Posts tagged with "Vanity Fair"
HELENA CHRISTENSEN × EVA HERZIGOVA
WEAR BESPOKE SUSTAINABLE LOOKS FOR #ALULACREATES CHAMPIONING EMERGING SAUDI FEMALE DESIGNERS AT THE OSCARS 2023 VANITY FAIR PARTY
Following the launch of AlUla Creates, a platform designed to nurture creativity and empower future generations in film, the arts and fashion, ambassadors Helena Christensen and Eva Herzigova attended the Oscars Vanity Fair Party in bespoke sustainable looks designed by female Saudi designers, Arwa Al Ammari of ArAm, and Abeer Oraif, who alongside her sister Alia Oraif have demi couture label Atelier Hekayat. The designers worked alongside British-based designer Emilia Wickstead, who leant her experience and production support to bring the designers’ visions to life, creating looks ready for the red carpet.
The launch is part of a year-round programme that will allow exciting new female filmmakers and creatives to collaborate with leading industry professionals and access development funds to create and share their stories set against the majestic landscapes of AlUla with the world.
The first phase partners with The British Fashion Council (BFC), acclaimed Saudi film actor Mila Al Zahrani, Kloss Films founder Alec Maxwell and renowned fashion icons Helena Christensen and Eva Herzigova as ambassadors to champion the long-term mission of the platform.
For the AlUla Creates pilot activation, the concept behind the creative exchange started on an immersion trip where the designers became inspired by the AlUla history, landscapes, and night skies. At Emilia’s London atelier, the designs were brought to life using a range of pure silks and repurposed materials including reengineered crinoline and refashioned fabric from Abeer’s own Saudi atelier. As a raw material, silk is natural, renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable and here, its monomaterial application is aligned to circular design principles. Reutilising existing materials helps avoid virgin raw material production and diverts useable materials from waste streams, giving them another life.
Arwa Al Ammari said “AlUla is a land of extraordinary human and natural heritage. Getting inspired by this magical place to design a dress which tells part of our story, reflecting on heritage and showing it to the world at this prestigious event is a milestone in my career. Eva’s dress is inspired by the historical tombs of AlUla, the historic Incense Road and the curves and lines witnessed in the natural stone.”
The collaboration marks the advent of a long-term partnership between Eco-Age and the designers to deepen sustainability-focused practices within future product conception and overall business.
Abeer and Alia Oraif from Atelier Hekayat said “At Atelier Hekayat, we believe in art and stories. An art that comes from a combination of identities, moods, and cultural settings. Being part of the AlUla Creates program, and designing a dress for Helena Christensen has been a beautiful expression on this vision. We are happy to be involved in the program, and watch it bring support and opportunity to female founders in fashion and film in Saudi.”
CAPTIONS FOR VF PHOTOS
Helena Christensen wears a bespoke sustainably designed dress for #AlulaCreates by Saudi designer Atelier Hekayat, with production support Emilia Wickstead.
Eva Herzigova wears a bespoke sustainably designed dress for #AlulaCreates by Saudi female designer Arwa Al Ammari, and with production support by Emilia Wickstead.
ABOUT FILM ALULA
Film AlUla is The Royal Commission for AlUla’s film agency, established to promote and support international film and TV production in the County of AlUla, located in northwest Saudi Arabia. Its aim is to position AlUla as an international filming destination and develop the services, facilities, and infrastructure in the region to create a film-friendly ecosystem.
SHARP STICK – LENA DUNHAM
Sharp Stick, written and directed by Lena Dunham opens on Friday July 29th in New York and Los Angeles, and keeps expanding to theaters nationwide on Friday August 5th. It will also be available on Digital platforms August 16th. The movie stars Kristine Froseth, Jon Bernthal, Scott Speedman, Luka Sabbat, Lena Dunham, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Taylour Paige and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Watch The Trailer
“Lena Dunham‘s provocative tale of sexual awakening tackles thorny material with compassion.” – Elena Lazic,The Playlist
“Supremely funny. As heartfelt as it is provocative.” – Cassie Da Costa, Vanity Fair
“Surprisingly sweet and searching. It’s refreshing to see sex scenes directed with both warmth and a sense of carnality.” – Stephanie Zacharek, TIME
Sarah Jo (Kristine Froseth) is a sensitive and naive 26-year-old living on the fringes of Hollywood with her disillusioned mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and influencer sister (Taylour Paige). Working as a caregiver and just longing to be seen, she begins an exploratory affair with her older, married employer (Jon Bernthal), and is thrust into a startling education on sexuality, loss and power.
