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Just So You Know, I’m Not Posting For The Likes



I hate the term Instagram Model – as if there were such a thing. No, there are models and there are girls who post pictures on Instagram. Having photos on Instagram does not make you a model, and, if you are a model that posts pictures on Instagram, that doesn’t make you less of a model. They aren’t related. But, somehow when any girl posts pictures on the site, people think it’s all about ego and getting people to like you.

If I wanted people to like the real me, the last thing I’d show them is my picture. Good looks can easily cloud other people’s better judgment. So the whole argument that models who use Instagram do so to make themselves feel better is silly. We model on Instagram for the same reason we model anywhere else – for money.

But is it even worth it? I mean every time I snap a picture of myself doing some random thing, I wonder who is actually looking at it. My agent says it is a way to gain exposure – and in this industry exposure is golden – but does the real money even pay attention to social media?

I’ve heard some stories about amateur models that had some success on Instagram. There they were, posting picture of things they love to do, and the next thing you know, some designer is sending them clothes and flying them to shoots. But I think they were so successful because they were amateurs. The designer wanted someone that hasn’t been seen before, someone that they already knew people would admire. Is it such a surprise they looked to Instagram?

That’s what I would do if I didn’t want to spend money on models with professional experience.

But for some reason, my agent believes Instagram would work for me.. that my posting would convince people that I’m just the ordinary girl, and that I’m beautiful even when I’m being ordinary.

I don’t mind that much. Being camera-ready, even in snapshots, is not hard when you spend so much time in front of a camera.

So, if Instagram did lead to money what would happen after my popularity attracted a client’s attention? The impressed designer would contact my agent and be told the real cost of professional beauty. I guess that works for some girls, but I don’t get why they didn’t just call a modeling agency in the first place, instead of scouring the internet for a girl that can look cute in the bathroom.

Models Giving Back – A Life Off The Runway



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

While theses bold beauties give 100% on the runway, at photo shoots and rush from fittings to interviews. with cell phone in tow; a couple of these vivacious women also give back. The following models are a couple of exemplary examples of women who give back to charity on their very limited time off. Anyone can learn from these women and learn to fit more charitable giving in their lives; whether it is the holiday season or not.

Hillary Rhoda

Hillary Rhoda loves children. This is apparent as she supports both New Yorkers For Children and Lollipop Theater. New Yorkers For Children offers resources for foster children to enable them to become successful adults. The organization offers school supplies, tutors and even scholarships. Lollipop Theater creates mini screenings and movie showings for children who cannot leave the hospital. These children cannot even enjoy the simple pleasure of attending a movie. Hillary Rhoda supports both of these charities, as they bring smiles to children’s faces during the holiday season.

Miranda Kerr 

Miranda Kerr also is involved with charities for children as she supports both Kid’s Helpline and Free The Children. Kid’s Helpline is Australia’s only national counseling service that supports children to young adults, ages 5 to 25, when they simply need someone to talk to. The Kid’s Helpline offers both online and telephone support. Free The Children is an International organization dedicated to children achieving their full potential and much, much more. They work domestically to educate youth an empower them to become active and positive global citizens.

Kyleigh Kuhn

Kyleigh Kuhn and her family founded Roots of Peace in 1997, an organization dedicated to removing land mines and training farmers to restore their fields. She believes in bringing food to the table and harvesting peace from the roots up and was particularly moved when they helped an Afghanistan farmer hold up a bunch a grapes larger than his head.

Lily Aldridge

Lily Aldridge is a strong supporter of St. Jude’s Research Hospital and Baby Buggy. As most people know, St. Jude’s Research Hospital is an incredible hospital that 100% funds the treatment of cancer in children. The hospital is also a wealth of support for the families as well – from housing to food to flights. Baby Buggie is an organization where you can donate baby gear, and in turn they donate to families in need. Lily Aldridge truly believes in giving back.

Liu Wen

Liu Wen supports both Simin Volunteer Rescue Team and American Red Cross. The Simin Volunteer Rescue Team is in the city of Ningbo China, and is a group primarily made up of volunteers who carry out aid missions whenever a disaster strikes the local region. Liu Wen has held fashion charity sales and has donated directly to the organization. She has also collaborated with the American Red Cross and Rag & Bone, to give typhoon relief from proceeds from holiday sales. Liu Wen believes everyone deserves to have a home over their heads.

