VOL. 2 ISSUE 5
TABATA JEWELL AND APPLONIA CRISS TOP SECOND LIFE DESIGNERS
Photo by Lulu breuer
message from ji Dear Readers, It’s a pleasure to be back. Often times life throws a wrench into your plans and if you’re not ready for them they can be quite damaging. But that’s what life is about — living and learning. Nonetheless we are pleased to give you all a glimpse into the lives of the colored community. We are all different shapes, sizes and ethnicities. Being woman of asian heritage, it makes me proud to see people from my community break barriers. And that is what this issue is all about — breaking barriers. In that spirit, we are honoring the great black designers and models of Second Life. These women are strong, intelligent and beautiful. They are empowering other Second Life women to be comfortable in their own skins. Second Life brings together people from all over the world. The
culture and experiences we share on the grid can’t be replicated in the real world. This is perhaps why Second Life is so unique. Many people impact our second lives one way or another from designers to DJs. At Radar Magazine, we hope to impact our readers and break barriers with each issue by constantly raising the bar in content, photography and design. In addition, we will soon be dominating the airwaves with the launch of Radar Radio next month — DJs, shows, live musicians and even karaoke. The next issue is sure to bring you more of what you’ve come to love in Radar Magazine. Until next time,
Radar Magazine Managing Editor
laBella farella ceo & PubLiSher unCleslaPPy wylie ceo tiyah triellis chief oPerationS officer danCer dallagio editor in chief ji nirvana Managing editor alatiel Malies Marketing Manager ella Quinsette faShion director alatiel Malies radar MaLL Manager rattis neutron eventS coordinator
Carly Benazzi Elyna Carver Leah McCullough Angels Milena Linnda Scofield
Emy Aker Pam Astonia Rabia Baxton Valeria Endrizzi Elena Ewing Angellina Freschi Tanechka GossipGirl Alatiel Malies LovelyMiwako7399 Menna Temperance Moonites
Ivy Auroline Fancy Bekkers dancer Dallagio Angelina Lerintzo Dar Moleno Anjelyc Morales Ji Nirvana
misty Starostin Vanessinha Vectoscope Vikeejeah Xevion
Arisia Ashmoot Angelik Avecchia Wipster Baxter Carley Benazzi Michela Benazzi Matteo Bettencourt Addisonlyn Blaisdale Lulu Breuer LadyLouisCapone Carmona Arkaine Cazalet Lulu Coba Dancer Dallagio Seth Diabolito Tyra Eiren Valeria Endrizzi Imani Enzo Elena Ewing Serene Faith Joselyn Ferber Rissa Friller Frederica Galtier Lei Garnet Jessica Gelbhard
Annete Himmel LesPaul Ibanez Maddox Kaestner Veronica Krasner Nala Kurka Maras Lane Tesan Lane Izabelcia Lemton Caoimhe Lionheart Jenna Loire Ananya Mai Raine McCellan Leah McCullough Angels Milena Temperance Moonites Gabriella Mortensen Carilynn Ohare Valeria Pienaar Petitelittlegirl Pinklady Viola Rookswood Blair Roxley Melanie Sautereau Scofield Linnda Guka Sparta Jade Spectre Filipia Thespian Vikeejeah Xevion
Radar Magazine is published by RadarSL. Radar SL also owns and operates Radar Models, Radar Mini Mall, Radarsl.com and Radar Radio. Website: http://radarsl.com Online Issue: http://issuu/radar_magazine Visit us InWorld: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Etorofu/55/161/25 For updates, gifts and events join our inworld group: Radar Magazine
22 22 Column: Just Nave 24 Journal de nouveaux modeles
24 34 ENTERTAINMENT
30 Monthly Mixmaster: DJ Medelin
34 Fierce on Catwalk: Winter Jefferson 36 Which is your Charme: Calista Ella=
66 40 Ebony Beauty: Second Lifeâ€™s Top Models 66 Asymetrique: Fashion Forward 72 On Top: Second Lifeâ€™s top black designers 82 Flesh to Pixels: Bringing real life to Second Life
82 Second Life designers Applonia Criss of Chantkare and Tabata Jewell of Vanity Hair share their experience of being black designers on grid. Photo by Valeria Endrizzi
Just Nave I
’ve been asked recently where I and others in the StarWalkrers 2010 group stand on the topic of pay for Second Life models. It’s simple. Models who invest heavily — skins, shapes, eyes, hair, nails, etc, training and coaching, clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories, photography and promotion, real life expenses for internet and computer equipment — deserve to be paid well and earn a decent return on their investments, not to mention hard work. Frankly, salary negotiation is between the model and their potential employer — it’s private. If a model, for whatever reason, chooses to work at a particular fee or even for free, that’s their decision. We are a capitalistic society and there is no way to enforce anything we propose. So we choose
to stand aside. This is business whether it’s Second Life or real life. Sabine Blackburn, one of the co-founder of the StarWalkers group, was much more vocal about enforcing the ‘no pay, no play,” issue. She wanted to prevent anyone who didn’t pay their models from benefitting from the StarWalkers’ utility, substantial inﬂuence and audience in Second Life’s fashion and modeling community. We’re not asking every potential model employer where they stand. If someone approaches one of the StarWalkers’ management team with a complaint, we’ll listen. But we are not going of tilting at windmills every time someone messages us. That is not StarWalkers’ mission in Second Life. Star Walkers is simply a bulletin board for all things fashion and modeling in Second Life — shows,
castings, announcements, classes, magazines, designer chat — you name it. The list is almost endless. We are also intent on having fun. Chat at StarWalkers is a riot to be a part of. especially when Perla is half lit up. In the near future, we’re thinking of starting an ongoing StarWalkers’ hunt. Things will be hidden at 25 different locations by members of the group. This is not just designers but modeling agencies, magazines and photographers will be in the fun too and benefit from the exposure and traffic. You’ll hear more about our StarWalkers hunt plans soon. I’m just, Nave Fall
Journal de nouveau modĂ¨les c Radar Magazine will follow two new models on their journey to become a top model
