All Articles Tagged "models"
As a rapper and mastermind behind Apple Bottom jeans, Nelly is well versed on beautiful women. When asked by VLAD TV in a recent interview about urban models and the lack of recognition they receive in the mainstream media, he had a few interesting things to say.
“At the end of the day, it is still is modeling,” he said. “It’s a different type of modeling, but it’s still modeling because if you break down the definition of modeling…it’s [still] a form of modeling but it’s not a high-end form.” Adding, “When Hugh [Hefner] first started Playboy, some people kind of frowned upon it. Then Playboy became a part of America.”
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
Chantelle Fraser’s life is anything but average. Her free spirit and business savvy have taken her from studying at the London School of Economics, to serving celebrities at private members’ clubs, to jet setting around the globe with high fashion models in tow.
As the CEO and founder of Flawless Entertainment & Promotions, Fraser gives major brands and influential individuals access to the power of beauty and entertainment to take their events to the next level. I caught up with the UK-born entrepreneur to discuss her organic journey to success.
Flawless was born when Fraser realized the models at the agencies she worked for needed help making ends meet between jobs. The company has since expanded to represent musical and specialty talent. As her business continues to grow, it’s amazing to think that it all started with a young woman making cold calls from her bedroom.
We started our conversation at the beginning of her professional life. After running an IT recruitment business while studying for her master’s degree, Chantelle set her sights on the entertainment industry.
Madame Noire (MN): When did you move to the US?
Chantelle Fraser (CF): The way I got to the States is an interesting story. After I finished my master’s, I started working at a private members’ club as a waitress part-time. I was working for Ronnie Wood [of the Rolling Stones]. It was great networking with lots of celebrities and interesting people. I met somebody who turned out to own a retail empire in England who went to the London School of Economics. He said to me, “Give me your resume. I’ve got contacts in the entertainment industry; I’ll try to help you.” It turned out he was moving to the States to conduct some business. He gave me a job as his personal assistant in the States.
MN: What were you doing before you started Flawless?
CF: After that [assistant] job ended, I got a job working at a modeling agency. I always knew I wanted to start my own business, but I thought the way to do it was to start small. I could have taken the corporate route, but realistically I’m not going to go work in a bank. So, I thought what kind of business am I realistically going to be able to run myself. I worked at agencies for about three years before launching my company [in 2006].
MN: What was the catalyst that made you start your business when you did?
CF: I initially thought I was going to end up owning just a regular, high fashion agency. But, I kept getting these calls from clients who wanted to book models for promotions and events. I always had to turn those jobs down because we were managing these models’ careers. In those days it wasn’t seen as good for their careers to be doing events. We’re turning these really well paying jobs down, but I’d listen to models and they’d be struggling so much because they’d be doing all these editorials that weren’t really paying a living wage. I’d see them out when I go to restaurants and they’d be hosting and waitressing.
I thought why don’t I just start a business where clients get to fulfill their needs: they have beautiful people at their events, promoting their product, making them look good, and elevating their brand image. And also I’m providing the models with extra income and a means to showcase their other skills, other than just standing there pouting for the camera.
MN: You’ve talked about the needs Flawless meets for clients and models, what need does it fill for you?
CF: I always wanted to be the architect of my own destiny. I’m a free spirit. I always believe in being unreasonable. I wanted to do something dynamic. Flawless was a way for me to live my dream. It was the perfect type of company that encompasses all the things that I love… meeting people, inspiring other people, managing people. I love casting models, making people happy, and growing something. It’s really fun to actually grow a business from a seed to making your visions come to life.
MN: Tell me about that first year operating out of your bedroom. What mistakes did you make and how did you learn from them?
CF: I was living in the moment. When I look back on it I think, “Oh my God, that’s so crazy!” The first month I started my business I didn’t have money to pay the rent. I had a roommate, it was a rent-controlled apartment, and I was like, “Damn, have I made a mistake?” But, for some reason I just didn’t have fear.
I was calling major brands – Playboy, Estee Lauder, high-net-worth individuals – telling them about my company. I didn’t have a website. I didn’t have anything. All I had was my voice, my charm, and my models, which I think were always of a very high standard. I was able to get business, and clients kept referring me to other clients. Eventually I grew myself out of my bedroom and into an office. One summer’s day, sitting there, I was lonely and said, “I think I’m going to get an office.” I think it was in the first six months I had an office in SoHo with a steady stream of clients and a couple of employees.
