Fashion Style & Design (ISDM). It opened with a performance inspired by Black Swan. The ballerina performed various gymnastic feats up and down the catwalk before whipping off her black cape to reveal a short feathered ballet costume. The looks that followed kept the theme of ballet and birds, but introduced a Grecian elegance with long flowing skirts and gold breast and head-plates. The music was apocalyptic, contrasting the ethereal designs. Gold birdcages and wings decorated both long gowns and short business-like jackets paired with corsets, tutus and nude heels that mirrored the shade of ballet shoes. Several of the gowns featured bold, wing-like shoulder pads protruding from the jackets. One model sported a pair of wings and flashed an angelic smile to the crowd. The models’ smokey black winged eye makeup echoed the dramatic music, popping out against the white ethereal theme.

Cork wedges, leg warmers and draping wool in green and mustard hues filled the second show, the work of the Higher Institute of Fashion Jobs of Monastir (ISMMM). The looks were animal themed, featuring textured leather and earthy colors. One model peered through a screen of wool strands as she stalked down the runway. The models stared fiercely at the crowd from under their top lids – covered in shimmery green and echoed with upside-down gold triangles below their lashes. Next came “geek chic” outfits set to punky music. The androgynous looks featured white and grey pajama-style suits with oversize pants and nightgown shirts accessorized with with lime green briefcases, creepers and tennis shoes. Mesh, net and zippers decorated the designs. Then the mood shifted. The music became softer, with a pulsing beat, as models in black dresses stepped onto the catwalk. The simple gowns were decorated with neon cords that were wrapped and draped, and coiled into circular patterns in the back. One model wore a complicated choker made of the bright strands. Both of these second themes recalled 90s pop culture and its obsession with neon lights, tennis shoes and baggy trousers.

International Lasalle College

The International Lasalle College in Tunis presented at the end of the night. Their designs were futuristic, with a flower theme and bright colors. After the show, the young design students from College Lasalle discussed the inspiration for their collection with Tunisia Live. The jasmine flower – its history and its femininity- was the inspiration for their draping, colorful dresses. The stem of the flower, its delicate beauty and bright fragrance could be seen in the designs – one skirt was made entirely of flower stems that curved in before sprouting out, forming a perfect bell shape. Flowers protruded from one dress, in the flower stem patterns, and in the pink bow on another that shouted the arrival of spring with its bright hue.

In between shows, lounge music kept the sartorial guests company. Pink, red and blue lights glowed on the clear chairs, that brought to mind Cinderella’s glass slipper. An eclectic crowd occupied the front row – a veiled woman wearing a dress-suit sat next to a young girl in soft hues of forest green and peach. To their right, a young man sported an edgier look with a backwards cap and graphic t-shirt. The seats closest to the start of the catwalk were reserved for journalists from Elle, Middle East Fashion, and Now Fashion, amongst other media sources.

Sitting in the front row, young fashion blogger and law student from Côte d’Ivoire Louis Philippe de Gagoue’s nine-inch platform brogues and crossed salmon pink skinny-clad legs provided a sharp contrast with the bright white catwalk. A casually held Yashica film camera with mounted flash completed his look.

“I didn’t see anything wow today,” he said, speaking of the opening show. As Gagoue spoke, his soft purple paisley dress shirt poked out of an oversized camel V-fringe suede jacket. When asked what his favorite collection was, de Gagoue answered with no hesitation – “ISMM” – the Higher Institute of Fashion Jobs of Monastir. What he liked best was the sport-chic feel of some of the looks. The models in this collection all sported white and lime creeper sneakers – almost rivaling de Gagoue’s own footwear.

An organizer concluded the opening day of the show with a shout of, “Until tomorrow Tunisia!” This met with a resounding applause from the audience. Who knows what the next days will bring? The first day of Tunis Fashion Week showcased talent from all over Africa. Tonight, we will expect no less, as fashionistas can look forward to seeing the trendy ethnic designs of Salah Barka parading down the runway. Emerging talents like As de Trèfle, a trio freshly graduated from Esmod Tunis, promise to deliver new and upcoming sartorial surprises at tonight’s show.

We’ll see you there! Come dressed to impressed- our cameras will be watching. Or follow our live tweets and livestreamthroughout the show.


A wave of statement-making timepieces has renewed interest in this classic men’s accessory. A vintage gold Rolex or a modern Devon Works Tread with conveyor belts not only tells time — it tells you something about the man wearing it.

Since cellphones and other gadgets became popular timekeepers, watches have lost some of their luster. But thanks to the timepiece’s retro appeal and new bold designs, style-conscious men are giving them a boost — as a fashion accessory. They were strapped to the wrists of male models strutting the runways at last February’s New York Fashion week, and the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry reports that watch sales in 2011 were the highest in 20 years.

Tim Paulsen of Pacifica is happy to see the return of the timepiece.

“I’m glad to see people interested in them because maybe now I’ll be able to see them in more storefronts,” he says.

Paulsen, who works for a pharmaceutical company, owns 72 pieces, including a $400 limited-edition white Casio G-Shock with a red ticker, a submarine-inspired Italo Fontana U-boat Flightdeck chronograph for $4,000, and a titanium, 60-mm-faced Panerai PAM 341 that cost him $22,000, he says.

“I build my clothes around my watch,” says Paulsen, 35. “It’s like my purse.”

