INSURE YOUR PET NOW. YOU’RE JUST A CLICK AWAY  

Milo & I were playing ball on this beautiful Fall Sunday when we heard the terrible sound of a car crash as it drove up the street that splits the school park from the playground. A dog owner began frantically running towards the street yelling for her dog. On instinct, her golden labrador struggled to roll to its feet and get out of the road, getting one good limp in before collapsing on the grassy curb. He’d been hit.

As I write this I cry. That poor, beautiful animal. Humans were to blame.

He hadn’t done anything wrong. He was excited to be out on a sunny day with his sibling; they were two golden labs, maybe three or four years old. They didn’t know the park bordered a street that was preceded by a blind curve. They couldn’t leash themselves. A dog’s instinct is to Keep Reading »

 Warby Parker Glasses

In the past it’s been easier to get a mail order bride than mail order glasses. That’s changed with eyeglass designer Warby Parker’s Home Try-On program.

My friend Jeff messaged me today asking for advice on what glasses shape would be best for his face, and I told him “ask the people who are only too happy to insult you – your friends.” Friends give the best input on what looks good, but that means you need the glasses in-hand. 

Warby Parker crafts modern-but-not-too-trendy eyewear (just saying you have Warby Parkers will make you appear hip) priced around $100 per prescription pair. They also have non-prescript and sunglasses.

And for every pair sold they give a pair to someone in need. It’s a charity 2-fer and that’s the best part of all!

HOME TRY-ONS:  5 Pairs, 5 Days, 100% Free  >>
They’ll send you up to 5 pairs of glasses to try on at home for 5 days free, and include a pre-paid return shipping label to send them back with no obligation to buy. Easy peasy!

What happens in New York City over the course of a day? People come, people go. People eat, people shop. Meh, not so interesting… until it’s mapped out in a time-lapse video of Foursquare check-ins. Mesmerizing!

Bella Agency logo

There are three big, famous modeling agencies: Ford, Elite and Wilhelmina. They’re the powerhouses, but it’s hard to pivot a large corporate entity in a new direction. 

And fashion, my darlings, is moving in a new direction. Either move with it or move out of the way!

Let me explain:

Fashion used to have a defined cycle: runway, editorial, catalog, fit/showroom, commercial advertising. Each had it’s own time of the year so girls would move one cycle to the next, walk the runway one month, shoot the editorials the next month, shoot the catalogs in the months to follow. Fit and showroom girls were a full size 6 and worked a local market with the Fashion Coterie week every six months. Commercial was a frowned-upon adjective that implied cheesy lifestyle-type work and less money.

Europe was where models built their portfolios, starting in Milan and hopefully ending up in Paris. Germany had the money. Models would only move to NYC once their portfolios were strong and they’d compete in the high-stakes world of ad agencies and department stores. Japan was where models secretly went on six-week contracts to pad their bank accounts.

Fast forward to  today’s GLOBAL commercial fashion market generating over a trillion dollars per year. The Brazilians took over IMG’s booty-market (hello SI & Victoria’s Secret), Anina left NYC as an unknown model to break out as the most recognizable model in China, and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff took NY Fashion Week to Lincoln Center with the intention of making it a year-round event. The high-end fashion economy sunk to new lows and the retail sector reacted with severe downsizing and less-tailored garments; Macy’s acquired May Company, merging over 50% of US department store holdings into a single corporate entity while shuttering Macy’s West corporate headquarters.

Gone are the days of big budgets, trips to exotic locations with full teams shooting 6 shots in a day, and full-length catalog pages. Airfares hiked and models absorbed overhead costs in the hopes of keeping their clientele. Day rates dropped, but more models are willing to work for less, so clients cast a wider net. And then came eCommerce, the perfect solution for a resource-constrained retail world.

Ford NY has downsized to one division of models with a spectrum of ages & sizes. Consolidation is taking place across the entire industry. 