Report: More Models of Color on NYFW Runways, Still Only 8.1 Percent of “Looks” Worn By Black Models
Jezebel has done an exhaustive analysis of the 143 shows and live presentations that took place during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week and found that there were more models of color walking the runways than years past. Still, the overwhelming percentage of models (79.4 percent) were white. That means that, of the 4708 “looks” shown, 3,736 were worn by white models.
Fewer than 10 percent (8.1 percent, to be precise) were black. Asian models actually came in second with 10.1 percent representation, followed by Latinas at 1.9 percent and finally, the elusive “others” were .5 percent.
“These results may be partly attributed to the season, because one trend that is apparent in our data is the preference for slightly more models of color at the spring-summer collections and slightly fewer at the fall-winter collections, which may be due to a belief on the part of casting directors that darker skin tones suit the bright colors of spring clothes better than they do fall’s more somber hues,” the site reports, based on off-the-record sources.
Still, six percent of shows had no models of color and 20 percent had three or fewer. Among the more diverse shows were Tracy Reese, Jason Wu, Ralph Lauren and Betsey Johnson.
Even before the Jezebel report, The Wall Street Journal was crowing about the diversity on the runways, using as an example Singapore-born Prabal Gurung, who gave the quote that pretty much sums up the whole issue: “Beauty is beauty.” In terms of race, he says he’s also looking to provide role models for his niece.
But ultimately, it’s about the market. That Journal story goes on to talk about the huge Chinese luxury market and how the desire to appeal to it played a role in the increased number of Asian models participating in NYFW. (If that’s something you’d like more info about, read Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster which has a stunning section about the shopping habits of this growing market.)
The top Asian model was Liu Wen, who walked in 21 shows. Cora Emmanuel topped the list for black models, walking in 17 shows. Number two on Jezebel’s list is Joan Smalls with 14 shows. She’s originally from Puerto Rico.
Overall, the fashion consumer is a diverse one, and the industry should recognize that and reflect it in its shows. With a more diverse crop of young designers coming up through the ranks, a more mixed group of models will likely be coming to the catwalk soon.
Isa Rahman (pronounced Ee-suh Ramen) is my kind of chocolate folks, and I’m not just saying that because I’m hungry and haven’t had dinner yet *stomach growls violently.* The Alabama born and raised cutie who is 6″2 with an exciting size 12 shoe (and you know why that’s exciting) has been making waves over the last few years for his regal photos and carved out abs you could cut a finger on. He’s modeled in Fashion Week shows and done ad campaigns for everybody from the Gap to Macy’s, but what this brother really needs is an underwear campaign! He’s absolutely delicious! And he’s got a deep chocolate-y voice…yummmm! Take a peek at one of our favorite black male models.
At first glace, you might think the picture you see is some sort of domestic violence PSA, but it’s not. It’s part of a spread inside Bulgarian fashion magazine 12 that aims to depict models as a “Victim of Beauty” in a recent controversial editorial. The women certainly are victims of something, but beauty isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
After being called out my more outlets than I can name for showing women with slit throats, bruised eyes, Black Dahlia-style smiles, and models who’ve been mutilated with acid or had their facial piercings ripped out, Huben Hubenov and Slav Anastasov, the editors in chief of 12, attempted to explain the logic behind the spread in an email to Jezebel. They told the site in part:
We believe that images such as ours can be seen from various angles,
and we think that exactly that is what is beautiful about fashion and
photography in general – that anybody can understand it their own way,
and fill it with their own meaning. Where some see a brutal wound,
others see a skilful work of an artist, or an exquisite face of a
That being said, we do understand why some accuse us of promoting, in
a way, violence, but we do not agree with that, and we think that it
is very narrow-minded way of looking at the photographs.
And after all, isn’t it true that we see brutally wounded people all
the time, in real life – on television, in the news, in movies,
videogames, magazines and websites, and they are all very different,
but alike in one thing: some are real, some are not. And fashion
photography is an imitation of real life, sometimes realistic,
sometimes delicate, other times grotesque, or shocking.
In closure, we are provoking even further discussion by asking you and
your readers just two questions:
1. How would you perceive those photographs, if they were accompanying
an campaign against domestic violence? Would you still think of them
as disgusting or you would praise them as brave and thought-provoking?
Worth the think, isn’t it?
