Interview: Model, Photographer, Musician, Songwriter – LUCAS FAILLACE

IMG1418232042951

Who is Lucas Faillace?

– Good question. Just a 6’1″ sack of AWESOME.  Haha, I’m a guy doing his part, stayin’ alive, loving, and learning as I go.

Tell us about your experience as a model.

– Modeling opened my eyes up to a whole new world. Prior to modeling I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve met some great people thanks to it, and have been exposed to a whole list of experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

lucas

You seem to be more than meets the eye. A multifaceted artist. One could even say, a multi-threat; director, videographer, photographer, model & writer. What was your first love?

– Interestingly enough, prior to modeling and all that it sparked. The only medium of art that I dared to delve into was music. I would write lyrics, and play drums. Everything else came later.

When did you realize that there was so much more to be explored as an artist, and what was the catalyst?

– The more I explored myself as a human being. And what that meant. What the perceived limitations I thought to be true were. Which I’m still doing. It was only upon getting signed to NY as a model that I then took up all the other arts one by one. But my spiritual realization and total growth was, and is, the greatest catalyst to everything I do.

What’s it been like working with recording artiste Sellah? Tell us about some of the projects that you’ve worked on together.

– Sellah is the man. He is the person who opened me up to modeling and has supported me in all my endeavors since. Working with him is not like working with your average recording artist. He brings all forms of creativity to the type from conceptualization to execution. Our first project was a music video we did that went viral, and within the first month had almost 80k views. But then got hacked and deleted. Haha. HATERZZZZ! Haha, since then we’ve done many vlog and promo type videos to keep his fan base up to date.

How do you see your professional relationship evolving? And do feel that this experience has helped you to grow even more as an artist?

– I see us being a part of each other’s careers for years to come. With no end in my opinion. I’ll run things by him, and him by me. As far as specifics or any bounds on what they may be. I have no idea at this point. We both have experience in a number of fields. So the combinations are endless. This experience has definitely helped me grow as an artist.

What does fashion & the arts mean to you?

– Fashion like all the other arts are an opportunity. An opportunity to be alive, to search and uncover. Express yourself. To create. Creativity has endless means of being expressed. Fashion and all the other arts are some of them. Fashion happens to be one of the more practical since we all get dressed everyday.

What was your favorite moment in your professional life OR one of the favorite things you’ve ever worked on?

– Oh that’s tough. My favorite moment would have to be now. As I am in the realm of a new phase in my life. I also, always enjoy when my work gets recognition or gets posted in places that I have no awareness of, and then I find out. Like when the music video I did with Sellah got played on TV. One of the favorite things I’ve worked on was the first music video I did with Sellah. It was a fun time and we had full creative control.

What are you currently working on?

– Currently writing a script to what will be my first film. No projected release date yet. But I am excited.

What do you hope to achieve?

-FAME, CARS, and TAX FRAUD. Haha, to continue to grow and be blessed with opportunities. To ultimately write and direct my own features, act in some films. Write some great music. Use these mediums to help light people’s flames. And just to keep stayin’ alive. Every breath, you know?

IMG-20141111-WA001

IMG-20141111-WA002

Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW) – LIVVI FRANC

livvi

 

Born to an English mother and a Barbadian (aka Bajan) father in North Yorkshire, England, Olivia Waithe always had a love for music. She is no stranger to my blog, as I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Ms. Waithe, famously known by her stage name Livvi Franc, on two occasions.

She cites her maternal grandfather, Frank Wilson, as the inspiration behind the name. “He noticed me playing the piano and predicted I was going to be a musician. Sadly he’s no longer here. So, in honour of him, I called myself Livvi Franc; Livvi because it’s my nickname, and Franc because it’s a funkier version of Frank,” she told Flavour Magazine during an interview.

At the age of five, she and her family moved to her father’s native land of Barbados where she would spend her formative and adolescent years. Her love for music became a passion, and soon she penned her first song at the age of eleven and learned the guitar at fifteen. It’s safe to say that grandpa was right. And we’re glad he was.