Hey all you gorgeous people! It has been an exciting week for me. I was cast in a show for Body by Eve. I love her. It has been postponed because of some real life issues but look for her feature in Radar Magazine. Also this week I did a shoot in honor of black history month. I had the honor of being Tyra Banks for a about an hour or so. I love her, especially how she told her haters to kiss her fat a**! Getting that look was kind of stressful at first since I had an hour to pull something together and try to make myself look like her. I think I did pretty good in the time given. Look for that article in Radar Magazine, too. I had my photo shoot for the magazine; Lulu Breuer did my photo for this month. I absolutely love it! Oh my god she is fabulous! I have worked some at sage of course. We are still getting ready for the pageant. It is being rescheduled but no word as to when. I am still planning to do the JCNY model fest but havent had the time to get my photo done for that. I have also been shopping and looking for new designers. I have found some new to me. One of my favorites is going out of business and it just saddens me, Adiva! Get by there while you can and pick up a few of her designs. The skin fair started yesterday. I am hoping to get by there soon and check all of that out. I got my hair done yesterday at Maitreya....I love it! It is a short choppy cut. Its so sassy yet sexy. I think I am finally coming into my own and becoming more me so to speak. I am finding who I am and what I want to be in this second life. You meet people along the way that will discourage you, mainly because they dont want to see you succeed. They arent true friends. True friends will build you up and encourage you to try new things and face
your fears. True friends are there through it all. There will always be disagreements, misunderstandings and so forth. It is your true friends that stick by you no matter what. I have also found those true friends. They all know who you are and I love ya dearly. Those that chose to turn their back or what not, well I’m taking the high road. I love people and meeting new friends. It is a tough world out there. In the modeling world, I have found more sweet and caring people than not. There is only one that has shocked me in her actions, all I can say is the higher you go the harder you will fall. Remember Karma, she can be good to you or she can make you wish you were never born. It is a choice you make. I choose to be a good person and a good friend. By no means am I perfect and I do make mistakes but I wake up each morning hoping I can make someone’s day better and I can sleep at night knowing I wasnt vindictive and out to hurt someone else to benefit myself. That my friends, is Fancy’s little lesson this week. Ok enough of the serious stuff..... tune into Radar Radio and join the group so you dont miss any of the fun! The parties will start soon. You all might want to come to Karaoke one Wednesday... who knew some of these gorgeous Radar models could sing? Just a warning I’m not one of them. Dont forget to get on over to our mall and do some shopping. We have some of the best designers in SL there. To top it off you get to hear some awesome tunes while you spend those hard earned lindens. Well I have some work to do so I’m out.... remember it is better to be hated for who you are than to be loved for someone you’re not! It feels good to be me! Stay beautiful and love who you are! <3 Fancy Bekkers Photos by LuLu Breuer
Hello all! Its been a week of learning for this new model, I am trying to learn the business from all angles, which I feel is a good thing to do that way you understand that is not just looking pretty in front of the camera or on the runway that makes all this work. I have been paying close attention to castings and what each one takes, how they are different and somewhat alike, so let’s look at those. Differences of course are the product and how the designer wants it portrayed. I went to a casting where they only wanted the models to be extremely small no bottom and very small look top (butt and breast) so that the clothes would hang right, then I went to one casting where the models were to be “real women” but not too real in other words have some curves but still be thin. I am currently working at several stores and they all want something different; I guess thats what makes the world of modeling so interesting — you never know what you are going to look like from one show, picture, job to the next. I am embracing the difference, I have been a light skinned model one day and a medium skinned tone the
next; short hair, long hair, no hair — yeah you can laugh, but I had one shoot with no hair and I thought oh my god, I am bald!! Well now let me tell you my good news of the week. I won a photoshoot with a professional photographer. I am excited and nervous. I mean really what look should I go for, what will I wear and oh my god what hair style or color will I rock? Help! I can never decide, guess that is why I like it when a designer has an idea of what they want their models to wear and a vision of how it will look. I know I need more training on what looks best when and where but hey this is what its all about anyway, right? So you know with that win I have to go shopping! I have to look for that fresh new look, that hot outfit and of course that killer hairstyle unlike anyone else, and don’t forget the accessories. Well divas, I am off to do some shopping; Come along with me or if you see me out tell me about those great fits you have found I am always looking for new places to shop!!! Until next time, LadyLouis
Going deep with by ivy auroline Entertainment writer Ivy Auroline sits down and chats with DJ Medelin about his life as a Second Life DJ. DJ Medelin is mellow, humble and the passion he has for music can be felt pulsating through the deep rhythms and moving melodies. Techhouse, minimal or deephouse Medelin delievers deep sounds with concise clarity and calm enthusiasm. Ivy Auroline: Why did you come to Second Life? Medelin Ireto: A few friends of mine showed Second Life to me and I saw an opportunity to share my DJ hobby and creativity with a diverse range of people. IA: What was the first club you
experienced in Second Life? MI: The first club I visited was WOODS House Music Club. IA: How long have you been a DJ in Second Life? MI: My official Second Life club set was at Club Zain on the 5th of May 2010. IA: Where do you currently DJ in Second Life? MI: At the moment I spin at Sleek, WOODS, Sounds Gravis Beach (SBG), Club Zain, Radiant Bliss Project, Energy and Level 7. IA: Do you have any favorite clubs? MI: My favs are Sounds Gravis Beach (SGB), Sleek, WOODS, The Beach Lounge, Sands, and Radiant Bliss Project.