2. What would you say if those where bespoken men, carefully groomed,
but still, terribly injured? Probably nothing, and quite frankly
that’s a bit sexist.
I love how people try to throw in what if’s to deflect their own fault. What ifs are irrelevant because we’re dealing with what is, and what is, is a questionable fashion spread with imagery that’s not just uncomfortable but dangerous. To the first point of the editor’s response, if this had been a domestic violence campaign we would certainly be talking and looking at it differently and that’s the problem with maiming models for the sake of art the way they did. There’s nothing about this that’s thought provoking, and just from a marketing perspective, nothing about it would make me want to purchase the makeup being shown so I’d consider that a double fail. The problem here is not unlike the backlash against H&M for its overly tanned Brazilian swimsuit model, or Vogue Italia’s “Haute Mess,” or LadyGun’s “Chola” spread, if you want to depict a certain culture or type of women, use those actual women. Don’t dress up, dress down, trivialize, or misappropriate another subset of people with the same white-washed models we see every day and sell it to us as groundbreaking fashion art. In this particular case, had they made over real domestic violence victims and let their beauty shine despite the scars, we’d be having a totally different discussion. But what they’ve done is glamourized wounds that are unfortunately very real in society and it serves no purpose.
To the editor’s second point, if men were equally affected by domestic violence the way women are, then maybe their sexist assertion would be valid. What they seem to be missing is people aren’t upset because these women aren’t pretty to look at with their scars. They’re upset because they’ve turned real scars more women than we care to think about actually walk around with, usually at the hands of a lover, into something that looks like a thriller movie promotional. Any woman can be a victim of violence at any given time but there’s also something to be said for the idea of a woman being a victim of her beauty. It sounds eerily similar to rape defenses. Almost like the woman’s attractiveness invited this violence, the same way a short skirt is a gateway to rape. I’m pretty sure the people behind the shoot didn’t think through it that much, but now they probably wish they had.
Beyond the obvious lack of sensitivity shown here, I’m concerned with how we got here in the first place and how much further we’re going to go. It’s painfully clear that this spread was done not to be cutting edge or to express some deep concept, this magazine simply wanted attention and they got it by going for shock value. My question is what’s next? I’m reminded of the “There Will Be Blood” spread Vice magazine recently had which showed women with bloody underwear having clothing accidents while on their periods. The imagery is more unpleasant and frankly unnecessary than grotesque and insensitive as in this case, but if people have to be bloody, bruised, and battered just to snag the public’s attention these days, how far are we going to push the envelope?
I miss the time when products could stand for themselves and you didn’t have to step on people’s toes in overbearing and uncomfortable ways just to get their attention, particularly at the expense of women. On one end of the spectrum, you’ve got women beautified and dressed scantily clad to push an ideal, and on the other they’re marred and mocked just to say, made you look. Where do we go from here?
More on Madame Noire!
- Cute Kid Alert: Diddy Shows Love to Chance, Christian and Justin for Graduating, Charlize Takes Jackson Out & More
- The Woman Behind The Baller: Amar’e's Fiance Dishes On How They Met, Her Move To NYC, and The Grand Proposal
- Madame On The Street: Who Should You NOT Take Relationship Advice From?
- You Could’ve Kept That: 9 Movie Remakes and Sequels That Shouldn’t Have Seen the Light of Day
- Don’t Be His Fool, or His Doormat: Excuses Women Need to Stop Making For Men
- Jealous? Why You Should Be At Peace With Yourself Before Entering A Relationship
- Like A Fine Glass Of Wine: 8 Hollywood Leading Ladies Who Have Aged Gracefully
The journey to super model status is a long and windy road. Being discovered, signed and added to a popular agencies roster, doesn’t guarantee your success—luck, timing and the relevancy of your look do. And for colored faces, the odds of winning are even slimmer. But there’s something about the silhouette of a lithe brown beauty cascading down a designer runway, decorated in couture fashion, that certifies why we deserve a permanent spot on the catwalk.
We applaud designers like Hermès, Bottega Veneta and Naeem Khan for sprinkling their F/W 2012 presentations with brown and yellow faces—the runway has not seen this much diversity since the seventies—hopefully the multicultural trend is here to stay.
Veterans like Veronica Webb, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Alek Wek, paved the way for the new brown girls to shine.
For all the fab photos, visit StyleBlazer.com.
More on Madame Noire!
