Saturday, August 23, 2014

World Premiere Interview: Christopher Uvenio by FIT student!

Caylee Peters a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology asked me to be interviewed since she always wanted to get to know me and is one of the 801,000 readers of my blog!
I was first not crazy about being interviewed, Caylee said, "Professor Uvenio, you're so well-known at FIT and everyone wants to know more about you! You're looking fabulous losing so much weight! You have a hot gorgeous trainer! You're look amazing! I was like okay I 'll sit with my former student and she started to asked me questions about everything! 

Tell me about you Professor! You're not just a Professor at The Fashion Institute of Technology, but you're also have a blog with a huge followings, a Fashion Editor of Anolie Magazine, Co-host of the web series: "Fashion Insiders" and you are working on the Coffee Table book as well! How do you find the time? Do you go out since everyone knows you're very outgoing Professor!

I have been in the Fashion Industry for over 20 years now, I have worked with several fashion houses including Bob Mackie, Anna Sui, Mizrahi and I have also done a lot of freelanced work as well.  I have done costumes and won for my work of the CBS daytime drama "The Bold and the Beautiful". Caylee, I always make sure that I have time for myself and do what I love.
 I am very lucky to be able to manage my work as a Full-time Fashion Design Professor at FIT, and do other fashion related outside the university. Yes, I do go out at night, how can I not? I get inspirations every time I step my foot outside. It could nature, people, anything that caught my attention. Yes, New York is the Fashion Capitol of the World, and yes, there's always something going on to capture my attention. I'm very outgoing.
  I love to go out with my friends that are my family, some were my classmates from day one when I was an FIT students to friends from the industry. I always keep in  touch with my friends since they meant the world to me.
I even went with one of my closet friend Rafaele Rivera to the Katey Perry Concert at Madison Square Garden. I had dinner with several of my close collegues from FIT last night. Thursday night, I went out with Rafaele again to see the Broadway musical, Chicago. Rafaele and I had a blast sitting in front row center of the theater. 
 I been working out every other day for 2 hours with another close friend of mine who is also a male supermodel in my coffee table book and trainer, Bill McLarnon. He's like a little brother. And he really kicked my ass and I sweat a lot from his workout and eating the right diet. He changed my life completely, I never knew do working out in the job is so much fun! lol! And he is also my inspiration and idol.
A few days ago, I had a Smoothie with Lauren Schumann and she is absolutely lovable! I love her! A a few days ago, I had a meeting with Vaughn Stewart and we spoken a lot about the book and life and ideas. I always have to have time for myself!

So I have time to be with friends who are very special to me. And I find time to do other projects that I am working on... 
What was it like working for Bob Mackie? He known for designing Cher, Madonna, Pink, Carol Burnett? Professor, what was it like working for the Iconic Designer?

Working for Bob Mackie have been so incredible that I have learned so much of how to do some beading, draping, designing a collection, worked closely with him doing premiere fashion shows. I would love to go back and start all over again. He was a true mentor, and someone that would treat his design teams like family.
Bob Mackie will always be the highlight of my career in Fashion.
Who are your inspirations or favorite designers to this day?

Everyone who knows me personally knows I live for Gianni Versace. I was lucky to have interned in Milan when I studied abroad at FIT's Polimoda. He was so tremendously talented that I even got to meet Donatella. She is a very smart woman and she never really got the credit she deserved. She created the Supermodels of Linda, Christy, Niaomi, Cindy, all those glamorous 90's supermodels. There will never be on like them. Gianni Versace was known for such glamour of Rock Stars inspiration and was the first to bring leather and denim ball gowns into Couture World!
I love Thierry Mulger, Balenciaga, Lacroix, Givenchy, Dior and yes,  Dolce and Gabbana!  

Who are your mentors, idols and somebody that you looks up to?

A lot of people of wonderful people in my life that are here with me and some who aren't no longer here, and they are in heaven with God. First of all, its my mother and father who brought me to where I am today. And my father who I greatly missed for five years now, he made me the man I am in believing myself and don't give up. My mother have always been my best friend, along with my brother and sister-in-law. My niece and nephew, Alyssa and Ryan as well.....

