The Face! THE Cast Interviews!


We were huge fans of The Face even before it aired on Oxygen exactly a month ago today.  Imagine our immense bliss when we discovered the coaches were three of our all time favorite supermodels; Naomi Campbell, Coco Rocha and Karolina Kurkova! We were even more excited when we found out that Nigel Barker, famed photographer and judge on America’s Next Model, was the host.  It also didn’t hurt that two of the contestants were girls we already knew quite well.  We had recently named Ebony Smith as the Sexiest Woman in 2012 in Indianapolis on our annual Sexy List and Brittany Mason had been a long-time friend who also officiated our wedding less than two years ago in Las Vegas! Needless to say, we were ready for the show to begin!

Since that first night, we have loved watching the coaches develop relationships with their girls and give them great advice, whether they win or lose.  And although we had some favorites before the show began, we’ve each found favorites of our own as the show has progressed! The raw vulnerability of both the contestants and the coaches has made us instant fans! Find out what the girls had to say below about their experiences on the show, who they thought was their stiffest competition and who was the toughest judge!



Aleksandra Dubrovskaya



1.  If you were a movie, what would be your title?

I would be the girl from the country who wouldn’t back down. That’s who I really am.

2.   How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

I won a local beauty pageant in my home town and the prize was a contract with a big agency in Moscow.

3.  How do you define sexy?

Sexy is not only physical and how someone looks on the outside its also about feeling good inside confident and having positive energy. 

4.  Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

Margaux had a great unique look and was very focused I thought she would be hard to beat.

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

Naomi was probably the toughest judge because she was intimidating and demanding.  I learned that with hard work and determination I can be successful in this industry.


Jocelyn Chew



1.  If you were a movie, what would be your title?

The honest girl that loves sharks.

2.  How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

Since I was around 11 years old I had a dream of modeling. I just went after my dream myself!

3.  How do you define sexy?

I think there’s a lot of different ways to define sexy, and a lot of ways to show sexy. To me, the most important part is your confidence in yourself. I think self-confidence is really sexy.

4.  Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

I don’t want to compare myself to 11 other girls that are nothing like me. I think the biggest challenge will be within myself… living with 11 other girls while maintaining my sanity… keeping my composure, and not forgetting to keep my eye on the prize!

5.  Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

The toughest judge on the panel for me was Naomi Campbell. Not just because Naomi was my coach but because she has tough love. Also, I didn’t spend much time with the other judges. Naomi really understands me as a person, and knows that she needs to be a little hard on me to help me reach my full potential. She’s amazing!


Madeline Armstrong



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

The Girl Who Dared To Dream (So corny haha)

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

I was scouted when I was 15, whilst I was shopping with my mum. I had just returned from a school camp and was tired and wearing sweatpants, definitely not looking my best! When the lady asked if I was a model, I laughed in her face!

3. How do you define sexy?

Sexy is being confident. As cliche as it sounds, it’s an absolute necessity. But there is a huge difference between being sure of yourself and being a show pony. I think you need to find what it is about yourself that makes you special, whether it’s a skill or being a goofball (which is a skill in my books!) and own it.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

I am really not a competitive person, (which I know seems crazy considering I’m on a competitive show) but I always try to focus on myself and what I could do better, as opposed to what someone else did or didn’t do. I find it’s less negative and hindering to yourself as a person, which ultimately will get you further. Not the juiciest answer I know, but it’s true!

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

I’m sure everyone would be expecting this answer to be Naomi, and don’t get me wrong, she is a tough cookie! But Coco surprised me (in a good way) by how tough she was. She taught me that it’s ok to have your own beliefs, your morals that you won’t budge on no matter who wants you to, and still be successful. Our industry is not always the kindest or most accepting, so I really admire that in her, and will make sure to remember and apply it to my own career.


Margaux Snell



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

If I were a movie my title would be “The Unexpected Girl”. At first glance people think I’m very down to earth, quiet, kind of shy, and I am all of those things. I mostly keep to myself and only speak when spoken to at jobs, at least until I’m really comfortable around people, but the second I get in front of the camera that all changes. I feel free when I model. I like to move around, create a lot of expressions, and do quirky poses. I guess I like to “play” when I model. There is definitely a whole other side of me that people only get to see when I’m working. I guess I’m just really passionate about what I do, and I kind of have to be since I’ve been doing it for almost nine years.

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

My mom heard an ad on the radio when we lived in Georgia, for agency looking for “child models”. Growing up people had always told her I should model, so she took me in. They loved me and I started working right away. She would drive me to castings an hour away from home to Atlanta and I would do photo shoots for Target, JCPenney, and Neiman Marcus when I was only 9 years old.

3.  How do you define sexy?

I think “sexy” is confidence. It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing seven layers of clothing or absolutely nothing, as long as you’re confident it will show, and I think that is extremely sexy! I myself have had times where I’m still a little nervous when I model but it has nothing to do with how I look or what I’m wearing. I’m usually more affected by the people around me on set and the “vibe” they are giving off. If I have a good, respectful, fun crew it makes the job 100 percent easier and more enjoyable because I can feel comfortable about just being myself. 

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

Hmmm… that’s a good question. I would have to say Zi Lin and Devyn. They’re both stunning, obviously, all the girls in the house are, but it’s mostly because they are so TALL! They tower over me! Also, Devyn can be very strong which is intimidating at times and Zilin’s walk is like nothing I’ve ever seen!

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

Well none of the women are “judges”, they’re called “coaches”, and the toughest out of all of them is Naomi Campbell by far. She knows what she wants, and what it takes to make it in this industry, but I think she also just really wants to win, and wants her team to do well. At times I think she lashes out at the contestants and other coaches only because she is SUPER competitive, not just for the sake of being mean. 


Sandra Woodley



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

The movie would be about my life. How I started from the bottom making my way to the top.

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

Started out doing fashion shows within my community.

3. How do you define sexy?

Being confident in your own skin.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

I was my biggest competition. Being hard on myself sometimes I feel like I’m my worst critic.

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

I would say Naomi Campbell, but I take it as constructive criticism..Naomi has a lot of experience in the industry so I definitely trust and believe everything she told me.


Luo Zi Lin



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

The girl who believes Life is a Choice.

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

It is always something I wanted to do.

3. How do you define sexy?

Personality, heart and body need to be charming! Independent and work hard.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

Myself! I’m quiet shy, sometimes I’m feeling lonely and I don’t trust myself can do well.

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

Hehe, Naomi of course! Sometimes I will feel so afraid to talk to her! I look up to her but I really can learn a lot from her! Especially I knew how hard working she did!


Stephanie Lalanne



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

Little Fish, High-Fashion Pond.

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

Trying out for The Face was my first venture into the world of modeling. Other than that I’ve always been a fan of fashion, models, and magazines!

3. How do you define sexy?

Confidence is sexy (cliche, I know but really). You don’t necessarily have to show skin to be sexy. To me it’s about leaving a little bit to the imagination.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

Pretty much every girl is my biggest competition! I’m just trying to survive out here and hopefully get to a point where I thrive. Not easy going up against so many talented ladies!

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

I would say Naomi is definitely a tough judge. She doesn’t take crap from anyone and she definitely doesn’t like to see weakness. I learned there’s no room for nonsense if you want to go far. Be impervious to what people say and keep moving!


Marlee Nichols



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

Where There Is No Struggle, There Is No Strength.

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a model, but didn’t get into modeling until much later on. My mom was very adamant that education was my top priority.

3. How do you define sexy?

I think that confidence and intelligence are sexy.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

I definitely felt that Zi Lin was my biggest competition. She has years of experience and one of the most incredible catwalks I’ve ever seen.

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

Naomi was the toughest judge in my opinion. She is very blunt and straight to the point. If she feels a certain way, she will let it be known. I learned that you can’t take things personally; you have to listen to what the judges say and use it as constructive criticism.


Brittany Mason



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

 The Girl Who Defied All Odds

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

I remember looking at all of my moms magazines when I was a little girl. Especially Victoria’s  Secret, I would look at the magazines over and over again just daydreaming of possibilities. I thought the girls in the magazine embodied the kind of woman I wanted to become someday. I also fell in love with fashion and the artistic side of photography. (I’ve always been an artist, drawing, painting, writing, etc) I realized a career in modeling could be my ticket to leave my small hometown and live the life I wanted. I was clueless on how to start modeling and I didn’t know anything or anyone in the industry. But at a young age, I had a lot of passion, and determination. I developed an entrepreneur mind and all I knew was if I wanted to model I would need photos and experience in front of the camera. I began to do a lot of homework and research. At 15 I was working  my first job at an old restaurant called Penguin Point in my hometown for $5.15 an hour. I was named employee of the year and a photographer had to take my picture for the restaurant. I took the opportunity to ask him to take more photos of me. I then began contacting local wedding photographers and asked them to do the same, gaining more experience in front of the camera, trying to build a portfolio. I also took a makeup and photography class to give gain more of an advantage. At 16 I signed with my first agency and that’s when I ventured off to NYC to turn my dream on becoming a fashion model in to a reality!

3. How do you define sexy?

Sexy to me is all about confidence. Confidence in who you, the way you look, and your presence. If you have something “odd”, “unique”, or maybe even something you feel is your weakness…turn it in to a strength and use it. You have to be comfortable in your own skin and own what God has given you. When you do that you naturally embody and project a sexiness that is captivating and cannot be ignored.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

That is hard to say who is the “biggest” competition. There is a lot of competition in the house and we are all different types of models with very different looks that are appealing to different clients. I do have to say I absolutely love my team and I couldn’t have picked a better group of girls. But, this is a competition and when you lose you have to make sure you are the best on your team so you are not the one sent in the elimination room. It really is an interesting dynamic because you are working together as a team but still competing against one another. So if I have to choose anyone it would be someone from my team. Aside from myself I think Margaux is the strongest model from Team Coco.

