On Showing Where You Don’t Live
Recently, I was the featured designer at May Star’s Diamond Dust event in San Diego, California. Although it’s a mere 3 hours away from LA, I’d never been to San Diego. That also meant I didn’t know anyone who lived there (i.e. models, hair/makeup, lodging).
May asked me to show 15 looks, which is quite a lot! The last few runway shows I’ve done were around 8-10 looks. The difference between 10 and 15 may not seem like much, but for a designer is quite significant. Many designers do not like to show the same work more than once; they create new lines or looks for each show.
I started searching for models by sending out a model call to my usual Los Angeles model crew. Since I wasn’t paid for this show, I couldn’t offer any pay or even gas money for my models, but the opportunity was available should they want to join me. I also asked for recommendations for their model friends in San Diego. Although one of my models chose to come with me, this approach was mostly a dead end.
Next, I pursued friends. I messaged people in the fashion industry, other designers, and people I knew who’d lived in or near San Diego previously. I received a few referrals, but most of those models were busy and a few were already modeling for other designers in the show (we try to avoid having models double up for designers, since we keep makeup and hair consistent for each designer’s looks and since the logistics of having models switching outfits can be quite difficult to manage successfully).
I posted a model call on Model Mayhem and immediately received quite a bit of interest. However, I was informed that no models under 21 could participate in the show, and all the messages I’d received were from under-21 models. Boo.
I then checked in with the organizer of the show, May Star, who had offered her help finding models if I had any trouble (which I clearly was). She posted a model call for me on her facebook- just one simple post- and within an hour had around 20 responses from models or from people referring models to her. This was wonderful and landed me some solid models as well as a few cool connections who are now friends. However, I didn’t have nearly enough models. You see, due to the pandemic of Model Flake Factor, most designers overbook models by at least 1.5 times the amount we need (though I personally always bring enough garments for everyone, in the near-impossible event that all models show up). I didn’t even have enough for my line yet, not to mention the overbooks!
The Discerning Designer’s Last Resort: Craigslist. I posted an ad on craigslist and had dozens of emails roll in. I realized I hadn’t specified whether I was seeking male or female models, so I had to clarify the ad. I actually ended up having to pull down my ad because my overbook quota was complete as well!
Out of the 20 models I booked, 12 showed up. Though I got a little antsy about lacking a few models, our very cute and very adventurous HAIRSTYLIST happened to fit one of my gowns perfectly and decided to walk in the show!
All the images and the video, with a full description of the show, will be included in the next post, so stay tuned!