Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Frida Giannini

Frida Giannini is the 33 year old Creative Director of Women's Wear, Gucci. Nadia Mustafa of Time Magazine says ".... The new brain behind the Gucci woman is nothing like Tom Ford. "[Tom's] obsessed with [selling] sex, and I'm not," says Italian Frida Giannini, who calls herself tamer than her brazen former boss. Giannini, who replaced Alessandra Facchinetti as creative director of women's wear at the $2 billion luxury house last spring, is known for her talent as an accessories designer. Now she will have to prove herself in apparel.

Her plan is to bring a timeless quality to Gucci. She cites as an example the success of the Flora line of accessories introduced last year, inspired by the print of an old Gucci scarf made for Grace Kelly. "I want to continue to develop it, not sell it or mark it down," she says.

Giannini landed a job at Fendi in 1997, designing ready-to-wear before switching to leather goods. In 2002 she jumped to Gucci, where she oversaw handbags. In 2004 she was appointed creative director of accessories, which make up more than 80% of the company's sales. "I can't imagine the next fashion show without any jewelry or bags," she says.

Giannini, an avid equestrian, lives with her husband, a Web designer, in Florence. When she isn't finding a muse in objects as mundane as a doorknob—the shape of which she used for the heel of a Gucci shoe—she draws inspiration from the house's archives—for example, prints from scarves of the 1960s and '70s, which she has applied to dresses and shirts in the cruise collection.

Giannini's personality is already finding its way into the label's image. "The Gucci woman enjoys life, is successful in her job and leaves a lasting impression every time she walks into a room," she says, just as easily describing herself...."

Photo courtesy of Klik

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Yasmin Warsame

Yasmin Warsame says " I hope my face is not my only fortune...I believe I had a life before modeling and will always have a life after modeling". This Somali native was discovered in Toronto while in her early 20's by fashion photographer Steven Meisel. She was even told she was " too couturier" in Toronto before she went to Paris to model for some of the top names in Fashion.

Some excerpts quoted from Fashion File Video Collections

Photo Courtesy of Photo by Don Ashby and courtesy of Style.com

Saturday, September 24, 2005


Fashionwatch says"...Ai Tominaga has taken the modeling world by storm with her sweet porcelin look and unforgettable walk. Starting out in Kanagawa Japan, Ai was discovered in Tokyo and shortly after appeared on the cove of Vogue Japan.

With her tall lean feminine form, Ai has taken the catwalks by surprise, using her piercing brown eyes to attract the attention on the runway appearing in New York, Paris, Milan and more!...."

Photo by Don Ashby and courtesy of Style.com

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Heather Marks

This doll-like elegant model from Canada, born of British parents was apparently spotted on the street at first.
Modelsource.ca says "...When Heather Marks was 12, her mother watched in horror as a panel of judges leaned over their table to gawk at the timid youngster's abnormally large feet.

Mother and daughter had been at the Calgary Women's show when they were cajoled into entering Heather, dressed in jeans and running shoes, into the Mode Models' model search. "If I had known about it I probably would have put her hair in ringlets and put some makeup on her," laughs Pat Marks.

Far from dainty heels, it was Heather's size ten running shoes that carried her down the runway. "And as she walked by, all the judges looked over the table at her feet and were laughing. She was so conscious of her big feet, and I'm like 'Oh my God she's going to just freak.'"

Despite her casual appearance and crimson complexion the super-shy Heather won the model search, and thus a superstar was born.

Voted the current favourite by modelresource readers in our year-end poll, Heather has lit up the modelling world in the past year, posing for the likes of Marc by Marc Jacobs, Moschino and Just Cavalli. She's also become a fixture on the world's runways, doing 77 shows last season alone!..."

Photo courtesy of Supermodel.nl

Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Ujjwala means brilliant or lustrous in Hindi, and a briliant talent she is because she's one of india's most accomplished supermodels.Ujjwala's Official Website says "...Ujjwala Raut was born and raised in Bombay. Being one of five sisters she never had childhood dreams of becoming a model. That was before she was entered into a modeling contest by her older sister, this is the start of Ujjwala's new found career. Ujjwala has become one of India's most sought after models, and an international star with much success on the catwalk and print work...".