A podcast series that chronicles the most iconic and inescapably Italian elements of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana‘s universe. Their connection to their Country, to the world of cinema, art and culture.
Available for free starting July 7 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Google Podcasts and at choramedia.com
MOLTO ITALIANO is the first podcast series produced by CHORA MEDIA – the Italian podcast company founded in 2020 by Guido Maria Brera, Mario Gianani, Roberto Zanco and Mario Calabresi who directs it – for Dolce&Gabbana. Designed for an international audience and produced in English, it is available for free starting July 7 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Spreaker, Google Podcasts and all other major audio platforms, as well as on choramedia.com.
MOLTO ITALIANO is a journey into the creative imagination of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana and those elements of style that, through their vision, have contributed to making Italy’s culture and traditions known throughout the world.
Each episode is dedicated to one of the “signs” that are part of Dolce&Gabbana‘s history and DNA and that, together, make the brand so inescapably Italian: from corsetry to the color black, via the tank top and the Sicilian cart.
Leading the narrative, written by author and journalist Silvia Nucini, is Isabella Rossellini, an international icon film and fashion icon, who voices her memories while alternating with historians, academics and artists who share their perspectives on the elements at the center of each episode.
Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana reveal passions and inspirations behind their vision: each episode is a chorus of voices celebrating fashion, tradition, craftsmanship, art and culture.
Ep.1 The brassiere
Almost austere, black, and inspired by the great icons of Italy’s neorealist cinema: this is the brassiere which Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been dressing women with for years. Guided by the voice of Isabella Rossellini, we discover the birth of this garment – which manages to be at the same time both temperate and erotic, a symbol of motherhood and sensuality.
French fashion historian Florence Müller tells of the brassiere’s first century of life, while the Sicilian writer Nadia Terranova shares her own memories of this object, from rites of passage to moments of family life.
The color black has many meanings, often at odds with one another. It’s the color which Sicilian women used to wear for years in sign of mourning, but it’s also synonymous with elegance. It’s a symbol of power and modesty. You should always have something black hanging in your wardrobe, and it’s also worn by the fashion makers themselves.
In this episode Isabella Rossellini guides us on our way to discover one of the iconic colors of Dolce&Gabbana, weaving together ancient stories and traditions. With contributions from the Academy Award winning director Giuseppe Tornatore, from the English journalist Suzy Menkes, and the American historian Carmela Spinelli.
Ep.3 The tank top
The tank top is a simple garment, an everyday one, and it is also “molto italiano.” This popular object has been reworked and transformed by the world of film. Guido Bonsaver, professor at the University of Oxford, and Rebecca Bauman, associate professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, tell Isabella Rossellini of the first tank tops in film from the forties and fifties. As well as the significance of this garment (as soon as the most beloved actors of the time put it on), and of its evolution towards the world of action movie heroines.
Director Giuseppe Tornatore shares with us the images that the tank top elicits in him, while journalist Suzy Menkes talks about the purely Italian style of Dolce&Gabbana.
Ep.4 The Sicilian cart
It’s reductive to consider Sicilian carts as mere vehicles. These carts are so rich in color and decorations that, according to Marianna Gatto of the Italian American Museum in Los Angeles, they’re best described as “walking books.” For the painter from Palermo, Gianfranco Fiore (who decorates these carts), they represent the most popular, creative and imaginative soul of the Sicilian people. Isabella Rossellini speaks with Gatto and Fiore of history, traditions and memories. She also talks with the German photographer Juergen Teller.
In this episode we discover how the Dolce&Gabbana brand managed to inject new life in the cart and to bring it over to the fields of fashion, design and furnishing, where it has become a symbol of high quality Italian artisanship.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Silvia Nucini is a journalist, writer and author. After 20 years as Senior writer and Features editor of Vanity Fair Italy, she now collaborates with several publications. She holds a weekly podcast in which she interviews writers.
