s â€™ i d i e h
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leandro Cano Rebekka ruetz
Sopopular Kilian Kerner
e s i r p r u s
Saving world maritime heritage
Kevin Costner â€“ Partner of Arqueonautas
www.arqueonautas.de 19.09.12 12:46
GETTING THE LOWE-DOWN Spotted: Daisy
Lowe bopping around Berlin Fashion Week! The British mod and DJ is in town repping Tommy Hilfiger with a tech-y twist. Lowe has been carousing around galleries, boutiques and more. She’s not just on a German vaca, though: Lowe’s pavement pounding has been livestreamed to Hilfiger’s Bread & ButTommy Hilfiger ter booth. The future of trade shows? J’adore!
Hugo’s Eyan Allen
Premium’s Anita Tillman
How are we holding up, chicettes? Staying sane and properly caffeinated, your Daily hopes! ☛ “You’re coming, right?” Publicists are scrambling to confirm guests for the dueling Premium and Hugo Boss bashes taking place tonight. Premium is replicating a cadre of Berlin haute spots to celebrate a decade in biz, including the likes of Flamingo, King Size, Cookies, and Weekend at U3Tunnel for their 10th anniversary bash. ☛ Meanwhile, Hugo’s reps are remaining mum about some buzzy surprise front row guests at their show at Opernwerkstätten. ☛ Paging Marc! Despite being listed as the host of Leandro Cano’s first show as the Designer For Tomorrow, Jacobs didn’t make it to town. Next season, chéri! ☛
HOW’S YOUR FACEBOOK “LIKE” LIFE LOOKING? Hugo Boss: 3.1 Million Escada: 303,838 Bread & Butter: 41,010 Lena Hoschek: 15,375 Lala Berlin: 9,534
Kilian Kerner: 8,421 Michalsky: 6,386 Augustin Teboul: 1,656 Rena Lange: 1,512 Rebekka Ruetz: 828
YOUR DAILY HISTORY LESSON, LIEBLINGS!
notable happenings on January 17 1706: Benjamin Franklin is born! Brief history lesson: the statesman, diplomat, scientist and inventor helped draft the Declaration of Independence and wrote Poor Richard’s Almanack, among other contributions to the world. 1773: Captain James Cook becomes the first European to sail within the Antarctic Circle. 1820: British author and poet, Anne Brontë, is born. 1861: Flush toilet is patented by Mr. Thomas Crapper. 1917: The United States pays Denmark $25 million for the Virgin Islands. 1929: Popeye makes his first appearance, in comic strip Thimble Theatre. 1928: The fully automatic, film-developing machine is patented by A.M. Josepho. 1946: The UN Security Council holds its first session. 1949: The Volkswagen Beetle, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, arrives in the United States. 1969: The Beatles release the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in the U.K.
Bread & Butter’s strapping president and founder, Karl-Heinz Müller and rugged Aussie, Russell Crowe getty images (13); courtesy maybelline jade; shutterstock
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Beauty Trend Alert: Matte Skin & Strong Lips A flawless finish at Perret Schaad
Gorgeousness alert! The vivid pouts at Lena Hoschek came courtesy of makeup artist Boris Entrup, who used Maybelline Jade’s Color Sensational Fatal Red 530 to create a bright contrast to the thick punk-esque eyeliner. “It’s really red, like a woman that has something to say,” he explains. Meanwhile at Perret Schaad, Entrup focused on creating a flawless complexion. “This season at Berlin Fashion Week, it’s been all about creating a pure, completely covered matte skin,” he says.