The trend crosses all price points, from fashion labels, like Timex and Tommy Hilfiger, to luxury brands, like Rolex and Tag Heuer. Sales of watches

up to $300 increased 22 percent from 2010 to 2011, while those priced $300 to $1,000 increased 25 percent, according to LGI Networks, a market research company that tracks the industry. And the Swatch Group and Fossil both increased production on their wallet-friendly men’s fashion watches after seeing sales increase by at least 40 percent last year.

The women’s category is expanding as well, but not as fast as men’s watches. If anything, women like borrowing their guys’ watches because it makes a sexy statement, says Mary DePrez, the national watch buyer for Nordstrom.


Bright colors, rubber straps and military-chic were among the trends she spotted at Baselworld, the annual watch show that took place in Switzerland last month. Look for gun metal grays and matte blacks for the holiday season and updates to the classic James Bond diver watches, DePrez says.

“Watches are going through a modern re-emergence but they have a really rich history that men appreciate,” DePrez says. Last year, the retailer moved its inventory of men’s watches from the jewelry department to men’s clothing, where they now share coveted space with silk ties and tech accessories.

This renewed interest in watches is an effort for men to rediscover their identity in contemporary society, says Blake Buettner, a contributor for Hodinkee, the online magazine for watch geeks, which attracts 250,000 unique visitors a month and helps curate high-end vintage watch sales, including a sale May 25-27 at The Common in San Francisco.

“This is a romantic vision of what a guy should be and have in his arsenal, whether it’s an old pipe, a great leather jacket from the 1970s or a cool mechanical watch,” says Buettner, of St. Louis. “It kind of makes him feel like he belongs in a gentleman’s club.”

A unique watch is like a classic car, explains Kyle O’Connor, an authorized dealer at the Watch Shoppe in Walnut Creek, where he sources rare, limited-edition, preowned and new watches for Davidson & Licht Jewelers, which opened the store last August to meet demand.

“A customer will ask me to find him a 1972 Omega Seamaster or a Rolex with a few years on it for 30 percent less than it’d be new,” O’Connor says. “Like golfers or race fans, they love stopping by to talk and learn about the design or technology of their favorite timepieces.”

Style icons

O’Connor believes the current watch craze is an homage to style icons, like Steve McQueen, who made the TAG Heuer Monaco famous, and Paul Newman, synonymous with the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona.

“You can wear a watch for a few years and sell it for another one when your style changes,” he says.

A passion for vintage led brothers Mitch and Andrew Greenblatt of Danville to launch Watchismo, an online retail store for unique watches, in 1998. Within five years, they began to see improved designs in the contemporary market and added modern brands. That’s when business boomed, Mitch says.

Today, they feature thousands of mechanical styles from Japan, Italy, Germany, the United States and Switzerland, starting at $100. Customers interested in high-end mechanical “time machines” from “The Vault” are hosted by-appointment in Watchismo’s luxe brick-and-mortar man cave, where the Greenblatts plan to curate watch shows and “Clocktail Hour” parties later this year.

“Everyone has the same cellphone, so the watch is able to be more like a mechanical sculpture for the wrist,” Mitch says. “Some of them are like an extension of the Bionic Man.”

With magnified hours and minutes in the form of convex eyes, the $5,700 steel Azimuth Mr. Roboto is a modern homage to 1950s tin robot toys, while the best-selling Mr. Jones The Accurate makes a more intellectual statement. The hour hand on the $189 timepiece reads “remember,” and the minute hand reads “you will die.” The carpe diem message hits you every time you see yourself in the mirrored face.

It’s also a reminder that the timepiece has shifted from a necessity to a form of status and expression, says Nicolas Travis, who covers men’s fashion on his blog, Style Flavors.

“Watches are more portable than fast cars,” he says. “When you look at a man, you look at his shoes, his suit, and now, his watch.”


A spectacular season for fashion.

In fashion, some seasons are sedate, minimalistic and neutral. They laud the “less is more” mantra.

Southwest Florida’s 2012 spring and summer — and fall, which is more of the same, weatherwise, anyway — look anything but austere.

It’s seriously bright, wild and gender specific. And that goes for menswear, too.


Fashionistas gave Coastal Life a trend tutorial during the Michael Kors Fall 2012 Collection trunk show at Marissa Collections on Third Street South in Old Naples. The shop that Town & Country magazine calls a “staggeringly stylish boutique” with “signature nuanced styling” carries the clothes created by high-fashion runway designers.

Clothesracks showcase the names of Oscar de la Renta, Marchesa, Valentino, Lanvin, Hermes, Donna Karan, Alexander McQueen, Brunello Cucinelli and dozens more even an amateur fashion follower would recognize.

Professional model

Lauren Wilson, assistant buyer for Marissa Collections, wore a spotty Michael Kors dress as she explained what’s hip for now, soon and later.

“This is leopard,” she said, pointing to the top of her dress and then down. “Then ocelot and tiger. It’s fun.”

Wilson said Kors took a trip to Africa and brought back a love of tie-dye, burnt sienna and amber colors, safari styles, striped and dotted furs and python skins for summer.

“I always think animal prints are flattering for some reason,” said Joan Hilferty, visiting from Philadelphia. “It looks great on everyone.”

Professional model Eva Udon paraded the boutique in a Kors zebra pencil skirt at midi-length with a safari-inspired button-down blouse in ivory, a look combining professionalism, fun and a taste of tropical heat.

“I think women of any age could wear this,” Udon said.

Her stylists accessorized one of her outfits with Luna’s Lucifer vir Hornestus line of rose-gold jewelry. Luna is the first medieval jewelry designer on record in Milan, Wilson said.