Molto Italiano is a Chora Media series for Dolce&Gabbana. It was narrated by Isabella Rossellini who shared and put into words some of her memories. It was written by Silvia Nucini and adapted by John Vincent. Story editing by Sara Poma; our Senior Account Producer is Anna Nenna and our research and production assistant is Francesca Bottenghi. Our New York based producer is Guglielmo Mattioli. Voice actors: Vincenzo Tripodo, Fabrizio Matteini, Michael Loos, Rosita Martini, Andrea Galatà. It was recorded by Charles De Montebello at CDM Studios in New York. Tape sync recordings by: Pierluigi Papaiz, Michele Boreggi, Azzurra Stirpe, Hugo Hannoun. Original music, post production and sound design by Andrea Girelli; post production assistant Guido Bertolotti. Music supervision by Luca Micheli. Additional music by Machiavelli Music and Universal Music Publishing Recording.
VANITY FAIR × BACARDI
Vanity Fair and BACARDÍ Rum toasted young Hollywood at a party that took place at Musso & Frank’s in Hollywood. The event was co-hosted by Alana Haim, Ariana DeBose, and Giveon–all of whom have been spotlighted in VF’s Vanities column. VF’s Campaign Hollywood, which has become synonymous with Oscar week, honors the year’s standout performances, and the artists and storytellers paving the way to Hollywood’s future.
About Vanity Fair
Muscular long-form journalism, stunning photography, insightful essays, and superb design make each issue of Vanity Fair a must-read. Every month, the magazine commissions the best writers and photographers to explain the pressing issues of the day and take the pulse of the culture. Vanity Fair consistently delivers crucial reporting on business and finance, domestic politics and world affairs, even as it covers the very best in arts and entertainment.
About BACARDÍ® Rum- The World’s Most Awarded Rum
In 1862, in the city of Santiago de Cuba, founder Don Facundo Bacardí Massó revolutionized the spirits industry when he created a light-bodied rum with a particularly smooth taste – BACARDÍ. The unique taste of BACARDÍ rum inspired cocktail pioneers to invent some of the world’s most famous recipes including the BACARDÍ Mojito, the BACARDÍ Daiquiri, the BACARDÍ Cuba Libre, the BACARDÍ Piña Colada and the BACARDÍ El Presidente. BACARDÍ rum is the world’s most awarded rum, with more than 1,000 awards for quality, taste and innovation. Today, BACARDÍ rum is made mainly in Puerto Rico where it is crafted to ensure the taste remains the same today as it did when it was first blended in 1862. www.BACARDÍ.com
The BACARDÍ brand is part of the portfolio of Bacardi Limited, headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda. Bacardi Limited refers to the Bacardi group of companies, including Bacardi International Limited.
GIVEON RIAA Certifications
Continuing to shine as brightly as ever, multiplatinum GRAMMY® Nominated R&B star GIVĒON has garnered three new certifications from the RIAA. “For Tonight” and “The Beach” both picked up Gold certifications, while “Like I Want You” has gone double-platinum. This brings his total tally of certified releases to 11, cementing him as 21st century R&B’s leading man.
Check out the Vevo Live Performance of “For Tonight” HERE.
Next up, he is notably nominated in six categories at the 2022 GRAMMY® Awards. He earned a nod in the category of “Album of the Year” as a featured artist and songwriter on Justin Bieber’s blockbuster Justice, and he’s up for “Record of the Year,” “Song of the Year,” “Best R&B Performance,” and “Best Music Video” for “Peaches” with Justin Bieber and Daniel Caesar. Meanwhile, his triple-platinum single “Heartbreak Anniversary” is vying for “Best R&B Song.”
He continues to make headlines. He just appeared on The TODAY Show where he discussed his musical journey thus far, while Harpers Bazaar selected him as February 2022 Music Director. Perhaps Vanity Fair summed it up best in a recent feature, “Everyone’s swooning for GIVĒON.” Next up, he graces the stage of Coachella on Saturday April 16 and Saturday April 23. Check out the Harper’s Bazaar interview about his Coachella fashion sense HERE.
He’s also said to release a new song, “Lie Again,” which will be released this Friday. Pre-save HERE.
Stay tuned for more from GIVĒON soon. It’s about to be a massive year for him.