IA: Do you have any real life experience with DJing? MI: Yes, I was a DJ 1998-2004 in real life, but after becoming a father I quit the real life party scene. IA: What is your current style or genre? MI: Techhouse, Electrohouse, Deephouse, Minimal. IA: Why do you like techhouse, electrohouse, deephouse, minimal? MI: That is a difficult question to answer. I think itâ€™s because I can identify myself with these genres of music. Techhouse and minimal are, in my opinion, the higher states of electronic music and reminds me of good old techno music. Electrohouse is a perfect combination of electro and house music, analog tunes with
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a touch of house. Deephouse is my smooth side slow and melodic tunes with nice vocals. IA: Please share your top five favorite songs. MI: 1. Marc Knight and Funkagenda - Man with red face 2. Energy52 - Cafe del Mar 3. Extrawelt - Soopertrack 4. Daft Punk - Around the world 5. Dosem - Beach Kisses (Joris Voorn Green Mix) IA: How would you describe your personality and how does it apply when you DJ? MI: I would say I am a gentle and open-minded person who loves to talk, making jokes and I attach great importance to being honest. All that you can
see at my mix sets. I use to be as DJ, as I am as the “normal” Medelin. IA: Do you have a fan group? MI: Yes, it is called “Medelin Ireto Groupie Club” with 113 members at the moment. IA: What is your favorite thing about being a DJ in Second Life and/or in real life? MI: The main thing is to share my love of music with others. Seeing them dancing and having fun is the motivation for what I do. IA: How would you describe your overall experience being a DJ in Second Life? MI: It is a lot of fun! It’s amazing how you can meet people from all around the world, talk with them, sometimes generating lasting friend-
ships. In my situation, it is a good replacement for my earlier real life DJ experience. IA: What are some other things you do in Second Life? MI: I designed clothes and I have a tattoo shop where I create/design unique and custom tattoos for people, but at the moment I am very busy with DJing. Indulge in the relaxing side of house music and catch one of DJ Medelin’s chilled out sets: Wednesdays 10 a.m. -12 p.m. at Sounds Gravis Beach, Sundays 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Sleek. You can also watch for cover sets at WOODS, CLub Zain, Energy, and Level 7.
Winter Jefferson A quick chat with the fierce walk winner By Jessica Gelbhard Jessica Gelbhard: What skills do you feel helped you prevail through this competition? Winter Jefferson: I'd say it's not so much skill as sheer love of the game that got me through. Styling is my passion and the challenge of being able to set my most "me" look to music and motion was something I couldn't resist. I also spent lots of time in preparation and walked my choreo so many times I wore a track in the replica Patch Thibaud runway I built! JG: What was the first thought after you had heard you won? WJ: When my name got called I had to check and recheck that it really had been mine. I'm pretty sure my heart skipped several beats and I remember telling friends in IM that I forgot to breathe for a good two minutes. JG: If you could do it all over again, what might you differently? WJ: You know what? For what would be one of the first times ever I was completely happy with everything. I poured everything I had into my performance and nothing was
held back and I think that came across to everyone watching. JB: Who was your biggest inspiration that you personally believe helped you throught your running in the competition? WJ: My beloved friend Monica Outlander of Miamai. She helped soothe me when I was wrestling with the alien world â€” to me â€” of scripting when I was creating my props, and camped under the stage in edit mode the whole time until they were ready to be raised up for my walk. I also have to equally credit my long suffering girlfriend Elusyve Jewell who dealt with me in control freak mode for all that time! JB: What part of the competition was your favourite and most memorable? WJ: It's definitely when I was doing my exit walk and my props did exactly as they were supposed to; tumbling down dramatically and strewing themselves across the stage. I knew that it had the exact impact I'd been hoping for when the crowd collectively gasped and Frolic shouted out "Bravvvvoooooooo!!"
Photo by Lovelymiwako7399 Menna
a quick talk with the Le Charme winner By Jessica Gelbhard Jessica Gelbhard: How was the compitition? (the other runners) Calista Ella: It was good. Alot of thought went into this contest and all did great. JG: If you could use only one word to describe how you felt when you won this compitition, what would it be, and why so? CE: If I had to pick one word about how I felt when I found out I won it, would be 'WOW!'. I couldn't believe I had won. I wasn't expecting to win. I wanted to challege myself. I was happy with the outcome and hope it showed. JG: What was the biggest challenge you faced personally in the running? CE: One of the challenges that I faced was to have everything in sync with each
other, the skin, eyes, hair, and etc. I tried different looks and was coming up short. I wasn't impressed with anything that I had. Then I went window shopping to get an idea, and ended up with a whole new look all together. It came together beautifully. JG: Who do you consider to be your Second Life idol? CE: There are three friends of mine that have inspired me to go beyond what I think I could do. They have been there for me and I'll always be there for them. Serafina, Asian, and Marita (my friends for life) are my idols on SL. JG: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping you throughout this victorious experience? CE: Yes, I would like to thank Marita for her support. Thank you Marita.
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EmeraldEyes Honi How long have you been modeling in Second Life? Since September 2008
to do. Especially if you are in a show with another black model, then there is a high chance you will be wearing the same skins.
What insipred you career choice? I had always admired from afar the models that used to grace the catwalk here on Second Life. I often wondered how they managed to look and pose the way they did and also why, at that time, there were so few black models so I decided to apply for Ewing Fashion Agency's Elite Model Course. Since then I have never looked back.
What do you hope to achieve within you Second Life modeling career? When I first started modelling, I had hoped to become known as a black model who could be recognized for her hard work and reliability. This has not altered. I keep learning everyday and hope to continue on my road of success, staying away from "drama" that some models, black and otherwise, are known for.
How do you feel black women are represented in Second Life's fashion industry? I feel that now more than ever that black women are becoming more prominent in the fashion world of SL, however there are still so few in comparison to caucasians. Its a damn shame but maybe one day this will change. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to fine the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you "look black"? I could write an entire page ranting about the negative attitude towards black models and black women in general but I will not lower myself to talk about these people. What I will say is that there is real difficulty in locating good quality black skins, there are only maybe 5 designers who create excellent black skins that can be used in the modelling world. Now couple this with the fact that models are supposed to be unique and you have such a hard thing
What black woman do you admire in RL and why? Oprah Winfrey. Yes it may sound a bit blase to people in America, but here in the UK there are very few black women role models, so Oprah has always been an icon for me. To make your way up the ladder of success as she has is just testimony to Oprah's strength and forgivingness. She has become basically a franchise in herself and has accumulatesd a vast amount of wealth, but she also has the sensitivity and time to give back to those who need it. The perfect picture of a black woman <3 Favorite RL black model and why? Alek Wek. If you want to know the reason why just take a look at her photo. Oh my god she is just so beautiful â€” I am in awe of her. And I must be honest when I say I take alot of inspiration here in Second Life from her. She may not be as famous as Naomi or Tyra, but in my eyes she far outweighs them.
