Modeling: Profession, Hobby, and Parades
Walking a runway in highly fashionable clothing is a dream that many young women share yet it is nearly impossible to attain “Super Model” status. While strutting the catwalk at New York fashion week is a difficult goal to realistically achieve, getting involved with the modeling industry is easier than one might think.
Fashion show producer Alexander Gurman — who works under the comic moniker “Mr. Great” — is known for arranging unique fashion shows in venues such as Manhattan’s Sky Room nightclub and he aims to include models of all races and sizes. Moreover, many of Alexander’s models work in professional fields such as law and medicine.
Alexander has a knack for finding professional and dedicated models and he also seeks out some of the most interesting and innovative fashion designers who are currently working in the New York City area. In October of 2018, he allowed friend and frequent collaborator Meagan J. Meehan to debut her first line of shoes at the Sky Room nightclub. Meagan is better known for her visual art and her new “Fancy Footwear” line is her first foray into fashion. In fact, her first series of shoes — which features seven vibrant pairs of wedge heels — is named and modeled after her most famous works of visual art “The Bejeweled & Bedazzled Collection.”
While the fashion industry is very competitive, Alexander enjoys collaborating with other producers and as many designers, models, photographers, and videographers as he can find. Alexander is very familiar with the inside of the fashion industry. With over fifty shows under his belt, Alexander understands the way to get a show done.
“Folks want to know how to produce a fashion show and how to find money to produce a show,” Alexander stated in a recent interview. “What is important and what is less important at the good show? Where will the fashion industry be in five years? All these questions I frequently ask my guests when I host my fashion shows. I like to keep myself up to date about what people want to see from the industry and what’s trending.”
Alexander was very impressed by a fashion show hosted by Channel on a beach. He is now in talks with Coney Island parks and beaches to produce a number of free fashion shows for the public during the summer of the 2019. Shows have been planned for the end of May, June, July and August.
Alexander also recently filmed at the Village Halloween Parade and has decided to produce fashion shows during various parades in NYC city. “Our first NYC parade fashion show will take place on November 22, 2018 at the Thanksgiving parade,” he explained. “We will meet at 5th avenue and 46th street east side of the street at 5 am. If you want to join us please come, for more information about this and other shows you can follow us at www.facebook.com/GreatFashionModel/ look at the events. We will produce fashion shows at the Mermaid parade, and Christmas parade, and Israel Day parade June 2 and 4th of July and we plan to do shoes at the Panama and all other 50 parades and St. Patrick day.”
For parades that start later in the day, the crew will first film makeup and hair preparations and styling at YouTube studios and at Bric art media studios. Then they will come as a crew to parade.
“For parades that start in the morning we will meet at the agreed spots,” Alexander stated. “This eliminates the biggest expense that show has, media attention. We will have thousands of photographers and film makers, all major media outlets like CNN and FOX news, etc. cover those parades, we will have gorgeous models and so our designs may end up on the cover of New York Times and other major newspapers. Not to mention we will eliminate the cost of space and runway set up. The money that usually goes to book a space and invest in media buss can me now allocated towards the talent and other needs of the show production. The more our models and designs end up in newspapers organically the more we will find sponsors and paying associates that want to collaborate with us. We plan to monetize by promoting logos and cause messages from our sponsors.”
Alexander is also planning to produce shows on stairways. “I think it is interesting to see models going up and down the stairs and how the cloth is moving with when models take steps up and down the stairs,” he stated. “Every building has stairs and we can minimize the cost of runway space and with that allocate those funds towards other needs of the show.”
If you want to see a “Mr. Great Fashion Show” in one of their more unusual locations, please reach out via Facebook or email and Alexander will share his other ideas.
“We decided to combine the productions so we can take fashion show to the streets of New York, to the parks and to open to public locations so fashion can be views by many,” Alexander declared. “Perhaps that will help level the field for designers with smaller budgets.”