DREAMS IN GOLD TOUR – GRETA VAN FLEET
GRETA VAN FLEET ANNOUNCE DREAMS IN GOLD TOUR 2022
TICKETS ON SALE THIS FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 12 AT 10 A.M. LOCAL TIME
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SOPHOMORE ALBUM THE BATTLE AT GARDEN’S GATE OUT NOW
Following this year’s sold-out headline events and a #1 Billboard Rock Album, Grammy-winning rock band Greta Van Fleet are confirmed for their forthcoming Dreams in Gold tour, which kicks off March 10 with the band making a triumphant return to their original stomping grounds in Michigan for a string of arena shows followed by Midwest dates and international shows in Mexico, Europe and the UK. Grammy-nominated group Rival Sons and critically acclaimed rising artist The Velveteers will support the North American shows. Tickets are on sale this Friday, November 12 at 10am local time at LiveNation.com. There will be a Fan Presale on November 10, and a Local Venue Presale on November 11. Strange Horizons, the band’s specialty events in 2021, saw sold-out shows in Nashville, Bridgeport, Chicago and Los Angeles. The group’s critically acclaimed album The Battle at Garden’s Gate was released earlier this year to extensive chart success and fanfare, debuting at #1 Billboard Rock Album, #1 Billboard Hard Rock Album, #1 Billboard Vinyl Album, #2 Billboard Top Album Sales and in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200.
“An hour of rock music that touches on their familiar themes of war, grief, and spirituality…it contains plenty of the intellectual flights that inspired an active subreddit of superfans who devote serious brainpower to textual interpretation of their lyrics. But mercifully, it’s genuinely enjoyable outside of those contexts too.” – Vanity Fair
“There’s something winning about the members’ earnest intentions, as well as their unwavering commitment to them. Their sincere love for the history of rock shows in the depth of their knowledge about it.” – The Guardian
“aim to bust down old walls.” – Rolling Stone
“one of the best straight-up rock albums to come down the pike in many moons” – Variety
The Battle at Garden’s Gate explores the boundaries of the group’s artistry and reflects heavily on the individual members’ personal and spiritual growth during their rapid rise. “There was a lot of self-evolution happening during the writing of this album that was prompted by experiences I had, experiences we all had,” explains vocalist Josh Kiszka. “It’s reflecting a lot of the world that we’ve seen, and I think that it’s reflecting a lot of personal truth,” says guitarist Jake Kiszka.
Forming in Frankenmuth, Michigan back in 2012, Greta Van Fleet consists of three brothers, vocalist Josh Kiszka, guitarist Jake Kiszka, bassist/keyboardist Sam Kiszka, as well as drummer Danny Wagner. Together they have performed across multiple continents, sold over two million albums worldwide, performed on late night television shows, topped the Billboard U.S. Mainstream Rock and Active Rock charts and won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2019.
GRETA VAN FLEET DREAMS IN GOLD TOUR DATES
March 10—Kalamazoo, MI @ Wings Event Center
March 12—Grand Rapids, MI @ The DeltaPlex Arena
March 13—Saginaw, MI @ Dow Event Center
March 16—Flint, MI @ Dort Financial Center
March 17—Ypsilanti, MI @ EMU Convocation Center
March 19—Huntington, WV @ Mountain Health Arena
March 22—Madison, WI @ Kohl Center
March 23—Green Bay, WI @ Resch Center
March 25—Omaha, NE @ CHI Health Center Omaha
March 26—Peoria, IL @ Peoria Civic Center
March 29—Cincinnati, OH @ Heritage Bank Center
March 30—Hershey, PA @ GIANT Center
April 1—Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
April 2—Atlantic City, NJ @ Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena
May 3—Rio de Janeiro, Brazil @ Qualistage
May 16—Mexico City, Mexico @ Pepsi Center
June 5—Stockholm, Sweden @ Grona Lund
June 11—Vienne, France @ Theatre Antique de Vienne
June 14—Cologne, Germany @ Tanzbrunnen
June 15—Frankfurt, Germany @ Jarhunderthalle
June 23—Dublin, Ireland @ Fairview
June 25—London, UK @ Alexandra Palace
June 28—Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo
June 29—Manchester, UK @ O2 Apollo
ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS
A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Thought, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G). In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.