Imani enzo How long have you been modeling in SL? Just over two years What insipred you career choice? When I came to Second Life, I quickly found myself attracted to the beautiful clothes, hair, skins and shoes that were available to me. Further, I enjoyed styling and experimenting with my looks until I came up with one that I was pleased with. Soon after, a couple photographer friends suggested that I give modeling a try. So, I did some research, watched a few shows, signed up for classes, and my career was born.
can find just about anything you want here. As a result, I never get tired of looking and I am not afraid to ask someone to make it if I can’t find it. That being said, I don’t really call it a struggle, it just means that I have to work a little harder to be unique, and that’s modeling 101. Finally, I’ve never had anyone direct any such comment to me and I am glad of it because I find challenging someone’s blackness to be closed minded and just plain wrong. We are beautiful and diverse in skin tones, features, shapes and sizes and anyone who can’t quite get that is a lost cause.
How do you feel black women are represented in Second Life’s fashion industry? Black women are making some strides in the industry and I look forward to seeing us doing bigger and better things. There is no doubt that we have the talent and skills to win major competitions and we possess the beauty to be the faces of Second Lifes’s top brands. I am encouraged because I know that we have the power to change things and I’m excited to see a surge in the number of black women entering the modeling profession, designing their own brands, starting their own agencies, and running their own fashion competitions. I think that creating new opportunities is a way for us to have a greater impact on the industry. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to fine the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? I have to say that I’ve never even considered it necessary to try and create an image as a black model. I am black and I do model. I am more concerned about creating an image of a professional model that has skills, works hard, assists others, and honors commitments. I must admit that while it is not always easy to find quality ebony skins or the exact hairstyles that I want, things are so much better than they were when I came to SL. I love to shop and I learned pretty quickly that you
What do you hope to achieve within you SL modeling career? I just want to continue to improve and achieve more success in my modeling. Of course, I’d like to eventually earn the opportunity to compete in MVW and perhaps make the cover of a magazine. I’ve learned to pace my career a bit and I find myself in a really good space right now. Most importantly, I still enjoy this work. What black woman do you admire in RL and why? I’ve always admired my mother because she was the strongest and most amazing woman I’ve ever encountered. She fought adversity and beat the odds time and time again. She taught me to be proud of my heritage and encouraged me to believe that I can accomplish anything. She is no longer with me but my admiration of her continues to live on. In my eyes, no one else could ever match her beauty, intelligence, and strength. Favorite real life black model and why? I honestly can’t say that I have a hands down favorite. I am proud of the accomplishments and contributions of ebony models like Naomi Sims, Beverly Johnson, Iman, Tyra Banks, Alek Wek, and Naomi Campbell. Each of those ladies, in their own way have broken down barriers and demonstrated that Black is beautiful and can’t be confined to a single standard.
Chickie Ashbourne How long have you been modeling in SL? I’ve been modeling in Second Life for almost a year. It’ll be a year in March actually. What insipred you career choice? When I first came to SL, a few people would tell me how tall I was. I was new, so I had no clue about what an average height was. I thought that I was a “normal” height. Anyway, in addition to my height, I was really blown away by the fashions and creativity on here. Some of the clothes were so beautiful. I figured what better way to bring the designers vision to life than to model them. And here I am. How do you feel black women are represented in Second Life’s fashion industry? I personally think that more darker skinned models need to be represented. I met some models recently and did not even know that they were black. I don’t know if it is something that’s purposely done or not, because I know there are many variations of black. I just don’t see, rather don’t know many darker skinned models. It would be nice to see all shades of models equally represented. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to find the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? I fashioned my avi to look as much like me in real life as possible. I personally have not had an issue with “looking black”. When you see me, you know what my nationality is and I’ve been received well for the most part. My frustration is finding more edgier skins for black women or men for that matter. If I want to edge out my look a bit, I’d have to buy a white skin or “tan” skin. Truly we need to have more variety of skins for every genre of fashion as our white model
sisters do. Having said that, the modeling groups like Models Looking for Work, Models Workshop and the like have really been helpful to me. If I don’t know where to find something the other models in the group have been really great at helping me to find a pose, landmark, etc. I believe there is that common bond in these modeling groups where you really want to see each other succeed and you help in any way that you can. That has been my experience. What do you hope to achieve within you Second Life modeling career? I really hope to be one of the most recognizable faces of color in the industry. I know that may sound really shallow, but I do. Anything that I can do to encourage someone to do something positive I’m all for it. Noone should ever feel that he/she can’t model, because they may not be considered “beautiful enough” because they chose a darker, ebony skin. You should be able to express yourself on what you believe is beautiful to you. My other goal is becoming a dj as well. Fashion and music are my life. What black woman do you admire in RL and why? My mom is one of the strongest, nurturing people I know. I admire her so much, because she’s a no nonsense woman. Whatever it is that needs to be done she gets it done and I’m just forever in awe at her strength and love for us. Favorite real life black model and why? Beverly Johnson is one of my favorites. I remember as a little girl I’d see pictures of her and her sister Sheila too and I just thought they were so beautiful. In the words of Wendy Williams, she is definitely my friend in head. She seems so down to earth and I see us shopping and sipping on mimosas.
bEyonCE aurotHarius How long have you been modeling in SL? I think I may have been ‘trying’ to model since 2007, late 2007, So I have a few age points on the modeling side but I feel like I am just now getting the hang of things, finding myself in this ageny, finding my look, and understanding what things are about and how to go about them. So my answer is late 2010 is when I started modeling. What insipred you career choice? I belive in beauty of all forms and I wanted to give it a shot, I dont have a specific reason of trying to model my only knowledge of anything fashion was America’s Next Top Model, My favorite show. One time I met a photographer years ago at a club in Second Life and she introduced me to an agency of which i did my first fashion show with which was very unprofessional and poorly done, so me and a friend eventually left the show and after that experience I knew what I wanted to do and soon I will be devoting my real life to the fashion industry as well. I am in love . How do you feel black women are represented in Second Life’s fashion industry? Well black women can be greater represented in SL thats for sure, because of our lack of representation there arent many of us in Second Life anymore, I find it rare to find a black model anymore but I am glad we are still around. I think to better our representation in this industry we must show we are great, I always try my best to be noticed and everyday I make a change, which is important, rather than being stubborn and saying I wont change and people are just all against me. Only thing that stands black women and
males too is themselves, ourselves. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to fine the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? It is actually pretty frustrating, I am a black woman in RL and I have paler skin and blue eyes. Just because I have blue eyes and someone else has brown doesnt make me not black. I belive the whole dark skin, bad hair, brown eyes thing is a complete stereotype and it can get annoying but I think it is best to just ignore any of those thoughts and to just be yourself. What do you hope to achieve within you SL modeling career? With my modeling career I hope to first achieve all of my goals and then I want to win. My goals are to model for LeeZu, Miamai, Modavia, AVENUE, Kabuki, and MAD Agency. I know I can and will reach all of these goals. I want to be perfect. What black woman do you admire in RL and why? I am inspired by my mother in law, she is a strong, fierce black woman, shes gone through hell and back without a thought of giving up. She isnt a celebrity or a model or rich or famous but she is my role model, she is who makes me strong. Favorite real life black model and why? My favorite black model in real life is Chanel Iman. She is just gorgeous and I dont look up to her as a person, but as a model, she has a great image, she is edgy, modern, young, feminine, and I love her style and wide range of work.
