Jun 25, 2011

Oh Mr. Armani, I Do Love You


Giorgio Armani recently said, “[the fashion industry] is in the hands of the bank and stock market.  It no longer belongs to the owners, but to those above them.  I still haven’t been able to understand how the banks influence our line of work – it’s a mystery.”

Well Mr. Armani, I’d like to solve that mystery for ya. 

Remember when I came to your runway audition and there was 60 other girls waiting 2+ hours for the pleasure of putting on a nude body suit to walk the runway in front of your creative team?  Remember how it basically looked like we were naked?  Remember how you thought this was ok because it was important to “only hire perfection?” Oh, maybe you don’t remember because myself and a handful of other models that had work to do and weren’t so much interested in your creepy casting tactics walked out.

But then, oh this part is awesome, do you remember when your people called my agents even after I walked out and begged them to have me for your show but weren’t willing to pay my rate?  Remember how you wanted to cut a zero from the figure and then further cut the remaining number in half? Remember how you also stipulated that if I walked in your show, I couldn’t do any other shows that day?  Remember how my agents said I’d be happy to work for you if you could meet us halfway and at the very least, pay my rate? Then remember how your people cursed them out?  That was fun. 

I’m pretty sure it upset you that you couldn’t have your cake and eat it too and I felt bad about that.  I certainly didn't want to insult you but I had a job to do and although you were offering to pay, it was too little for complete control over my creative doings for one day. 

Money certainly has a way of talking loudly and getting people to do things they normally wouldn't.  In this case, you offered too little and most of us girls walked away from poor treatment.   

I would suggest that if you don’t want the banks trying to pull your strings, walk away and fund yourself.  

Moral of the story: When someone offers you money, take a close look at what they're actually offering.  We all know money comes with strings of control attached. The person being paid or lent to has to jump through hoops to claim their prize.  I'd prefer to work for myself and if I can't do that, I'd prefer to stay away from controlling banks, petty bosses, and favors that are really a disservice and time waster. 

If you're going to accept money, be prepared to dance to their tune.  If you're going to lend money enjoy the power of control.  If you're going to be of service with your money, well, step back and allow the artists to create.  It's what they do best, when they're fearless. 

Mystery. Solved. 

Whoops… did that just come out sounding bitter?  I must have internalized Mr. Armani’s message.

I’d like to end this blog post by saying that I do love Giorgio and his design and tailoring are exquisite.  I was grateful when after 3 seasons of these runway run-arounds and me feeling horrible, he found a compromise and hired me instead to shoot his campaign.  The best part?  He paid my rate. 

Here's a photo from that shoot by Peter Lindbergh:

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