Dramatic eyes and lips at Lena Hoscheck
GALERIES LAFAYETTE | FRIEDRICHSTRASSE 76-78 | 10117 BERLIN www.galerieslafayette.de | facebook.com/galerieslafayetteberlin
front row Brandusa Niro Editor in Chief, CEO Guillaume Bruneau Creative Director
Backstage with Maybelline Jade
FASHION ETIQUETTE 101! WITH CAROLA NIEMANN, FASHION DIRECTOR AT COVER
What do you think is the proper time to arrive at a fashion show? To be on time, someone should show up 10 or 15 minutes before the scheduled time. But that sounds so early! First of all, it’s fun to sit there and watch everyone come in. Secondly, I think it’s good behavior to be on time—it’s a respectful thing to do. What’s the longest you’ve ever waited for a show to start? I’ve waited 45 minutes. It’s a very big stretch for all of us to go from one show to another. Everyone shouldn’t be delayed just because one show runs over. Have you ever thought about walking out of a show? Yes. I think there was one show where I really did walk out, because I really wanted to see something else at the same time. I had waited for so long already! Who’s your favorite type of person to sit next to at shows? I like to sit next to the person who also wants to be watching the show. When chatting up a fashion show neighbor, what’s a good icebreaker? The weather is always good! I like to talk about shoes, or to give a compliment—a compliment always makes for a nice icebreaker. What kinds of people make the most annoying fashion show neighbors? I don’t really like to sit next to people who are talking all the time, and not concentrating on the show. Have you ever sat next to a celebrity? Yes, in Milan and in Berlin. I can’t say who it was. How rude is it to check your iPhone? It depends! A lot of us are very busy with things at our offices at the same time. I, for example, like to tag music while the show is going on. I use Shazam. Clapping at the end of show: yes or nein? You should always clap at the end of a show! It’s respectful to do so.
Deputy Editor Eddie Roche Managing Editor Tangie Silva Berlin Editor Alonso Dominguez Editor At Large Christopher Tennant Features Editor Alexandra Ilyashov Senior Editor Maria Denardo Fashion News Editor Paige Reddinger Art Director Teresa Platt Photo Editor Catherine Gargan Production & Distribution Director Allison Coles Imaging Specialist George Maier Assistant Imaging Specialist Mihai Calin Simion
Joséphine de la Baume
Jet-set chanteuse Joséphine “Ms. Mark Ronson” de la Baume is putting on a très intimate performance in the basement of Soho House this evening at the Laurèl after-party ☛ Things To Discuss: Has the cold weather tamed wild-child Micaela Schaefer? Nein, nein, nein! Rain, sleet or shine, Berlin’s free-est spirit has Schaefer in absolutely nothing to January... hide, as you can tell from these outré snaps from the tents in July and Marc Stone’s show earlier this week.
THE DAILY BERLIN Joséphine
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DFR Berlin is a publication of Bunte Entertainment Verlag GmbH. DFR is a trademark of Daily Front Row, Inc. used under License. Verantwortlich i. S. d. Presserechtes: Bunte Entertainment Verlag GmbH, Arabellastr. 25, 81925 München, Tel. 089 / 9250 1754, Fax 089 / 9250 2583 vertreten d. d. Geschäftsführerin Manuela Kampp-Wirtz
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THE DAILY Front Row Louis A. Sarmiento Vice President, Publisher
WHO’S THE BOSS?
Quite a number of the dapper hommes hitting up the Golden Globes on Sunday donned Hugo Boss for the occasion. Let your Daily do a head count…
The Daily Front Row is a Daily Front Row Inc. publication. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited. Requests for reprints must be submitted in writing to: The Daily, Attn: Tangie Silva, 135 West 50th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10020. Advertise in The Daily, call (212) 467-5785 Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Matt LeBlanc
On the cover: Heidi Klum by BFANYC.com; Runway: Getty Images
Wondering who was born on January 17? Check out this starry posse of Capricorns. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag, darlings! Michelle Obama Jim Carrey Muhammad Ali Al Capone
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getty images (11); niemann: courtesy of cover; courtesy maybelline jade
As the vaunted mag marks its 25th year, we asked fashion director Kerstin Schneider to take a stroll through the archives in search of German Elle’s most fabulous covers. Herewith, her selects.
What kind of woman makes a strong cover? She has to be able to flirt with the reader, but should never be snobby or look like the woman who would take your man. Any covers from the past you wish you had worked on? The ones with Linda [Evangelista] and Kate [Moss], definitely. You’ve had quite a few with Christy Turlington it looks like. She’s definitely an Elle girl, no matter what age she is. How have Elle’s covers evolved over the years? They haven’t actually changed that much. It’s always been the same type of woman, she’s just changed with the times. We’re a bit more experimental these days, though. What will Elle be like 25 years from now? That’s what everybody in the business wants to know about their magazine. The world, the Internet, magazines, and everything else will change like we can’t even imagine!