When I got into FIT, I has the best times of my life as a student, hard work, sleepless nights, great professors, many friends who I am so close with over 20 years. Lily Achatz, Joanne Cunningham, Newheart, Brondo Cavallo, Mia, and the list goes on..
Some of my professors I have had are my mentors and close family like Steven Stipelman, Linda Tain, Linda Sands, Wally Sloves, and some of who are no longer in FIT, but greatly missed, Spiderlari and Bodea, those two amazing over the top old school professors changed my life as well. I learned to drape, sew, patternmaking and art in the highest level because of all the best professor in my life.  Unforgettable chapter in my life. FIT is family to me, Stipelman who is an iconic in the world of fashion and illustrations, always like a father figure to me guided me through learning a lot how the department works.   

Professor, tell me about working on your coffee table book! How did that come about? When will we get to see the coffee table book, what will the title of your first book? What will be in the book? All Couture designs and Avant-Garde are what you are known for...  
Caylee, I have always wanted to create a coffee table book for years since I have a collection of my own books of Gianni Versace, McQueen, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Moschino and so many to name. I love coffee table books and along with illustrations. And one day one of my good friend, Vaughn Eric Stuart came to me and said, "Why not? Let's do it now..what are we waiting for?"

I got so excited and we teamed together brainstormed so any ideas.   The title of the book has not been decided yet.
The book will be out in 2 years since it takes a good long hard work to make it perfect and special. Yes of course, the glossy coffee table book will have very high-end Couture, Illustrations, drawings, womens wear/menswear, tasteful nude with some of my designs and haute couture jewels like Versace books and alot of amazing locations. And there will be different themes too, Gothic, Wicked Glamour, Rock Stars and so many to name since there will be a lot of chapters too!
How was your Summer?! You had quite a busy summer with the shoot and witnessed your office with lots of headshots and garments on the rack! Your office is like a party with alot of going on! And you sure have good taste in choosing the best people modeling for your book!

Foremost, I have to say that everyone involved were amazing from Shirley and Brondo Cavallo to the stars of my book. I always love having Rafaele Rivera in my collection, very special gentleman, I have known for over 7 years! But a big thanks to Vaughn who have helped me with what I was looking for with the looks of Bill McLarnon who is amazing and thrilled to have him as my trainer!
Kim Davies, love that long red flaming hair, she got that Avant Garde looks and my god, I can't stop seeing what she would do next!

Anthony Parker, what a good looking young guy, and the body is a work of art of a 21! He drove 8 hours to be in my book! Now that is something.


Lauren Schumann, love that couture face! and Darius Goodworth got some talents, that male model could sing opera, play the piano and the body is like a statue of David!
I love his singing voice, while he would be working and changing clothes to clothes during the shoot! He is so talented!
And a very talented makeup artist, Stevan Adams whose one of the best from Dior, Veronica Apsen, my intern is like a daughter who is so beautiful...and, Vaughn is a big brother to me and we are very close on the project. It was a great summer with glamour, glitz, sex appeal, wine, Italian food, drama, and I think it should have been a reality show on Bravo!  
  And your web series is coming soon in November and your interview with the great stylist Newheart, and your fall semester classes will be soon coming in few weeks. Professor, you have a full plate on schedule along with the book, and your trainer! That is a Wonderful life! Thank you Professor! I will be back with  more new questions for you soon!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