“It’s very edgy and fun,” she said.

Accessories are extremely important, said Marissa Collections store manager Maryann Scandiffio.


“Lately, ladies will buy a basic outfit and make their accessories really stand out,” Scandiffio said. “If they’re a banker or executive, through their jewelry and shoes they can show their panache.”

Trendsetters are throwing a lot of standby rules out the window. Mixing metals is not a faux pas; it’s encouraged. LBD no longer stands for Little Black Dress; it’s the Little Bright Dress.

High-voltage hues are everywhere: in skinny jeans and slim trousers, dresses, purses, shoes, belts and nail polish. Tangerine is making a splash in tops, purses and shoes.

If you can’t bear to wear traffic-stopping color, pick among a palette of soft pastels. Powdery blue, mint green and lilac suit the feminine fashions, old-school style. Try a pastel pleated skirt, jean or gingham shirt.

“I love all the colors,” said Karen Krigstein as she shopped at Marissa Collections. “I’m tired of all neutrals.”

Cinch the waist with three thin, bright belts to emphasize your womanly shape, slip into some platform heels or multimedia wedges and you’ve got yourself an in-season silhouette.

Spice up a sensible, solid-colored wardrobe with prints that are going global, especially African tribal and South American ikat, according to Saks Fifth Avenue’s style catalogs. Color-blocking is still all the rage, but in new ways, combining icy pastels, loud brights and reptilian skins — not just on clothes, but in purses and shoes.


Women can accessorize with lightweight scarves tied in ladylike bows and knots, circa 1950s. If the flirty, ultra-feminine look isn’t your style, designers are incorporating sportswear fabrics and cuts in dressier ways, and the more androgynous 1920s flapper, Art Deco feel.

Opposites attract in fashion, too.

“Rich herringbones and tweeds: Michael was all about rugged elegance on the runway,” said Keira Mahoney, a Michael Kors representative and account manager for his Ready to Wear collection. “He has a love affair with lace of course. Big trend of course, in evening wear.”

Mahoney held up a bone-colored, baggy fisherman’s sweater and grounded it with a golden lace skirt. “It’s a juxtaposition of country life and elegance. They kind of play together,” she said.

To highlight a woman’s assets yet leave something to the imagination, designers are defining the waist, adding full skirts and using abstract and painterly florals.

Swathed in python skin or color-blocking — or both — envelope purses continue to trend for ladylike handbags, yet Michael Kors came out with a black doctor’s bag for fall, and Alexander McQueen’s line includes gorgeous hard-boxed bags with embroidery. Some call them works of art.

“I think women are looking for very special bags, not plain ones. One that’s an eye-grabber,” Wilson said.

Fashion gurus


In a similar vein, menswear is seeing a resurgence in all things gentlemanly, with top tailoring, dapper duffel bags and wide-brimmed hats.

Fashion gurus are painting men in pastels, too, which shouldn’t be too much of a stretch for men in the tropical south.

“Celery greens are big,” said Joseph Wendt of Joseph’s Custom Clothiers in Naples. “It’s a gorgeous, summery color. It’s very appealing and striking. Everybody has a blue blazer. What’s the fun in that?”Wendt suggests wearing the pastel in subtle patterns in silk and cashmere fabrics, with a navy or light-gray pant made with a cotton-linen blend and a fine leather, slip-on driver shoe.

Hand-woven Italian shoes in caramel and bone colors do well for summer, and super-light wools blended with silk are preferable to cotton and linen, which wrinkle too easily.“It’s a nice look for men to cruise around Fort Myers and Naples. Not sloppy looking, but they don’t look too formal. Nice and put together,” Wendt said.

A celery-colored sport coats with a charcoal-gray pant and white shirt could be stunning, or with cream-colored pant, beige shirt, a pocket square and peanut-colored belt and shoes.

It’s a fashionable Hamptons-style look for daytime parties, fundraisers or dinner with the wife. A pastel placed with classic neutrals is tasteful, yet striking, he said.Heading into fall, the color trend deepens with navy blue-purple and hunter green-brown combinations.For men and women, rich reds will build a solid foundation to any fall wardrobe. Women can go a bit brighter with a tomato red, and men can try a burgundy or brick red.“A burgandy blazer with charcoal pants just knocks ’em dead,” Wendt said.


Models to strut their stuff at free catwalk shows.

Taking place under the Cabot Circus glass roof on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22, the Spring Summer 2012 Fashion Show will feature the latest looks from the new collections available from stores in the centre.

And, with outfits from high-street to high-end, the catwalk will showcase something for every budget and taste – whether you want to indulge your feminine side with pretty florals, grab attention with this season’s acid brights or spice it up a bit with the latest Miami trends.

As the weekend of free fashion shows begins, shoppers will be able to enjoy discounts and offers at many of Cabot Circus’ stores and restaurants. Visitors can also indulge in free treatments at the “pamper lounges”, where experts from House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, Sanctuary Spa, Seanhanna and the Body Shop will be on hand to treat shoppers and talk through the latest hair and beauty trends.

Shoppers can also get inspiration from clothes and beauty buys that will be showcased in glass display cases dotted around Cabot Circus and Quakers Friars.

Retailers that will be featured in the fashion show include House of Fraser, Harvey Nichols, French Connection, Ted Baker, Fred Perry, Next, River Island, Bank, New Look, Reiss and Warehouse.

Bristol street dance company Hype – which has previously won awards including the World Street Dance Championships – will be taking part.