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all photos courtesy
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Heidi visiting Berlin recently as the face of ASTOR cosmetics
lin ce of
She may call America home, but Bergisch Gladbach’s own Heidi Klum hasn’t abandoned her roots. The Daily caught up with the Class-A German export to set the record straight about lazy models, her surprising new fragrance, and her lucky sack of baby teeth. Seriously. BY EDDIE ROCHE
We asked Heidi to tell us the first thought that popped into her head when she heard the following words…
Braids: Childhood Hugh Jackman: Wolverine Red: Heart iPhone: BlackBerry Monkey: Banana Beer: Oktoberfest Candy: Black licorice Lagerfeld: Chanel Tea: Coffee
Automobiles: Germans Bread: Black bread Butter: Melt Tents: Camping Sleep: Not enough Sunday: Day off Monday: Driving to school Television: Top Model and Project Runway
What are your goals for 2013? My New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier—less meat and more fruits and vegetables. We try to eat healthy already but I want us to be even better. It’s the key to so many things. I also want to live life in a more meaningful way and stop to enjoy the special moments with my children. You’re about to start filming another season of Germany’s Next Top Model. Does it ever get old? Never! It’s really close to my heart because I was one of these girls a long time ago. They’re not actresses, they’re real people, and they make the show. It’s my job to find out if they have what it takes. Many reality shows have come and gone, but I think we’ve been able to go the distance because our show is and always has been about the designer’s skills rather than their personalities. They can be shy, funny, loud, humble—it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the outfit they send out on that week’s runway. Has it taught you anything about the younger generation? Yes, that there are only a handful of girls that work really hard and see this as a real opportunity. They use the show as a bouncing board to get catapulted into the fashion world. They exercise, eat right and are free in front of the camera. They’re polite but still interesting. But a lot of the girls I meet get so much from their parents they have a hard time doing things for themselves, like cooking, cleaning and all the other things you need to know how to do if you live by yourself. Modeling is a job and I see that a lot of the girls don’t realize that it’s work! They’re used to watching the show from their couch at home. Ever consider moving back to Germany? I love Germany but I’ve built a life with my children in America. They go to school and have friends in Los Angeles so I wouldn’t want to take them away from their lives. We have a beautiful nest that would be hard for us to leave. Do you speak to your kids in German or English? I speak to them in both languages and would love for them to be fluent in both. What foods do you miss? Our sausages are really good and I love knoedel. I cook quite a bit so I make some dishes that I grew up with, like sauerkraut soup, schnitzel and kartoffelsalat. You’ve been on quite a few covers. Favorite so far? The Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover was amazing because it was such a turning point in my career and it is so iconic. I’ve had so many covers over the years— Cosmopolitan, Glamour, InStyle, GQ. But my French and German Vogue covers were very special to me at the time. I was always told by my modeling agency that I would never make it on these kinds of magazine covers because I’m too commercial. So when I got those covers, I was sort of like, ‘Ha! I did it! Even though no one believed in me.’ You’re launching a new fragrance called Surprise! Do you like being surprised? I love being surprised. I’ve received great surprise presents in the past and even been whisked off to a holiday without knowing about it. What question do you get asked most often by journalists? I don’t like to fly and I mentioned once in an old interview that I carried a pouch of my baby teeth with me when I would fly for good luck. I’m often asked about those teeth and if I still carry them. For the record, I don’t. Of all the wild outfits that you’ve seen on the show, what’s been the most memorable? I always come back to the first episode of the first season. Austin Scarlett made a dress from corn husks. It just blew me away. I saw that dress come down the runway and thought we’ve got something special going on here! What would you like to do that you still haven’t done yet? I would love to shoot an entire season of Project Runway on a small remote island where Tim Gunn would be in a speedo and our designers would have to do all island-themed clothes and make items out of things they find on the island. Sometimes, a box of fabric could be swept onto the shore all wet from the ocean. You picking up what I’m putting down? p hoto c o u rtesy astor c os m et i c s
Ginger Ruétz Flame-haired Austrian designer Rebekka Ruétz, 28, got her start with prints master Peter Pilotto during a stint in London before debuting her eponymous line three years ago. In the six seasons since, she’s gone from black-on-black chic to Hunger Games glam. Next up? A capsule line of coed tees and a foray into menswear. BY ALEXANDRA ILYASHOV FA S H I O N W E E K D A I L Y. C O M