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

The toughest judge hands down is Naomi! They are all critical because the stakes are high but Naomi is one of the most competitive and passionate people I have ever met. I mean come on, we are talking about the legendary Naomi Campbell here! She wants to win! I learned a lot from my entire experience on the show. I have an immense amount of respect for Naomi and all of the things she has accomplished in her life. I feel a new found strength within myself after working with her. I am so grateful and feel humbled that I was handpicked to be part of this show and to be working with three major icons that I have always admired. I hope to make Indiana proud!


Ebony Smith



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

So my guy nicknamed me babycakes because I’m obsessed with my bum so it would be “babycakes tackles the world”.

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

I was actually introduced through dancing. I started at an early age modeling for a dance wear magazine.

3. How do you define sexy?

Sexy definitely has to come from your inner confidence. By that I mean knowing that you are amazing but not always throwing it in the air. When you are confident people automatically associate that with sex appeal.  Well I do anyway.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

I have two; Margaux and Devyn. Both of them are fierce and aren’t going to just settle for second best.

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

I’d have to say Naomi was the most intimidating.  All of the coaches are tough. But all in all I learned to have thick skin!


Devyn Abdullah



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

“The life of a perfect imperfection”

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

I was introduced to the modeling world by the lovely woman that scouted me; my personal friend and mentor, casting director Karen Lee.

3. How do you define sexy?

Sexy to me are people that are both humble and original. It’s something that I’ve always been attracted to. There’s nothing more sexy then someone that is so humble and secure with themselves that they don’t give a damn what anyone thinks, making being original look so easy.

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

So far I think Zi Lin and Ebony are biggest competition in the house for me. Seriously look at Zi Lin she freakin gorgeous lol….and on top of that she’s one of the only girls in the house that is closest to my height.  She’s the second tallest girl in the house with me being the first. Its like she seems to already be programmed for it, having so much experience in pageants. And With Ebony I know the power of being a mother and how much determination and motivation it puts in you. Ebony has to be a strong and willing woman for her to be raising two children on her own. It’s something that I can relate to with her but, knowing this I also know I need to look out for her.

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

I would say Naomi Campbell is the hardest coach on the panel. She plays the role of the tough mommy. She wants to see you succeed and be the best you can be so she gives you that tough love if you don’t.

I’ve learned that being a model is more then being a pretty face and taking pretty pictures. It’s something that you have to study, you must study you angles what looked best on you face and your proportions, you must always be presentable, and most of all you must know learn and network in the modeling industry. It’s not just about booking the jobs you must study the photographer who’s shooting the gig. what his style of shooting is? Get an idea of what type of vibe you need to latch on to during the shoot. Or if you book a fashion show research the designer know what he or she looks like so you can introduce yourself and build a business relationship with them and etc.


Christy Nelson



1. If you were a movie, what would be your title?

“The Ambassador of Kickyourassador”

2. How were your introduced to the world of modeling?

I was 13 and a shop owner came up and asked me to model dresses for her shop. I also used to black out the teeth of the models in the JC Penny catalog with a marker.  That’s the earliest reference I have.

3. How do you define sexy?

Drummer in a rock band?

4. Who is your biggest competition in the house and why?

Zi Lin.  She is literally the biggest – like 6’2″ or something….

5. Who was the toughest judge on the panel? What is something important you learned from them?

The toughest judge was Naomi.  She doesn’t sugar coat anything and will tell you exactly what she thinks. She’s an honest person and I respect her so much for it. She taught me to be more confident in myself and my abilities.


Thanks Girls!

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Costello Tagliapietra…THE Interview!


Collectively, Costello Tagliapietra, as a fashion label, have created lines that are delicate, feminine, soft and incredibly perfect for any woman that loves designers who know how to make a woman feel beautiful.  Their knowledge on what works on a woman’s body has allowed them to create, season after season, lines that consistently place them on top of the “must attend” shows during fashion weeks. As individuals, they are unified in a masculine mystique and history of being trained by their grandmothers.  Jeffery Costello has experienced the fashion, music, and art world, expanding his personal way of expression and pool of inspiration. Robert Tagliapietra has been part of the New York fashion industry since a young age and together they’ve become a power couple and  New York fashion house that’s loved by many.   What we love most about these fashionistas, on top of their eye for creation and design, is their personal style and outlook on the industry.  They dress for themselves, live to be happy and create to bring joy to women around the world.


1. Introduce us to Jeffrey and Robert in 7 words or less each.

Dressmakers, husbands, music-obsessed, video gamers, painters, round and friendly

2. Who is the girl who wears Costello Tagliapietra?

She is someone who is looking for something to express strength, femininity and romance and an inner sensuality that comes from confidence and comfort.

3. How did you meet and go into business together?

We met in 1994 at the Sound Factory in New York a few months before it closed down.  We were introduced (both too shy to speak to one another) through our friend Lauren Rosselli Johnson.  Robert was studying painting at Parsons and Jeffrey was working with musicians and actresses on wardrobes and costumes.  At the time we met, Jeffrey was working on Madonna’s Bedtime Story video and Robert happily assisted… so began the working relationship.

4. How do you separate business from personal when it comes to your relationship?

You cannot always do so, but you learn how to at least separate it mentally by limiting when you can discuss work related issues.

5. As designers, how do you think you’ve influenced the current fashion industry?

We hope we have influenced it by bringing a certain fluidity and femininity back to fashion without the obvious archetypes.  Our aesthetic always leans towards the minimal but at the core what we strive for is beauty and romanticism.

6. Do you believe you have changed to fit into the fashion industry? Why or why not?

Not sure we ever really acknowledged this idea.  If what you mean is our personal look, we have always been ourselves. If you mean the collections, sure, you always have to listen to your clients and not just design in a bubble.  Fashion is a commercial business and the intention is to sell clothes to people and our job is to ensure these people feel happy, feminine and confident when they wear these clothes.  Sometimes your favorite dress is not always the best seller.  Of course when the two are the same you are happiest.

7. If you were each a kind of fabric, which one would you be and why?

Personally we would both be worn flannels; soft and cuddly.


8. Jeffrey, what’s your favorite season to design for and why?

We both love spring, there is an inherent lightness associated that works extremely well with our aesthetic.

9. Robert, which starlet or celebrity would be your ideal client?

We both have always loved Shelly Duvall, her balance of beauty and quirky strikes a chord in us.

10. Where do you pull inspiration for each line you create?

It really starts with an indefinable mood or feeling that becomes the foundation for the collection, and the process of figuring that intangible thing out and defining it through shape, color and print.  We like to absorb everything we see and hear and filter that through what we make.

11. How do you define sexy?

Should be romantic and sensual and come equally from how clothes get put on to how they are taken off.

12. What is the sexiest…

City? Tokyo, Japan

Hotel? Standard NY

Designer? Poiret

Model? Too many to name

Place to kiss? Bedroom

13. What is a piece of advice you would give to a young designer trying to make it in the fashion industry?

Be prepared to be flexible and listen to everyone around you and then most importantly listen to yourself.

14. What’s next for Costello Tagliapietra?

Building the world of C&T one step at a time….. and some even more accessible surprises!

15. What are your three simple luxuries?

Early morning Walks in the woods or along the beach, our bulldog Sam and food!

Thanks guys!!!


Check back in for all of our style reviews and interviews in our Style section!

Also check out our interview with Project Runway judge and Creative Director of Marie Claire Nina Garcia!

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Andrew Christian…The Saint of Sexy! The Interview

We have been such huge fans of Andrew Christian for so long that when we had the opportunity to interview him and find out what ticks behind the mind of the biggest name in men’s underwear, we jumped at the chance.  What we found was a well accomplished designer who, besides loving the male form, has paid his dues in the fashion industry and now stands alone as an iconic industry himself.  He’s also been featured on several reality shows including The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency and Bravo’s The Fashion Show, making him one of the most talented and sexiest reality stars of all time.  If his underwear and this interview aren’t proof enough that Andrew Christian is the Saint of Sexy, go to his website and check out his incredibly hot videos as well as his inclusive line of men’s clothing.  Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!

1.  Define yourself using only 7 words.   

Fashionable, shy, friendly, respectful, fun, inquisitive, mysterious.

2.  Although your clothing line has been around for more than 10 years, your men’s underwear and swimwear is what you are most known for creating.  What about your swimwear and underwear puts you above the rest?

Andrew Christian is all about fit! I spend countless hours with my team making sure the fit on my underwear is the best it can be. Underwear is the closest thing to your body so you want to make sure it fits correctly and feels amazing on.  The Almost Naked line is the most popular and I hear it all the time that they are the most comfortable underwear you can own. It’s also one of my personal favorites.

3.  You’ve become an icon in the gay community.  Who are your gay icons?

I am a big fan of John Waters.  I love his edginess and the fact that he  isn’t scared to take chances.

4. You recently did a video on Vimeo for gay pride.  What does gay pride mean to you?

I think it is important to love yourself and therefore since being gay is a part of who I am, then I am proud of it.

5. What do you look for in a partner?

Honesty, a sense of humor and a nice ass.

6. Can you tell us about your body enhancing underwear and what inspired you to make them?

FlashLIFT is our latest innovation in Butt Lifting and Contouring Technology for those seeking the perfect bubble-butt. I noticed at the gym how hard people worked to try and get the perfect rear end. Doing endless lunges and squats and thought wouldn’t it be great if I could design a pair of underwear that did that automatically without all of the hard work.  After months of experimentation FlashLift was born. It’s you only better.  Show-It Support Technology consisting of a hidden “comfy cup”. This horseshoe shaped inner cup is lined by soft elastic that gently aids in the lifting and support. It doesn’t matter if your package is already ample, you can always be bigger, or just have the appearance of a bigger bulge.  Women have been wearing body enhancing under garments for years.  It just made sense that men should be able to do the same.