Livvi attended Queens College (Barbados) where she would perform at various talent shows and pageants at the school. Relentless in her pursuit of becoming a musician. She was quickly taken under the wing of first manager Kerrie Thomas-Armstrong and took up vocal training lessons with locally revered vocal coach and singer Marisa Lindsay. This resulted in demo recordings of Livvi, where she met her next manager. Soon enough, she was meeting labels heads for auditions. After months of negotiating, she signed with the now defunct Jive Records. Known for their pop acts such as Britney Spears & the Backstreet Boys.

Her debut single, ‘Now I’m That Bitch’ featuring Pitbull, was successful. Topping the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart scoring the no. 1 spot and becoming one of the top dance songs of 2009. Also becoming a top 40 hit in New Zealand and the UK. Livvi was featured in countless magazines, including the venerated Interview Magazine, which was founded by the late, great Andy Warhol. Her second single, ‘Automatik’, had moderate success and took the no. 6 spot on the US Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart. But after Jive shelved her debut album, Livvi had enough and left the label in 2010.

She was quickly scooped up by Beluga Heights/Warner Bros., where she was set to finish her debut album. But Franc decided, at least for the moment, to solely focus on songwriting for other artists. As she’s been doing for years. Her extensive writing credits include great names such as Cheryl Cole, Jordin Sparks, Britney Spears, DJ Khaled, Jason Derulo, Cher Lloyd, Delta Goodrem, Leona Lewis, Ciara, Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Zendaya, Kelly Clarkson, Shakira and the late Michael Jackson.

Livvi releases music occasionally, on her YouTube channel and SoundCloud. Her song ‘Woyoyo’ gained lots of airplay in Barbados and throughout the Caribbean.

YouTube Channel:http://www.youtube.com/user/livvifranc

SoundCloud:http://m.soundcloud.com/livvifranc-1/

Twitter:https://twitter.com/livvifranc

Barbadian Model Kari McCarthy Dominates Facets Fashion Week

 

kari 2

Barbadian model Kari McCarthy strutted her stuff for this year’s Facets Fashion Week in Los Angeles, California. Facets Fashion Week is a Hollywood showcase for emerging designers, boutiques, models and fashion students to showcase their talent before an audience of style experts, retail consumers and the media.

Kari was chosen to walk for Paparazzi Flash, FoxxiLadi, Iamsade, Crown Royalty, F.E.T.I.S.H, Red Star, Adrell, Akari, CCW by Chloe + Love, VG and BOLD by Michelle, making her the only model to be chosen to walk for so many designers at this year’s showcase.

It’s safe to say that Barbados is being well represented in the modelling industry.As I expect more great things from Ms. McCarthy, I will be keeping you updated on the journey of this rising star.

Woman Crush Wednesday – Special Interview Feature – LENE HALL

lene hall editoral

Barbados’ first real supermodel, Lene Hall, was scouted in 1995 while working at Louis Bailey (now Little Switzerland) in Sunset Crest, Barbados. A friend of George Gallier, a pioneer of the modeling management industry & head of the then agency American Models, spotted the 5’11” beauty and suggested that she leave for New York immediately.

A meeting with Mr. Gallier was scheduled, she was signed to American Models on the spot & sent directly for her very first casting for Prescriptive by Estée Lauder! Undoubtedly, she got the job & became the face of Prescriptive for the next year. She went on to shoot a spread for Marie Claire magazine, walked the runway for Ralph Lauren and covered Sam Fine’s Fine Beauty.

00-lenehallsamfine1

She traveled to Europe after being booked by several couture designers. An experience that she described to me as lonely. “It just felt lonely at that time! Being young and inexperienced, I guess. I didn’t know how to deal with it. So I couldn’t wait to just do my jobs & leave. Back then we didn’t have communications like we do today for me to talk to family and friends,” she candidly revealed. “I could imagine,” I said. ” And it must have been like a circus!” Lene jokingly confirmed, “A fabulous circus though!! With gorgeous women & men, instead of clowns!”