Youngsters will be turning their hand to modelling for the day as they strut their stuff on the catwalk for a special childrenswear show at 5pm on Saturday.

Fine fashion

Fine fashion for the over-45 crowd.

Sid Cratzbarg organizes fashion shows that cater to older women.

In our youth-obsessed culture, mature women often get shortchanged by a fashion industry that prefers its models to be reed-thin, hipless, tall and young.

One of the most challenging fashion aspects for women over 45 is how to dress for the changes that are occurring to their body (hello, menopause). There’s nothing tackier than seeing a gorgeous older woman dressed in ill-fitting clothing that is not age appropriate.

Ottawa fashion and fragrance specialist Sid Cratzbarg is doing his part to change that by organizing fashion shows geared to showing women how to dress with ageless style.

“Give me the 50, 60 to 70 year olds. I offer inspiring tips and show them how to get a million-dollar look for $100,” says Cratzbarg, who is known for his trademark oversized glasses, large-faced wristwatches and classic suits.

“I enjoy making women look and feel good. I teach them that they don’t have to throw out their whole wardrobe. A smart jacket, the right accessories and a proper purse is all it takes.”

During his shows, Cratzbarg uses four models who are over 50 and showcases 15 different looks. He sources and purchases all the clothing from Canadian and U.S. wholesalers. People can buy the clothing right on the spot. He has been holding shows several times a year for the past five years.

“The problem with fashion in this town is that we often have young women wearing grown-up clothes, which looks ridiculous. People want to see real women — not a size 0 or size 4.”

Cratzbarg, former teacher and motivational speaker, has numerous plus-sized clients who wear size 14 to size 16 and are very fashionably dressed.

“I enjoy helping stay-at-home moms who are re-entering the workforce and retired ladies who are watching their pennies, but want to look good.”

Kate Upton’s

Movie notes: Kate Upton’s ‘nunkini’ makes ‘Three Stooges’ fashion statement.

Every now and then, while downloading a bazillion movie stills and band photos for Weekender every week, a showstopper pops up. One that makes you do a Scooby-Doo double-take and say, “Wait…what did I just see?”

This was one of those weeks. This “Three Stooges” still of swimsuit model Kate Upton wearing what has been dubbed the “nunkini” – a fetching black number complete with a nun’s habit — easily wins the Photo of the Week award.

Of course, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League was quick to take offense, although his criticism in this Hollywood Reporter article seems a bit muted. At least, for him.

Upton, who graced the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, wasn’t the only thing to draw Donohue’s ire. Larry David appears in drag as a character whose name seems designed to offend — Sister Mary-Mengele.

But it could have been worse. The Hollywood Reporter quoted a 20th Century Fox spokesperson as saying, “And as far as the nun attire, I think we did the audience a favor by letting Kate Upton wear the nunkini rather than Larry David — it could have gone either way. We invite you to see the movie and decide for yourselves.”

Larry David in a nunkini: Now THAT would have been offensive.


Fashion weeks the world over see models sent down catwalks, often wearing impractical outfits that few would wear in real life. But only in Pakistan do you see ensembles that could get their wearers arrested, or even killed.

It is hard to imagine Mathira Mohammed, a free-spirited televisionTV presenter dubbed “Pakistan’s Paris Hilton”, getting too far outside the venue of this week’s fashion extravaganza in Karachi in the skimpy shorts and shoulder-baring top in which she marched down the runway on the opening night of Fashion Pakistan Week.

Helping to model designer Sanam Chaudhri’s collection of neon outfits described as “in your face ghetto grunge”, the presenter’s top mysteriously fell below her bra just as she stopped in front of a bank of TV cameras. Photographers reviewing sequences of shots could have sworn the top had been given a deliberate downward yank.

The Mathira moment, which delighted many of the 1,000-strong crowd, was emblematic of a fledgling fashion industry clamouring for international attention and which regards itself as a standard bearer for a more liberal Pakistan cheerfully defying conservative clerics and religious extremists.

But fashion remains far from mainstream in a country where poverty is rife and where only last week, conservative parliamentarians succeeded in staving off a new law to curb domestic violence against women because it “promoted western culture”.

“People need to look at a different Pakistan,” said designer Deepak Perwani. “We’re sick and tired of the same old bullshit news about bombs and terrorists.”

Dire security in a city recently engulfed in a round of ethnic violence had forced organisers to move the venue to a heavily secured five star hotel.

But while political killings continued around Karachi this week, inside the grand marquee there was little that would look out of place in Paris or London.

Fashion fans

Fashion fans with front row seats flicked their attention between smart phones and the procession of towering models, some of whom were paid up to $1,000 a night to wear everything from heavily embroidered bridal gowns to street wear.

Despite the tiny size of the fledgling industry there are no fewer than five fashion festivals around the country run by competing consortiums.

A simmering feud has split the fashion establishments of Lahore and Karachi, a port city on the Arabian Sea that regards itself as inherently more hip than the capital of Punjab.

Even Peshawar, a border town on the conservative frontier with Afghanistan where most women wear full veils, has had a fashion week. Unfortunately the most recent event due to be held in September had to be cancelled, the organisers said, “because of the threat from radical groups in the city”.

Designers say Pakistani fashion is starting to break out from traditional markets of bridalwear and outfits bought by small cliques of rich society “aunties”.