Photo Courtesy of Steve Landis

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Kimbely Stephenson writes "...From age 16, when Jaunel McKenzie burst onto the scene, this Portmore resident has continued her ascent up the ladder of success in the fashion industry. McKenzie was the winner of the inaugural Caribbean Model Search in 2002 and ranks 39 in the world.

Jaunel was raised in Nannyville Gardens, Kingston, and attended Excelsior High School. After leaving high school, she was discovered quite by accident. With two months to spare and no solid plans, Jaunel decided to enter the Pulse Model Search; a search she initially thought had more to do with model training. She was unaware of the fact that she had signed up for one of the biggest competitions Jamaica sees annually.

"It is easy to be overwhelmed by the temptations of the industry and those temptations can easily lead to your downfall," she said.She admits to occasionally sneaking some KFC or Burger King into her diet, with the explanation that she has no strict exercise regimen. She dislikes make-up and frequently reminisces on the days when she was able to wear any pair of jeans she wanted to. In her still young career, however, she has had to stick to designer jeans such as Levi's, Guess and Calvin Klein.

Jaunel disagrees with the notion that promiscuity is a hallmark of the profession, and a requirement for getting ahead. "I haven't seen it and it hasn't been presented to me.yet".

She aims to eventually own her own accounting firm and clothing line. She believes she has not yet been changed by her career and hopes she doesn't. "I am still the same person. I haven't changed at all since my modelling career began..."

Photo by Don Ashby and Courtesy of STYLE.COM

Monday, September 12, 2005


Models.com says "....fashion’s most coveted girl right this minute, pops through her front door, precisely on time . I’m taken aback not because the model is punctual, but because her skin...the Ethiopian stunner is positively glistening. Her complexion is so pristine, all of Grand Street’s morning light seems to be swimming and coiling just beneath the surface of her cafe au lait skin..."

"...And indeed Liya is seven months pregnant , an eventuality that did not impede her last five bookings: Steven Meisel for American Vogue, Mario Testino for the cover of V, Micheal Thompson again for American Vogue, Ines van Lansweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for the latest Vidal Sasson campaign and now Eric Fischer for this MODELS.com cover session.
Hers has been the model success story of the year..."

She has also recently been appointed World Health Organisation's WHO's new goodwill ambassador for maternal, newborn and child health.

Photo Courtesy of Models.com

Sunday, September 11, 2005


In Vietnam the popular folk music of Ca trù was originally associated with beautiful woman singers, the music charmed it’s listeners who watched such performances in geisha type lounges in Vietnam in the 15th century.

We describe Myo Nguyen as a Vietnamese Ca trù that charms the fashion modeling world with her beauty and character.

Photo Courtesy of SuperModels


Little is known about this 5'10 1/2 Jamaican model that has sealed modeling contracts for Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy and Levi's. Introduced to the Fashion world by Elite we are yet to see more of this lady.

Photo Courtesy of STYLE.COM

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lily Cole

Some refer to her as the new Kate Moss but we describe her as a lady that sticks to her principles while modeling for the top names in the world of fashion.

Following the footsteps of Iman by refusing to model for De Beers over claims that Bushmen were evicted to make way for future diamond mining in Botswana.This Stance has brought her a lot of admiration from people outside the fashion modeling community.

Wikipedia describes her as "... a model, whose trademark is her pale skin and red hair. She has been on the cover of magazines such as Vogue and Numero, and in several campaigns, including Chanel and Prada.

She has been compared to Kate Moss. Cole stopped being the spokes model for De Beers after strong lobbying from Survival International. She is currently the spokes model for Topshop, Hermès, Moschino, and Anna Sui cosmetics.

She is seen as part of a new wave of models, who have "doll-like" or "elvin" features, along with models Heather Marks and Gemma Ward. She appeared on the April 2004 cover of British Vogue with Ward, and again, this time solo, in July 2005...”