mumuPandora bailEy How long have you been modeling in SL? I am a model on Second Life since April 30th, 2010 What insipred you career choice? My first steps modeling in SL were done just for fun. Then I wanted to look behind the decor, discover the dream and the glitters of the runway being model. One woman told me one day during a lesson: "Sell you out, be yourself, and fight to represent you like you are. " this woman is called Veekeejeah Xevion. She was the one who inspired my career Second Life. She is beautiful. I am happy to receive this notecard which tells me is that I am ranked among the top 10 black SL models. Congratulations. How do you feel black women are represented in Second Lifes's fashion industry? Black women models are poorly represented in SL. Black models are very often denied under various pretexts. When will the muse or the largest black model on Second Life? There is an evolution but still too small. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? I wrote a part of the answer to this question above. It would require a wider opening to the black model, a perfect balance between black and white models. I hope to see an evolution. The struggle to find the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you "look black"? Why should it not be beautiful to have straight hair or smooth? I like my hair smooth, this is true, but I also love my hair braided,
frieze, or by afro. I noticed that my hair, wether afro, braids, curling, straightening or loop fit me equally well. Today in SL, designers are making efforts to create nice hair, makeup, ethnic outfits. Maybe perhaps one day in Second Life we will have the right to watch a masjestuous parade with a black model who will represent a big magazine or a great designer. What do you hope to achieve within you SL modeling career? Being the black model people is looking for in Second Life. Represent that I am the black woman anywhere. What black woman do you admire in real life and why? I am from the island of Guadeloupe. I am black. I admire the woman who, in real life, spent her life for the abolition of slavery. Her name is "Mulata Solitude". Pregnant during the period of the revolution, studying slavery in the islands, she was the woman to which Louis Delgres refused his son to be born as a slave. After a night of struggle and battle, his companions were found encircling the mountain Matoub. They all gave to the death the slogan "LIVE FREE OR DIE" Favorite real life black model and why? In real life, I could identify myself with Naomi Campbell. She is a model who has seen its popularity increased day by day. She is the best known model in her generation. Naomi Campbell, a black beauty out of the ordinary. Long, thin, with forms, SPLENDID, and despite all the gossips in the newspapers, she is the black model who opened the door to others after Naomi Sims.
Nisa Constantine How long have you been modeling in Second Life? 1 year, 6 months. What inspired your career choice? I became a model by accident. I’ve been a resident of the Costa Rica Sims for almost two years. I entered the Miss Costa Rica Pageant in August of 2009 and won, which meant I had to represent the Costa Rica Sims in the Miss Virtual World pageant. I knew then I had to truly become a model. How do you feel black women are represented in Second life’s fashion industry? In my opinion, opportunities for black women in the Second Life fashion industry are not very plentiful, and as a result we are underrepresented on the runway, in print, as well as in vendor ads. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to find the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? It has been very difficult to create my image as a black woman/model in Second Life. In real life I am a light-skinned black woman with blonde locs. The only skin options that seemed to be available for light-skinned blacks were tanned white skins. So, I made the choice to wear a skin that is darker than my natural complexion because I wanted it to be very clear that I am indeed a woman of color. Though I wear my hair natural in real life I do not wear it that way in Second Life because it is very difficult to find quality natural hairstyles.
I’ve been told by agency owners that my avatar is beautiful, but I’m not “dark enough,” or my features aren’t “strong enough.” I’ve been told that because my avatar doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of what black women look like I don’t “look black.” It is disheartening to hear such things and it offends me deeply. Black women come in a range of complexions, with a range of eye colors, and in a variety of shapes and sizes. As I mentioned previously, I am a light-skinned black woman who doesn’t happen to have a broad nose or very full lips – so am I not truly black? What do you hope to achieve within your Second Life modeling career? My Second Life modeling career is occurring in reverse you might say. I achieved my top goals when I won the Miss Costa Rica Sims Pageant and placed in the Top 10 during the MVW 2010 Pageant. Now my focus is on further establishing myself as a print and runway model. What black woman do you admire in real life and why? I admire political analyst Donna Brazile. She has achieved success and effected change in a field that is traditionally male dominated. Favorite real life black model and why? My favorite real life black model is Dorothea Towles Church (1922 – 2006). She was the first successful black fashion model in Paris. She is my favorite real life black model because prior to embarking on her modeling career she earned her undergraduate degree in Biology, and her graduate degree in Education.
Roe Woodford How long have you been modeling in SL? Almost 2 years What inspired you career choice? The endless SL fashions How do you feel black women are represented in Second Life’s fashion industry? I think we’ve just begun to touch the tip of the iceberg even addressing the issue. I think that just as in real life some people have stereotypes and possibly do not live diverse lives either by choice or circumstance; It is possible that many people here have never had interaction with Black women and possibly never American Black women. The amount of influence and strength we posses can only be represented by us. I think you see this in Second Life in many cultures be it Italian or Portuguese or any other, No one represents their own like their own. So its up to us how we represent ourselves, I dont worry myself with the thoughts of others accepting me or not, especially if it is based on the color of my skin, for that is their issue, not mine. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to find the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? I’ve only been one image in Sec-
ond Life and that is black. I don’t know a white woman’s struggle in Second Life. I don’t know if she has an easier or more difficult time fidning skin or hair. I know that the challenges of creating my look has been the thing that has kept me interested in Second Life. As far as “looking black” I think it depends on who you are talking to; most of us are inspired in some way by our real life looks or looks we find favorable, if someone thinks I dont “look” black then they probably would never really say this to me, they’d probably write it anonymously in a blog or something. What do you hope to achieve within you Second Life modeling career? I’ve done a lot and still enjoy runway and print, I’m continuing to perfect my craft and my look and love sharing all I’ve learned with new models. What black woman do you admire in real life and why? My Mother, she taught me to be strong and proud. Favorite real life black model and why? Naomi Sims (way before Naomi Campbell for those who are too young to have known her) Naomi was an African American model from the USA and opened doors for many after her.