“Fashion is finally taking off in Pakistan because a middle class has begun to emerge,” said Maheen Khan, a veteran designer introduced to the crowd on the first night as “the Coco Chanel of the east”. Demand is being further fuelled by a profusion of television channels and glossy celebrity magazines including a recently launched Pakistani version of Hello! magazine, she said.

Monsoon, Next and Timberland have all recently arrived in Karachi, with Debenhams on the way. Khan herself is moving away from her traditional business of luxury evening gowns and a streetwear label called Gulabo.

“We are not just catering for the rich, but for middle-class women who have the money to buy mass-produced, disposable fashion,” she said.

Jeanne Beker

Fashion Television: Jeanne Beker looks back on 27 years of iconic show.

Certain days will be etched on our hearts and minds forever.

One of the most memorable for me was the day I walked through the doors of the old Citytv building on Queen St. E., 27 years ago, and saw dozens of models hanging around the lobby.

They were there for a casting call for a new show about fashion. Citytv wanted a fashion veejay to host the pilot of a fashion video show—there were to be no talking-head designers, esoteric profiles or analysis of collections, just a program about the sexiness of style and the beat of this intriguing scene that was wildly underexposed.

Looking for the next big thing, I made my case to the station manager, pleading with him to allow me, a six-year veteran of TV’s music and entertainment scene, to host.

I had interviewed countless rock stars, and understood the theatricality of style and entertainment value of the larger-than-life personalities in the fashion world. There was potential here. We could take fashion TV beyond slick, superficial voyeurism and instead explore characters and creative processes.

It took a bit of fast talking, but I got the green light, and in 1985, together with executive Marcia Martin and the talented producer Jay Levine, we launched Fashion Television. It would be the most colourful ride of my life.

It’s difficult to fathom, now that fashion has become a media circus, but in those first years, we were one of just two camera crews backstage at runway shows.

The other, CNN’s Style with Elsa Klensch, was a no-nonsense production that ran from 1980 to 2000. It took fashion very seriously, asking questions like “Why beige?” Fashion Television’s approach was much more irreverent.


We were in that world but not of it, strangers in a strange land, never too esoteric. We were delighted to call our program “fashion for the uninitiated” and I took great pleasure in being a tour guide for viewers. It was also our mandate to report on design, photography, art and architecture—all subjects that are visually stimulating and intellectually fascinating.

Before long, Fashion Television got tongues wagging.

The weekly series went into wide international syndication, appearing in more than 130 countries. It was a hit, and as our credibility increased, so did our access.

For me, it was a brilliant entrée into the world of the most creative visionaries on the planet. With my FT microphone and natural chutzpah, I could push through any scrum to get the coveted sound bites that make great TV. But I also gained the trust of designers, which led to exclusive interviews with the crème de la crème. Our conversations were fantastic. They discussed hopes and fears and dreams and drive — much more than hemlines and silhouettes.

The greatest lesson is that these so-called geniuses are as human and vulnerable as the rest of us.

Our show became a habit for many viewers. Age didn’t matter; our subject had cross-generational appeal. Mothers and daughters and fathers and sons all watched together. Maybe it’s because FT was about people first and foremost: who they were, the way they saw the world and the way they moved through it.

I can’t tell you how many times people—people now working in fashion’s trenches, including some of the world’s hottest talents—told me Fashion Television inspired them to make their dreams come true.

But one of the most exhilarating things for me is that the series was produced right here in Toronto, my own backyard.

We travelled the world, but always came home to tell our stories. The sanity of living in this magnificent country, in this fantastic city, grounded me, humbled me and allowed us to see the forest for the trees.

Fashion Television

Producer Howard Brull’s brilliant music choices, editor Luke McCarty’s masterful cuts, the best shooters in the business and clever segment producers made Fashion Television a joy to work on and watch.

The passion of our creative team was unmatched. We lived and breathed FT. And in the early years, before extended maternity leave, I prayed my baby daughters would understand why I took only a few weeks off after they were born. There were collections to be covered, trails to be blazed. It seemed like important work at the time and I had to be a part of it.

Now, almost a half a lifetime later, I know I made the right decision. In the process, I built a strong bond with viewers and a personal brand all my own.I lost my beloved dog Beau earlier this year. He had been with me for 13 years, teaching me about love, devotion and humanity, as all our cherished pets do. I was devastated. But the survivor in me went out, got a beautiful new puppy — Gus — and fell in love all over again.The whole experience seems like a metaphor now, and it brought this message home: Life is about moving on.As Karl Lagerfeld, one of my most revered style mentors, always says, “Never look back.”We have to focus on the new, the next, the future. It’s time to dream new dreams, to take style coverage to new heights.There’s a new generation to inspire and a new era to celebrate.Stay tuned.

Versailles fashion

Years later, Versailles models still turning heads.

They didn’t really know it at the time, but the black models who walked in the Versailles fashion face-off in France in 1973 carved a path on the catwalk for generations to come.

Lately, though, there has been some erosion — not just for black models, but for models overall, says Bethann Hardison, one of those trailblazers who now spends most of her time on the other side of the business as a casting director, agent and adviser.

“The ‘fashion model’ has become extinct. They are no longer muses, they are girls with clothes on them,” says Hardison. “In the early and mid-’90s, things started to change and diversity got lost.”

She’s talking about skin color, body types, hairstyles — anything that shows personality, she explains. “Now designers, they don’t want models to be so recognizable. They are picking girls you wouldn’t notice. They want the girls to walk front to back, and tell them, ‘Don’t smile, don’t swing your hips, don’t do anything but walk.’”