Where did you get your start? I studied in Munich at the Academy for Fashion Design. After graduating I just decided to go to London. When I got there, I popped into Peter Pilotto’s studio and said, ‘Hey, I’m Rebekka, I will work for you!’ It was a little crazy, but I was lucky because they had work for me to do. What did you do for Pilotto? I worked as an assistant there for a year. Peter Pilotto’s combination of prints and patterns is amazing. I had the opportunity to learn a lot. At the time it was a small brand, so I got to do patterns, design, production…a bit of everything. Why did you decide to launch your own line? I always thought I wanted to work at a big brand, and then one day I woke up and thought, ‘Why not do my own?’ It was kind of crazy. I spoke to my family and friends—and my family was helping me a lot—and they said I should just go for it. How’d the launch go? It was difficult. It took about six months to get started; I had to do all of the bureaucratic things first. I found it hard to pick a style to focus on, and to figure out what kind of designer I wanted to be. Have you had any mentors? My designer contacts were in London, but I had already headed back to Austria. I did maintain a great relationship with the dean from my college, so I was able to get in touch with him to ask for his thoughts on my first collection. How has your aesthetic evolved since then? It’s more grown-up! In the beginning, I really preferred dark colors. I was just doing collections in black, basically. Do you dress the way you design? When I’m working hard, I like to sleep a lot, so I’ll dress really quickly wearing whatever I can throw on. It’s just functional and comfortable. Most of my clothes are black, so it’s really easy to get dressed. I usually wear trousers and something on top. I don’t really wear dresses. How did you land on the Berlin Fashion Week calendar? Berlin Fashion Week is much bigger than Austria, so that’s why I show there. I never wanted to go back to Austria. I wanted to see the world and go anywhere else! I moved
away from home when I was 14—I went to school abroad, then studied abroad in India, then I lived in London. It was very difficult for me to be creative in London. It wasn’t the landscape I’m used to. Are you a fan of Berlin? I’m there every two to three months. On one hand, I really love Berlin; on the other hand, I’m not really sure. When I’m there, I like to go out, of course. I’ll also go to lots of museums and such. I do like this one particular street, Unter den Linden. Berlin is very creative, new, fresh and young, but I don’t like the people there. Why not? They just talk the whole time! What’s life like back in Austria? I live in a really, really quiet and small town in Austria. I don’t really have neighbors and I can see the mountains. I love cities, too, as they can feel creative—but I prefer to live in a quieter place. How do fashion sensibilities differ between Austria and Germany? In Germany, the people are dressed much better. Austria is very sporty, especially in the west of Austria where I live. There are a lot of tourists and a lot of winter sports. You can go skiing everywhere! So, people usually wear jackets with jeans. They don’t have a lot of courage to wear crazy clothes in Austria. That’s a bit sad— and that’s why I love to go to Berlin. What’s the story with your latest collection? I started experimenting with the 360-degree look, so there’s stuff going on in the front and back. We also worked with a doll-like look. The collection is called panem et circenses, which means bread and circuses in Latin. Have you seen Hunger Games? That’s like the 21st century equivalent of the ancient Latin translation. So this collection is a mix, somehow, of Hunger Games and the circus. Are you a big Hunger Games fan? It was just the right movie at the right time. My sister really adores The Hunger Games, and she forced me to go to the cinema to see it with her as a birthday present. While I was watching it, there was a place in the movie, the Capitol, that really inspired me. Any other projects beyond Ruétz’s Spring 2013 collection
your namesake line? We’re launching a second line right now. It’s called You Know You Want It by Rebekka Ruétz, and a supplemental collection to a commercial shirt brand. It’s for men and women. It’s the first time I’ve worked on men’s clothes before. What’s up with the energy-charged fibers in your threads? I figure that we wear our clothes so often, we should get something back from them, right? I’m fascinated by chakras. Recently, I designed a print that depicts the different chakras and their locations on the body, done in flocked prints. When you wear the clothes, your chakras get more energy—and you feel more beautiful. People tell me they feel better when they wear my clothes when they’re sick! But it depends, of course, if you believe in such things or not. If you don’t, it’s just a nice piece of clothing. What’s the feedback on your collection been like so far? Really good! Customers love that the pieces are not made in China; they’re made right in Germany. That’s part of my philosophy as a designer. Your line debuted in 2009— what do you want to do in the next three years? I want to show my collection in London. That’s a very important goal for me. In three or four years I also plan to have a men’s collection— it definitely won’t be sporty. It will be a mixture between casual and elegant. And on the retail front? I hope we’ll be selling in Europe—specifically, London. That would be great! There are a lot of interesting stores, but I don’t have a favorite. The best would be to be featured in all of them.