Reign Congrejo How long have you been modeling in Second Life? I originally started modeling in Second Life in 2008, but took a break and came back at the beginning of 2010. What insipred you career choice? Wanting to learn more about designing, I found that modeling gave me that edge to see what the fashion industry was like and how clothing evolved here in Second Life as it does in real life. I wanted to learn to be a unique designer and thus modeling was my avenue. How do you feel black women are represented in Second Life’s fashion industry? As a woman of color I feel that we are not fully represented as other nationalities. I am not sure if the fashion industry has truly recognized the talent that women of color have. We grace the runway and are fierce, our styling is impecable and the uniqueness of our skintones is really defined. In print ads we stand out and thus we really should be embraced. I celebrate the women of color, Black women rock. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to fine the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? Trying to find the right skin is very difficult here in Second Life. Too many red undertones and as we all know women of color come in many differnt shades and sizes. I have been told that I am not black enough and I shake my head to whatever that means. I am a mixture of many different nationalities and thus that is whom Reign is. The color of my eyes, or the length or texture of my
hair does not represent my ethnic backing but really what my ancestors have brought forth in many differnt facets to create such a beautiful shade of brown. What do you hope to achieve within you Second Life modeling career? To make a way for new models of color. To pave the way and make it easier than as I had it. To have women of color recognized not only for their beauty but also for their talent and committment to this industry. What black woman do you admire in real life and why? This question is hard because there are so many. First my grandmother who taught me that my word means everything and I should keep it. My work ethic should be of the highest and to remain professional when those around you aren’t. I look up to women like Mahalia Jackson, Billie Holiday, Diahann Carroll, Ruby Dee, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King. These women have paved the way in music, movies, theatre, politics and stood their ground on racism, what more can I say? Favorite real life black model and why? Well there are a couple, first Naomi Sims who broke molds to be on the cover of Life Magazine. Beverly Johnson-whew this mega talent was the first to grace the cover of U. S. Vogue Magazine, French Elle Magazine, and German Cosmopolitan Magazine. Last but not least Iman Abdulmajid. This woman is still making history with a TV show and looks better than some of the models that have just hit the runways. These women were not only beautiful but had other talents and very very intelligent.
Vikeejeah Xevion How long have you been modeling in SL? I have been modeling in SL for one year this month. What inspired you career choice? I was a designer originally and before I knew about the Second Life modeling world, I used my friends as live models. One day we had a grand opening fashion show for my main store and I realized how much I enjoyed it. After a month or so I decided to look into modeling agencies and that was the start of my journey. How do you feel black women are represented in SL’s fashion industry? I think the models and designers that do what they do it very well. I admire the talent within the industry in both the models and designers of color. I do also see the same setback we go through in real life repeated here but i cannot blame that on the industry. It was here before SL after all. Given the international scale of SL it can be twice or even ten times as overwhelming at times the stereotypes and misconceptions that I have come across. But I look at it as an opportunity to educate the world one avatar at a time. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to find the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? I feel it is very difficult at times but with experience it gets easier. I made the same mistakes most new models make in looking for a way to recreate myself in Second Life. Real life does not always translate well into Second Life and once I accepted that and redirected my focus it became easier. There is a huge shortage of ethnic skins that are true to the ethnicities black or any other color for that matter. So when a good one comes along, it is overused which is not the best way to remain unique in this industry. I have dealt with that dilemma by going for the extreme in my look. I have chosen to the blackest berry in the bunch because I believe it to be beautiful and because I know most won’t go there. It had helped me carve out an image in this some-
times oversaturated business and I am really happy I made that choice. I have always admired very dark skinned models like Grace Jones and Alec Wek. Their looks are so strong and beautiful at the same time. I knew early on that is what I wanted to be as an Second Life model. As for the comments about not looking black well, sometimes we don’t. That is not because of the skin tone though. it is because of the features of the skins we have to choose from. I am sure with time, that will change. I am confident in my assumption that the majority of the world realizes black people come in a wide range of skin tones. We have international celebrities that can prove that point so I do not believe it has anything to do with skin tone. But one thing is for sure, there is not black blueprint that is the key identifier for “looking black” so once that idea reaches the masses the comment will go away. What do you hope to achieve within you SL modeling career? I have achieved a lot so far which I am very proud of. At this point I am happy to kick back for a bit and focus on designing again. What black woman do you admire in real life and why? Michelle Obama. She is the epitome of grace, class and sophistication. I admire her approach to political issues as well as her parenting , style and efforts to uplift her husband while maintaining a sense of self. She is a true role model for all women for sure. Favorite real life black model and why? Grace Jones. I think most know that about me. I love how fearless she is. If Michelle Obama is the softer side of who I would like to be, Grace ones is the edge. She is a fashion icon and will always be, in my mind, the original sort fo “Lady GaGa” figure that everyone is so enamored with these days. I remember the first time I saw her when I was about 6 years old and thinking wow! I wasn’t sure what to make of her but she captivated me and I never forgot that moment. She looks incredible for her age too. What a force of nature!
Niki Twist How long have you been modeling in Second Life? Three months. What inspired you career choice? Seeing a limited amount of black women in Second Life’s modeling scene inspired me to step in and help out a bit. How do you feel black women are represented in SL’s fashion industry? I think Black women in Second Life’s fashion industry are potrayed more as being a look then as a model. How do you feel about the difficulties of creating an image as a black model? The struggle to find the right skin or hair? The constant comments about whether or not you “look black”? I feel like it is a challenge but then again I love a good challenge.When I see black skins in sl to me its just a darker version of a pale or tan skin the designer made but its getting alot better.