Back at Versailles, when a group of upstart American-based designers, including Halston, Anne Klein and Bill Blass, unexpectedly beat French couturiers in a fashion competition that really put the U.S. sportswear industry on the map, Hardison says she was expected to work the crowd. “Halston said, ‘Bethann, we’re counting on you.’ At rehearsal, I couldn’t bring it, I was so nervous, but in the show, when the moment came, fear made me go down there and do it for the team, and I did it.”

There were almost a dozen black models on the runway, which was unheard of at the time. It showed the Americans as modern, especially compared with the more old-school, rarified styles of Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent and Hubert de Givenchy.

Many of the models continued with steady catwalk work through the 1970s and ’80s, perfecting unique looks that designers would use as inspiration.

American fashion

Hardison says designers weren’t using them to make a social statement; they were trying to reflect the new global audience they were speaking to. Some designers and brands continue to do that today, she observes, but too many are caught up in having that blank canvas they think won’t distract from their clothes.

Hardison recently took a turn in front of the cameras again, joining Alva Chinn and Pat Cleveland, among others, in a spread celebrating that almost 40-year-old fashion show in the May issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. She says it was great fun to do — remember, she’s from the generation that likes hamming it up — but, more important, she hopes it was a life lesson in confidence for the up-and-coming, younger black models, including Joan Smalls and Kinee Diouf, who shared the pages with them.

The genesis of the story and photo shoot was a chance request by The Huffington Post for O editor-at-large Gayle King to present the Versailles models with one of its Game Changer awards last fall. That was a few months after the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art honored them and just before ABC News did a segment. A book and documentary are also in the works, says Hardison. All the attention is nice, if unexpected so many years later, she adds.

“I guess we thought of it as a big ‘another day’ in fashion (in 1973), but it was also just another day. We didn’t know it was iconic or historic, but nothing ever is until after it’s done. You need the context at some given point in time, and people learn about something and say, ‘Wow.’”

The Versailles models understood how to use their own unique looks and personalities to sell clothes, says Adam Glassman, O’s creative director. These women were perfect for the magazine’s age issue, he adds, because they are aging beautifully and with spunk.

“Had we not had these legends, I don’t know where we’d be today in American fashion,” he says.

Versailles models

Years later, trailblazing Versailles models still turning heads.

They didn’t really know it at the time, but the black models who walked in the Versailles fashion face-off in France in 1973 carved a path on the catwalk for generations to come.

Lately, though, there has been some erosion – not just for black models, but for models overall, says Bethann Hardison, one of those trailblazers who now spends most of her time on the other side of the business as a casting director, agent and adviser.

“The ‘fashion model’ has become extinct. They are no longer muses, they are girls with clothes on them,” says Hardison. “In the early and mid-’90s, things started to change and diversity got lost.”

She’s talking about skin color, body types, hairstyles – anything that shows personality, she explains. “Now designers, they don’t want models to be so recognizable. They are picking girls you wouldn’t notice. They want the girls to walk front to back, and tell them, ‘Don’t smile, don’t swing your hips, don’t do anything but walk.’”

Back at Versailles, when a group of upstart American-based designers, including Halston, Anne Klein and Bill Blass, unexpectedly beat French couturiers in a fashion competition that really put the U.S. sportswear industry on the map, Hardison says she was expected to work the crowd. “Halston said, ‘Bethann, we’re counting on you.’ At rehearsal, I couldn’t bring it, I was so nervous, but in the show, when the moment came, fear made me go down there and do it for the team, and I did it.”

There were almost a dozen black models on the runway, which was unheard of at the time. It showed the Americans as modern, especially compared with the more old-school, rarified styles of Pierre Cardin, Yves Saint Laurent and Hubert de Givenchy.

Many of the models continued with steady catwalk work through the 1970s and ’80s, perfecting unique looks that designers would use as inspiration.

Hardison says designers weren’t using them to make a social statement; they were trying to reflect the new global audience they were speaking to. Some designers continue to do that today, she says, but too many are caught up in having that blank canvas they think won’t distract from their clothes.

Hardison recently took a turn in front of the cameras again, joining Alva Chinn and Pat Cleveland, among others, in a spread celebrating that almost 40-year-old fashion show in the May issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. She says it was great fun to do – remember, she’s from the generation that likes hamming it up – but, more important, she hopes it was a life lesson in confidence for the up-and-coming, younger black models, including Joan Smalls and Kinee Diouf, who shared the pages with them.

The genesis of the story and photo shoot was a chance request by The Huffington Post for O editor-at-large Gayle King to present the Versailles models with one of its Game Changer awards last fall. That was a few months after the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art honored them and just before ABC News did a segment. A book and documentary are also in the works, says Hardison. All the attention is nice, if unexpected so many years later, she adds.

“I guess we thought of it as a big ‘another day’ in fashion [in 1973], but it was also just another day. We didn’t know it was iconic or historic, but nothing ever is until after it’s done. You need the context at some given point in time, and people learn about something and say, ‘Wow.’”

The Versailles models understood how to use their own unique looks and personalities to sell clothes, says Adam Glassman, O’s creative director. These women were perfect for the magazine’s age issue, he adds, because they are aging beautifully and with spunk.

“Had we not had these legends, I don’t know where we’d be today in American fashion,” he says.

Miss World

Mushandu shining at Miss World

Reigning Miss Zimbabwe Malaika Mushandu, currently in England for the Miss World pageant, is representing the country well as she has been shortlisted for two fast-track events including Top Model and Beach beauty.