DESIGNER CRUSHES, DECODED! The trio of industry stalwarts Ruétz draws inspiration from— and will hopefully soon be sipping lattes with—each and every day. Hey, a girl’s gotta dream! COLLAB-HAPPY! “Haider Ackermann would be great to work with one day.” JAVA WITH THE KAISER! “My dream is to drink coffee with Karl Lagerfeld; I want to see what he’s like in person.” SHADOW DREAMS! “I’d love to see how Vivienne Westwood works. I’ve never met her.” ALL PHOTOS COURTESY
This season Kilian Kerner celebrates his 10th year showing at Berlin Fashion Week so we thought we’d check in with the recovering “It” boy to find out how he’s maintained his lasting appeal. Because he enjoys acting—like our sainted muse, Colette—we then followed up with the truly important questions. BY EDDIE ROCHE PHOTO BY KATJA HENTSCHEL Let’s talk background! I was born in Mönchengladbach and later moved to Cologne. Cologne is where I come from and Berlin is my home. I moved to Berlin in January 2003, so the 10th anniversary of my show at MBFW coincides with my 10 years in Berlin. It’s a double anniversary in January 2013. I dropped out of school three times and had three attempts at getting my diploma in commercial subjects until I was thrown out for absenteeism. At the time I had my first leading role in the theatre and that was more important to me than business administration. I studied drama in Cologne and Berlin until I launched my own label in 2004. So you really wanted to be an actor? Acting was my dream. I loved situations where I could stop being me and be someone else. There’s one role at drama school that I particularly like to remember: I was playing the 12-year-old son of the American president who was not allowed to go into the large room of the house and read a certain book. During a celebration he went and did it and discovered a big family secret. I was so involved in the role that I felt light-headed after the performance. I really loved it. I did a bit of theatre, made independent films and two or three small TV productions. But then fashion came into my life and changed everything. I was a very undisciplined person when I was at acting school. I think I was too confident about what I could do. Fashion changed me, as I was uncertain and had to fight. I have given my soul to this label. I was happy to do it and still am. It is the absolute love of my life. You’ve had quite a few celebrities wearing your clothes. Who would be your dream client? I’ve already been lucky enough to dress really fantastic celebs. I have lots of associations with most of them; Tom
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Schilling is one of my very favorite actors, Tim Bendzko used to model for me and his music is exactly what I like. I met Karolina Kurkova and Eva Padberg last year and we hit it off right from the beginning. Alina Levshin’s acting moved me so directly that I just had to write to her. I have a very close relationship to Karoline Herfurth, too. For me she’s one of the most beautiful women on earth. She is an unbelievable inspiration. It was love at first sight. This woman is so talented, so radiant, and has a very distinctive character of her own. I greatly admire her and am proud to have her as a friend. Who else? I recently realized that I am very much drawn to women called Kate. Kate Moss, Cate Blanchet, Kate Middleton, Kate Winslet, that’s why I have named my new Kilian Kerner Senses collection ‘Dear Kate’. To dress the Kates of this world would be a dream come true. Why is it important for you to have live music during your shows? Music is an expression of feeling for me. Who can live without music? I certainly can’t. Live music helps the emotional work while creating a collection. For me the live music creates, on the runway, the atmosphere that I experienced while I was working on a collection. Who are your biggest influences? Worlds of emotions, people and their stories. How did getting the support of Suzy Menkes help your brand? Through Suzy Menkes I had a lot of press coverage for a while and the purchasing agents also reacted. This gave me encouragement as a designer. The fact that Suzy spoke about me so positively a number of times showed me that I am on the right track. How did it help your confidence? It helped a great deal. I remember us standing in front of my designs in Corner in Berlin and her praising my collection. It was a tremendous compliment. And also the interview in Quality, in which she spoke about me, boosted my confidence enormously. Critics didn’t always give me an easy time and so these statements, particularly coming from her, were very important. We shot you on your bike. Where is your favorite place to cycle in the city? Me on a bike? The picture must be a fake.
