Intro To Paris Casting Call

Join Matthew Hopson as he hosts the Intro to Paris casting call. The call is open to female and male models. The actually show will be held in January 2017 with the casting taking place this weekend. Models be sure to arrive on time and ready to walk the runway. This is a compensated job. 

Oxygen's Strut- A Look at The World's First Trans Modeling Agency

The new original series Strut, premiers tonight on Oxygen. The show will follow the lives of transgender models Dominique Jackson, Ren Spriggs, Laith De La Cruz, Isis King, and Arisce Wanzer as they break into fashion industry. The models are managed by Slay Model Management, the world's first exclusively transgender modeling agency these models. Whoopi Goldberg, the show's executive producer commented, "This show is important right now because for all of the positive advances the community has made and continues to make, transgender is still a hot-button word that gets people hysterical. People tend to focus on the stereotype instead of the person, and this series will give viewers a unique opportunity to spend time with real people who are struggling with the same challenges we all face as we make our way through the world."

Meet the Cast:

A New York native, Laith De La Cruz launched his career with a monumental Barneys New York campaign photographed by Bruce Weber, making his debut as one of the first transgender male models to ever appear in a national campaign. A graduate of Fairfield University, he majored in psychology with a concentration in religion, law and research. Laith began his transition over two years ago and has discovered that being a model forces him to confront himself in ways he never imagined. Currently holding down the fort as the only male model at Slay Management, Laith continues to grow in his confidence day-by-day as he becomes more comfortable in his skin. Extremely close to his family, Laith values the tight knit love and support from them, especially his mother.
From walking the runway during New York Fashion Week to gracing the pages of Vogue Hommes, Laith’s career has swiftly sky rocketed and he recently quit his day job to pursue modeling full time.

Isis King is a vivacious fashion model and designer with big dreams and the ambition to make them a reality. Originally from Maryland, Isis studied fashion design at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and moved to New York following graduation to pursue becoming a fashion designer. While working as a background model on a shoot, Isis caught the attention of supermodel Tyra Banks and was selected to participate in ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ becoming the first transwoman to compete on the show. Isis used the opportunity to bring national attention to issues facing LGBT homeless youth, gender transitioning and gender expression but shortly after the show ended, she decided to take a break from modeling to chase other dreams.
Finally ready to get back on the catwalk, Isis has returned more determined than ever to jumpstart her career and pick up where she left off. Gracing the pages of Seventeen Magazine and Out Magazine amongst others, Isis is also the first transgender person to model for American Apparel. Between modeling, hosting and acting, Isis has become a triple threat with a successful multi-platform career. Recently relocating to Los Angeles to pursue acting and modeling full time, Isis is determined to follow her dreams, but on her terms. Forced to start fresh in a new city without a backup plan, does Isis have what it takes to make it to the top?

Persistent and resilient, Dominique Jackson has been modeling for over 20 years. Appearing on the pages of prestigious publications including Vogue España, Dominique was born and raised in Scarborough, Tobago before moving to New York City to follow her dreams of being a fashion model. Overcoming memories of a dark childhood, Dominique self-published the hurdles, hurts, revelations and triumphs of her journey in an autobiography titled “The Transsexual from Tobago.” Dominique is a LGBT and human rights activist who wants to encourage those who need hope and inspiration.
Married to her partner of eighteen years Al, Dominique recently decided to embrace a new chapter in her life and move to Los Angeles for an exciting opportunity. With vast experience in the industry, Dominique serves as a mentor to the models at Slay who are waiting for their big break and is always willing to provide helpful advice. Determined to take the LA scene by storm, will Dominique be able to balance new career opportunities, fierce competition and a long distance relationship?

Stunning and fearless, Ren Spriggs is fresh to the fashion industry, but isn’t letting her limited experience get in the way of becoming the next big thing. Born and raised in California, Ren is one of the newest models to join Slay Management and her striking looks have already captured the attention of casting directors. Often described as a “gorgeous tomboy,” Ren is a rebel at heart and was initially reluctant to model. Although she did not receive a lot of support from her family during her transition, Ren remains hopeful that modeling will give her the opportunity to reconnect with her distant father and confront their complicated relationship once and for all.
Between working a part-time job and attending casting calls, Ren has her hands full. As the modeling gigs continue to pour in, can she balance all the opportunities that await her and evolve into the
confident model that everyone sees in her?