Designers Who Know Denim



By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

Denim has made an appearance in every fashion show in 2016 and there are certain designers who are heading the new denim craze. Popular styles for the fall include denim trending in the form of parkas, suits, shirt-dresses and dusters. While we have top designers such as Alexander Wang and Chanel to thank for this year’s fall fashions, there are other trailblazers that are going to close out 2016 from everything from faded to acid washed, to polished, raw and straight up washed to perfection. The following fashion icons definitely have made their denim statement this year and can speak easily to what denim trends to wear right now.

This year Alexander Wang has effectively changed the design of the traditional denim jacket, as this year he partnered up with Demna Gvasalia for his debut for Balenciaga; where he showed a plush-lined topper creating a completely new look and as a result creating the latest denim craze.

There are also several other designer labels that are going with the untailored look. Yes, it is official. MM6 Maison Margiela has gravitated to tacking on a distressed flared or tiered cuff to loose pieces and Marques Almeida offers a signature fringe seam remixing a cuff that hits below the seam of high-water boyfriend jeans. Either way any fashionista picks (tailored or not), anyone can take advantage of the perfect fitting jean look by a simple roll of the wrist, versus taking a trip to the seamstress.

It was also only a matter of time before the no-so-skinny jeans made another appearance. Formally known as “mommy jeans”, this denim trend has hit 2016 by storm thanks to Crippen among many other labels. Anyone can rock this look when you complete any outfit with a pair of snazzy heels. The best part about this trend is that if one does not have the budget for the high end labels, they can even pick up this look at local thrift stores.

Frayed, unfinished ends and denim tops are also showing up everywhere this year thanks to designers such as Marc Jacobs and Marques Almeida. The previous fashion wave for denim tops came in the form of simple button up top or a lightweight chambray. Today’s look includes new silhouette styles that feature off the shoulder ruffles, boxy tanks, long line shirts and wrap tops. The modernized version of frayed tops are not the DIY home maneuver, with the fray a little bit longer at the bottom of the jeans and the look is even making its appearance on into tops, as well as jackets. This new raw look highlights the great texture and the long threads are a great way to mix up any wardrobe.

Last but not least, denim on denim (also referred to as the Canadian tuxedo) is not going anywhere any time soon. Denim on denim is a constant again for 2016, so be sure to not clean out your closet anytime soon. Once again, this is a traditionally classic outfit and it really doesn’t matter what pieces are put together. Denim truly made a new appearance this year and the look is here to stay.


Making It last



‘Diversify’. “To make or become more diverse or varied.”

Not really a word you hear daily, but something that is essential to the longevity of models in this day and age. Fortunately, I am undertaking the requirements of this verb. Unfortunately, it was not as easy as I thought it was going to be.


You see, modeling is fantastic- the pay is unparalleled, the attention is unsurpassed and a general working day is rather glamorous in comparison to a normal 9-5. Combine all of this over a 10year period and you end up with a pretty rock solid ego that scoffs at the idea of ever having to actually do anything else in life. But lucky for me, I knew this beauty bubble wasn’t going to last forever, so I jumped in early and got the wheels in motion for a career ‘post pretty’. (Last year I finally graduated from University, had my first art exhibition and launched my own website. This year will see the launch of my most amazing projects to date, so jump online to www.thefincollection.com and stay tuned.)

I have grown up in an industry where my booker tells me where to go, how much I am getting paid, and how long I will have to be there for. They used to (and often still do) book all my airfares, chase the client if they didn’t pay on time, and sometimes tell me what to wear. They would handle all my affairs and then take me out for a nice seafood dinner. I am obviously older and somewhat wiser now and have learned how to handle my own affairs and really take control of business, yet it took much longer than normal- because I was a young model…and I had someone to do it all for me.