Colette Questionnaire What’s one way of being wise? Sleeping a lot, then you can’t get up to no good. Where would you like to escape to? Heaven. How do you feel about the month of January? Fashion Week, Fashion Week, Fashion Week. It’s the only thing you think about. What pleases you? Thinking about five days of uninterrupted sleep. What pains you? Unreliability, empty words and liars. Who is your perfect companion? My mind: it never forgets anything, but that can also be very, very tiring. There are days I’d rather leave it at home so that it stops thinking, but most of the time it’s a super companion. What’s your favorite smell? Dior Intense What do you do with enthusiasm? Since its inception my label has been my enthusiasm. Each and every day. What do you miss? I am not a person who misses things much. I try to live my life in such a way that that can’t happen. Anyway, I don’t have much time for anything apart from the Kilian Kerner label. I travel to Africa often as I sponsor children there and am very attached to two of the kids in particular. It was love at first sight and a strong bond. If I miss anyone it’s the two little ones. Yes, I often miss them. How do you feel about truffles? I prefer gyros. What qualities do you look for in true friends? I have high expectations of friendships. I give a lot and would like to have my friendship returned when I need it. Reliability, honesty, frankness, loyalty—many things in a friendship should be a given, without having to be spoken about. People who don’t understand that won’t have an easy time with me. How often are you alone? At the moment, I’m often alone. I love having my peace and quiet. When I return home from my studio, I don’t want to talk to or see anyone. I turn the TV on and let it wash over me. What do you wish you had realized sooner? Doesn’t fashion have something to do with glamour?
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Runway Fall 2013
Renaissance woman. Summon the minstrel! Leandro Canoâ€™s voluminous floral dresses and exaggerated peplums held court with fashion forward chicsters perched pretty in the front row.
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Golden eye. Ultra-glam evening wear? Check. Mod daywear? Check. Velvet outerwear? Check, check, check! Kilian Kernerâ€™s James Bond-style lineup covers all your nightwear necessities. Opposites attract. Simple button downs, casual pants, and shirtdresses in basic neutrals met black mesh-knit sweaters and ombrĂŠ, earth-toned blouses at Hien Le where clothing felt au naturel. sSimh for the
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Runway Fall 2013
Lena Hoschek Lady and the tramp. Demure dames with a petit rebellious streak—this one’s for you. Take your pick between Lena Hoschek’s swinging polka dot frocks and vampy knee-highs or the sinfully splendide eveningwear. Necessary objects. Schacky & Jones nodded to ladies who lunch with a myriad of lavish furs and leather pencil skirts. The catch? No chapeaux, no service!
Schacky & Jones
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True romance. Femininity flourished at Perret Schaad, who leaned toward silky smooth, bias-cut gowns and frill-free separates. Modern? You bet. Wearable? Absolument. Rebekka Ruétz kept the femme quotient at an all-time high with a mix of sunny, refined daywear that added a touch of Spring in Fall’s moody step.oset
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Runway Fall 2013
A salute to severity! Menswear was decidedly austere this season as clean lines and fifty shades of you know what ruled the runway. Newsflash: Sissi Goetze turned to a modern newsboy as muse with plenty of crisp shirting and smart jackets to go with those slim, ankle-baring trousers. Meanwhile, Marc Stone went graphic on nubby knits. Check please!
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Mountain man plaid, uptown girl bouclé, subversive little mixed furs—this wearable collection hasthe Dark knights. Spikey epaulets, peg-leg pants, and suede motos with ultra mod squad check suiting was all theof outerwear a curated closet requires.macabre! Coral, that of shades, especially fresh fora order business at Sopopular. Deliciously Ubispringiest Sunt lightened thingsfeels up on his runway with the‘minimal frost. Mountain man plaid,Think uptown girlformalwear bouclé, subversive little furs—thisstaples ultra on wearable is more’ mentality. sportif on top and casual-cool bottom.collecBis! tion has all the outerwear a curated closet requires. Coral, that springiest of shades, feels especially
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Mark French and friends
Meet Mr. Ugly
Always wanted to be a model? Never had what it takes? Since 1969 the London-based agency, Ugly Models, has been working with every shape and size. The Daily rang up owner Marc French to find out why. BY EDDIE ROCHE