World Premiere Interview: Lauren Schumann

 
French & Gorgeous: Super Model

 Lauren Schumann 
 By Christopher Uvenio
       Tell me about yourself and where are you from and how it brought you to New York, the  Fashion Capital of the World? 
Living in the city that never sleeps has always been a dream for me, even if I have never been there, I knew I will end up in New York City one day or another! I am originally from Paris, France and moved to the US right after I got my high school diploma from France and went to college in Virginia. This State was not really a good match for me so after I a few months of learning English, I started thinking about transferring to another State. But about a year and a half ago, I met a photographer who offered me to shoot, for fun I guess, and I actually ended up having a lot of fun! Then I met another photographer who tested me in order to place me in a mother agency based in Richmond, VA, Kim Alley Models. We automatically clicked and she told me she would place me in  an agency anywhere I wanted in the US. I automatically though of NYC and two months after I signed with her, I signed with Images Movement and moved in the City! Woop woop! It all happened pretty fast and I actually never thought I would end up modeling and living in NYC ever in my life!
        When was it that you got started becoming a gorgeous French Super Model and how did it come about? 
"Gorgeous French Super Model?"I Love it, but you should stop being so flattering Christopher! (it always makes me laugh and genuinely happy when you say this!) I accidentally answered this in the first question, but as I said, I met a photographer and shot with him since I was a little bored in VA and I am always open to try new things, so I decided to give it a shot. And well, I liked it a lot! So then this other photographer, John tested me and asked me if I would like to take it more seriously. It sounded like a fun experience to me, so he introduced me to Kim Alley, and international model from the 80's who now has her own mother agency in Richmond, VA and places model around the US. I signed with her and she sent me to a lot of different agencies here in NYC. I ended up signing with Images Management and have been signed with them for almost ten months now! :))

You were born in France?
I was born in France, yes my dear. Born and raised in Paris and  the suburb. I moved around a lot but never went to far away from the capital. I left France when I was 18 to move to the US! Oh yeahhh!

  Tell us about yourself: Why do you want to work as a model? Why are you interested in this career?   
This is a great question, and to be honest, when the opportunity came to me, I did not think it will become a real job! But I really like the way it turned out and I love my job! Being lucky and having the opportunity to work as a model is the greatest experience I have had so far! We get to meet a lot of interesting, smart and fun people, as well as working with amazing and creative minds. It is such a great feeling to work on a project and share the whole experience of creating something different, new. As a model, it is even more exciting since I get to be "in the middle" and represents the whole team. Designers, stylists, make up artists, hairstylists, photographers, assistants and everybody on the set are trusting me in representing them and it feels amazing to be there and show the whole idea put together. Love it more and more as time is passing by!

When you get offered a shoot from a photo shoot, what kind of preparation do you need to do for modeling?  
Shave, clean face and hair! Clean clean! HAHA! Is this too straight forward and too much information? More seriously, this is it. Just a good night sleep and I am all ready to go for a fun day of "work!" As soon as I arrive on set, there will be people to take care of me and make me look good, so not so much preparation for me (which is perfect since I am pretty lazy when it come to do makeup and hair! lol).

What was it like doing your first photo shoot - scary, interesting, exciting, glamorous, sexy? -
Hmmm I like this question Chris! I would say a mix of all that. i was impressed an extremely shy, but excited at the same time to experience something new and different. I have always stood as far away as possible from the front of the camera but loved taking pictures, so all these lights and that lens pointing at me was a little scary. the photographer was super cool, so it did not take me long to become more relaxed and actually have fun. :)
                            
What's the funniest or weirdest thing that's ever happened to you during a photo shoot? 
So many fun stories to tell, but nothing really weird or crazy ever happened, so I will not be the best answering this question. One funny thing that happened once, when I was shooting an editorial around the Flatiron building in New York. It was me and a male model shooting (love shooting with guys, they are a lot of fun to work with, and they are pretty good looking as well-hehehe). People, mostly tourists, would stop by and take pictures of the set, probably thinking we were doing something big, and we could hear some of them talking and asking who we were. While a little break, someone came up to me and asked to take a picture with him. I felt really special and it was fun to see someone thinking we could be important people!

What companies have you modeled for? 
I have modeled for my friends' T shirtline, Mepadi then Piperlime, Jerry Kaye, Zara, Michael De Paulo, Warren Tricomi Salon, Amazon.com and Lancome to cite the most popular compies to work for.
Who are your favorite Designers?
My favorite designers are Rick Owens, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang and Rag and Bone.