What do you hope to achieve within you SL modeling career? In my Second Life modeling career, I hope to be a well know model and show even more ethnicity in Second Life’s Fashion scene.The ethnicity I see in Second Life when it comes to being african/african american potrays it as being wild and exotic but black women can be the girl next door too or the fierce girl down the street. What black woman do you admire in real life and why? Black Woman I admire in real life is woman who wake up everyday and handle hard times with a smile on their face. I also admire women who innovate such as Oprah,Grace Jones,Tyra Banks,and Michelle Obama. Favorite real life black model and why? My favorite black model in real life would have to be Naomi Cambell. She’s a little too much at times but I guess when your balancing being a business women and a supermodel you have to be a little rough.
asymetrique: Stylish, diverse, Versatile
Photos by Leah McCullough
Model: elyna carver hair: [kik]mode-atmos a(night black) nails: [Mandala] sinra 2 nails and rings set/feMale/saMurai BlaCk earrings: [Mandala] takayaMa face & ear piercing OutďŹ t: [sys] tryBe (female) Skin: [sys] skin inuyt dual (pale) cleavage + hB black boots: [sys] Pogo Boots
Model: amazon Silverweb dress: house of Beningborough - zabela Skin: glam affair - Castalia in natural 07 Shoes: Cheerno -femme daniela in Black hair & base: loq - grappa Pieva in fiery red bracelets and rings: [Mandala] - lotus Chain Bracelet/ring glove: M * a * ii * k * i Poofglove Black necklace:violator - the dark note earrings: violator - the Punk, the ruff, and the Beast set Lashes: glow - air - Cloud nails: a&a - fashion dangerous in Black PhotoS by LabeLLa fareLLa
Model: anna Sapphire Outﬁt & Boots: dd style “safari girl” Bw bracelets: dd style “snake Bracelets” in black hair: Maitreya “lauren” in natural Blonde Make up: MiaMai lesMakeups “yuki winternight 07” nails & rings: Mandala “takara” in white
Model: guka Sparta hairs: LaQ - radiant M05 Jacket: aoharu - elegant suit White Shirt: Shiki - Suit Monotone brown Pants: Sartoria - continental suit brown Shoes: aneXX horse bit Loafer White/crocodile
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O H WN S R IO E H N S G I FA S E IN D E CK F I L PA D N THE O C G E S IN K D C EA A BL RE L A
N IO V E X H A E J BY VIKEE
aPPLonia criSS of chantkare
Tabata Jewell of Vanity Hair
Applonia Criss of CHANTKARE How long have you been designing in SL? WOW three years (has it been that long). What is the vision of your brand? I alongside my Menswear designers want clothing that’s classic fun and modern to appeal to the avi that’s fashion savvy and Smart. She knows herself and what she needs to add to her SL wardrobe. What designers do you admire most? In real life, oh my god, so many come to mind Galliano. Mizrahi, Kors,Tracy Reese and Stephen Burrows In Second Life, wow too many too mention. Which models best represents your brand? We love diversity and uniqueness so there are many that exemplify our Brand Female and Male Did you enter fashion with a goal of breaking barriers? No. I entered fashion in Second Life as a need to make something for myself in certain colors I could not find. I have a fashion background in real life so it seemed natural to try in this metaverse. Having a fashion background in real life does not make one an expert on fashion in Second Life. It just gives you perhaps a sharper eye, making items in Second Life is totally different and the turnaround time is much faster than real life. As for breaking barriers, not sure if I have. I didn't set out to try all I do is try and be me How do you feel being black has impacted your brands direction, style and overall success? Being a black woman in real life, my sense of style has always been eclectic and I try to show that here in my brand as well as my avi's persona. Our success has been from the many people who believe in us and we are always humble and we remain that way. he ego's are checked at the door of our workroom/studio.
Do you ever feel pressure to conform your vision to suit a wider audience? No. That never came to mind nor have I ever been approached to do so. And If asked to I probably won’t. I make what feels right to me. What goals do you have for the Second Life black community pertaining to fashion? To continue to do what we do and be good people whilst doing it. To add more color, patterns and textures and hopefully to keep pushing the envelope and show that all persons of color are glamourous and stylish. What would make you happiest to see change in the Second Life fashion industry? One word — Diversity. CHANTKARE Main Store: http://maps.secondlife. com/secondlife/Tabula%20rasa/133/218/26
Tabata Jewell of VANITY HAIR How long have you been designing in SL? I have been designing since May 2009 What is the vision of your brand? I use to model in Second Life, and the need of having crazy hair styles for my stylings made me start to do my own hairs. What designers do you admire most? Applonia Criss for her unique and trendy vision of fashion. Lion Jonesford, her imagination and talent are endless. Which models best represents your brand? I absolutely love the style of Devine Hunt, Mimmi Boa, Wicca Merlin, Blackliquid Tokyoska among many others, but those have a very particular view of fashion and styling, Did you enter fashion with a goal of breaking barriers? Yes, my own barriers.