She is one of 20 semi-finalists shortlisted for the Top Model category in addition to being among 36 models who qualified for the Beach Beauty event.

Mushandu added weight to her achievements by qualifying for the Top 10 Beauty with a purpose where she presented a DVD which had the recordings of her Ware and Sanitation project in Epworth.

An excited Mushandu said she was impressed.
“I am excited to have been chosen as one of the Beach beauty finalists. The judges were looking for someone who was comfortable with their bodies and chose me as one of them,” she said.

She made it clear though being shortlisted for Beach beauty did not guarantee her of winning, but gave her an added advantage over those who did not qualify.

“The judges are using a scoring system this year, so the points that one scores in the fast-track events are tallied up to get a total that determines who is in the top 15 for this year,” she said.

She said qualifying for the Top model and Beach beauty was a great achievement because excelling in these competitions would give her a better chance to be in the top 15.

The eloquent model has been visible during camp as she was one of four models who were chosen to address students at the University of Cambridge when they had a debate there. Her Water and Sanitation project was one of three videos which were played during the Beauty with a Purpose dinner.

Mushandu said the Miss World camp had been a great experience as she got a lifetime opportunity to tour various parts of England.

“We have toured Scotland, Buckingham Palace, the Edinburg Castle and Cambridge University. We have also had rides on the London Eye and I have learnt so much about the Scotland culture, their highland games and sampled their traditional food,” she said.

She also thanked her sponsors for ensuring she went to Miss World fully equipped.

“I am really grateful to TN Holdings, Edgars and ZTA for assisting me with my wardrobe as I am at par with most of the first-world country models. There is no difference as I have what they have,” she said.

Mushandu shares her room with Sierra Leone. She said was enjoying her stay in London. Asked what her chances of winning were, she said she could not tell till she knew her positions in all the fast-track events she has qualified for.

She further asked Zimbabweans to support her on Sunday when she will represent the country at the world’s biggest pageant.

“I have done my part and now it’s time for us to join hands and finish the race as a nation,” she said.
Meanwhile, preparations for the 61st edition of Miss World finale which will take place at the Earls Court Two in London on Sunday evening, are at an advanced stage.

Mushandu will take to the ramp and catwalk with 112 beauties. Reigning Miss World, Alexandra Mills will crown her successor.

Models online

A judge has ordered infamous scam artist Bradley Poster to pay nearly $1 million for ripping off unemployed models online and actresses for more than six years.

Poster, who has used the aliases Brad West, Max Holden and Mark West, created a Midtown-based business aimed at New Yorkers that advertised supposedly available jobs for actresses and  models online on Craigslist and Facebook, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs.

The catch was, before the models online were able to secure employment, Poster charged the unsuspecting job seekers with “consumers fees” both to take premilinary head shots and to post their profiles on his jobs website, created for the false company WMT Model & Talent Network Development, Ltd.

Ultimately, Poster never helped any actors or models secure employment, but instead swindled them out of their money for pictures that he didn’t post.

Poster was ordered to pay $908,400 in fines after nearly seven dozen complaints were filed against him. The judge found Poster “to be responsible for illegally advertising services that he did not provide, charging customers for photography services as a precondition for securing jobs that did not exist, and operating as an unlicensed employment models online agency,” according to the DCA.

The Department of Consumer Affairs charged that between March 2005 and February 2011, WMT Model & Talent Network placed 910 false advertisements. The company also worked under the names World Model Talent, WMT, Model and Talent Network Management, and others.

“Unfortunately, and unacceptably, WMT Model & Talent Network and Mr. Poster personally resorted to the classic scam in modeling agencies: bait and switch. By purposefully preying on consumers looking for legitimate employment, he instead sold them unnecessary and unrequested photography services,” DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz said.

“To any business that still hasn’t gotten the message, I’ll say it again: any employment agency that takes advantage of job seekers, especially during these tough economic times, will answer to us.”

This was the second time that Poster was charged for operating a scam. In 2005, Poster was forced to pay almost $27,000 in public fines for operating an unlicensed employment agency called Look International, according to the DCA.

Scammed artists were also upset about Poster’s ploy.

“TOTAL SCAM! I went thru the process and they have yet to post my pictures,” New York resident Katerina M. said on the company’s Yelp Review.

“I knew going in that it would be 1 hour of my life wasted.”

Others agreed, relating horror stories about unkept, dingy offices, a pushy “manager,” and showing news videos about people that were supposedly former clients, but in reality had nothing to do with the modeling agency at all.

“Like hello I am not stupid,” Elmerhust resident Marina G. said on Yelp, about Poster’s attempts to trick her into paying for headshots.

“Anyways.. BEWARE!!! this is a TOTAL SCAM to be an extra or do anything AN AGENCY SHOULD NOT CHARGE YOU!!!!! They should have confidence in you and they get paid for you being hired anyways, so don’t fall for it.”


LA fashion story: Whitney Port models a Very Seventies-inspired collection

Joining Fearne Cotton and Holly Willoughby, who fashion design for the brand, Whitney fashion models  the range of Autumn Winter 2011 clothes for the Love Label and Love Label Luxe.

The premium capsule collection, Love Label Luxe, ranges from £38 – £120 and Whitney fashion models six of the pieces.

Whitney, 26, says: ‘It would have to be the lace playsuit. It’s just all so glam – I love everything.

‘It reminds me a lot of the 70s, with a hippie twist.’

‘Quality is of the utmost importance to me but sometimes you’re not in the mood to spend gazillion dollars.