7.  What was the very first thing you ever designed?

My life, I believe your life is what you make of it and you can control what enters your life, positive or negative.

8. If you could only listen to 3 CD’s for the rest of your life and they couldn’t be mixed, what would they be?

Madonna “American Life” , Kylie Minoque “Greatest Hits” Nikki Minaj Pink Friday.

9. What is a book you would recommend to a stranger?

The Power, it’s kind of new world and Zen and all that, but it makes a lot of practical sense.

10.How did you get into the fashion industry?

I Started by designing clothes for myself and friends in high school. Eventually I got noticed and recognized enough that I started selling my designs in local boutiques. Actually that’s how I put myself through fashion school. It wasn’t always easy to make ends meet, but I can tell you I sure did have a lot of fun in those early days and wouldn’t trade it in for anything.

11. Who are your 3 favorite male designers?

Karl Lagerfeld b/c he’s so prolific, Alexander McQueen b/c he is revolutionary, and Versace back in the day when Naomi, Linda, and Christy were gracing his runways. It doesn’t get much better than that.

12. What do you think about gay celebrities who refuse to come out of the closet?

Coming out is a personal thing, but I feel as a celebrity they have an opportunity to set a good example for the gay youth population. It’s a shame that they or society in this day in age are still not able to deal with this issue.

13.  What do you think are the 2 biggest issues facing the gay community?

Equal rights will always be a huge issue for the gay community.  I would like to see gay marriage legalized nationally.  The other issue seems to be gay kids getting bullied.  It breaks my heart to hear about the suicides of these young kids.

14. What are your 3 simple luxuries?

1. Eating organically. I believe you get what you put into your body. I can totally feel the difference when I am eating healthy and clean. 2. Fragrance, it makes me feel just a little bit more dapper. It was Coco Chanel who said a woman without fragrance is vulgar. Well not to say a man without fragrance is vulgar, but I think there is something to be said about a well groomed man. 3. Time, it’s the only thing in this world you can’t buy any more of.

15. Tell us about your experience on The Fashion Show.

It was overall a decent experience.  The show was a lot more scripted than I would have expected it to be and of course I wish I would have stayed on longer. I’m just glad America could see what I could really do as a designer and especially designing women’s clothing. I even surprised myself about how well my designs came out. The best was when socialite Tinsley Mortimer said she loved my dress and would wear it out to a party.

16. What’s the secret to becoming an Andrew Christian model?

Workout and don’t eat haha! Seriously though, there has to be a lot said for personality. You can have the hottest guy in the world but if he is not personable, the general public will not identify with him.

17.  What would we have to do to have you make a special, custom designed boys of raannt, matching underwear for marriage equality in honor of our wedding last year?

You should have contacted me before the wedding.  Getting married in Andrew Christian underwear, now that would have been hot.

18.  Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Actually, the male body inspires me.  Therefore, the models are a source of inspiration.

19.  What would be the theme song to your life?

Inner City “Good Life” Such a great and classic uplifting song.

20. Boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?

Depends on my mood, but I have been into briefs lately.

Thanks buddy!

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless. Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!


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*Image Source: Andrew Christian



Project Runway’s Althea Harper!

We are huge fans of Project Runway.  We’ve watched every season and every episode while rooting for our favorites from the sidelines on our couch.  The premiere of Season 10, the newest installment of the reality show, will air Thursday, July 19th on the Lifetime network.  In the past, our obsession with reality television’s elite fashion show has allowed us to interview famed Project Runway judge Nina Garcia and now we’ve had the honor of interviewing our all-time favorite, Season 6 runner up Althea Harper.  Maybe we love her because she’s a native Midwesterner like ourselves or maybe we love her because she interned for two of our fashion idonl, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.  Either way, Althea Harper has proven she’s a powerful force in the fashion industry.  When we met her, we were absolutely blown away.  Although we expected her to be tall, she literally towered, almost like a skyscraper, above everyone else and definitely commanded respect and fascination.  Her soft nature interwoven with her strong opinion made us even bigger fans, wanting to interview her and find out more about what made her so capable of being strong, confident and not afraid to be sexy!

1. Introduce us to Althea Harper: the designer, the everyday women, and the newlywed.

I am a woman’s wear contemporary designer originally from the Midwest but now spend my time alternating between NYC and CT.  I have a strong passion for what I do and I truly believe that what a woman wears dictates how she feels and therefore what she accomplishes.  I am also a newlywed that loves my husband, friends and family!

2. When did you first know you wanted to become a fashion designer?

I have known that I wanted to be a fashion designer since I realized that there was an occupation that allowed you to draw clothes (of course that is about 5% of what I do). I love that you can use both sides of your brain- I can be creative but I also have to understand how to run a business.

3. What are three things we wouldn’t know by looking at you?

Three thing that you wouldn’t know by looking at me is that I LOVE pizza- I could probably eat it for every meal and I crave it all the time- unfortunately I am gluten intolerant and not supposed to eat it but it is my weakness.  I completed in the Junior Olympics for track and field on my AAU track team and I’ve been one of the girls painted in latex at a Playboy party  – that always surprises people but I swear its more coverage then a bikini!

4. As you become more successful as a designer, who are the top three designers you look up to and why?

My best experience was working for Alexander McQueen- not only for his talent but how he treated people.  I admire Zac Posen for the same reason.  I love that Rachel Roy is not only a great designer but also style icon.

5. What kind of woman wears Althea Harper?

Strong, confident and not afraid to be sexy!

6. How do you keep a fresh look in fashion and from where do you pull inspiration?

I pull inspiration from anything- I never know what is going to inspire me the next season. Staying fresh is following your creativity and being aware of trends but not living by them.

7. Season 6 of Project Runway seems so long ago. Tell us about your day to day experience of what the show and the competition were like?

The show was very intense and it was 7 days a week 24 hours a day.  We really didn’t get any time off.  We also usually slept less then 5 hours a night. It really was sewing and designing all day long. The days we had eliminations could also go till 2am.

8. Out of all the contestants on that season, who do you still keep in touch with?

I love Ra’mon and Christopher is very supportive.  I keep in touch with Malvin as well and run into Carol Hannah and Nicholas in NYC.

9. Tim Gunn seems, in the show, to be a great mentor for the designers. How much time do you guys actually spend with him and how helpful is he?

We spent a fair amount of time with him and he was a great mentor.  He kept the competition real, and reminded my of a professor.

10. The competition seems to become tougher and tougher each season.  What is something that you think the judges look for in a designer?

The ability to not only design but understand how to construct a garment, stay in trend while still being different and of course it takes a certain type of person who can handle being filmed all the time.

11. We would love to see you on the screen again! Any TV projects in the works? 

There are a few.  Can’t give any details though due to contract restrictions…so boring I know!

12.  The new season of Project Run way is about to start – what piece of advice would you give to these new designers? 

Stay confident!!  You might not agree with all the judges decisions or have the support you want from the fellow designers but it is important to stay true to yourself!

 13. How do you define sexy?


14. What do you believe is the sexiest city in the world? Sexiest hotel? Sexiest club? Sexiest designer? 

Sexiest city- Ibiza

Sexiest hotel- The Standard Miami 

Sexiest club- XS in Vegas

Sexiest designer – me and Tom Ford

15. In the celebrity world, who would your ideal “muse” be and why?

Penelope Cruz- she is everything! Smart, gorgeous, sexy and talented!

16. For all the brides to be, what are the top 3 dos and don’ts when preparing for your wedding?

1- have no regrets- if u want a low bust line on your dress but are worried what your grandma might think- just do it! ( as long as its not TOO low)! You want to look you best and feel your best do do whatever will make u feel that way – even if it’s not traditional.  I think regret is the worst feeling and the last you want to associate with your wedding day.

2- don’t sweat the small stuff- as long as there is a open bar and a DJ the rest will all just be a bonus! People remember the great time that they had- not the detail of the china.

3- have as many bridesmaids as you want! I had 13!! But they were all special to me and I wouldn’t go back and change a thing- I love that they were all part of my day!!

17. How do you define style and how would someone find or exhibit their own sense of style?

Style is not something you can copy from a magazine- but a feeling and look of how you put all your pieces together. It’s a very individualized thing.

18. When you travel, what are five items you must have with you at all times?


Sketch book and pencils 

Good book

Moisture spray for my skin

A gossip mag (my weakness)

19. To all of the guys and girls, young or old, who dream of being a fashion designer…what is your best piece of advice?

It’s not an easy road but with enough passion you can get through anything!

20. What are three of your simple luxuries? 

A great eye cream and moisturizer, my Apple products, and a high quality (ie designer, quality leather, etc) over sized purse. 

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury.

Check in with us every week for our review of Project Runway!

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*Images Provided by Althea Harper


More Than Just a Crown! Behind the Miss USA Pageant with Former Contestant Brittany Mason!

Every year we get super excited about THE Miss USA Pageant! It doesn’t hurt that several of our friends have been contestants in the pageant and for years we’ve been privy to all of the inside scoop behind the stage.  We thought it would be fun to catch up with one of our best friends, Brittany Mason, who is now modeling and acting full time.  Recently she was in an episode of Two and a Half Men as well as being on the cover of the May 2012 issue of Las Vegas Magazine! And she’s also pretty progressive.  This supermodel married us in Las Vegas last year, making her the first model, and Miss USA title holder, to marry a gay couple!  How’s that for supporting same sex marriage! We called her up and asked her a few questions about those final moments of the pageant and what really goes on behind the scenes!

1. What year were you in the Miss USA pageant? What state were you from? Did you place and if so what place?

I had the honor of representing the great state of Indiana! I ended up finished in 7th place at Miss USA.