How do you feel being black has impacted your brands direction, style and overall success? Not at all, I am black but I try to reach all public, so when I make my pictures for my hairs I use many skins, Versatile is the word to define my style. I don’t design my hairs thinking I am black or white or whatever, I just design thinking what models and fierce avatars would like
Osuntumi Melendez of Kiko Life Skins How long have you been designing in SL? Two years precisely. I started in February of 2009. What is the vision of your brand? It's kind of two-fold. First I wanted to provide ethnic avatars with more choices, since at the time, and still our
“What we are doing isn’t about Lindens, it’s about representation” — Osuntumi Melendez, Kiko Life Skins to wear. Do you ever feel pressure to conform your vision to suit a wider audience? No, I don’t feel any pressure at all, I do what I like and how I like it, if I have to content everyone in Second Life with my designs i would forget the most important thing, enjoying what i do. What goals do you have for the Second Life black community pertaining to fashion? My goals are towards Models community, in that community you can find white skin models, black skin models, Asiatic models, all my work are towards those woman that love to style, love to use their imagination in each styling looking for that special and unique look. What would make you happiest to see change in the SL fashion industry? The end of Copybotting, and not only those viewers that copy all your stuff in one sec, but also those people that have to use other designer ideas cause they don’t have their own. VANITY HAIR Main Store: http://slurl.com/secondlife/ Waterton%20Way/194/151/24
choices were and are very limited. Second, I really wanted a store where Black women were front and centre. I got very tired of going into stores and being constantly assaulted by a monolithic monochromatic presentation by other designers, as though we didn't exist. What designers do you admire most? I love LeeZu!, Nyte N Day, katatonik, Maitreya, Uzuri, Mirai Style. Which models best represents your brand? I don't think this applies to me. Did you enter fashion with a goal of breaking barriers? Yes and no. I did it largely because there was a deep gap in the market and it didn't seem like anyone was stepping up to the plate. It was not so much about breaking barriers, as it was an attempt to serve the community and I think that was/is a barrier all its own. How do you feel being black has impacted your brands direction, style and overall success? In every way I think. I'm pretty sure that although there are more Black designers in SL than there were two-years ago, there are still not enough to reach a critical mass,
and what we're doing isn't about Lindens, it's about representation. I am the daughter of an Black Power revolutionary and a historian, I take the representation of Africans in the Diaspora very seriously as I was raised to care about it and to value our history and culture. It pains me to know just how deeply racism runs in the SL fashion industry, but what I do is driven by the need to represent my people. We're one of the few groups in here that seem to care little about the bland skins, the overdone hip hop culture pushed on us etc. etc. If I make money doing it, great. But for me it will always boil down to the way Black people are represented in the Metaverse. Do you ever feel pressure to conform your vision to suit a wider audience? Yes of course! To some degree I have opened up what I do to a wider audience, because I realized pretty early on that it wasn't just Black avis shopping at my store. They'd say they loved my skins and makeup, but wish they could get a tone that suited them. It's kind of funny, my best customer isn't even Black. However, I still maintain my focus on ethnic avatars as they tend to have far more options in my store than any other group. What goals do you have for the SL black community pertaining to fashion? I'd like to see more designers, but above all I really want to see more high quality designers. Anyone can buy a template off of Marketplace, but it takes skill to make the work from that template unique and compelling. I'd like to see us take more of a position.Let me rephrase: If you visit the Second Life fashion blogs for the most part what you will find is that for most of them Black women simply don't exist. The ethnic skins you see are almost always done by white designers â€” who more often than no have no basis as to what Black skin looks like and what they produce unfortunately tells me at least what they really think about Black women in general. I'd like
Osuntumi Melendez of Kiko life skins to see us as a group, support our own Black designers. There are a lot of Black women in Second Life that look like carbon copies of each other because they shop at the same three skin designers (all white) who's interest in representing for Black women is minimal. I'd like to see that change. I'd like the sister in here to support their own: staunchly and loyally. What would make you happiest to see change in the Second Life fashion industry? I'd like to see less racist attitudes. I'd like the fashion industry to stop rendering Black women as invisible and unimportant and I'd like sisters to CARE about these things enough to demand a change. If you're spending money with a particular designer, your ability to influence them is there. Write them an note card asking them why
Vikeejeah Xevion of house of Xevion
there isn't a single person of color on their walls. Ask the bloggers why they rarely feature Black designers in their posts. And don't let that 'it's not racist, I just blog or photograph what I like' rubbish fool you. DEMAND their respect. This is 2011, not 1911. We deserve better.... I'd like to see the Black women in SL stand up for themselves a little more, and just not accept that kind of shoddy treatment. Kiko Life Main Store: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Arima%20City/117/200/26 Vikeejeah Xevion of House of Xevion How long have you been designing in Second Life? I spent about seven months designing clothes in Second Life and recently started up again so I would say about a year. What is the vision of your brand? I want to be a brand for truly feminine women. I design with what I feel is a great mix of edge and softness. Great colors, shapes and unique creations. What designers do you admire most? Miamai is my absolute fave in terms of my personal style. I would say Chantkare and Osakki as well. Which models best represents your brand? SAKURA Zimberman. She has done some print work for me. Her styling and her overall look are perfect for my brand. Did you enter fashion with a goal of breaking barriers? I did not. I entered fashion as a designer
hoping to gain success and be able to continue to do what I enjoy. I do not think I am a barrier breaker as a designer though. How do you feel being black has impacted your brands direction, style and overall success? I believe it helps me think about all skin tones when creating my color palette. I like to try and appeal to all color seasons and especially what pops off of darker skin. That is my main focus when creating. Do you ever feel pressure to conform your vision to suit a wider audience? Yes. I do. But that is the goal of most designer right? To get their name out there to as many consumers as possible. I do it first because I enjoy it but at the end of it all I want people to like what I make and take it home and style it. What goals do you have for the SL black community pertaining to fashion? Right now I am gearing up for a fashion show featuring all black designers and models. that for me is huge and really great for Black History Month. Being asked to do it was a huge honor as well. What would make you happiest to see change in the Second Life fashion industry? I would like to see more designers follow the direction of real designers and create 2 collections a year ( Spring and Winter). My friend Viola presented that idea to me and I think it's brilliant. House of Xevion: http://slurl.com/ secondlife/5th%20Avenue/153/43/22
From flesh to pixels Second life models transform into iconic black real life models
Photos by Valeria Endrizzi
Second Life model: Petitelittlegirl Pinklady grace Jones: top model of the 80s, movie star and pop singer
Second Life model: roe Woodford beverly Johnson: first black model on the cover of american vogue, top model of the 70s, modern day business owner of a highly successful hair extension empire
Second Life model: vikeejeah Xevion alec Wek: current top model of high fashion and runways of europe, cover girl and handbag designer
Second Life model: tiyah trielis kimmora Lee Simmons: Black and korean supermodel and owner of Baby Phat one of the top urban clothing brands and kls of of the top formal dress brands
Second Life model: fancy bekkers tyra banks: top model of the 90s, victoriaâ€™s secret, sports illustrated (3 covers), antM Creator and talk show host
Second Life model: gabriella Mortensen Iman: one of the ďŹ rst top African models and modern day cosmetic empire owner
Second Life model: imani enzo naomi campbell: top model of the 90s until today. one of the longest modeling careers in the industry, muse to several top high fashion designers and ultimate cover girl