- It’s So Hard to Say…I’m Sorry
- 10 Things Ladies Should Know About False Lashes
- Oh NO He Didn’t: 7 Things That Annoy Women About Men
- WTH: Couple Held At Gunpoint At New Home When Neighbors Assume They’re Robbers
- All Educated With Nowhere to Go: 1 in 2 College Graduates Jobless Or Underemployed
- Another Unsolicited Tyrese PSA: ‘Some Of Ya’ll Have Wack Sex’
- African Fashion Designers Are Breaking Away From The Traditional
- Do I Stay Single Like Jesus Or Do I Call Tyrone?
If you are one of those people who watched “America’s Next Top Model” from the very beginning, you’ve probably heard of Jay Manuel, Nigel Barker and J. Alexander. Miss J, with his shiny and long legs, taught many of the contestants how to walk and was a judge, Nigel Barker, with his accent and good looks, was a photographer and judge, and Jay, with his beach blonde hair, was the creative director, helping the contestants through challenges. With the exception of Barker (who stays pretty mellow), the men were pretty entertaining and helped make the show a hit for all of these years, as they were with it since ANTM started in 2003. The panel of men were informed yesterday that their contracts wouldn’t be renewed for Cycle 18, and this is what Banks had to say about it on her Facebook page, according to US Weekly:
“To my Nigel Barker, Miss J, and Mr Jay: Thank you for all of our years together on America’s Next Top Model. Working with you is always an absolute pleasure. Excited for what the future holds for us.”
and Executive Producer Ken Mok had this to say to US:
“”Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander have been an integral part of the America’s Next Top Model brand and they helped turn this show into the household name it is today. They have been amazing assets to the show and will always be a part of the Top Model family. We will continue to actively work with each of them on future projects.”
More on Madame Noire!
- Jaded, Or Just Realistic: Which Are You?
- Being a Junkie: Hi, My Name is Victoria, and I’m Addicted to Natural Hair Products
- Was There No Better Way? Cops Cuff 6-Year-Old After Throwing Tantrum
- We All Have Good Hair: A Breakdown of Curl Patterns
- Yandy Says Don’t Knock Her Pregnant-Girl-In-The-Club Hustle
- Still Waiting: Will You Ever Be More Than “Friends”?
- Ask A Very Smart Brotha Live: Carpal Tunnel & 2 a.m.Texts
- “Ask a Black Man” Episode 4: The Marriage Episode [Extended Cut]
At 4’11,” stripper/model Vanity Wonder’s body measurements seem too dramatic to be true, and that’s because they are. Standing at 32-23-43, many men have probably wondered how she got a butt like that, and the answer’s not her mama, it’s butt shots. Now, the men’s magazine veteran has written a book uncovering the world of butt-enhancing procedures, titled “Shot Girls.”
In a recent interview with SkinNYC.com, Vanity said she decided to go public about her procedure because there are a lot of misconceptions about why women get butt shots and she wanted to set the record straight since so many women refuse to fess up to getting them.
“I’m tired of people telling me why I did what I did,” she said. “Just because I made this decision for me, doesn’t mean you get to comment on it.”
Vanity seems to be out to prove a point that it’s not just girls with low self-esteem looking to make a quick buck dancing or posing half-naked who get butt shots but that the practice is becoming extremely common among everyday women, and either they should be ostracized as well or the whole butt shot witch hunt should be left alone. According to her, this is a practice that is not going away anytime soon and it’s really no one’s place to judge.
I’m pretty sure Vanity’s trying to follow in Karrine Steffans’ Video Vixen shoes but I’m not sure this book will live up to the hype. You can check out a free chapter preview for the book on her website plus more from her interview here.
Do you think butt shots are a big deal regardless of who does it or to each his own?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Nip & Tuck: Women Who Slipped Their Plastic Surgery By Us
- There Goes the Neighborhood: 8 Ratchet Things You See When The Temperature Rises
- Convenience or True Love: Which Is Your Relationship Made Of?
- MAD MEN: Male Celebrities Who Always Look So Mean!
- Real Love: Weird Signs Of A Good Relationship
- You Can’t Handle The Truth! Things Men Lie About To Spare Our Feelings
- 7 Ways to Encourage Yourself
- Watch Your Mouth! Things You Should Never Say To Your Man
By Angela Thomas
Following in the footsteps of US and Italian Vogue, W Magazine has released an all-black editorial in their March issue on newsstands now. The 8-page spread entitled “Feminine Mystique” features of-the-moment models Jourdan Dunn, Anais Mali, and Jasmine Tookes showing off the latest looks for spring in bold prints and funky statement jewelry.