‘I loved the all the Love Label Luxe pieces because the prices are good and they don’t forfeit the quality.’

Whitney has been a busy girl. The star was in Napa valley recently promoting her new spring collection for her label Whitney Eve.

She told FabSugar that she was going to start recycling her old clothes after running out of room in her wardrobe.

‘Actually, I’m going on a shopping strike,’ she said.

I just moved into a new place and organized my closet, and I realized that I really shouldn’t buy anything else — I literally have stuff with tags still attached — so I’m just going to revamp my existing pieces for Fall.‘I really gravitated towards the menswear looks that were on the runways; I love a pantsuit, and I’m going to try kitten heels, too.’

‘And honestly, I kind of try to save on everything! Since I’ve started designing I’ve realized just how much it costs to make clothes, and I have become pretty frugal when buying new things.’

Harper’s Bazaar UK

Harper’s Bazaar UK — the multi-model magazine cover might be making a comeback.

And thank goodness! As much as we love us a good Jen Aniston cover (who doesn’t?), there is something especially satisfying about a fashion magazine covered by high fashion models. It just feels right that Liya Kebede and Natalia Vodianova, Iman and Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford should join each other on fashion’s most important mags.

So we’re super psyched about the December cover of Harper’s Bazaar UK, which sees Yasmin Le Bon, Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and Eva Herzigova reunited. In a playful photo by Jonas Akerlund, the supes show off their still-amazing bodies in Dolce & Gabbana for the mag’s “Women Of The Year” issue.

The theme of the shoot is based on the much-hyped Duran Duran video for the new single “Girl Panic.” The video, which will premiere on November 7 at Harper’s Bazaar UK’s Women of the Year Awards, feature all five models in an epic video reunion.

But really, we’re more excited about the covers. In honor of Harper’s Bazaar UK awesome December issue, we’ve rounded up nine more of our fave model reunion covers, from 1990 to today. Scroll through the photos below (hit “Fullscreen,” s’il vous plait!) and tell us: which epic photo is your favorite?

Ukrainian models

In connection with the starvation death of Brazilian model Anna Carolina Reston, who died from exhaustion, “Blick” interviewed Ukrainian models, hungry, and if they do they relate to thinness.

Alexander Nikolaenko, National Director of “Miss Ukraine-Universe”, model: “I am opposed to starvation! This lack of awareness of: the girls are thinking when hungry – that is the key to success, and not even know that it leads to serious illness. ”
Alena Avramenko, first vice-miss “Miss Europe – 2006″ “I do not need a diet – I’m too young for this. A recent case of a Brazilian model who died of exhaustion … Personally, I never would imagine this is not allowed! Even for the sake of his beloved profession. ”
Ukrainian models Masha Proshkovskaya, professional model agency models Karin MMG: «For the sake of starvation am very negative. I think if these girls are natural does not allow her to work as a model, you need not torture yourself so. Personally, I never go hungry. Just my healthy diet. ”
Ukrainian models Vlada Litovchenko, president of the agency Ukrainian models of Karin MMG, model: “The fact that the model for the profession starve himself to death – a myth. I personally do not know any and have not met. If a girl is going on – her mental illness … “


His new collection of Ukrainian designer Alexey Zalevsky devoted to the topic of discrimination of HIV-infected patients. The models were dressed in red podium, black and white clothing, was decorated with condoms and syringes, according to Day.
Perfomance for the organizers had to abandon the standard podium and give the designer and his collection is one of the audience sectors.
Models were dressed Zalewski on the background of a large projection screen on which were born, lived and died a huge heart.
Alex Zalewski his collection dedicated to the topic of discrimination of HIV-infected patients. Among the models who took to the podium were six HIV-positive people. A head models, which were dressed in red podium, black and white dress, decorated with syringes and condoms.
The bulk of Ukrainian Fashion Week Ukrainian Fashion Week kicked off on October 12. In addition to their collections Zalewski Spring / Summer Lily showed Pustovit, Christina Gusin and Victor Anisimov.

Ukraine women

An important step towards self-love is unconditional self-acceptance: 1. Unconditional acceptance of self and others. Even if you think you have done a bad deed, say, screamed at a loved one, angry at a child, it is important to understand that this is just one act, and not you yourself completely, and not to attack itself for attack anger and aggression. 2. Unconditional self-acceptance – it’s a habit that can be mastered. 3. Self-acceptance requires strength and energy. Since Ukraine women tend to cling tightly to their ideas of self-deprecating, and so the force must meet force. The more you use the power and energy, trying to take them, the better the results will be. Most people overestimate the fact that the other has to do for him, holds the other has his own hopes and expectations. As a result, we cannot we visit to assess how much we can do for themselves. The paradox is that the less we know what to do, the more we “know” that should do more. When you catch yourself on what you say to others that they should do, stop and ask yourself: “What I can do for itself?” How to love yourself: instruction 1. Make a list of ways that you can support yourself and give yourself what you want and expect from others. 2. Every day do something from this list. 3. Create affirmations (positive statements) about themselves and their relationships with others. 4. Repeat these affirmations every day, looking in the mirror and looking at myself in the eye. Engage auto-training.5. Every night before going to bed I forgive me for my mistakes. 6. Praise yourself for success and thank myself for the love that gave me during the day. 7. Every week, do yourself a gift. 8. Visit the training “How to accept and love myself”. Ukraine women are well educated, intelligent, honest, loving, sexy ladies. On our best free dating site you can meet you best Ukraine women!

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