Alexander has noted that models may become influencers by creating popular Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and other platforms channels. If they get big enough, models can stay free in hotels, travel free of charge, eat in restaurants free of charge, attend celebrity parties — not only free but also being paid for being there. Of course, models often get free cloth from designers that want to advertise their brands. If a model is early stage of her career and does not have power to get all those things upfront,
“At the start of their careers models can write consistently to designers, photographers, promoters, influential folks on daily base like 100 messages per day on Instagram, 100 messages on Facebook, 100 messages on LinkedIn and other platforms,” Alexander stated. “As long as a model has a generic message or custom message she/he can reach large number of important people over period of time. What it does is brings traffic to her profile, she/he builds connections with those who think the model has merit. Sometimes folks respond with offers and deals that she/he has not thought about. Also, models can reach out to brands directly especially overseas brands. Model can receive the item, invite photographers and film makers for TFP trade shoot, use the item in the shoot, collect pictures from free trade shoot and send them to brands and get paid or receive perks in return. Many models often abuse free labor by photographers and film makers to get those free pictures that they sell them directly to brand owners and because that cuts cost on photographer, studio etc.”
Another popular question that Alexander gets from models is how to I get into runway shows. The answer is simple: shows like Art Heart Fashion Week, Style Fashion Week, Couture Fashion Week and others feature 1000 model submissions for the casting calls that they need only tens of models. “In order to stand out in that cloud models can reach out earlier than weeks before the shows, build a connection, reach out directly to designers, because if designer wants a particular model he/she will have her in the show over models that are provided by the organizers, if designer makes a custom peace that would look amazing on you specifically, guess you are the one who will wear it at the show and possibly at the look book shoot thereafter,” Alexander declared and added. “The more high-end productions you do the more chances you get selected, if you have strong following on social media that is also another important factor that designers are looking for. Designers want to see their creations to be worn by someone very popular so by association folks would think their art is also relevant. Models can reach out far in advance now in November to designers to make sure that in February they are the once who will carry the brand on top of the social media. It takes time to create buzz, planning, it is a thoughtful process. Models can reach out to magazines and prominent publications, then designers would want that model more in the show, familiar faces matters. It takes time to build a connection but awesome images, great connections, a little bit of luck can alter the stars.”
The artists and designers that Alexander works with can often do exhibitions for free at public libraries, restaurants, and so on. Artist can take pictures and videos of their work and post those on Instagram and do YouTube videos explaining and talking about their work, that way galleries with their 50% cut and agents with their cut left behind and artist can collect full amount for themselves.
“Hanging out at the prominent venues and reaching out directly via social media to likely buyers and collectors is an easy way to access buyers directly, we have often Christies and Sotheby’s auctions and other art events in NYC often, buy showing their art at the unusual but popular places where millions are walking by artists can build their buyer base,” Alexander stated. “Artists can do interviews with influential YouTube channels. Artists use their Facebook and Instagram accounts to be in touch with potential buyers, just be creative not only in art but also in marketing your art.”
Most importantly, the fashion industry is not as small as one might expect. It’s important to be nice to everyone and present professionally or you will gain a bad reputation that will make it difficult to find work in the future. Have quality pictures, and videos, do not do negativity, and do positive things. That’s a great way to get a foot up in the business.
Alexander also notes that finding designers with unique collections is vital. His recent collaboration with artist and designer Meagan J. Meehan — who recently created her first series of shoes called the “Bejeweled & Bedazzled Collection” for her new “Fancy Footwear” line — has proven very beneficial for everyone.
“Meagan’s shoes are super awesome and gorgeous so models beg to wear them at the show and prior and after the runway,” Alexander explained. “Because her shoes are so awesome my wife asked me if Meagan can make a pair for her, that is another testimonial that heels by Meagan are awesome, it is very difficult to find shoes that my wife would admire as she enjoyed Meagan heels! Since her heels are so fashionable and artsy we got quite a few inquiries about them. Having heels in the fashion show and in look book production on the streets of New York may help, also bring shoes to highly covered by media events like parades, celebrity events can give a bust to the brand, as well as having wealthy models wearing those heels are great testimonials to shoes appeal to the public. Perhaps having a few well-respected critics to examine heels and write an article as this one may advance the marketing of heels collection as well.”