2. What were you thinking minutes before you walked on stage that day?

I spoke to my family before I went backstage to get ready…we prayed together. I just wanted peace of mind before I went out there. Before I went on stage I just kept thinking over and over…”This is it. This is what I have been working towards and preparing for, for so many years. I know I sincerely want the job as Miss USA for the right reasons…and now it’s time to show the world why. I am ready to be Miss USA”


3. What are 4 fun facts people don’t typically know about the pageant?

1.) You only get ONE free day with your family and friends! You are competing for nearly three weeks before final night…and your schedule is completely jam packed. Usually you have to wake up at 6 or 7am and you don’t get to bed until midnight! 2.) A lot of the fun activities they show during the telecast that the girls did….like a day at the spa, or a day at a water park, isn’t all actually real. I never got a facial or a massage…that was all just for the camera. The pageant has sponsors and they have to show highlights of the host city for visitors. 3.) Your personal interview with the prelim judges is literally only 4 minutes. The judges really don’t have much time to actually get to know you…4.) Miss Delaware USA has never placed in finals, back in 2009 Miss Delaware USA Katie Banaszak pointed this fact out…I was really hoping she would be the first to break that!

4. What are some swimsuit tricks only pageant girls know?

We glue our swimsuit bottoms to our butts!!!! Nobody wants a wedgie on live television! Also bronzer, a little bit of shimmer in the right areas to show more muscle tone and what I like to call…”chicken filets” for some extra cleavage.


5. What was your favorite prelim event that week?

It’s hard….I love every part of competing. I love rocking out in a swimsuit onstage, I love the elegance of evening gown, and I love personal interview because it’s your chance to really win them over.


6. What hotel was it hosted in and did they do any fun activities for you?

When I competed it was also at Planet Hollywood. I really enjoyed a lot of the events. I loved dinner at KOI and going to see Le Reve at the Wynn. I also really enjoyed the Best Buddies night. I wanted to do more stuff like that and for some reason the Miss Universe Organization did not assign me a buddy…


7. If you could go back and do it over again, would you?

Hm… I am glad I competed. I wish I could go back in time and compete again with all the life experience I’ve had and knowing what I do now. I am more proud of my work as Miss Indiana USA and all of charity organizations I worked with. I believe in bringing a purpose to the crown. Too many people get caught up in the glamour and glory that they forget about the important things that should never be forgotten and always taken into consideration when choosing a titleholder. While it was a wonderful experience at Miss USA that I wouldn’t trade for anything, I see the Miss Universe Organization since competing.  Although I am grateful for the opportunity I now understand the organization is a business just like any other business.  I would recommend girls see this as a stepping stone rather than the end goal. 

8. What advice would you give the girls in the pageant tonight?

Don’t focus on all the rumors or gossip of who’s going to win, who will make finals, or it’s rigged. Don’t allow this to affect your performance. ENJOY EVERY MOMENT! It goes so fast so the most important thing is to savor every moment of the entire experience. I’ve made friends and created so many opportunities through people and experiences I’ve had from Miss USA. If you apply yourself, use this experience, and remember that once the Miss USA competition is over, it is not the end. It is only the beginning.


9. What advice would you give to girls wanting to be pageant queens someday?

BE YOURSELF!!! You do not have to spend insane amounts of money on training, gowns,shoes, etc. Once you get to the Miss USA or Miss America level all of that becomesimportant…but find sponsors, and when you win state sponsors will be provided.However when I first started competing in pageants, I won with a bridesmaids gown and an old used swimsuit. I never had any training, that’s something I couldn’t afford. I was competing against girls who had all of that and I still won. The key is to really own who you are with confidence.

I always say, bring a purpose to the crown! I competed for a few different reasons, but my main focus to win was so I could spread more awareness on bullying (which was rarely talked about at the time). I wanted to work with kids and teach them to really embrace being unique or different, and that everyone deserves respect. Find a cause that means something to you. As a title holder people will be listening to what you have to say…don’t do it in vain.  With a crown you have an even larger opportunity to make a difference! The possibilities are endless!


Thanks darling!

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!

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*Photographs courtesy of Brittany Mason.

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Lauren Conrad…Dancing Humbly Under a Paper Crown!

On September 28th, 2004, the world was introduced to Lauren Conrad as she walked the beach and narrated the opening of the MTV reality show Laguna Beach. We instantly fell in love with her as she slightly tucked her hair behind her ears and with an innocent smile turned her deep eyes into a brand of their own. In a world filled with reality stars and would be stars, she is the exception. Lauren has revolutionized pop culture, utilizing her foundation as a reality star on the MTV shows Laguna Beach and The Hills to transition her dreams themselves into reality. Now, she is a New York Times best selling author of several books including a series titled L.A. Candy. As fashion icon to the young, she is also a fashion designer with two fashion lines; LC by Lauren Conrad and her newest line, Paper Crown. Lauren also has an all inclusive, extremely impressive web site, simply called Lauren Conrad, which includes daily posts from Lauren herself, fashion and beauty advice, information about her fashion lines and books, decorating tips and a book club! There just doesn’t seem to be much she can’t do showing that maybe a lot of people underestimated her as just an Orange County teen with pipe dreams of fame. Quite the contrary. In a world where proof of true talent and earned stardom are measured by determination and success, Lauren is a princess…dancing humbly under a paper crown!

1. Describe Lauren Conrad; the person behind the brand.
I am 25. I live in LA with 2 of my best friends and our dog Chloe. I am a loyal and trusting friend. I am shy when I meet people. I am someone who is aware of how very fortunate I am. I hate surprises. I love planning parties for people. I enjoy being very busy. I love to travel. I am a nice person, but scold people that litter. I love being surrounded by my friends, mostly because they are all much cooler than I am….

2. After having most of your life played out so publicly, how do you keep some things, like your love life, so personal?
I really value having my privacy. Keeping my personal life private is special to me and it keeps me grounded. When you give so much of who you are to others its important to have things that are just for you. Things that only you have an opinion on.

3. Do you feel there are certain areas in which reality television has gone too far or exposed things, which shouldn’t have been exposed?
To be honest, I think everyone is ultimately in control of what they share. People should expose what is comfortable to them.

4. Have you ever thought about siting behind the camera and producing your own shows?

Yes,definitely. After working in front of the camera for so many years you start to image how you would do things on the other side. It’s certainly something I am planning to explore.

5. What are four small details about you that the world doesn’t already know?

1) I have a small chip on one of my front teeth. 2) I sing when I am alone in my car. Loudly. 3)I brush my teeth in the shower every morning because I’m usually running late. 4) I haven’t checked my voice mail in 4 years.

6. With Sugar and Spice, you have now written three L.A. Candy novels. You are currently working on a fourth fiction book. Where is the inspiration for this new book from?
My next book will be part of a three-part series called The Fame Game. It’s a spin-off from the L.A. Candy books inspired by an L.A. Candy character, Madison Parker. Madison is a callous fame-chaser who epitomizes everything ugly and wrong about the entertainment industry. It’s sure to be a juicy read…

7. How does it feel to have your books on the New York Times Bestseller list?
It’s unexpected and a little nerve wracking. Mostly, it’s an honor and a dream come true. I am so grateful to my fans and readers for their support.

8. You have defined your new clothing line, Paper Crown, as a collection for those who like to play dress up in a grown up world. What kind of girl wears Paper Crown and how do you mix whimsy and imagination with wearable clothing.
The Paper Crown girl is charming, fun and flirty, yet sophisticated. She’s a dreamer and is never afraid to wear jewels during the day. And most importantly, she knows who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. The look and feel of the line is clean with cool and pretty details. I wanted it to be polished looking, but still youthful.

9. How do you define sexy?
Sexy to me is being confident and comfortable in your own skin.

10. What is the sexiest city in the world? Sexiest beach? Sexiest restaurant? sexiest club? Sexiest designer?
Sexiest city is definitely Paris. Sexiest beach is in Cabo. Club is Club Teddys. Designer, Tom Ford.

11. You seem to have become this generation’s “Jennifer Aniston” of hair trends, meaning that anything you do to your hair become a trend. How do you keep your look young and fresh? Who do you rely on for fashion and beauty advice?
Well, thank you—that is such a nice compliment! Wow… To be honest, I’ve taken an interest in my health, so keeping my hair healthy from the inside out is important. There’s nothing lovelier than lush, healthy hair. Also, its important no to over style your hair which damages it. Needless to say, aside from healthy hair I think it’s important to mix it up and try new hairstyles. Just remember it’s important to frame your fashion and beauty sense around what works for you. It’s not all about trends.

12. Without knowing who it was to, what was the last thing you texted?
I texted a friend about going away for a girls weekend to palm springs.

13. We’ve followed you from the Laguna Beach days. In all of that time, are there any moments you regret or would have played out differently for the world to see.
I don’t regret the past; it got me to where I am today. And I’m thankful for that.

14. Of your co-stars, who are you still close with and see on a regular basis?

Lo is my roommate and bestie, so I’d have to say she is the closest.

15. If none of this had happened and you had simply graduated from high school, what do you think you would be doing today? Where do you want to be in 10 years?
I Would be working towards becoming a designer. It is and always has been my dream job.

16. If you were on death row for murder by beauty, what would you want as your last meal?

Pizza. But the good kind of pizza. The kind you find on the corner pizza shop in NYC and have to fold in half to eat. For dessert I would want Ice cream… So basically I have the same dinner request as a 5 year old. Pizza and ice cream.

17. What are three books, besides your own, that you would recommend to a close friend?

Definitely Bossypants by Tina Fey. We were just reading it for my Book Club. Also, Jacqueline Susann’s Valley of the Dolls was great—loved it! And any of Chelsea Handlers book. I am obsessed with all of them!

18. What are five things we could find in your purse at any time?

Lip balm, my Blackberry, red lipstick, loose face powder, and keys… not very exciting.

19. Boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?

Boxer briefs. I have a few pairs that I sleep in… you were asking about me, right?

Thanks LC…

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury.

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*Photos courtesy of Lauren Conrad.