Photo courtesy of the Telegraph

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Surazuri agency says "...Nancy ‘Ajuma’ Nasenyana from Turkana made modeling history on the night of January 20th 2004 when she became the first black model EVER to win a modeling contract in an International modeling competition (that was not specifically for women of colour). Ajuma represented Kenya in the worlds most prestigious model search – The Ford Models Supermodel of the World Search, which culminated in a glittering final event featuring hopefuls from 39 countries at The New York Public Library. She was placed 4th runner up and won a $50,000 contract.

Having already done a couple of shows and editorials in Paris and Ireland, Ajuma had the advantage of some experience outside Kenya and had a decent portfolio to show the many international agents present at the Ford event. Aside from the representation she already had in London, Ireland and Paris, she also secured representation in Spain, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden, Austria, Croatia, Australia, South Africa, Panama and the Philippines and the room was buzzing with talk about her.

Following the exciting finals, Ajuma stayed on in New York for fashion week where she modeled with Naomi Campbell and Alek Wek in shows including Baby Phat’s and Carlos Mienes. From there she flew straight to Milan where she did seven shows including for Ferragamo. Next was Paris where she opened the show for Vivian Westwood as well as starring in several others. The winter season shows are officially over, so her next flight is to London where she will begin go-sees for her agency, Bookings. Her 11 page editorial in top Irish Magazine, Image, comes out in April.

In June, Ajuma will head home to Kenya to star in Kenya Fashion Week. This girl will not forget her roots and will make her country proud.

Ajuma’s first foray into modeling came about when she entered the Miss Tourism competition in 2003. She was crowned Miss Nairobi. Spotted by Lyndsey McIntyre, she was the main feature in a photo story by Gamma Photo Agency which was later sold to Gala magazine, France. Ajuma also featured in The Face Magazine (UK) and The Daily Record (Scotland). She is a 400 m and 800 m runner who is in training in Ireland.
Ajuma is the Kenyan entrant to the Ford Models Supermodel of the World 2003 finals in New York in January. She is articulate and intelligent and has vast potential to make it as a top international model..."

Photo courtesy of Surazuri

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Nadine Willis

Kathy Chan writes "...Who's Robbie Williams? I've just been invited to his party tomorrow night,' asks Nadine Willis.

Considering this is the girl who's just shot the latest Gucci campaign and is on first-name terms with Mario and Tom (Testino and Ford to you and me), it's not as if she's been living the life of a hermit. But it's true, she hasn't the foggiest who Robbie is. Hailed as the new Naomi and with fine, gazelle-like stature, Willis doesn't know her Knebworth from her kneecaps. Her main concern these days is her four-year-old daughter.

At 23, Willis is the current darling of fashion. She's only six months into what looks like being a very long modelling career, but already she has snagged an exclusive contract with Gucci and shot for the style bibles French Vogue, i-D and 10. To have not only Testino but also David LaChapelle and Ellen Von Unwerth chasing after you within weeks of being in the industry is every model's dream. 'I got the French Vogue shoot with Mario three weeks after I arrived in London,' she says. 'I didn't even know who he was then. When I found out I was shocked that I was working with one of the top photographers in the world. The next week I got Gucci. I screamed when I found out!'

Willis grew up in downtown Kingston, Jamaica. With an absent mother and a father who was unfit to look after his family, Willis and her 22 siblings were brought up in various boarding houses. When Willis became a mother at 19 she was dancing for a living and struggling to make ends meet. Deciding she had to make a better life for her daughter, Tatiana, Willis moved to London in search of an agent. 'I was a wannabe model,' she jokes. Despite the fact that she was rejected by 11 agencies, Mario Testino took her under his wing and showed her the ropes. 'Mario is so great because he really works with me. He's like my dad,' she says of her mentor.

Today, Willis is something of a celebrity herself in her homeland. 'I'm in a very privileged position now. I've gained the respect of the people in Jamaica, and besides all the fun things like travelling first class and staying in amazing hotels, the great thing about my life right now is that I can provide a good life and an education I never had for my daughter. That's the most important thing to me..."

Photos courtesy of Pride Magazine