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April 20 2014

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2 posts tagged "ACW Worldwide"

Game Face

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The gridiron faceoff was fierce yesterday for Super Bowl Sunday, but so was the catwalk competition at ACW Worldwide’s model call for the casting agency’s Fall 2011 New York shows. The lithe and the leggy arrived to try for a spot on the New York runways (ACW casts Thakoon, Y-3, and Jen Kao, among others), and even past success is no guarantee of a good placement. “I was very lucky,” said Kat Hessen (above left), who had a knockout debut Spring 2011 season walking Alexander Wang, Rodarte, Prada, and Miu Miu. “But the second season, you never know. You no longer have novelty on your side. It’s almost like you have to prove yourself.”

“There’s so many new stunning girls each season, but you want somebody that’s not a robot,” explained agency founder Andrew Weir of the process. (Those who want to go deeper into the casting world can also check out his newly launched blog, Weirdiary.com.) “They mostly start so young; many of them have nothing to say yet. But sometimes you’ll meet a young girl who has this amazing style at an early age.” Iris Egbers (Supreme) and Alex Yuryeva (Silent) were two newbies that caught his eye.

There were, of course, catwalk veterans like Rose Cordero (above right), Jourdan Dunn, Eugenia Mandzhieva (above center), and Sophie Srej, too. It was also nice to see a concerted push toward more diversity in the field. Compared to years past, there was a noticeable uptick in young Asian and black models (Li Ming and Melodie Monrose stood out). “That is something that is really exciting,” Cordero enthused. “There used to be certain clients who never hired black models. But ever since Italian Vogue started casting us, it’s been amazing. It really started with that.”

For all the exotic names and new faces, there was only one that created something of a frenzy. Crystal Renn, with her notorious curves (or purported lack thereof), had the casting practically at a standstill. The Ford model, who was game even for an impromptu photo shoot with the press, stopped to chat. “In modeling, there’s not much freedom,” Renn said of her not plus-size but not stick-thin frame. “If you started with a size 35 hip, you’re expected to stay that way. I made a decision in my career to let my body be where it wants to be. I know they say that this industry is all about looks, but the key thing is what I have on the inside. It’s what sets me apart.”

Photos: Gregory Harris/Courtesy of the Gap (Hessen); Kim Weston Arnold (Mandzhieva); Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com (Cordero)

Cast Away

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Fashion doesn’t exactly abide by regular schedules. So while the rest of the country was enjoying a luxurious long weekend, models were scampering around town proving that their runway struts (and figures) were sharp as ever. On a breezy, perfect sort of NYC Saturday, Andrew Weir of ACW Worldwide was casting for a bevy of fashion week shows, including Ruffian, Y-3, and Zac Posen’s Z Spoke at the Hudson Hotel (to the alternately pleased and gawkish stares of hotel guests). Marc Jacobs favorite Hannah Holman stopped by on the early side. “Everyone loves fashion week, but everybody hates all the work getting up to there, castings, fittings,” Holman divulged. “Fittings can be the worst. You sometimes are standing there for hours while they literally make the garments on you. That’s why we’re all skinny and depleted when it comes to Paris! And we’re eating pasta everyday!”

Weir was apt to agree. “I love seeing the girls when they’re in New York,” he said. “They’re coming off summer, so they’re always so fresh.” Healthy being model-dom’s mantra of the moment, Weir was particularly on the lookout for new girls with a glow about them. Stephanie Rad of Marilyn was making waves with her golden good looks, but there were plenty of fresh faces from Holland and Norway to launch a Dutch/Scandinavian invasion. That’s not to say many new girls make the first cut. “I might find one, maybe two gems,” Weir noted. Particularly if “old” hats like Diana Moldovan, Daiane Conterato, and Bruna Tenorio promptly proved they’re not going anywhere with one pro sashay down the test runway. But even Chanel haute couture closer Iris Strubegger (left) was better than to think she had any job security. “Well, you never know. The next new girl may come along and you’re no longer at the top anymore,” the Austrian beauty said. “So I try to stay just as excited and try my best for every show and casting as when I first started.” Continue Reading “Cast Away” »