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Nina Garcia’s Primitive Instinct

Photo Courtesy of Nina Garcia

Legs crossed tightly, pen in hand, she mentally critiques the contestants on Project Runway with a keen eye and an intricate sense of humor. We watch as she gently tucks her hair behind her ear, the other side falling in front of her eye as she chooses her words carefully and what we realize quickly is that we are in the audience of a style genius. We originally sought her out for this interview because, to us, she is the epitome of class. We only know what we have seen on our television screens and what we’ve read in her four books, the most recent, Nina Garcia’s Look Book, having just been published in 2010. Colombian born, educated in the United States at both Boston University and the Fashion Institute of Technology as well as being a world traveling connoisseur, she is a woman who apparently can float through time and space, continent to continent and yet retain the wisdom and beauty hidden in the small crook of her slight smile. Previously, she was the fashion director of Elle magazine and now holds the same position at Marie Claire magazine, allowing her to literally hold the ultimate position of directing the pulse of fashion and style to her readers. She has also been a judge on eight seasons of the award winning, fashion reality show, Project Runway. Not only does she hold hold these powerful positions, but she is also the wife of David Conrad and the mother of two sons, Lucas Alexander, born in 2007 and Alexander David born last November 29th, proving that actually, you can have it all. Her official website, Nina Garcia, presents with the same class and whimsy that she seems to carry from videos of fashion shows, notable and epic quotes, her favorite posts and of course style and fashion commentary. As she moves forward, family and fashion, we will continue to watch and relish the small intricacies, such as her hidden smirk and wildly gorgeous hair, which makes us love her so…

1. When looking at a new fashion designer, what are some things you look for that set one designer above the rest in being the next to follow?

I think there’s a word for that: “Instinct”. Somebody told me that to be old means to lose the ability to be surprised, and this, to be surprised, to see something unexpected on the runway it’s what sets one designer above the rest. As you can imagine, this is a very primitive instinct (that not only happens in fashion but also in movies, art, music), where you just feel that what’s happening in front of your eyes is something exceptional. I would have loved to be, for example, in 1863 at the Salon des Refusés where the first impressionist paintings were introduced to the world or when Picasso presented Les Demoiselles d’Avignon to the world. The same can be applied when the old Alexander McQueen presented his collections in Paris: we all went to his shows willing to be surprised.

2. How does your Colombian heritage contribute to your innate, fashion sense and success in the fashion industry?

Colombian women believe that physical presentation reflects the person you are on the inside. Women put a lot of time and effort into the way they present themselves. Growing up I was constantly surrounded by incredibly vibrant, confident, feminine women, women who knew who they were and what image they wanted to convey to the world.

3. Current fashion trends are displaying polka dots and color palettes. What are some current trends you think are overplayed and what trends have you been excited to see?

Overplayed: the 80’s!! So overplayed and done with.
Excited to see: anything except the 80’s please!

4. What do you believe will be the next, big fashion trend?

I think for Fall we will see: polka dots from spring will carry into fall, mod’s making a come back, long tail, minimalist.

5. How important do you think presenting ready to wear versus couture design in a runway show is to a fashion designers success?

It all depends on what you define as “success”. For some people success is equal to the number of sold-out items of your collection. For some other, “success” is defined by how many times your couture outfit has been seen in a magazine cover or by the blooming reviews your collection has got. “Success” as you can imagine is a very tricky word. I will say: it doesn’t matter to me if it’s couture or ready to wear if a designers conceives a great collection, that makes fashion move forward.

Photo Credit: Mark Abrahams
6. As one of the most well known fashion journalists, what is the best advice you can give to someone entering or trying to improve their career as a fashion journalist?

Always be on your toes, always be in the know. You never want to be the last person to hear about the news… always be ahead of the game.

7. In styling for a fashion show, what are the five most important things a stylist should consider?

1.) know your models: take down every measurement because you have to figure out which model should wear which look!
2.) always have a really well stock prop kit
3.) cohesive collection: there’s an inspiration so everything should all be a cohesive presentation
4.) do a pre-show run thru! Things may work out in your head but it might not always look the same in real life

8. What is essential in making an iconic, fashion model and who are three current models you would consider iconic?

unique look, recognizable face that becomes popular, personality, world renowned.

Newest ICONS: Lara Stone, Karlie Kloss, Freja Beha Erichsen, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Natasha Poly

ICONIC: Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Gisele Bundchen, Daria Werbowy, Karen Elson, Angela Lindvall, Natalia V, etc etc….

9. Who are three fashion designers who’s careers you would recommend to fashion students as impressive role models for success in the fashion industry?

Classic role models: Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent
More recent role models: Michael Kors, Prabal, Alexander Wang

10. What does a designer need to strive for to be on the cover of Marie Claire magazine?

Be daring! Be bold! Understand the woman’s body!

11. For any person, fashion noteworthy or not, what defines individual style and how can someone find their own individual style if they don’t feel they have one?

Individual style comes from within oneself. Being comfortable in your own skin, loving and owning your own body, being confident with who you are both inside and outside will help you define your own personal style. There are no rules, no seasons, it’s all about you. It’s how you feel its what you personally love and making it work for you!

Be Yourself.  Be Fearless.  Be Your Own Unexpected Luxury!

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Mike Ruiz…Getting Better with Age!!!

Mike Ruiz. Fashion and celebrity photographer on the level of famed Annie Lebowitz. Model. Actor. Judge on America’s Next Top Model and RuPaul’s Drag Race. Director. Reality television star on LOGO’s The A-List: New York. And of course, sex symbol. His website MIKE RUIZ PHOTOGRAPHY is a self-proclaimed dissertation on the art of all that is beautiful and sexy. And although this man wears many hats and has a job title more suiting of “Pop Star Icon”, one thing is certain. He has earned his way to the top. And now, looking down, with his illustrious eyes and hidden, sensual smirk, he’s realized…that it only gets so much better with age.

1. You have been a model, actor, photographer, judge and now reality television star. If asked to define your career title, what would you say?
Pop Culture Consultant/ Creative Director/ Executive Producer

2. How did your career as a photographer begin?
I got a camera as a gift in 1993.

3. It seems that there isn’t anyone you haven’t photographed. Who has been your single favorite person to photograph? Who haven’t you interviewed that you would still love to interview?
I love them all. It’s really impossible to single anyone out. I’d love to work with Cher.

4. Can you explain to us the movement called “the Q scene” of which you support.
I’m not sure exactly what that means but according to my Wikipedia page, I am a prominent member and supporter of it. I’m guessing that it means that I support many organizations whose goals are the betterment of the LGBT community.

5. What makes someone sexy?
What makes someone sexy is confidence (and ripped abs!!!)

6. What is the sexiest city in the world?

7. Sexiest hotel in the world?

The Lake Palace in Udaipur, India.

8. Sexiest place to photograph?

Anywhere in India.

9. Sexiest place to kiss?
On the lips!

10. You were recently a member of LOGO television’s The A List: New York. What was the best and worst experience of being part of this cast?
It was all good. I wouldn’t have done it if I thought there would be anything bad about doing it.

11. When traveling, what are five things you always have in your bag?

Kiehls Silkgroom, Kiehls Cross Terrain UV Protector, Kiehls Photo-Age Corrector, my Canon 5D, my iPad.

12. You are in a serious relationship and have a family. Tell us about your partner and your family.

Martin is an amazing human being and father. He has 2 beautiful children that I adore.

13. In many of your photographs, the Kathy Griffin portraits for example, your subjects look sexier and more gorgeous than they have ever looked before. What is your secret to bringing out the best qualities in your subjects.

It’s a combination of many things but it boils down to being a manifestation of my ideals and fanatasies.

14. You are an incredibly sexy man. What are three secrets you would tell men so they look sexy and confident every day?
Eat well, get’s 8 hours of sleep and choose to love life.

15. What about the same advice for women?
All the same stuff and a push up bra!

16. If you could only listen to three CD’s or musicians for the rest of your life, who would you listen to?

Booty Luv. Rupaul introduced me to them and I can’t do cardio without listening to them on my iPod.

17. Does it get better with age?
It get’s SOOOOO much better with age. I have never been so at peace with who I am and it allows me to be available in ways that held me back when I was younger.

18. What are three things that we wouldn’t know by looking at you?

That I have 7 or 8 injuries ranging from shattered disks to a dislocated shoulder.

Thanks buddy!

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All photographs by Mike Ruiz courtesy of Mike Ruiz.

Kelly Cutrone Rides Her Brand New Bicycle!

Several years ago when Kelly Cutrone walked into her west coast office of People’s Revolution on the MTV reality series The Hills, we fell in love. Immediately we recognized true genius woven together with an impeccable style sense and a sharp tongue exemplified by what was obviously passion. Needless to say, it was somewhat surreal to find ourselves huddled over our IPhone on the huge, mahogany dining table which serves as the raannt offices, waiting for her assistant Andrew Mukamal, to connect us for our interview. A few minutes later, we heard her come onto the phone. We had expected, maybe from her industrial candor or her presence on her many reality shows, a tough woman who would want to get right down to business, but she chatted with us for a few minutes, wishing Alex a happy birthday and telling us about her busy day. Her professional resume, including at the top being the founder and director of People’s Revolution; a public relations and marketing firm, is overwhelming and intimidating. Her pop-culture resume includes stints on MTV’s The Hills, The City and her own reality show Kell On Earth. And in February she published her book If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. It was only when we began actually interviewing her that we saw a true intellectual, kindred soul and artist merge together through the answers she gave to our questions.