Outspoken and unapologetic, Arisce Wanzer is a fashion model and the ultimate go-getter. Not only has she graced the pages of Vogue, Vogue Italia, Forbes and Purple Magazine, she has also walked the runways during New York, Los Angeles and Miami Fashion Week. A fashion enthusiast at heart, Arisce attended the Art Institute of Miami where an agent spotted her during an internship and signed her, leading to impressive bookings for Opening Ceremony campaigns and the opportunity to shoot with Patrick Demarchelier.
Arisce decided to fully transition at the age of nineteen and has always been thankful for a strong support system of family and friends in her corner. Although extremely proud of whom she is, Arisce doesn’t want to be defined as only a trans-model. Strong and independent, Arisce has learned the importance of protecting her heart and refuses to be vulnerable with others, especially when it comes to her love life. Navigating her dating life provides an opportunity to expose her vulnerability and Arisce is excited to see what awaits her when it comes to finding love.  When she isn’t jet-setting around the world to high-fashion shoots, Arisce works to balance her personal reinvention, having fun with friends and enjoying the Los Angeles party scene.

Cecilio “CeCe” Asuncion is the Director of Scouting and Development at Slay Model Management. Cece began his involvement with the transgender community a few years ago while directing "What's The T?"— a documentary that explores the challenges, successes and lives of five transgender women and was the recipient of the outstanding Filipino American award for LGBT advocacy in 2012. His critically acclaimed work has been featured on a series of platforms and has been awarded at some of the most prestigious film festivals highlighting LGBT focused creative. Combining his eye for talent and love for fashion, Cece decided to embark on a new adventure and founded Slay Model Management where he discovers and develops transgender talent in the Los Angeles area. Serving as both a mentor and boss to the plethora of models represented by Slay Model Management, Cece is relentless in encouraging the models to reach their full potential.

Strut premiers tonight on Oxygen 9/8c.

Style Crush- Carmen Dell'orefice

Carmen has been dubbed the world's oldest working supermodel. At 85 years old Carmen is still gracing the runways of designers all over the world. Born in New York to Italian and Hungarian descent, Dell'orefice began her career a few months shy of her fourteenth birthday in the summer of 1945. Carmen Dell’orefice, an introverted, skinny kid of Italian-Hungarian extraction (father a musician, mother a dancer) walked over to the Vogue studios at 480 Lexington Avenue in Manhattan and reported for work. Her first pictures - by the underrated Clifford Coffin - show a serious, disconcerting beauty with an intense gaze, a dancer’s elongated lines and a swimmer’s athletic shoulders, and on the strength of them Vogue offered her an exclusive, $7.50 an hour, contract. With countless magazine cover and runway shows under her belt since her first cover, Dell'orefice is still making waves in the fashion industry.
Vogue Cover 1947
Outside of being drop dead gorgeous, Carmen also has been known as a keen needlewoman. She would buy charity shop blankets and make them into coats in her early modeling days. "Me and Suzy Parker [the model and actress] always took our sewing-machines to Paris so we could make something to wear in the evening." Add actress to her resume with tv shows and movies to include, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit ,The Guru, Celebrity, The Sunchaser, and The Age of Innocence, and you have a model, actress, and author, that has blazed the runways and cameras for those that came after her.
A three time divorcee, a best selling author, and a mother of one, Carmen is still going strong at the ripe age of 85. When asked how she keeps her model shape, she simply states "I eat to my appetite and don’t count calories." Although she does admit to having a great appreciation to ice cream. 

Check out a few videos featuring the forever impeccable Carmen Dell'orefice below.  


First Black Trans Model Ever Revealed

Tracey “Africa” Norman always knew that the question wasn’t if she’d be found out, but how long she could go undetected.

To be black and from Newark in the mid-1970s and get plucked from a model casting call for Italian Vogue by Irving Penn — it was the kind of success story that was unheard of....