JON BATISTE NEW MUSIC VIDEO – FREEDOM
Today, Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe winning musician Jon Batiste releases a vibrant new music video for his single “FREEDOM,” a celebration of Black joy, independence and New Orleans culture and energy. Watch here.
There is no better time for Jon Batiste’s song of the summer “FREEDOM,” a funk-driven 70s-pop banger that Entertainment Weekly called an “exhilarating, horn-heavy celebration of independence.”
In this electrifying love letter to his hometown of New Orleans, Batiste leads the ultimate second line through the streets, linking with the legendary St. Augustine High School Marching 100 (Batiste’s alma mater), the Joyful Choir of New Orleans, Queen Tahj of the Golden Eagles Mardi Grass Indian Tribe, dancers, musicians, and residents alike.
Jon Batiste has had a good year. The Academy Award, Golden Globe, BAFTA winning musician’s hit song “I NEED YOU” reached #1 on the AAA Radio Charts, his album WE ARE debuted in the Billboard Top R&B Charts, Top Album Charts, and Top 200, his “I NEED YOU” music video surpassed 10MM views, he’s appeared on American Idol, Live with Kelly and Ryan, The Today Show, The Late Late Show with James Corden, CBS This Morning as guest and co-host, and of course the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
“We Are represents a vivid turn from straight jazz to joyful, danceable pop and neo-soul… a bold declaration of conscience…” –Vanity Fair
On WE ARE, Batiste presents a captivating musical experience to the world rooted in catharsis, joy, freedom, contemplation and sensuality. It’s a love letter to his southern roots and the heritage of Black Music with guest appearances by Mavis Staples, Quincy Jones, Zadie Smith, PJ Morton, Trombone Shorty, St. Augustine Marching 100, his father Michael Batiste, grandfather David Gauthier and many more. It is a meditation steeped in the sounds of the times with collaborators including POMO (Anderson.Paak), Ricky Reed (Lizzo), Jahaan Sweet (Drake, Eminem) and others.
“I’m publicly known for some things already,” says Batiste. “But there’s so much more to know about me. It’s always been there. Now is the time to show the world my full artistry.”
Batiste continues, “WE ARE is a message of love for humanity, of humble reverence for our past, and of a hopeful future, in which we are the ones who can save us. The art reveals its motive to you. You just have to wait for the Spirit to tell you what it wants.”
A special thanks to Coach for dressing members of the cast of the “FREEDOM” video.
About Jon Batiste
One of the best-known musicians of his generation, virtuoso pianist, singer, bandleader, educator and television personality Jon Batiste has spent his career bringing that music back to where it started — that is, with the people. From his days at Juilliard, where he established his Stay Human band by playing around New York City’s subways and in street performances he called “love riots,” to his work since 2015 as the bandleader and musical director of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, the Kenner, Louisiana native has consistently channeled his superb technical skill and deep knowledge of jazz tradition towards a specific, intentional purpose: making people’s lives better and brighter, one harmonaboard (that’s harmonica and keyboard, combined) solo at a time.
Born into Louisiana’s legendarily musical Batiste family, Jon has performed and recorded widely since his teens. His flexibility as an artist, his fluency in jazz as well as popular music of all stripes, has allowed him to collaborate with legends from Wynton Marsalis, a mentor since his Juilliard days, to Prince — as well as many of the widely-varied artists who appear on the Late Show.
Batiste’s marquee performances have ranged from the Grammy’s, to the Kennedy Center Honors, to the US Open and the NBA All-Star Game — in 2015, Batiste and the Stay Human Band became the first group to play the main stage at both the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals.
Batiste played himself on the HBO series Treme and appeared in director Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer — most recently, his music was featured in the 2020 Disney/Pixar film Soul. Batiste won a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice Award for his participation in the soundtrack alongside Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and the trio are currently nominated for an Oscar and BAFTA for Best Soundtrack.
He’s been awarded the American Jazz Museum Lifetime Achievement Award, the Harry Chapin ASCAP Humanitarian Award and appeared on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list; Batiste also currently serves as the Music Director of The Atlantic and the Co-Artistic Director of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.
Jon Batiste is devoted to the education and mentorship of young musicians. He has led his own Social Music Residency and Mentoring Program sponsored by Chase, as well as master classes throughout the world. He has also led several cultural exchanges, beginning in 2006, while still a teen, with the Netherlands Trust, which brought students from the USA and Holland to perform with him at the Royal Concertgebouw and Carnegie Hall.