In an interview you said that your target audience was “village girls and gay boys”. Why these two groups and how do you relate to them? “Well, that’s who I am, you know. So I don’t really think I pick them. I am a village girl. And as far as the gay boys go I work in the fashion business so it would be inevitable that they would be the core group of people that I would relate to because I’ve spent the last 13 years of my life, every day, with that group of people. So it’s sort of what I know. And it’s really who I speak to, you know. And oddly enough, as it turns out, nobody is speaking directly to these groups really, you collectively together. Musicians do it but they do it with their songs. And there are certain characters on TV but those characters are actors playing roles, you know. And one thing that we really thought with the book was, oh my God there’s nobody talking to these kids. And why do I have to go the empowerment and self help section on the top shelf next to Anthony Robbins to buy your book? It wasn’t intentional. That’s who I employ and that’s who I work with and that’s who I wanted to talk to in my book. I mean, it’s hard when you’re young.”

And the interview continued, as Kelly walked down the streets of New York, buying food and talking to people briefly as she passed them while we sat in our living room in Indianapolis, intrigued.

In your book you describe the magic inside of yourself. What exactly is this magic inside of each of us?It’s the part of you that’s the dreamer. It’s the part of you that has an idea and gets really excited. It’s the part of you that kisses someone and feels in love. It’s the part of you that wakes up and feels refreshed to do something for the first time and feel renewed, you know what I mean? Like, for me, I went to buy my daughter a bike, right. And I was in this bike store that was like a total, old school New York bike store and I was like, do you mind if I take this bike for a spin? And the guy was like, no problem, and all of a sudden I realized I want to buy a bike because it makes me feel happy inside. And I’m always looking for things will make me feel happy, so for me, riding the bike was like tapping into the magical part of myself. I get to ride my bike around New York City. I get to yell at people who are in my way. I get to do everything. I get to do cardio. I get to scream at people. I get to look at the city and at all these people and that is really fun and magical to me. What’s really not the magical part of ourselves is the part that’s like, uh, I’m really fucking sad or life sucks and life is really boring. You have to find the part that’s still really fun.”

When we asked her if she describes her book, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You, as a self-help book, she said she doesn’t. “It’s really like a pop-culture book with a little bit of Bewitched. It’s kind of a manual in a weird way, if you’re looking for that, otherwise it’s just a book, because I think it reflects back to what people want or what people need.” She explains that there is a lot in the book, from spiritual guidance, to how to set up a business to what it means to be feminine. “It all depends on what the reader is looking for.” As for us, we found a great read. At some points hilarious, at others informative and inspiring. “Is it a self-help book? You know I don’t really know. The publishing departments don’t really serve the audience well and the departments aren’t really stocked right, so readers don’t even want to go in there. If you go into the spiritual section, you’re going to be lucky if you find Biography of a Yogi, that was written in like 1850 or something. And then you’ll find a few Eckhart Tolle books and Louise Hay. I mean, what 20 fucking year old wants to read Louise Hay? Or Anthony Robbins? Or like, The Power of Now?(at which point, she has us literally laughing our asses off). They don’t want to read that shit. I mean it’s way to heavy and trippy, you know.”

Motherhood is…
Mind blowing. There’s all different kinds of motherhood, you know. For me, being Ava’s mom, is the most fantastic experience I’ve ever had in my life. There’s nothing more fantastic than loving Ava and learning from Ava and teaching Ava, you know. I had a baby because I felt like I had a lot to give and a lot to learn.”

What do you look for in someone when hiring them to be part of your team?
A skill set. A basic, common sense skill set, you know, which is really hard to find. So if it’s an entry level position, someone who knows how to take a message. Essentially I look for someone who has their own sense of style and is an individual. Someone who is not a player. I tend to go for the freaks, to be honest. Usually someone who is very well spoken, very creative, has a very strong skill set, is an independent thinker. You know my office is run way more different than people think it is on the outside. People’s Revolution is a very free-thinking, collaborative place. And if you’re a self-motivator, you’ll do very well there. If you someone who needs to be micromanaged you will not do well there. Because, (a), I’m not fun to be micromanaged by and (b) I hate to micromanage so if you put me in a position where I have to manage people day in and day out, they don’t like it and I don’t like it and those people just don’t do well there.”

Is your all black rule only for fashion shows or does it apply to all PR duties?
You know, that’s not a rule, actually. It only applies to fashion shows and it only applies to assistants and interns. And the reason for that is that someone’s idea of what is fashionable at 19 and what one of my client’s think is fashionable may not necessarily be the same thing. I mean, I think we all know, we’ve all been there, looking back when we were 19 that we were totally jamming. We weren’t totally jamming. (She laughs, while ordering some peanut butter cups.) A lot of kids can’t afford it. We have some kids that come from really poor families and we have some kids that come from really rich families, you know. We have kids that come from immigrant parents and single parents and they really don’t have a lot of money. And black makes it very easy for everyone to look the part. It kind of levels the playing field, and I can ID my employees when we go somewhere. It’s kind of a physical uniform.”

What would you do if a close friend stole an idea of yours to better themselves?Um, let them.” she laughs. “If they really needed it because they had no skills and no ideas, which is the only reason why they would to begin with.” she continues laughing. “I’m not that attached to ideas because I get them all the time. I’d probably be like, do you really think that was right. I don’t know, I guess it depends on the friend. If it’s a close friend I guess I’d be like, yeah, I hope you’re happy. I hope that worked for you.”

What would be your theme song for your life?
The theme song for my life? Oh my God. Um, I have to come back to that one. I have to think about that one, because I’m a music freak so I can’t just answer that lightly.

You are referred to a lot as a “bitch”. Do you think if you were a man in your same industry you would be seen the same way?
Definitely not. But if I was a man in the industry I wouldn’t be having the fun that I’m having. I mean, come on. It’s just different industries. But we’re the life bringers and a lot of women on the planet are still treated like shit. They’re raped and beaten and abused. And that’s sad. Because we’re the life bringers. We bring the life to Earth. Mother Earth. It’s like what I said earlier. There’s all different kinds of motherhood. And to attack women is to attack our world. It’s just been going on forever and it needs to stop. And women fucking let it happen all the time, you know. It’s just pathetic. I mean, if you’re a woman, why would you bring your children to a church where they’re not even allowed to speak? How can you bring your daughter that discusses the birth of Christ but they’re not even allowed to speak? People don’t find that strange. I mean, think about it. And how can you go there as a gay man, knowing that like 80% of all the priests or preachers are gay but they don’t condone homosexuality. What the fuck is that? It’s sounds like they’re more like hypocrites but people have accepted this and it’s part of their daily life. Women have got to put a stop to it.”

How real is reality television? Well my show is all too real if you ask me. I think I’m the only person to make a real reality show. And I knew what was going on and I was like calling people going, are you fucking serious? Am I the only person in reality television to make a real show? I mean, what is this? Like I literally would leave my office and be like, I’m going to get my dry cleaning, and there would be like four guys following me while I got my dry cleaning. And I would be like, oh, please dear God do not follow me down the street. It’s the most uncool thing in the world to be followed around with a bunch of cameras. I mean who cares about the dry cleaning. I mean, let’s go ice skating in my home town or something fun. The crew wouldn’t even talk to us. They did this thing called ‘fourth walling’ which they do on shows like Survivor where the cameras aren’t allowed to interact with the cast because they don’t want to tamper with the situation that’s actually happening. But nobody makes a reality show with a fourth wall because you’re basically all living together, but our crew fourth walled. So there were no retakes. We didn’t redo anything. Our show was so real that I had to literally pull our crew off of our designers because our crew were all like straight guys and they didn’t understand the fashion industry at all and when I would call the executive producers and start screaming going like, what the fuck is going on these guys are bum rushing Jeremy Stalling after a fashion show and instead of being respectful they’d be like, ‘did you like your show?’ ‘are you happy to work with Kelly Cutrone?’ And I’d be like, are you fucking being serious? And they’d have on like Abercrombie shorts and this girl would have big, gold hooped earrings asking people to sign releases, and I’d be like, you can’t do that. And you need to be wearing black. What are you doing? And they’d be like, ‘well we did Project Runway’. Oh, God! You know, this is ridiculous. Straight guys that didn’t know anything about fashion that just wanted to get their interviews. It was kind of hysterical. What I want to do is the making of a reality show. Like a scripted show about the making of a reality show.”

We love that you said, let’s go skating in my home town or something. If you had your vision for what that show would have been like, what would it be?Da da da dum.” followed by thunderous laughter. “Apocalypse? Cryptic? Foreshadowing? Maybe that’s coming next?”

New York Fashion Week…love it or hate it?
Love it. You know, come on. I’m not going to be doing a ton of shows because there’s a lot of other parts of our business. We only do shows for our contractual clients anyway. I think we’re going to do the first show, of the first day at Lincoln Park at 9am on September 9th. That’s what I’ve been on the phone about all day today. It’ll be fun to have one of our clients be the first person to be up in Lincoln Center.”

Would you ever write a children’s book with your daughter?
Yeah, I actually would. You mean like Madonna? I actually have a very cool idea for a children’s book but I won’t be doing it anytime soon. I want to write a book for older women who are divorced or widowed or have never lived alone. These women who have done all of this amazing stuff for all of these other people, like their kids and their husbands and no one is looking after them and they don’t know how to take care of themselves. They don’t know how to be alone. It’s really sad.”

What is something that scares you?
Government. And radical people scare me. It’s really, really scary living in New York City now. I think it’s really the most dangerous city in the world. And most people live here by choice and it’s really expensive to live here. And I think this city is going to get blown up again. I really do. And the reason I do is that I was having lunch last week and this girl came up to me and she said, I’m a huge fan of yours and she was in the military and she said that all people like at West Point and all people in the military have survivalist backpacks because if it happens they think the damage will be so great.”

Well, Kelly, we have a room here in Indianapolis just waiting for you if New York gets too scary. “Oh, thank you, but the thing that’s really funny is that I asked if LA was dangerous too and they said no, because LA has no landmarks, so I can go out there too.”