Let me make it clear however I am no dummy- I graduated University with amazing grades, I just started my own business and I relish new challenges. Yet for a long time, my idea of hard work was/ is happily staying on set till 2 am jumping around in heels while the photographer yells at me to go ‘higher’ and to ‘look right as you swing the bag left and look sexy’. However staying in an office after-hours is a foreign concept to me- and that doesn’t make me lazy, it just makes me different, so when establishing the next phase of my career, I have to encompass all that I have learned over the past ten. I will probably never have a ‘regular’ 9-5 job, to the horror of my parents, as it is just not ‘me’. I am carving out a niche and making a nice valley for myself between art, entertainment, and modeling. No, it’s not easy, and sometimes I don’t know what I am doing because I don’t have someone telling me exactly what to do, but I will press on! If this industry has taught me anything, it’s resilience, perseverance and passion.


So my advice to aspiring models, when the market is swamped with a new crop of girls who all think they are worthy of a Vogue cover just because they have done a few test shoots and have over10k Instagram followers (not bitter at all), one has to add to one’s list of talents in order to stand out.

It’s about longevity in a fantastic industry that I personally want to stay in for as long as possible. I grew up here, and despite the radical changes that have occurred in it, I still feel strongly connected to all the crazy creative masterminds that make it up.

Cheers to you all.


Instagram: @amy_fin

Summer Skin Care



By Simi A Mira

With the changing of the seasons comes the need to change your facial care routine. A good summer routine is one that is easy, light, and carefree – just like those fleeting months themselves! For this time of year, I absolutely love natural products that have few chemicals and will really let your true beauty show. Follow my steps below for your summer skin care routine and you’ll have a flawless face that will get you ready for days on the beach or nights on the boardwalk.

Starting with a good base is key for a great summer routine.
Choose a cleanser that won’t leave your face too dry that it feels tight – I absolutely love cleaners by LUSH Cosmetics, and the employees in the shop will work with you to help you find the one that’s best for your own skin! It’s nice to use an exfoliant a few times a well as well to keep your canvas as smooth as possible. Then, I like to use a toner water with fresh essential oils like rose and lavender to soothe and balance the skin.

For the first product , I absolutely love a good moisturizer.
For light coverage, pick a moisturizer with a minimum of 30 SPF for protection from those UV rays. If there is any step to make sure you actually apply this season, make sure it’s this one! The SPF will help to protect your skin from early aging, wrinkles, and even from developing many different types of skin cancers. The brands that I like best for an SPF moisturizer are Garnier and Neutrogena.

If you’re looking for more of a bronzed beauty look, a mineral-based bronzer is a great choice.
Swipe the powder on the apples of your cheeks and along the contour of your face and blend, blend, blend. Bronzer offers a sun-kissed glow without the harmful hours in the sun! To add to the glow, use a gold or light brown eyeliner to highlight the top of your lid in a subtle yet fun way. Gold and light brown are the best choices here because they will still offer definition yet are not as striking or bold as black or grey. If you’re so inclined, add a few flicks of mascara to your upper lashes as well.

A glossy, neutral lip will seal the deal.
Pick a shade in semi-gloss or full gloss in a neutral color that won’t compete for attention. Be sure that the gloss isn’t too sticky so that your hair doesn’t get caught in it when those lovely summer breezes drift through!

At the end of the evening, after you’ve worn your effortless summer face and are in your pajamas, wind down with a beautiful face mask.
Options with ingredients like clay, green tea, and seaweed are wonderful for soothing skin that’s seen a lot of sun, wind, and water throughout the week.

Summer is a time to have fun and enjoy the weather, but what’s most important is to be yourself. Personal style is what makes you you, so embrace it! The skin care tips presented here will help you to put your best face forward in the most exciting season of the year. Have fun, and don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!

Model Purgatory



By Carrie Lynn
Blog – OnOption

MODEL PURGATORY: A housing service provided by the agency specifically for their models, with no initial expenses paid up front.

(warning: things that seem to good to be true, usually are!)

Did I say “purgatory?” I meant housing, even though I find purgatory to be more suiting!  Personally I wouldn’t want to be charged up the @$$ to live in a barrack full of divas… self entitled divas. Been there, done that. Never again…

My second year down in Miami, I was fortunate to be living in a model apartment with an awesome roommate. So awesome we had the whole two bedroom apartment to ourselves, for a few months, yet still shared the same room!  We did everything together. Wow I sound like a lesbo…no I am not gay.