It is refreshing to see such a tasteful spread featuring models of color in the wake of recent scandals in fashion including the Vogue Italia “Haute Mess” editorial in which (mostly) white models wore heavy makeup, long, brightly colored nails, and exaggerated hairdos that have been linked to black women. Their attempt to “poke fun” at a culture they did not understand was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, but ended up being insulting to some.
In 2009, then editor-in-chief of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld, caused quite a stir when Dutch supermodel Lara Stone was photographed in blackface for the magazine. With the wide range of talented models of color who are currently working in fashion, one wonders why a black model wasn’t chosen instead of using a white woman painted black?
The controversy continued recently when the March issue of FHM Phillipines was released with fair-skinned actress Bela Padilla on the cover surrounded by dark-skinned models. The tag-line read, “Stepping out of the Shadows,” igniting such an uproar that the issue was eventually pulled from the stands.
The list of fashion faux pas keeps growing when it comes to blacks being represented by the mainstream media, which leads one to wonder, will they ever get it right? A lack of diversity in the editorial offices of these major magazines could explain why the same issues keep recurring. Which is why during these controversial times, the “Feminine Mystique” editorial is so tastefully refreshing. There are no gimmicks and no stereotypes. Just three black women doing what they do best: posing for the camera and looking beautiful.
All photos courtesy by Emma Summerton, courtesy of W Magazine.
More on Madame Noire!
- Where’s My Belt!? Children of Celebrities Who Have Acted a Fool
- Switch Up the Style for the Season: Hair Suggestions for the Spring
- Double Take! Celebs’ Who Look Just Like Their Parents
- Golden Girls! Gorgeous Gold Accessories – EDITOR PICKS
- 7 Things Most Men Learn About Women Eventually
- Black Celebrity Twins Besides Tia & Tamera
- First Look: Fantasia’s Baby Boy Dallas Xavier
- Nothing But Natural! Great Hair Blogs For Natural Sistahs
The natural hair movement hasn’t just caught on amongst everyday women seeking to rid their hair of harsh chemicals and products, the look is showing up on runway models around the world and Vogue Italia has caught on to the trend.
In a recent profile on the website of the Italian version of Vogue, which is always ahead of the diversity curve, Marjon Carlos talks about trendsetters like Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks who have openly discussed battles with alopecia due to the damaging handling of their hair by stylists. The writer points out that now many other models are also saying “no thanks” to the careless way their tresses have been fried and dyed behind the curtain, and are opting to rock what God gave them naturally.
“It is uplifting then to see the newest pack of Black models storming the catwalks in full embrace of their natural hairstyles, from cropped Afros, flat tops, to buzzed scalps–and in turn being embraced by the industry that has typically approached Black hair with skepticism and harsh critique,” Marjon writes.
While Marjon does acknowledge that natural hair is still only embraced by a small number of models and designers, and that models like Alex Wek and Noemi Lenoir have been natural for sometime, he says “one can’t help to argue that such a general upsurge in visibility surrounding natural Black hairstyles, if they be worn by fashion darlings Julia Sarr-Jamois or Solange Knowles, or are documented thoroughly by the press, is helping usher in a new era of hair treatment for Black women broadly, and Black models specifically.”
As more and more natural hair products come on the market, Marjon is hopeful that runway stylists will soon catch on to the trend and make it a priority to understand the needs of natural black hair. But as Jessica C. Andrews points out in an article on Ebony.com, the very fact that natural hair is seen as a trend means its promotion and acceptance is likely to be here today, gone tomorrow, as the story goes with other fashion fads.
What do you think? Will the fashion industry ever be fully accepting of natural hair?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
More on Madame Noire!
- Karrine Steffans, Please Have a Seat and Delete Your Twitter Account While You’re at It
- Tips to Maintaining a Weave: Products, Hair Recommendations and More
- Ask A Very Smart Brotha Live: Sifting Through the Sh!t & Waiting for Him to Commit
- Top Beauty Picks: Exfoliators For Every Type of Skin
- When His Problems Shouldn’t Be Yours
- A Final Word: What Drove Whitney To Bobby?
- Celebs Who Rode Their Famous Sibling’s Coattails to Success
- Uplifting Nuggets of Wisdom From Maya Angelou