Think I’m wrong? Ford Models NY closed their Plus, Lifestyle and Classic boards on July 1st, 2013. Over 500 models and 20 agents went running for the doors to find new homes. Other agencies have followed suit, downsizing to their strongest, often youngest core of talent. Boutique agencies like DNA, Q Models, One Management and Muse are standing strong with solid, diverse, selective talent. Less models equals less overhead, which equals a better profit margin.

Photographers are shooting everything on white seamless in studio, 40 shots per day. Clothes are shown as still-life shots. Soon, it’ll just be one quick 360 degree video of a model in the clothes, and digital stills will be lifted from there. Faster and faster, until it all ends up feeling nothing like inspired art and more like a mass-production factory.

Fashion modeling has become commercially-driven and Warhol-ian. 
In the end, it’s a trillion-dollar business.

So, how does that affect my choice of agency representation? I’m betting on global commercial fashion and advertising to be the big consistent earners. Keep Reading »

ebates coupon

I know it sounds too good to be true, but it’s real.

My Mom turned me on to eBates and I’ve gotten $300+ cash back so far. Yay, free money! Thanks Mom

All you do is click through the eBates website to the store you’re purchasing from. Your computer automatically registers the click-thru and that’s it! Buy your stuff the same as you normally do, and eBates sends you a cash rebate between 2%-10% of your purchase.

If you forget, like I do, and add everything to your shopping cart, no worries – just close the store’s site, go to ebates, search for the store, click the link… then check out from the same site you were just on.

Voilá! Free money for you, too!

Use this link and you’ll get $10 just for signing up… and there’s no catch. Nada.
No spam, no marketing, just checks in the mail. Kaching $

paula patrice first model pic long hair

My first photo, ever.

model photo business card

Leave behind an impression! You never know when opportunity will call, but you can’t be walking around with a huge headshot or comp card. 

Put a different photo on every card and hand them out according to the circumstances: editorial for that edgy designer you meet, and natural for the tv agent you network with.

Much less expensive than printing comp cards, especially if you’re a parent whose child is quickly growing.

Click for 10% off your first order. This is where I get mine, so I know the quality is faboosh!

moo ad - model portfolio business cards

 

 

 

Helen Gurley Brown
HGB, the woman who needed no more than an acronym, died today. She was an icon, a force in magazine publishing, women’s liberties and a restorer of self confidence. It’s because of Helen Gurley Brown that books like 50 Shades of Grey can go mainstream in our market and Carrie Bradshaw is a single, successful, sexy city gal. Prior to the voice HGB gave women in the media, we were all emptionally-suppressed housewives living in Post-WWII conservatism chiefly concerned with ironing our husband’s underpants and minding our dinner party etiquette.

Read Sex & The Single Girlby Helen Gurley Brown

The longtime editor of Cosmopolitan Magazine who invited millions of women to join the sexual revolution died at age 90.  She was a trailblazer, one of the most influential 20th century feminists. Her book is a compelling look into how far we’ve come in our feminine liberties, and as Brown went on to become editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan Magazine she put women in touch with themselves thanks to articles like “10 Ways To Turn Down The Boss”. If the book is too much of a time investment, at least click through to order the movie. At the beginning of her media career, which began with the 1962 book “Sex and the Single Girl”, HGB said that her aim was to tell a reader “how to get everything out of life — the money, recognition, success, men, prestige, authority, dignity — whatever she is looking at through the glass her nose is pressed against.” RIP HGB, you left an indelible mark on the world… and a big smudge on the glass.    

A Google search for “Vogue Lady In Red” can bring you up to speed on the conspiracy theories surrounding my inclusion in this otherwise-übercool editorial featuring Daria Strokous and Caroline Trentini.
 
Has Steven Meisel lost his mind? No, I’m pretty sure he’s just exercising his sense of humor!

