5 QUESTIONS FOR MODEL ALLIANCE MEMBERS
1. It's New York fashion week! Describe your typical day.
Well, as this is my 10th year of modeling I'm pretty much considered "grandma," so they go pretty easy on me now and let me sit at shows rather than walk most of the time. Actually, it’s really funny to meet some of the new models each season—they’re these 6-feet-tall giants who tell me "I remember looking up to you when I was 7 years old". But in seriousness, I love and embrace the big sister role. I'm doing a really special project early in fashion week that I'm sworn to secrecy on. All I can say is it involves 3 of my biggest passions in a way I don't think I've ever personally seen before.
2. Who do you see as a role model in our industry, and why?
Not to sound cheesy, but honestly, Sara Ziff is such a personal hero. I know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed when you're even thinking about attempting to change the status quo of a titan like the fashion industry. Sara has taken that on with courage, bravery and a steely determination. Every time I talk to her, I'm encouraged, and I'm reminded that we can and are making a difference. Sometimes they are small steps and sometimes they are giant leaps but we are constantly heading in the right direction.
3. Your best and worst fashion week moments?
Behati Prinsloo and I always had a ton of fun traveling together from city to city. We could afford our own hotel rooms but we chose to bunk together because, well, we were pretty much little girls having sleepovers every night. I remember the season after I got married, she was in my hotel room late one evening until I was like "Dude, you gotta go to your own room now, James (my husband) and I are already asleep.” One of my best fashion week memories will always be Irish dancing down Jean Paul Gaultier’s runway. It was a mixture of fear and excitement as I didn't know if I’d end up leaping off the stage and into Grace Coddington’s lap. But we pulled it off and to this day people remember it. As far as bad memories, there are a few. Hearing people comment about your body or how "fat" you got this season never feels good. I also remember being so exhausted by the time I got to Paris, just literally run down, sick and tired. When you're doing all the shows, you're barely getting a few hours sleep a night. It’s very intense.
4. This summer the MA introduced legislation that would include fashion models under 18 in child performer regulations in New York. The bill passed unanimously and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Do you support the legislation, and why?
It’s something I've spoken about for years, and I was kind of shocked that it all came together so fast this summer. After we met with the senators, it was rushed through both houses. I can’t imagine the Governor would not sign it. Who wants to be the guy AGAINST child rights? I'm very excited for it to go into action. I think it’s going to have a ripple effect all over the industry and beyond.
5. Advice to fashion week rookies, and the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
If you're attending a fashion show, DO NOT wear sunglasses inside. You're not Anna Wintour, no one cares what you're looking at. Also, please stop taking photos front row with an iPad, it’s ridiculous. My advice for girls who are walking in the shows is, stay humble. Opening X,Y and Z this season is not a guarantee you'll have a lasting career if you have a bad attitude. Be nice to the other models and the hair and makeup artists. With very few exceptions, mean girls do not make it in this industry anymore.