Who are your least favorite Designers?
That, I have no idea!

What would you not wear in Public?
Flip flop with socks, you will never see me wearing these together! :V
How do you keep up to date with Fashion?
I read different fashion blogs and look at the fashion magazines. A lot of people I know and friends are in this industry, so I mostly keep up with them.

Do you have a fashion model inspiration, like the 90's supermodels of Linda, Christy, Naomi, Claudia, or Cindy? You have it all!
Haha! I love them all. More recent models, I love Coco Rocha and Feja Beha! They are both really different but they are definitely my favorites.
 Do you eat nutritiously? How often do you exercise or go to the gym? 
Well, except when we get to eat amazing Italian cuisine from Shirley Cavallo's kitchen, I tend to eat pretty healthy I think. I love juices and smoothies, which always fill me up with energy in the morning, and I have been pesquetarian for almost 3 years now. Then, I am a sandwich whore (pardon my French )! I also love good gastronomy, so every once in a while, I love to go to good restaurants and enjoy great meals. NYC has so much to offer when it comes to cuisine! Filipino, Thai, Hawaiian and Japanese Cuisines are my favorites! I am not good when it comes to exercising. It not that I don't like it, I love it, but it is hard for me to start. I walk a lot every day, running around the city and try to workout at least 2 or 3 times a week.

What do you do in leisure/spare time? 
When it comes to free time, it really does not matter what I do, i like everything as long as I am surrounded by the people I like. During the weekend, I go to Central Park with my friends and we just chill all day, relaxing and talking. I would go to a bar or a coffee to catch up with friends, and I like to go out at night when I am off to have a good time.

What advice would you give a newbie who's just starting in the industry - any suggestions on what to do or what to avoid?
That is a good question. I consider myself a newbie since my first "professional picture" was take a year and a half ago, but what I can say is that things go you way when you are being yourself, optimistic and show some confidence. Things turn out so much better when you enjoy everything you do. I always do my best and enjoy the moment, because you never know what can come across.
What is your favorite Fashion magazine?
I would say W is my favorite. 

What do you do when you're not modeling?
I work private events, go out with my friends, enjoy my dog and try to go workout.

 Who are you inspiration in life?
There is a lot of inspirational people around the world and there are lessons and advice to take from everybody. People that are inspiring to me are the ones I will stick and get closer to. They are really helping me in becoming a better person.
You have anything you would like to say at the end of the interview?
Well, thank you for caring about me and interview me, Christopher! Working with you was a real pleasure and I am looking forward to discover your upcoming Coffee Table book and turn page by page to discover each and every piece you have created with creative people who shared this experience with you.
0h, and you are To Die For!!! xoxox Bisous bisous!! 


You have been tremendously amazing and I adore you like crazy doing the making of the Uvenio Coffee table book! This Interview is Part 1 of 2...Thank you Lauren! Muah! xoxox

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

World Premiere Interview: Ben Walter

Ben Walter:
 The Super Male Model in the Making
by Christopher Uvenio

Tell me about yourself, where are you from?     
 I was born June 21st, 1986 in Reading, Pennsylvania.  That would make me 28 years old.  Throughout my childhood I was active in sports all year round such as Baseball, Soccer, Wrestling and even Football.  As high school approached I wanted to focus on one sport and that was Baseball.  I was a very strong right handed pitcher and even had scouts looking my way.  My goal was to make it big and one day sign a contract with a major league team.    


With your Amazing Good looks and a fabulous body, how do you keep yourself look good and what do you do to keep in such great shape?
 Staying in good shape is just a matter of staying active.  I eat healthy, but not going to lie I slip up with some pizza or a cheeseburger haha.  It also helps that I have high metabolism.

What kind of music do you listen to when you’re working out? 
When I am at the gym I just throw on Pandora with any up-beat music that puts me in a good mood.  Lately it has been an Everclear station that plays good music from high school days. I always like to mix it up though so I listen to songs I haven’t heard before.

