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SIlent Flashes Forward

Ria by Alexandra Utzmann for CR Fashion Book @riasalvation @alexandrautzmann @crfashionbookRia by Alexandra Utzmann for CR Fashion Book @riasalvation @alexandrautzmann @crfashionbook

If someone were to create a board game around the idea of 'making the model', the pathways and the rule set would be quite easy to map out. A wide eyed nubie…in a digital sheet, sped to the great model breakers... and then…quick... the snap up to the exclusives and coveted slots, hopefully catching the eye of the power designers, stylists, photographers and booking editors that keep fashion in a state of maximum relevancy.

The equivalent to that model making process, is the cycles in which the market looks for a management company that reflects an idea or an ideal that keeps the booking game from becoming too settled around the same agencies always. Every few seasons tastemakers hunt for an agency that introduces a fresh new angle on model tastes.That's fashion, all flux. The tides must shift... just because.

In that regard, through a build up of bookings at Interview, 032c, CR Fashion Book and iD, not to mention the recent Resort and Couture runways for Calvin, Altazarra, Gucci, Vuitton, Dior and Valentino, Silent NY which has been flashing an interesting signal in recent months as the hot new shop for directional clients to cull cool new faces.

Silent's President, Peter Fitzpatrick has always been one of my favorite managers to stop in for a lunch or breakfast whenever I'm in New York. I would put good money down that he's a natural born chess player. In talking about the business with him, I always sense a very good critical intelligence at play…gathering as much information as it trades, even as it is filtering out to the bigger picture of what modeling could mean in a digital era. Between quantifiable metrics and qualified tastes, there are always new possibilities waiting to be forged . The 6 years of dedicated work at Silent has more than acclimatized him to the subtle nuances of management and I've always wondered how a super-smart Harvard grad such as Peter ended up at the non-stop carnival that is the modeling industry. Here's what he divulged.

LIVING CURRENCIES ( PART ONE )

"Opinions are not numbers. Numbers don't lie.""Opinions are not numbers. Numbers don't lie."

I just finished reading Robert Lacey's wry biography of Eileen Ford. Once you stop to consider what this woman and her husband did, which is to build what we know as the modern modeling industry from scratch, it's as if their lives coalesce into a kind of cultural destiny.

"Model Woman: Eileen Ford and the Business of Beauty", is a must read of a life history that justifies the Vogue Paris, NY Times and Vanity Fair tributes that poured in upon Mrs. Ford passing last year. But the book begs the question of what would an Eileen Ford make of the industry, if she were operating within its limits today. Reality TV reality, social media celebrity, Instagram metrics..how would her calculating mind reconcile these variables to her business practice.

I was at Le Petit Four on Sunset Plaza circulating the idle hiss about a former Gucci model who had relocated to LA in a smart act of rebranding, when I got immersed in a dialogue about management LA style, ( where such an occupation takes on life and death proportions.) The fashion driven but market conscious manger was updating me that he was swiveling his strategy away from the "blank manques" to the "slashers". For the details of that I go to the i-Phone transcript…

#MYCALVIN And The New Era Digital Advertising

Crystal Renn, "Calvinizing" most beautifully for #mycalvin.Crystal Renn, "Calvinizing" most beautifully for #mycalvin.

Well if there was any brand positioned to harness this generation's penchant for shooting itself in as little clothing as possible, then it had to be Calvin.

ON RACE AND RUNWAY RELEVANCE

One + Saint's massive New York breakout star, Kai Newman at Calvin Klein SS14.One + Saint's massive New York breakout star, Kai Newman at Calvin Klein SS14.

A great story behind the story that was the freshly concluded SS14 session of #NYFW was the response posted to the call to arms issued by Bethann Hardison and Iman in Eric Wilson's Aug 7th article in the NY Times. Titled "Fashion's Blind Spot", it was a redux of the brouhaha that exploded 5 years ago on the subject of black models in fashion, with the customary shifting of responsibility where clients blamed the agencies, and the agencies damned the clients for imposing a "quota" system on the use of "models of color".

What was new and what made the issue freshly relevant was Iman's use of the "B" word...as in boycott. “It feels to me like the times need a real hard line drawn like in the 1960s, by saying if you don’t use black models, then we boycott. If you engage the social media, trust me, it will hurt them in their pockets. If you take it out there, they will feel the uproar...” , Iman passionately stated in the article.

How To Be A Really Ridiculously Amazing Male Model.

Matthew Terry/Ford for Calvin Klein underwearMatthew Terry/Ford for Calvin Klein underwear

That September Details cover featuring IMG's Tyson Ballou with fellow babe Emily DiDonato gives it hope. Jason Kanner at Soul has been hash tagging #thereturnofthesupermodel. The House of Calvin Klein has been doing due duty keeping beautiful boys like Matthew Terry and Sean de Wet at Ford in the mass market spotlight. And of course the almighty beauty of Major's Rob Evans has shone oh so brightly on platforms ranging from those blue chip camps to the reality TV stardom benedicted by Miss Banks (with an extra-sexy Madonna video on the side).

But truth be told, while the fashion mags have been doing a sustained sell-through of the ideal of new gen female supermodels, (Joan, Karlie and Cara are stepping up for their candidacy), the beautiful boys of modeling have been a touch lax when it comes to working a moment. True, social media has launched a feeding frenzy of beautiful boy Tumblrs where every freshly shot test of a new male model gets replicated across the net in record time. It provides a whole new spectrum of visibility. But where are the new boys with the 2mil Instagram followers? Do these kids realize how much power resides in that glower? And how many millions of Robert Pattinson-ed out tweens are waiting for something new to love?

Given my daily occupation, I do get a fair amount of email/FB/Twitter messages from young gentlemen asking for feedback on becoming models. Or that strangely innocent question, "Do you think I have what it takes?"

As a community service then, TI is happy to drop some tips on ...How To Be A Really Ridiculously Amazing Male model.

SCOOP DU JOUR: NIAN FISH EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: COMING SOON AT MDC

The aesthetic that became an eternal brandThe aesthetic that became an eternal brand

" Calvin was fearless. He was looking for something different.

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Taste is a dictatorship.

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