Moving on… the agency wanted to move three more models in, two of which, I was friends with.  The third, lets call her… Brat. The name suits her! Whats that saying? “If the glove fits?” Well, the glove fit…like a glove!  Brat was this beautiful new young thing. She had enough confidence for the whole agency!  Anyway, Brat made a bad first impression, on all of us. Before she even introduced herself to me she had the nerve to ask my roommate and I, which one of us was willing to move our room.  She wanted the larger room with the bathroom attached.  I mean, who wouldn’t, but seriously???

Oh, I forgot to mention Brat has balls. Not real ones obviously, figurative ones.  Anyhow, there was no way in hell either of us were moving out for her. We had been there for months and I call seniority!  Nonetheless I was still willing to give her a chance. The other girls…not so much!

Sometime before she showed up the two other girls moved in.  Making sure their clothing was tossed about the room so she couldn’t remove their bags and set up camp!  By the time Brat actually showed up, the futon was her only option. Take that! I mean, poor thing!  I have to say I actually did feel bad for about 5 minutes. But the girl was a nightmare from the time she messaged me about her stay until she left.

I’ve never met a bigger tattle-tale-thief!!! Upon her exit, she had stolen clothing and a cellphone from one of the other models and had started numerous rumors around castings. What a catty bbbb-brat!  It may not sound like much, but in her short 3 weeks stay, she managed to make our lives hell in turn turning everyone against her.

There were actually quite a few characters that came in and out during my stay. Like the one who slept her way to success.  We wont talk about her!  Or the one whose mother came with the package.  I’m not sure how she managed to work that out, but we won’t talk about her either!

Don’t get me wrong, not all of the girls were awful!  I actually made a few good friends out of it.  I feel like it’s a good experience, at least when you’re new to the industry.  You definitely learn a lot!

Like not overstaying your stay!

Another warning: In the Miami off season, MOVE OUT IMMEDIATELY!  I can’t stress enough how much it sucks to rack up a model apartment bill on your account when there is no work coming in!  I think I ate every meal out of a vending machine for a month straight!!!  Business clearly comes before the wellness of a model.  They didn’t care we were starving.  They wanted their rent.  NO FOOD FOR YOU!  Ha.

One night we broke the rules and had our male model friends visit. Good tunes & minimal seating!

Me and my awesome roomate



Complexity of Complexion



By Kai Braden


“White is the new tan,” right? I used to think being naturally tan was a blessing. Growing up in the States, especially in California, people spend trips to the beach to tan, go to tanning salons, and invest in tanning spray just to have that beautiful bronze glow. Living in LA, I’ve learned that the most genuine relationship is between a girl and the sun. Having a tan signifies status in physical appeal— I’m sure the cast of MTV’s Jersey Shore would agree. While the Guidos on the East Coast beaches hold their heads up high on this belief, the modeling industry proves otherwise.

I’m guessing that ever since its inception, the modelling industry has continuously prized fair skin. Lighter shades of skin connote words like delicate, unworn, flawless, royal, status, and beauty. Portraiture among infamous artists around the world throughout history uplift this physical trait, only empowering the idea even further. But why is having lighter skin seen in this light? From what I have learned while working in Asia, it is culturally prized to keep one’s skin as white as possible. Darker skin shows others that one is of the working class, out in the sun doing manual labor, unable to have the luxury of financial freedom and free time.

Now some may think this is racist. How many darker-skinned African models are there walking the catwalk? Or darker-skinned Latin models? Or darker-skinned Asian models? About slim to none. And who is to say that dark skin is not beautiful? I honestly believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder— it’s subjective, just like fashion. It is a shallow social construct in which cultures worldwide associate dark skin with inferiority and unattractiveness.