Who are your personal favorite designers and what designs do you wear? What designers you wouldn’t wear?
I am from the suburbs so I never really wore designer clothes.  Being in construction I would wear clothing that I didn’t really care if it would get dirty.  Now that I am in NY City I am seeing all these designers and can imagine myself wearing the clothing.  I find myself wanting to be dressed well in Armani, Dolce, Gabbana, and Ralph Lauren.

How do you keep up to date with fashion? 
 Mostly, I keep u with the fashion while walking through NY city looking at the big ads all over.  Also I keep up with it while I am surfing the net. 
What are you, a Boxer or brief kind of Male model?
I am more of a brief kind of guy

What made you first become a model?   
  I always been complimented on how good looking I am.  Until mid February when I was scouted I never gave it a thought that one day I would be modeling. 

 How did you feel when you did your first ever fashion show or photo shoot? 
 At my first photo shoot I was nervous on the inside but didn’t let it show.  So while shooting I became more comfortable and got in the zone.  With my first fashion show was for Timo Weiland and when I went to the fitting they told me that I would be wearing nothing but a back pack.  I fell in love with the back pack when I saw it.  So I said sure lets do this. Lol.   Right before walking the runway I was like okay I am about to walk out there naked with a back pack and its going to be on Youtube.  I just closed my eyes and got in the zone and walked it and I nailed it.  

 How do you feel about the female model controversy of the size 0 debate in the industry?
 They’re females that are just small because that’s how they are.  I don’t believe that females should unhealthily lose weight to get into the industry.  It’s just not necessary to do so.

 If you were not a model, what other profession would you have been doing instead?
I would probably still be in the construction industry. 
 What are guilty  pleasures food wise?  
O man, it would be pizza!  I absolutely love pizza.  The grease, cheese, sauce everything lol.

 How do you cope under the pressures of being a model and is being nude also a pressure?
I drink haha.  Being nude is a pressure but its my decision to be nude in front of the camera and I just embrace it because I think it is art.


 What beauty tips do you swear by? 
I am just starting so I don’t know yet but for me going to the gym and staying in shape is key.

  If a young girl/boy wanted to be a model what would your advice for them be?
The quicker you understand the industry the better off your going to be.  Set goals and work hard to achieve them.  Lastly always be grateful for where you are in life or where it can take you, but never forget where you came from. 

What’s your favorite color?
My favorite color is blue.

What color would you not wear?
That would probably be hot pink.

You been modeling for quite a long time, do you love it and see yourself modeling for the next 5 years?
Yes so far I love it and I am so excited to see where it can take me in life.  

What do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Lord willing I am still in the modeling industry or better yet acting!

Thank you so Ben! Would love to see you rock in my menswear collection when you are ready!

World Premiere Interview: Bill McLarnon

              
(Photography by  Leonardo Corredor)
Bill McLarnon
 The Super Male Model
Part One  by Christopher Uvenio
A very handsome young man blessed with equally beautiful genes from his bodybuilder father and mother who also happens to be a model. Bill McLarnon has perfect genes. Tall and suave sexiness, and a  smile to die for.Beauty and male seduction with this splendid Bill McLarnon. His looks is everywhere from the Runway to the fashion magazines. He had worked with the celebrity  photographers of Bruce Weber, and David Vance. And he is also one of the leading men for the upcoming Uvenio Coffee table book too!

                                                                  (Photography by  Leonardo Corredor)

From a move to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and an agent walking up to me in a mall, I ended up getting into the world of modeling after all.  Now I’m pursuing it full time.

With your Amazing Good looks and a fabulous body, how do you keep yourself look good and what do you do to keep in such great shape?

I’ll have to thank my father who was a bodybuilder many years haha….and from taking karate from the age of 5 to 12.  I became a black belt at age 10 and a second-degree black belt by age 12.  All the push-ups, sit ups, breaking boards, and fighting developed my physique as I grew up.  From age 12 to 18 I played football and basketball along with running track.  I currently lift weights 5 days a week along with running at least 3 days a week.  
(Photography by David Vance)

What kind of music do you listen to when you’re working out? 
I’ve got to have upbeat, fast and powerful music.  Mainly hip hop, rap, and house music gives off that vibe. Its what motivates me inside.  I try not to rely on music at all times but I do have songs that push me in the gym.