Batiste balances a demanding performance schedule with public speaking engagements, masterclasses, brand partnerships, community activism and acting roles. His composing and songwriting will be featured in his large-scale, genre-melding symphonic work “American Symphony,” set to premiere at Carnegie Hall in 2021 and he has been developing a Broadway musical about the life of famed painter Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Lil Baby Performing at Grammy’s
PERFORMING ON THE 63rd ANNUAL GRAMMY’S
AIRING SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT ON CBS
NOMINATED FOR TWO GRAMMY AWARDS:
BEST RAP SONG AND BEST RAP PERFORMANCE FOR THE BIGGER
The Recording Academy announced that Lil Baby will perform at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. The Awards will air on Sunday, March 14th, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on CBS Television Network from the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown LA.
Lil Baby has been one of the most dominant and critically acclaimed names in rap since his first release in 2017. In February 2020, he released My Turn, which entered The Billboard 200 at #1, hovered in the Top 5 for 14 weeks, and then returned to the #1 selling album of any genre in 2020.
Lil Baby is as authentic as they come. At just 26 years old, he is unapologetically himself, speaking his truth in his lyrics and that connects him to listeners like no other. Last June as the nation protested, Lil Baby dropped a powerful record “The Bigger Picture”; articulating frustration, confusion, and a call to stand up for something much bigger than himself.
My Turn held 14 records simultaneously on The Billboard Hot 100 and Lil Baby has recently surpassed musical titans Prince and Paul McCartney among others in Billboard Hot 100 hits in his young 3-year career. To date, Baby’s catalog reached 22 billion global streams, scored 8 #1 songs at Urban Radio, won the BET Award for Best New Artist, named Vevo’s Top Performing Hip-Hop Artist of 2020, named MVP on Rap Caviar, and won the top award of Global Artist of the Year at the Apple Music Awards. The Bigger Picture was nominated for two Grammy’s (Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song). He has seen widespread critical acclaim from the likes of GQ and Vanity Fair and has graced the covers of Rolling Stone and NME. With such a rapid rise and a relentless stream of critical and commercial hits, it’s clear that Lil Baby is one of the greatest modern success stories in hip-hop.
New World Model
By Dana Feeney × Vaughn Lowery
The modeling industry has two very different faces. One side are supermodels, like Gigi and Bella Hadid, glamorously modeling, making millions of dollars, and traveling the world. The other are the unknown models working job to job, facing exploitation and manipulation by their agencies and clients, and trying to make their name in the industry. The mistreatment of models is as old as the industry itself. Skinny, cis, and white models experience this brutal reality. Working as a model is only worse for people of color [POC], LGBTQA+, and immigrants because of the lack of transparency or regulation and rampant misconduct.
The current push for diversity and inclusion has caused a much higher demand for POC, and LGBTQA+ models with different body types. In recent months, a few new players in the game are building their reputations on accountability and proper treatment of the models and creatives they represent. Several small agencies and one superpower are disrupting the model representation world: New Pandemics, Zandwagon, Community New York, We Speak Models, and film and television power player Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
The way modeling deals traditionally work is that a model signs to an agency, such as Next Models, Ford Models, IMG Models, or Wilhelmina Models. The agency provides its models with certain services such as housing, transportation, portfolio shoots, and more. In most cases, anything an agency provides for a model they have to pay back to the agency, often at a high-interest rate. The interest rate means the longer they take to pay it back, the more they owe to the agency.
Although models sign contracts to agencies, they are not considered employees of those agencies and instead are independent contractors who the agency aids in booking jobs. The agencies do not keep models on their payroll. They do control the money that the models earn on a job and how their money models earn is distributed. Bad payment practices reach far beyond the agencies. The agencies are responsible for billing the client right after the model completes their job. Payment for jobs by agencies to their models is notoriously sketchy because clients are not required to pay upfront before shoots and can legally take up to 90 days to settle up. Most agencies take at least a 20% fee out of any money their models make and charge clients a “booking fee,” so for a $1000 job, they would charge $1200 but only pay the model $800. Worst of all, if a client does not pay the agency for work a model did, the agency does not owe the model the money they earned. The common practice in the industry is that the model only gets paid if the agency gets paid.