Click link to view the rest of the story at NY MAG

Helen Williams- Supermodel of all Supermodels

THERE WERE OTHERS before her, but none that crossed over into the mainstream. In 1950s America Helen Williams became the first black female model to do just that. Born in East Riverton, New Jersey in 1937, she was obsessed with clothes from an early age, and began sewing her own garments at the age of seven. As a teenager she studied dance, drama and art before getting a job as a stylist at a New York photography studio. While there she was spotted on separate occasions by Lena Horne and Sammy Davis Jr, who happened to be in the studio doing press shots. Struck by her beauty, they urged her to take up fashion modelling. She was 17.

With her trademark bouffant wig, sculpted eyebrows and long, giraffe-like neck, Williams worked exclusively for African American magazines such as Ebony and Jet. These early years were tough, as not only did beauty’s apartheid system exclude all non-white models from mainstream fashion, but within the African American modelling scene itself, the girls were required to be light-skinned, just like the African American chorus girls of the 1920s. “I was too dark to be accepted,” Williams recalled.

But that was America. The French, by contrast, held a very different view of black beauty, and by 1960 Williams had moved to Paris. “Over there I was ‘La Belle Americaine,’” she said proudly. She modeled in the famous ateliers of designers Christian Dior and Jean Dessès. By the end of her tenure she was making a staggering $7,500 a year working part-time, and she’d received three marriage proposals from French admirers, one of whom kissed her feet and murmured, “I worship the ground you walk on, mademoiselle.”

After Paris, Williams returned to America, where things had not changed at all for dark-skinned African American models. While searching for a new agent in New York City, she once waited two hours in the reception of one agency, only to be told that they had “one black model already, thanks.” But Williams never-say-die attitude meant that she would not take no for an answer. “I was pushy and positive,” she said. Undeterred at being rejected, the young beauty took her case to the press. Influential white journalists Dorothy Kilgallen and Earl Wilson took up her cause, drawing attention to beauty’s continuing exclusion of black models. This opened things up for Williams, who was then booked for a flurry of ads for brands such as Budweiser, Loom Togs and Modess, which crossed over for the first time into the mainstream press, in titles such as The New York Times, Life and Redbook. By 1961 her hourly rate had shot up to $100 an hour. Fashion’s lily-white membrane had finally been breached.

It was a pivotal moment in black beauty history, as Williams’s success broke the tradition for only using light-skinned models. “Elitists in our group would laugh at somebody if they were totally black,” said model-turned-agent Ophelia DeVore. “And when she [Williams] came along she was very self-conscious because she was dark. She gave people who were black the opportunity to know that if they applied themselves they could reach certain goals.” Williams was the first beauty to break the four hundred year chain that had branded dark skin as ugly. The same dark skin that was rendered second-class during slavery, that the minstrels once ridiculed, and that had relegated Hollywood’s actors to roles as servants and clowns, was suddenly beautiful.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

I will make it to fashion week one day, but until then, I love to visit to see all the happenings from the week of fashion greatness! I have discovered a few new designers, and have fallen in love with the concept, construction, and styling of their runway presentations. Take a look and a few pics from my favorite designers for the Spring 2015 season. 

J. Mendel

Herve Leger
Grungy Gentleman



Cute Circuit

Ricardo Seco

Kithe Brewster


Here are a few videos as well of my favorite shows. Which line will you be looking out for the coming season?
Love the hologram effect of this show!

DVF never disappoints!

Rihanna, Iman, and Naomi Campbell for Balmain

The fashion GAWDS have answered prayers and Balmain featured 3 of the most beautiful women in fashion  for a campaign in W magazine. Lead by the creative direction of Olivier Rousteing, these ladies wowed the camera.

The fashion goddesses joined by Creative Director of Balmain Olivier Rousteing

Naomi Campbell, Rihanna, and Iman wear Balmain clothing, jewelry, and shoes (throughout). Designer Olivier Rousteing wears his 
own clothing. All by Balmain. All available at Barneys New York, New York, 212.826.8900. Sweater, $1,300, belt, $2,390, skirt, $700, earrings, $800, choker, $3,330, and boots, $3,000. Sweater, $6,700, belt, $2,900, skirt, $3,750, earrings, $800, choker, $3,330, bracelet, $2,910, and boots, $3,000. Sweater, $6,700, belt, price upon request, skirt, $1,200, earrings, $800, bracelets, $2,910 each, and boots, $3,000

Pics from W