I find this editorial to be brilliantly conceived and flawlessly executed. Working with Steven Meisel was an honor; I love that he allowed me to be myself without trying to “cool me up” and I am proud to have a role in the creation of his art.

Re: The Story:
The women who patronize teleshopping channels save up for that $300 gold pleather jacket payable in 3 Easy-Pay installments because for them, it is their Christian Lacroix. Teleshopping carries everything from frumpy knits to “designer” goods, making the higher priced designer items the equivalent of a middle-America Chanel.
 
Fashion is subjective; your cool may not be my cool. Real women from Texas to Tuscany covet clothing that they can wear in their everyday lives, inspired by haute couture runways but made wearable by mass market designers. It’s the trickle-down effect from runway to ready-to-wear to private label.

Re: The Casting:
I think Steven again makes a statement. Watching Joan Rivers on QVC, she overshadows her guests, the models and the merchandise. It’s the Joan Show and the customers call  Keep Reading »

It’s something we often don’t think about ’til too late. PET INSURANCE.

When i was shooting my recent L’Oreal campaign with celebrity hairstylist Christopher John of Garren NYC, he was going through a tragic loss of his beloved pet. Suffering from a fatal condition, his cutie patootie dog was in the veterinary ICU clinging to life for days before he peacefully passed on.

The cost of ICU care? Almost $3000/day. This is not a NYC price, I’ve heard this from friends across the USA. My sister’s cat was uninsured, and when he was diagnosed with diabetes he had a two-day emergency stay that cost $2000. Once diagnosed he was fully treatable, but that’s a lot of money to get to a diagnosis!

No matter what our position or success in life,  no matter how much love you have for your pet, one will take pause & consider spending 3k per day on a sick pet, cuz it’s a heckuva lot of money! If your pet is sick, and the vet is promising that “treatment can work” that’s $21,ooo for a week of treatment. There are CT Scans, MRIs, blood tests, x-rays…

Common sense tells us to weigh the possible life term of the animal with the cost. Human sense tells us to pay whatever it costs to save our pet. This is not a position i ever want to be in!

UPDATE: I am happy to announce that as of April 20th, 2009 Milo is insured! (there’s a waiting period of 2 weeks from time of enrollment)

From that date on I will breathe a sigh of relief, should anything go tragically wrong, Milo will be covered for $10,000 of medical care with a mere 10% co-pay every single year for the rest of the years he blesses this earth. Cost of my peace-of-mind? $220/year. 

I’ve researched all the pet insurance companies and decided that, in my opinion, Embrace Pet Insurance is the #1 choice. Milo agrees. He points out that they are underwritten by Lloyd’s of London. He’s into name-dropping

The Customer Service reps have been fawning over him via email and phone since enrollment. These are pet lovers, real people who answer the telephone and pass cute pet pics around the office. They also offer the most customizable plans, so you don’t pay for what you don’t need. 

EYE OPENER:  
The pet care products placed in vet offices are PAID placements. The food, the brochures, it’s all ad revenue for the vet. I don’t blame them, after all they are businesses, but still… VPI pet insurance, most prevalently advertised in vet offices, only gets a 4.5 out of 10 by customers who reviewed it. My choice, Embrace, received a 9.2 out of 10. Don’t buy into a plan that’s going to try to weasel out of every claim. What’s the point?

Even worse than realizing too late that you need insurance is thinking you have the insurance and realizing too late that it sux. If no one picks up the phone or acknowledges your claim it’s as good as having no insurance!

MONEY-SAVING TIP
The drop-down menu on the site registration only allows you to select pure breeds. i signed up online, paid… and then called a couple days later to update his policy that he is a Pekepoo, not a Pekingese. They said “You get 1/3 of what you paid refunded. Hybrids are healthier than purebreds, so they cost less to insure.”  That phone call saved me $75.

Should Milo one day hurt a paw or eat (another) plushie toy appendage, he will have insurance, and he will thank Christopher’s dog for the lesson passed on in his legacy. ♥