The film and television management world contrasts the modeling world in many ways. The modeling industry as a whole is riddled with misconduct, manipulation, and poor treatment of models by their agencies and brands. Many modeling agencies use contracts that include fees and costs they can pull out of the model paychecks and use debt, housing, and visas to keep their models dependent.
Agencies in other media such as film, only make money if their clients make money. In film, the percentage is around 10% because of unions. Although, none of these industries are flawless especially considering scandals in the film and tv world with predators like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.
Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has a long history of representing talents across film, tv, music, and more. In August of 2020, CAA announced their partnership with KCD Worldwide, a fashion services agency, which signaled CAA’s entrance into fashion model management for the first time in the agency’s history. CAA has a strong legacy of representing high-profile individuals and building their careers. They have also stated that they only take a 10% fee out of their models’ earnings, half of the general standard of 20%. Despite their claims for better treatment of models, CAA is not blemish-free when it comes to allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Multiple former CAA agents have faced lawsuits.
Additionally, CAA has previously represented multiple people accused of misconduct, including Shia LaBeouf, Chris D’Elia, and Marilyn Mason; all of whom are no longer represented by CAA.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the smaller boutique agencies mentioned earlier, New Pandemics, Zandwagon, and Community New York. New Pandemics is “a casting and management agency dedicated to increasing LBGTQ+ visibility.”
Zandwagon is “a talent management company that could guide everyday life individuals who are breaking beauty standards daily” according to their website. Community New York is run by Butterfly Cayley, Moe Lamstein, and Richie Keoall, three first-generation immigrants from Laos, and “is founded on inclusivity and progressive values by changing not only the style but the very structure of management.” Cayley, Lamstein, and Keoall have impressive experience at agencies including DNA and Elite Model Management. Community New York now represents stars such as Hunter Schafer, who is well known for her work on the hit HBO show “Euphoria” and is now a brand ambassador for Shiseido.
With small diversity forward agencies up and coming, the existing modeling industry is under attack from all sides. All three of these agencies emphasize how much they value representation and inclusivity in this industry that has avoided breaking societal beauty standards for so long. They also claim they will be different from other agencies and provide better treatment for their clients. These agencies are sending the message that you’re either with them or against them, and they’re willing to think outside of the box to get proper treatment and equity for models from all walks of life.
Same Old Problems
Many of the biggest fashion houses in the world are still reckoning with the #MeToo movement. The fashion industry is known as a highly predatory business. Many of even the largest names in modeling have had to survive people abusing their power on sets and behind the scenes to become who they are. Household names, such as Kate Upton, Coco Rocha, and Cameron Russel, have all spoken out about their experiences with the abuse they’ve experienced while working as models.
Kate Upton spoke out against Paul Marciano in 2018, which led to a total of $500,000 in settlement agreements involving five individuals. He has remained an active participant at GUESS as a board member and chief creative officer, despite resigning from his position as an executive. At the beginning of February, the news broke that Marciano is once again being sued over sexual assault allegations by a woman who has chosen to remain anonymous. The allegations against Marciano are not an isolated incident. Similarly, allegations were brought against Alexander Wang in December of 2020 but began as early as 2017, yet some still chose his side despite the overwhelming corroboration of multiple individuals. If the word of a woman as successful as Kate Upton is not enough to oust a predator from power, it’s unclear what realistically can protect vulnerable individuals with less acclaim from the same experiences or worse.
The silver lining of these allegations coming to light is the industry supporting the individuals coming forward more than ever before. In the past, many models lost their careers before they had even begun due to the actions of predators and the mechanisms powerful people use to silence their victims. Accounts such as @shitmodelmgmt and @dietprada have been using their online platforms to expose predators and condemn their actions openly across Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, the Model Alliance, an organization dedicated to giving models a voice in their work, has also spoken out against Wang on their Instagram saying, “We stand with David Casavant, Owen Mooney, Gia Garison, and all the accusers of @alexanderwangny in their pursuit towards justice.”
The upheaval that began in 2006 with survivor and activist Tarana Burke’s creation of the #MeToo movement has continued into 2021. Slowly but surely survivors are taking their power back and pushing to create real change in media industries that have exploited them for far too long.