But don’t worry, there is a solution to this “problem” of dark skin. To “fix the problem,” skin-bleaching products come in many cosmetic forms: soap, lotion, and exfoliants. While Asia prizes face lotion, Africa treasures clay facial masks. These “medications” may result in lighter skin but are truly dangerous because they kill skin pigment. So when my agent nags me to keep out of the sun and maintain a lighter complexion, there are ways I have discovered to avoid such chemical solutions. I can wear enough clothes to cover my entire body. Of course I am at the same time risking pit stains and heat exhaustion. I can also hide indoors, yet living in LA makes it difficult to avoid fashioning the “Hollywood farmer tan;” spending most of the day in the car driving in traffic causes only the left arm to darken at least three shades more than the right.

Yet I prefer to drown myself in SPF 100 sunscreen because I cannot be bothered to wear a jacket every time I get into a car, nor will I walk on the sidewalk with an umbrella when there’s no rain cloud in sight just to avoid the sun. I have yet to see a male model do so, but I have seen a few female models work it with those ugly five dollar Chinatown umbrellas they sell in New York. Remember, half of fashion is c!onfidence. Whatever models wear, they wear it with confidence.

Kai Braden, author of “Picture (Not) Perfect: A Male Model Memoir” (https://kaibraden.com/ author/), is currently based in Los Angeles. He is pursuing an acting career in Hollywood while simultaneously traveling back-and-forth to Asia for modeling jobs. Keep tabs on what he is doing on social media!


Instagram: @kaibraden

Facebook: Kai Braden Fan Page

The Step-By-Step Process Behind A Campaign



For many of us obsessed with fashion it all started with the pretty images we saw in magazines. We were infatuated by the models, the clothing they were wearing, the make-up covering their face and the way they had their hair. We wanted to be like them. Look like them. Thus, the obsession continued and we’re now most probably working in the industry. Or something similar.

One of the greater aspects of campaigns is that they have the ability to tell a story and consequently trigger emotion. Of course most of the time this being desire…

Focusing on the latest Alice McCall campaign “Between Us” we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of a campaign and the reasons behind most elements.

The Designs

The actual product which is to be sold is the starting point for any campaign. The end concept is always derived from the collections original inspiration.
Our brand is known for is the balance between pretty and whimsical, quirky and unique, with a sense of fun portrayed through colour, technique and print. It was important that this came across in the campaign”

To get a bit more information behind the inspiration, check out the interview we did with Alice at Fashion Week here.

The Photographer

Finding right photographer is key. For any shoot the team needs to be made up of the best of the best. It’s important that all creatives on board are on the same page when it comes to campaign imagery in order to get the best results. You need to find someone who’s work you’re attracted too and really; you want to collaborate with.

You want to work together, you believe both your creative minds can come together and create something amazing. In this instance, it was international fashion photographer Emma Summerton, “Emma is a creative genius who produces wonderfully unique images” and for Alice, this was “exactly what I wanted for our campaign”. Alice loved her innate and quiet confidence; believed they would be able to work together, and got in touch. It also helps if you know the individual on a personal level (these two have been friends for over 20 years), like they say, your network is your net worth…

The Location

Sure you can shoot in a boring studio, white background, lots of light – but it doesn’t say much about the collection or the people behind it. The location gives context, provides a time and place for which the collection was conceived, it needs to “resonate with the collection” as Alice puts it. It also gives the consumer a bit of an idea as to where the products can be worn. Locations can change all the time depending on the weather, lighting situations and even though you might have one in mind, gaining permits and permission can sometimes prove rather difficult. For example, Alice and Emma had originally planned to shoot inside the Goldstein House but “decided that the garden was more akin with our collection”.

The Model

Like the location, the model is also a key player in exerting the creative concept behind the campaign. Each model has their own look and personality that comes through in any image, so finding the right one to match your brands vibe and feel is important. Usually you need to search through Instagram/modelling agencies and have castings to find the right fit, but if you already have the model in mind you can usually book them directly. And as far as this campaign, Alice knew exactly who she wanted. Lindsey Wixon was selected for the campaign as she “embodied our brand…her look was perfect for that urban 70’s feel we wanted to create”.

The Creative Concept & Brief

Once you’ve got the basic aspects of the campaign locked in you can start working on finalising the creative briefs. The hair, the make-up, set design, props etc etc. Usually this is a creative brainstorm between the designer and photographer, working within each other’s creative limits and aesthetics, “I began by looking at old Helmut Newton poolside shoots, as well as prints by Slim Aarons. The idea then evolved, as ideas often do, to more of an urban 70’s feel.” Which also means choosing hair and make-up artists that you know can fulfil your expectations, in this case “a high-end campaign that still felt slightly left of centre and eccentric.” 