Sexiest city in the world? Sexiest Club? Sexiest hotel?
Sexiest city in the world? Paris, France. Sexiest club in the world? The bar at the hotel Le Meurice. Sexiest hotel in the world? Best hotel or best hotel to have sex in?” Either. “I’d have to say the penthouse or the Clark Gable/Carol Lombard suite at The Hollywood Roosevelt is where I conceived my daughter.”

Boxers, briefs, jockstraps…or nothing at all?
In bed nothing at all. During the day, boxers.

Did you think of the answer to the theme song for your life? Oh, God. I’d like to say Brand New Key by Melanie. I don’t know why. Because I ride my bike everywhere instead of taking a car.” She starts singing, “I drove my bicycle past your window last night.” She laughs, asking someone in the background what would be the theme song for her life and they answer Born to be Wild. “Oh wait. Bad Reputation by Joan Jett! There you go!” She starts laughing, talking again to whomever she’s with. “I was so afraid you were going to say,” and then she begins singing, “If I could turn back time.” and laughs again. She’s quite humorous, this one.

Your book is about living your dreams and taking risks to get them to come true…what are some risks you never thought you would take?Opening People’s Revolution. Also stopping doing drugs was a huge risk I took which actually helped me out a lot.”

What do you do with all of the gifts you’re given by designers?
I give them away. I think I probably give away about 90% of everything I get.”

Who are three people, dead or alive, that inspire you?My mother, my daughter and Amma, the Holy one.

Anything else you want us to include in the interview.
That I’m sending you made love from New York City and I love your support! And if New York City blows up, clean the apartment, I’m coming over.


Eyes Open, We’re Watching!

John Stallings…America’s Next Top MALE Model!!!

John Stallings. He jumps from planes. He just returned from modeling for four months in China and previously shot campaigns for Pepsi, Ipod and has worked with Valentino. He was also on 14 episodes of the reality show The Janis Dickinson Modeling Agency and in the film Eating Out 3! He just recently started his own fashion line KOKO LIAR. He admits he eats way too much macaroni and cheese and cheeseburgers…and for this we love him! Because below all the muscles and amazing cheekbones…he’s a really amazing guy and quite frankly…the next BIG thing!

1. Tell us a bit about John C. Stallings… the model, the person, the friend?
To be honest, I’m a quiet person in the beginning, assessing situations and completely observant, but can let loose like no other. I care deeply about those that I love in my life and would love to have the power to take all the negative away from them if I could. I am a dancer, you know in my underwear, in the kitchen, on the streets, at the club and love music. I think living by my motto, “Keep On Keeping On – LIFE IS A RUNWAY” you have to have a daily theme song to keep you going – today it is “Make It Mine” by Jason Mraz. As a professional model I’m very comfortable in front of the camera. I treat this as a passion, so I show up on time with an positive attitude that wants others to keep booking me! I get the job done and then have a drink! I believe in rewarding yourself, everyone should reward themselves when you do a great job!

2. Where are you originally from? And how has your up bringing help you in the competitive world of fashion and modeling?
I am originally from North Carolina. Born in Raleigh and then lived in a small town until 6 years old when I moved out to Sandy, Utah. My parents have always taught respect and love towards yourself and others around you and that helps in this competitive world of fashion and modeling because there are so many times you can lose yourself in the business. The criticisms you get and the many rejections can really tear someone a part, but I stay strong and have hope and that’s what keeps me going. I cannot forget where I began and am constantly are thinking of those that have helped shaped me as a person and model and a lot of it comes from the way I was raised. Thanks Mom & Dad!

3. What is you’re favorite thing about living in Vegas/LA?
Vegas is a city that never sleeps – many exciting things always happen around every corner. It’s a city that is great for commercial work, plus $1.49 breakfast. I can get pretty much anything and everything I desire, but to me, it’s only fun for a weekend and if you do it “right” you can really create those long lasting memories here. LA is just 4 hours away, so I’m used to the drive alone, blasting music with my Starbucks and windows down. LA is the stereotypical “dream” people would love to pursue, and there are some that make it and some that don’t, but with beaches a half hour away, canyons to hike in and beautiful scenery whenever there isn’t smog, it can be a wonderful city to enjoy and make a home in. I’m still in the process of that move right now!

4. What’s the thing that you love the most about modeling? Is this what got you started or did you fall in love with this part once you were in modeling?
The traveling is the best part about modeling for me. I knew you had those opportunities before I got into modeling and I’ve been blessed with the ability to put everything down and take a flight somewhere I never thought I would go and be able to work at the same time. I never thought living out of your suitcase or being thrown in a model apartment with 10 other models (male/female) would ever be that exciting as I like to have my own space, but it’s taught me to relax and enjoy life. I’d like to think I’m fluent in reading Korean now, I speak a little Japanese, Italian, Chinese and Spanish too.

5. How old were you when you started modeling? Was it hard for you to get into it? And How long have you been in the industry for?
I was scouted in a High School event when I was 18 years old, but I also wanted to complete my college degree, so full-time modeling came after I graduated in NYC. It’s always very exciting, it’s a job that you have to stay on top of. Staying physically fit, learning more about each country’s way of running the business and testing with photographers as your look can constantly change. I’ve been fortunate enough to stay in the industry for over 6 years, but I still feel that there are more years to put into this; male models can last much longer than our female counterparts.

6. This far in your modeling career, what is something you’ve done you wouldn’t want to do again? Or can not wait to do it again?
Jumping out of an airplane! If that opportunity came around again I would not be too keen to accept again. When you’re plummeting towards the Earth at 120mph and they tell your stomach will stop turning in 20 seconds, well they’re wrong! There are plenty of non-glamourous aspects that come along with this industry. The climates from freezing cold and wearing swimwear to Mongolian overcoats in the heat of Summer, but you stick to it and find fun in whatever you’re doing. You have to watch out for the dark-side of this industry, the casting couches that are present but never talked about (ways to get ahead that put you in awkward and uncomfortable positions) but those are your choices you make and deal with constantly. I love doing runway shows as “…Life Is A Runway” for me – it’s the best being able to step forward.

7. Give us a behind the scenes for a photo shoot? Runway show? Casting? And what goes on after the show/shoot/casting is over?

You arrive, introduce yourself to anyone and everyone (it’s important to recognize you’re all in it together!), typically there is a little wait time, jump into hair and make-up while watching the stylist steam the clothes out, the photographer is still tweaking the lighting while their assistant is running around with extra film in their hands, you’re chatting it up with the hair/make-up team on what they’ve been up to and what’s next for them, then more wait time. It all depends on the team. If they have all worked together before, it can run really smoothly and everyone is on the same page, otherwise you get a bit of chaos and try not to take it all to heart. The photographer may want you to move your own way, which is my favorite, or they’ll show you some kind of story board of what direction they are going for and you emulate the concept. The client (designer or advertising exec., etc.) is there usually positioned in the back so they can watch and put in their two cents in whenever possible to get exactly what they want.
# That’s a typical photoshoot and runway show together, but runway there is no photographer on “set” as there are many photographers waiting in the photography pit just outside at the edge of the runway and there’s much more wait time. Plus, at a runway show, more chaos. The designer(s) is/are running around being pre-interviewed or making sure first looks are perfect, whatever you’re intended to wear in the beginning can be changed two minutes prior to walking out, seams popping, and things being pinned. When those pins poke you in your skin, you’ll be surprised at how fast a model can walk…ouch! Shoes not fitting and amusing bitch fights from other models that feel competition towards each other, but I chose to stay focused. The casting director will tell you about the choreography (if there is any) and you’ll rehearse that before the press, celebrities and other guests arrive to sit in their seats. Then the music hits and you line up in the order they need you in and you WALK! It’s like 15 minutes of the best time of your life, like riding a roller coaster and once you’re done, you want to get right back on it and do it again!
# As for castings, well that’s the longest wait time of all. You’re usually in a building or room with a shitload of other models signing in and getting a number that corresponds to where you signed in. You wait, and wait, and wait and oh you wait. Then, depending on the job their booking for, let’s just say a typical NY modeling casting, you’ll walk in with a casting director sitting behind a table with their assistant(s) staring at you and you hand them your portfolio. MODELS, PLEASE TALK TO THESE PEOPLE, they are the ones that have the most influence on hiring you for the job. So, you make conversation while they flip oh-so-fast through your portfolio barely looking at it anyway and if they are interested, they’ll snap a polaroid of you standing next to a white wall. Gone are the days of the amazing polaroid camera, so they’ll take “digitals” of you. Sometimes that’s all they need. Other times they’ll ask you to take your shirt off and even down to your underwear. Some casting directors love to have that power to tell a model to strip, because we do it without hesitation, hmmm. If you don’t get a polaroid taken, more times than none you aren’t right for the job and they’ll tell you “Thank You” with a pseudo grin and have the next model come in as you leave. Time is money, so once you’re in the casting room, it goes quickly, so MAKE IT COUNT!
Once you’ve completed your job or runway show, there is usually a sigh of relief, some champagne is popped and everyone begins to pack up with big smiles on their faces. Sometimes you’re invited to any after-party or dinner party that the client may have, but if there is silence once your through, then just wave and get out of there…you did your job, so get out! ha

8. Who are some big names you’ve worked for and with?
My first big job in NYC while going to school was for Pepsi. It was a blast and I nailed it. More well-known clients I’ve had the pleasure of working for over the years are Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Marc Jacobs, Puma, iPod, Evisu Jeans and many amazing fashion magazines, oh and Jason Scarlotti from 2(x)ist, I must mention him as he has a wonderful line.

