When you visit a city or country that you would like to live and work, how do you make the leap from tourist visa to resident? Short answer, have brunch at Balthazar. Melanie arrived in NYC with a 3 week visa hoping that it could be longer. During her 1st week in NYC while having coffee at Balthazar, she got a random invite to a BBQ. She told her American friend “I don’t know anyone in the City so I’m just going to go.” Well, following her intuition lead to her first job and 4 years in NYC working for editors from Vogue, Elle, Glamour, etc.
Walking through the Lower Eastside, I bumped into Steven. A year ago, he launched www.NotVogue.com and today he was up for a chat on the fly. The site is pretty cool, and it described as “Counterculture vs Over the Counter Culture”. In response to a journalist question of , How do you decide who gets in Vogue? , The Paris-Vogue editor-in-chief said “You are Vogue or you are not Vogue .’ So I thought 1,000 of people in the world are Vogue and 7 billion on the planet are Not Vogue.” Steven walks us through the last year. Mr. Klein, a native of Brooklyn, has for three decades explored the relationship between contemporary culture and constructing efficient and proftable brand identity. He named and branded the contemporary art fair Scope (global culture on the verge) and art sponsorship group SCENIC. Steven is a 1972 graduate of the New York School of Visual Arts.
I randomly met up with Stacey McKenzie. Like many I know of Stacey but until now I did not really know her story. Stacey shares her inspiring story of passion as her anchor to accomplish her goal of being a model although everyone told her she did not have the “look”. Stacey McKenzie (born in Kingston, Jamaica) is a global fashion model living in Toronto. She is a runway coach and most recently a model coach and judge on the Canadian reality television show Canada’s Next Top Model.
“I always wanted to model since I was 6yrs old..even though I was told I was never gong to make it..because your not pretty enough..you’re not beautiful..its never going to happen..I didnt listen to anybody..it hurt a lot. Throughout my life, I was always told that I’m not good enough, I’m not beautiful..Im not pretty..its never going to happen for you..but its what you take from it..I refuse to let anyone stop me from pursuing my dreams”
After being told, early in her career, that she was too distinctive for the Canadian market, she moved to New York. She was immediately picked up by Elite Model Management.
Unprepared for the challenges of a modeling career, McKenzie returned to Canada and finished high school. In 1995, she moved to Paris, France to pursue modeling further. During her first season, she modeled for top designers including Jean Paul Gaultier, Thierry Mugler and Christian Lacroix. She also landed her first campaign with photographer Oliviero Toscani for Benetton.
In the wake of her initial success in Paris, McKenzie was commissioned to work in markets around the globe including Paris, London, Italy, Austria, US and Japan. She worked for Alexander McQueen, Betsey Johnson, Tommy Hilfiger, Todd Oldham, Michiko Koshino and Jean Paul Gaultier. Her magazine covers include Essence, Le Monde and Panache, as well as editorials in Vogue (US, Japan, Korea, Britain, Spain), Harper’s Bazaar, Interview, Flare, Fashion, and Vibe.
She has appeared in a number of major campaigns including Calvin Klein CK, Jean Paul Gaultier, MAC, Mexx, Reebok, Todd Oldham Jeans, Nordstrom, Barneys, and Banana Republic.
“My small story is that I love New York. I’m here for my internship with Black Denim. I always wear black. I love Spur Tree [restaurant]. I love Jamaican food. I’m from Copenhagen a very small boring city and I want to stay here for the rest of my life..Black denim is a swedish brand. I’m the jean expert.” While on Orchard street, the owner of Spur Tree restaurant introduced me to catherine. Our conversation covers her favorite stores in New York, best denim countries, cheap vs luxury and Copenhagen vs NYC.
Walking along Orchard street, I was intrigued by the name of the shop and sizes. So I popped in and met the owner Cindy. She and her partner opened The Little Shoe Store a week ago. “My small story is that I have very small feet and have always had trouble finding shoes so the only way to get shoes for me was to develop a brand..a store”. I am glad I popped in, Cindy opened the shop last Saturday.
While waiting for a friend at Peaches restaurant, I overhear the woman in dreads recount with awe how a man just walked up to her and ran his fingers through her hair. ” But then I just feel my hair just lift up and drop against my shoulder and I just lost it. I lost my mind. I said to him ‘complete stranger, can you please never fucking touch me again!?” She and roommate shared their hair stories and the culture of weaves. Anicka is from Washington, D.C. and her roommate Jamie is from South Carolina. They moved here like many to get closer to their career dreams.