The Shoot

The end result of all your hard work, time and effort. Everyone arrives, the set is styled, the model is made up and the photos are taken. For the designer, this stage is more about styling, making sure your products are being showcased in the right way and the brief is being fulfilled.
As the creative components were locked in, I could focus on styling. Keeping with the retro vibe, it was all about knee high sports socks and platform heels…”



Ease Emotional Eating With These Tips



By Jessia Sepel – The Healthy Life

Whether you’re preparing for a wedding, a vacation, or any other big event, it’s likely you’ll find yourself under more stress than usual. For many of us, all kinds of emotions – be it fear, anger, or even excitement – can lead to complicated relationships with food. Not tapping into those emotions and learning to manage them is the key to taking care of yourself and listening to your body. These are my top tips to ease emotional eating before your big day:

1. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be on a diet. Just start accepting what is – the pressure of dieting will be worse for your food/weight battle.

2. Strive for healthy and glowing – not skinny and emaciated.

3. Stop putting pressure on yourself to be your perfect self or look your skinniest, and start appreciating your body NOW for what it is. Your body needs your love and acceptance.

4. Commit to eating a balanced whole food diet – its the only lifestyle that works.

5. Take care of your stress levels ASAP.

6. Make sure you get enough sleep to prevent the exhaustion that often comes with binges or leads to them.

7. Stop restricting. Enjoy a treat every week – choose something you love and crave.

8. Your body is your temple – give it the love it deserves.

9. Worth repeating: you simply have to let go of the diet mentality – it will cause you to binge.

Model Millionaires: Candice Swanepoel



By Calynn M. Lawrence

Candice Swanepoel is one smoking South African pistol! With big, bright baby blue eyes and long beachy blonde hair, she is the epitome of luxurious! Known for her insanely curvaceous yet crazy thin physique, she has rightfully ranked within Forbes Top 10 earning fashion models for the past few years straight! How does someone become so fabulous? This article is going to give you her story of how she grew to such heights in her career. Her rags to riches tale is definitely something striking!

Born and raised on a beef and dairy farm in Mooi River, South Africa, to a family of Dutch descent, she was known as a rare beauty. Her natural take to fashion and graceful swank was not able to be missed. This was so well recognized that at the tender age of 15, she was reportedly discovered by a modeling scout at a local flee market and immediately offered a job.

After a couple of years traveling with the company, she built her portfolio and gained valuable experience. This is good because she decided that this is what she needed to venture off on her own. As a mere teen, she took a leap of faith and moved to New York City to pursue her modeling career even more so, figuring that she would have better chances of increasing in her value by moving to the heart of the fashion industry! This was clearly successful because she stuck it out as a trooper and eventually became the mass millionare that she is today! That shows that it never hurts to take risks when it comes to your career.

Although you may know her as a bodacious bombshell form her work as a Victoria’s Secret Angel, her resume is a mile long with various company partnerships and runway shows. Some of these include her works with brands such as Colcci, Rag and Bone, Tom Ford, Versace, Michael Kors, Juicy Couture, True Religion, Tommy Hilfiger and many more! Her versatility in her modeling skills has also landed her countless cover shot  editorial deals with top scoring high fashion magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Lush, Elle and Vogue!

Humbly crediting Vitcoria’s Secret for her lavish lifestyle and high profile modeling career, saying they “took her underneath their great big feathery wings.” Now, she is working to accomplish other things with her life outside of her modeling career. She says that she is still most comfortable on the beach, soaking up the sun and sulking in the seas. She has started working with different photographers trying to create new projects that will benefit her and the fashion community. This is in addition to her charity work where she contributes to causes that focus on her home country and education. As well as venturing into fitness and nutrition, trying to rase awareness for the importance of physical, mental and spiritual health!

Candice Swanepoel is like no other. Not only is she visually a pure knock out, she manages to remain the same conscious, caring young girl that she was back in her childhood in South Africa! What an example of humility in fame.