 (Photographer Eugene Gallegos)

Who are your personal favorite designers and what designs do you wear? What designers you wouldn’t wear?
My favorite designers I wear are Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren Polo, Guess, and a few others.  I’m not obsessed with any one brand.  If the clothes fit well and look good, then I’m happy.
I like keeping it positive and uplifting so I will not mention what designers I won’t wear.

(Photography by Rick Day)

How do you keep up to date with fashion?
As a man, I simply pick up the latest magazine issues of GQ, Details, etc to get ideas of what to wear.                                         

What are you, a Boxer or brief kind of Male model?
Its all about briefs.  Boxers will never be as sexy.

What made you first become a model?
I’ve always had an inclination for acting.  Modeling is basically acting in front of a camera.  I did my first photo shoot with an agent who scouted me in a mall.  I saw the results of the photos and I was inspired.  I was determined to make it work.
                          
                                                  (Photography by  Leonardo Corredor)

How did you feel when you did your first ever fashion show or photo shoot? 
I remember my first shoot ever with Jorge Freire.  It was pretty freaking awesome.  We threw music on and went to town being creative in the studio.  We also went out in Florida to Hollywood and Aventura to do outdoor shots.  It was my first official shoot, but I saw what I could create working together with a photographer as a team.
(Photography by David Vance)

 How do you feel about the female model controversy of the size 0 debate in the industry?
I know it is very hard for girls to get down to a size 0 dress.  It can be a standard in the industry.  There is so much competition out there, and unfortunately this can be one of the deciding factors for agencies.                
                                                                                 (Photography by  Leonardo Corredor)

 If you  were not a model, what other profession would you have been doing instead? 
I would be working my way up in corporate America with a sales job.  That is what I was doing before modeling.  Then I would start my own business.

 What are guilty  pleasures food wise? 
I love big, juicy cheeseburgers and Doritos. Two of my biggest food weaknesses.
                        
(photography by Christain Alexander)

 How do you cope under the pressures of being a model and is being nude also a pressure? 
It’s not hard.  Just remember you’re in full control of what images of you are out there.  Just think, you don’t have to photograph a certain way if you do not want to.  It’s your body and face.
(photography by Christain Alexander)

 What beauty tips do you swear by? 
Hmm.  Well I can tell you it’s all about moisturizing your skin if you want a long career as a male model.  The biggest problem is getting wrinkles on your face which would slowly make you less desirable to be photographed for jobs.  With proper care of taking care of yourself, you do not need to worry about it.  Keep your skin hydrated.
                     
                                                            (photography by Bruce Weber)
What’s your favorite colour?
When it comes to cars, yellow.  Anything else, red.

What colour would you not wear?
I would not wear any color that is bright or light such as orange, green, yellow, or light blue.  To me, it’s just not masculine like the darker colors.
                          
                                                                (Photography by Karl Simone)

You been modeling for quite a long time, do you love it and see yourself modeling for the next 5 years?
In the next 5 years I have many big plans. I see myself modeling for many high-end brands along with commercials.  I’ve been taking acting classes and I do see myself in the movies as well.



(Bill McLarnon's Father as Body Builder!)

What was it like working with the amazing talented Dance Vance and Bruce Weber?!
It’s an amazing opportunity to work with both legendary photographers.  I always learn something new every time I shoot with both of them.  They are both top-notch photographers. 
What do you do in leisure/spare time? 
I like traveling.  Seeing new places.  I also like going to the beach or a pool.


What advice would you give a newbie who's just starting in the industry - any suggestions on what to do or what to avoid?
Find yourself a good agent and someone you can trust.  They will give you great advice and help lead you in this critiquing business.  Believe in yourself and don’t let criticism get you down.  Stay positive and keep the dream alive.
End of Part 1
Part 2: The Making of the Uvenio Coffee Table Book