hat exactly is Ugly Models? It’s a character modeling agency. We’ve got every character from fat to thin, too large to too small. Do you have to be ugly to get signed? You’ve got to look a certain way and you’ve got to be comfortable in your own skin. What Ugly is all about is keeping people real and not trying to be a follower of fashion. We want you to be exactly the way you are. Someone might call a person with a big nose, sticky out ears, or buck teeth ugly, but I just call them unique. How many Uglies do you have signed? We have around 1,000 models in our book. Hundreds of thousands of models have been with us over the years because we started in 1969 so we have a big database of people. Do you know all their names? No, but my people do. I train my staff and bookers to be bookers in a slightly different way. I don’t want them to work from a computer or from a database search. We literally interview everybody, we know everything about them, and we try to become their friends so we know exactly what they are all about so we can sell them better. How do you become their friend? We literally try to understand absolutely everything they do. If someone has piercings or tattoos we want to know about it and whether they have a story about them or are doing it for a certain reason or because they like a certain style. I understand you were a model yourself… Yeah, I was for years and years. I was also a dancer and a gymnast. I would always do slightly unusual modeling jobs, even back in the day when models were just basically models. But I always sort of found it a bit boring doing normal mainstream fashion. When I came across Ugly it was fantastic for me to do jobs where I could stand and tumble and do backflips. No one could do that stuff back then. And you own the company now! I worked as a model with them and then my fashion agency found out and you can only be with one agency and they said I had to make a choice: be one or the other. I choose to stay here at
Ugly. I used to help out in the office and hang out and jobs would come up and they’d say, ‘Marc, you should go up for that!’ I loved it so much I just hung around for, like, two years. I lived outside of London and the agency was in the center of London and I would come here and just be a nuisance, really. The partners saw that I loved what I was doing and offered me a division of my own and I set that up and bought the partners out and now I own the whole lot. Is it hard to get these models good money? My models are probably on a higher rate than regular fashion models. They are so unique. With fashion models you can get 10 or 20 of them but you can’t get someone who looks the way our guys look or act the way our guys act. So I stick by my rates, and I won’t go down, either. What kinds of rates are we talking? If you are in a commercial you can earn 10 grand a day. Otherwise, we average you out to 100 pounds an hour—750 pounds a day. Who are some of your clients? I don’t think there is any client we haven’t got. Literally, from banks to building societies, to Italian Vogue, to mainstream fashion, and to high-end fashion. We do theater, films, and absolutely everything and anything. There isn’t a client who hasn’t used Ugly in the past. What are some of the more out-there types you work with? It really varies. I mean, if you’re looking for a giant, right now we have got a guy who is 7’ 6”. He’s absolutely amazing, comfortable in his own skin, is a dancer and really quirky. We’ve got the tallest, the smallest, the fattest, and the thinnest. Our overweight guys are really happy to be the way they are. If Kate Moss came through your door today would you sign her? Probably. Actually, no. I don’t think I really have a market for her. People won’t come to me for her so it would be a bit of a waste of time. If I had the clientele, though, I would. Do you work with a lot of people who
were former fashion models? Of course. They understand the industry. Before they had to be a certain way and they were always trying their hardest to keep up with the Joneses and try to compete. Now, if someone becomes themselves and they put a bit of weight on they still have a lot of character in the way that they are, which is fantastic. That’s what I want. Who is your oldest model? Beatrice Young who is 102. Last year she did a campaign for Liberty and she sat in a little rocking chair with the products all over and it was amazing. Have you worked with any big names? Jean Paul Gautier. Mario Testino comes to us all the time. He loves to use our models. Why do you think they love Ugly so much? They’re bored at looking at the normal fashion types, and I think these guys have got so much more. Do your models have to watch their weight? No. I want the models to stay exactly the way they are. If they’re chubby, they should stay chubby. As long as they’re healthy. Do you call yourself a manager or a booker? I’m just Mr. Ugly. There’s nothing that I don’t do. I own the company, but I still book on the table, scout and do everything. In this industry you have to live it. Are you constantly on the lookout for ugly people? I drive my family insane. Wherever I am or whatever I’m doing I’m looking for people. And if I do like them I will go up to them and say, ‘I’ve got a modeling agency that’s called Ugly, but please look me up before you get offended.’ But most people have heard of it. Do you have supermodels? We do, but I don’t think anyone is better than anyone else. I have got one of my ladies, Pam Lucas, who is absolutely adorable. She’s 65 with long grey hair and is absolutely stunning. She doesn’t see herself as stunning, but everybody who shoots her thinks she’s amazing. Have you made a ton of cash doing this? I’ve got a nice lifestyle, sure. What’s your motto? Be comfortable in your own skin. a l l c o u r t e s y m r . u g ly
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