9. You just recently got back from China… What is one of the things you learn while out there? In modeling, living, culture?
That when you are booked for a catalog job, they ask you to “open your ass and smell a little bitch” – oh shit, wait, what? Oh, they meant, “Open our eyes and smile a little bit” – the language barrier was difficult, but also hilarious as you can read. It’s a country where a lot of brands are manufactured and copied and has great shopping, but this culture has a consistent mindset that it’s hard for them to think outside the box. They work very hard for little money and survive the best way they know how. I’m a high fashion guy, very edgy and crazy and sometimes they just want the mature looking man for a suit, so I may not travel back anytime soon, but those are the risks you take and the experiences that shape you to gain more knowledge of being a better model for your future.

10. So tell us a bit about Guangzhou, China: What the town is like, the people, the food, the culture?
Well, Guangzhou is a city that promotes some of the best food options, but I didn’t get to experience much of that. To give them a little benefit they are preparing for the Asian Games this year in December, so there was constant construction, trash, dirt, noise, people squatting in the road and exposed baby butt cracks. In their culture they let their babies relieve themselves wherever and whenever possible and sometimes you just don’t want to see that. Also a piss and shit smell permeates the city most of the time you walk outside. ha The mosquitos must have felt that I was their personal bloodbank as well, jesus the mosquitos.
# I always befriend employees at a local Starbucks (my home away from home) and they were the ones that kept a smile on their face each and everyday which I appreciated, since they only receive like $1.47/hour. Just like any country you visit, there are great and not so great adventures you have. You have to make it happen as an individual and not let the hardships get to you so easily – stay positive and positive will find its way back to you.

11. As an openly gay person, how difficult was it to be in Guangzhou, China? Did people treat you differently?
I AM an openly gay person, but I also don’t wear it on my sleeve and make it an issue. Unless I’m sleeping with you, it’s none of your business. If you ask, I tell, but that doesn’t shape who someone is whatsoever. I asked some of the locals what their country’s views are on homosexuality and the response was that even though its ok to be gay, no one talks about it. I didn’t visit any gay establishments, because there were none that you knew of. I guess it’s still underground there. Time will tell of any further progression.

12. What’s one of the things you’ll miss the most about China?
The country itself has many beautiful places to visit – Shanghai has The Bund and beautiful architecture and Beijing has the Great Wall. I would say I miss being one of the tallest people as on average 5’8″ is the norm, but also the inexpensive shopping that you can do there. I don’t like to barter on prices, but that’s what they do out there, so I miss not being able to walk into a retail store here in America and not get a lower price- haha. “What about $10? NO? Ok, right, I’m not in China anymore.”

13. You’re friends with one of out dear friends, Brittany Mason, who you also go to share your china experience with and we hear you two have come up with a rap about the beautiful Guangzhou, China… Could you tell us how this came about and maybe give us a sneak peak on that :-D?!
That was such a great thing that happened to the both of us. Brittany is an amazing girl with so much talent and we both kept each other positive even out of the negative experiences throughout the China contract by constantly thinking of more and more things to rap about in the city of Guangzhou. The first verse starts off by us rapping, “We were walking down the street in the dirty Guangzhou, saw a China man and he said “Hello”,” which literally happened and for some reason (I’ll be the one to take credit for starting this song) we just started singing and thinking of lyrics. Anyone that has visited and modeled in Guangzhou, China could definitely relate to this song and laugh their asses off to a size 0. It’s a hit, but we still haven’t edited it together with a beat or music video to post on YouTube. lol 🙂 We have a whole choreographed dance move that goes along with the chorus too – by the way Brittany and I are still looking for back-up dancers, how do you two look in leotards. You can view the complete lyrics on my facebook page and perhaps one day a YouTube link as well.

14. Going to China and back, we’re sure you’ve seen lots of incredible places around the world! What do you think is the sexiest place to live in? sexiest club you’ve been to? And model you’ve worked with?
I think the sexiest place to live in is where there is self-confidence around, an intellect of sorts with many things to do, museums (nude bodies of art), amusements parks, bars, coffee shops, great shopping, but there are many cities that offer this and I really cannot pinpoint just one, but I had a hell of a time in Indiana. For a specific club to be sexy to me, there needs to be a vibe. One with a great DJ playing great music that gets everyone up and dancing, a great bar with great bartenders that make amazing drinks, and one where sexuality is all over the place – oh and taking jello shots off unmentionables. I think you two will have to share a club experience with me first and then we’ll see if it’s sexy or not! First round’s on me.
As for a sexy model I’ve worked with, to this date, I think Marissa Miller from Victoria’s Secret has been the one. She’s doing so well for herself now and when we did the photoshoot together, she was laying in my lap and I couldn’t touch her – photographer’s wishes, so you follow the rules. ha

15. Are you in a relationship? And has traveling for work make the relationship difficult?
I am, in fact, in a relationship now. And I love the fact that I have a private life. I’m brand new to these feelings and it is amazing because with traveling for work in so many different countries, it DOES make it very difficult to meet someone and have them understand what you’re involved in. I’ve been alone most of my life in regards to a boyfriend, but it takes someone really special to support you in your passion and following your dreams and also wanting to know all about them and their life. I truly have that special man now and it feels great. Don’t get me wrong, there are still struggles because there is still a distance we have together, but you make it work. You don’t throw in the cum towel and toss it away, you know what’s important and you do what you can with what you have until that one day you’re together again. You also have to keep the communication open, talk about everything. We are constantly on the phone or texting or using Skype (such a great service and my keys are still so sticky). We definitely make it work and we know we’re both very important to each other.

16. Is being gay and out beneficial for the modeling industry? Does it make it easier to get job or deal with jobs? Or does it make a difference at all?
No, it’s not beneficial – it comes down to the total look of the model and how well you photograph. I believe that whatever industry you’re in, it’s no ones business to know your personal business. Your sexuality doesn’t mean anything when completing a job.

17. Tell us about keeping your body in shape and in good health? What kind of work out you have, diet plan, skin care, and of course good ways to cheat on the diet?
Keeping your body in shape and in good health is crucial in this business because of the schedule you’re around. The traveling and the constant down-time you have on jobs can really take its toll on your body and mind. I like listening to music and creating a space for myself of staying calm. Destressing is key and whatever form you can find that is right for you needs to be in your daily regimen whether it be reading, meditation, working out, keeping in touch with your friends and family (too bad Facebook in China is forbidden). I like to follow the work out magazines plans of staying fit, so I’ll cut those articles out and take them with me wherever I go. When I’m at the gym I focus on a four-day split. Chest and triceps one day, shoulders and biceps another, back and triceps for the third day and legs on the last. Altogether working in abdominals each day. Then you take 3 days off. That works for me, because I don’t want to get too big. There are certain markets that don’t book guys with a chest larger than a 40R, luckily I’m a healthy 38R and I’ll keep it at that. To keep the weight on, I do enjoy protein shakes (you know, from the glass) and a daily multi-vitamin. Everyone knows to eat their daily doses of the correct proportions of fruits and vegetables, but don’t ask me what those are because honestly I’m really bad at that, but I’m learning more and more from others. I am surprised at how many different ways you can use a cucumber other than my mother’s recipes. I feel like I eat cheeseburgers and macaroni and cheese way too many times a week, but hey, I do what I want! As for skin care, I enjoy having some color through a tan, so I’ll be out in the sun with my shirt off with some SPF30. I really enjoy H2O+ skin care products which is an all natural vitamin and mineral line, so I’ll use a nightly care cream. Other than that, I’m pretty basic. Each person’s body is different and reacts differently to certain products. I’m blessed without having any allergies towards products, but I think if you can’t eat it, you shouldn’t use it on your skin. Ok, I’m hungry and now looking at my H2O+ bottle, hmmm should I drink it? Just kidding.

18. You’ve started your own line, KOKO LIAR, tell us about KOKO LIAR and what inspire you to start your own line? How did you come up its name? Were can people view and purchase your line?
I’ve always had in the back of my mind to have my own personal fragrance one day. I love smells, the sense of smell is so powerful to me as it conjures up many nostalgic memories, it can put you in a place. One day I’ll work on that but for now I started hand-knitting scarves and started a couple years ago when I was introduced to knitting by another model friend of mine when we would do 5 fashion shows a day in Las Vegas. There was a lot of downtime between shows, so I learned how to knit and it’s all uphill from there. I wanted to have a label to attach to the scarves so I began to think and that was around the time my Granddaddy had passed away. In each and every letter that he would write to me, at the end he would tell me “Keep on keeping on, john boy john.” He was a special person in my life and I wanted to carry something meaningful around with me about him, so I’ve had that phrase be the first part of “KOKO LIAR” (Keep On Keeping On) and then I added “Life Is A Runway” (LIAR) which to me, life IS a runway. Life is a show filled with music, lights, cameras, fashion and crazy chaotic moments that stir up adrenaline that keeps us wanting more. So, “KOKO LIAR” came about and that is also my motto in life. I can always be reminded when I see the acronym as it’s tattooed on my right and left wrists. Right now you can visit my website at and purchase a hand-knit scarf from me. I use new materials now too, so it’s slightly different than what the pictures represent, but still personal and scented with my current favorite fragrance. Not my own yet, but again, one day!

19. What’s next for you? What are some projects you have in the works that you can talk about? Where should the boys of raannt and our readers expect you next?
Well…I’m gonna make the move to Los Angeles pretty soon as I’m in Las Vegas right now. I need to be more available for more opportunities and that’s what LA has to offer. I have been speaking to someone about another movie project after I did Eating Out: All You Can Eat, so be on the lookout for me on the big screen again in the near future. All I can really say about all this is “Keep On Keeping On – LIFE IS A RUNWAY”!

20. Boxers, briefs, jockstraps, or nothing at all?
I never wear boxers, never did as a kid either, too bunchy. Yes, I have worn a jockstrap before, but seriously I’m not playing sports all day and they scratch my cheeks, so I’m definitely a brief wearer or NOTHING AT ALL of course. Especially in bed – the only thing that’s on is the sound machine. Interesting you didn’t mention a thong…but that’s the dominating side of me.

Thanks buddy…
Eyes Open, We’re Watching!