American Photo magazine listed her as one of the top 10 up-and-coming models in the industry. Brands such as Noxzema, Lubriderm, Kohler, Vaniqua, Lafayette 148, and Oil of Olay all scooped her up! Lene also famously appeared in a Revlon Colorstay Makeup commercial with Cindy Crawford and Shania Twain. Harper’s Bazaar, Spanish Vogue, Elle, Oprah, Marie Claire and Essence have all featured Lene as an editorial model.
Hall gives freely of her time to charities to help in their cause to raise funds, in Barbados and internationally, including Jamaica and Africa. She was also a part of the NY fashion industry’s charity event for the victims of September 11, and now spends her time being a loving mother and wife.

1959447_593198774103225_2049190114_n 10006552_603478839741885_139770155_n

The Launch of ‘Ling Ling’ – Spring/Summer 2015

dsc1078Cameras flashing, and the sounds of chatter & the ocean waves colliding with each other filled the air, making the perfect scene for what was about to come. The anticipation was high. The reason we were all there; Jacqueline Benn Schuppe was about to launch her very first collection at The Barbados Beach Club, entitled ‘Ling Ling’. A name that those close to her would affectionately call her.

Jacqueline is a born & raised Barbadian, but migrated to New York to pursue higher possibilities. She enrolled in Berkeley College of Business & got her Associate Degree in Fashion Marketing & Management. She then went on to the revered Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where she finished her Bachelor’s Degree in Merchandising Management. Schuppe joined Avery J Fashion & Beauty Consultants in New York, where is still Fashion Director. She decided last year to temporarily return to Barbados, in order to help mentor & give back to local talent & aspiring fashion professionals in Barbados. After ejecting herself from the hustle & bustle of New York, she found that she finally had the time to do what she had always been thinking of; designing. She began working on her collection, being inspired by the poise & debonair styles of the 1950s. Incorporating denim, cotton, tulle & lace, she gave the vintage inspiration a contemporary but sophisticated edge.

Fellow Barbadian fashion designers Katrina Brathwaite & Alexis Campbell gave Jacqueline a beautiful welcome by opening the show with their very own collections. Katrina showcased a sneak peek of the latest from her line dubbed ‘The Tri Collection’, which left the audience asking for more with her edgy, urban, street glam styles. Ms. Campbell showed her swimsuit collection. A great modern take on your traditional Caribbean beach wear, using mesh & leatherette.

IMG1415732659321

(Alexis Campbell designs)

IMG1415732798787

(Katrina Brathwaite’s Tri Collection)

IMG1415802437623 IMG1415802514438 IMG1415802577288 IMG1415802656373 IMG1415802706591

Woman Crush Wednesday (#WCW) – Candy Darling

Born James Slattery in Long Island, in 1944, Candy Darling was an American actress & muse, best known for being a “Warhol Superstar”. As a transwoman, she starred in Andy Warhol’s films ‘Flesh’ & ‘Women in Revolt’, making her one of the first openly transgender actresses in the world. She also became a muse of the protopunk band The Velvet Underground.

In her late teens, Darling would often take a taxi to the train station where she would take the train to Manhattan. Being in Long Island did not permit the life she so desired to lead. She first assumed the name Hope Slattery. She adopted this name sometime in 1963/1964 after she started going to gay bars in Manhattan & making doctor visits for hormone injections on Fifth Avenue. The name was inspired by a well-known Off-Off Broadway actress named Hope Stansbury. But she would go on make many name changes; transforming from Hope Dahl to Candy Dahl and then to Candy Cane. A longtime friend & roommate of Darling’s said he believed the name Candy came about because of her love for sweets, and so many of her friends would affectionately call her “darling” that she made it stick.

Before meeting the man that would change her life then abandon her, filmmaker & artist Andy Warhol, she laid eyes on Warhol at an after-hours club called The Tenth of Always. At this time, Candy was starring in a play called ‘Glamour, Glory & Gold’, alongside a young Robert De Niro. Warhol went to see the play & at the after-party was where he & Candy officially met. He was obviously taken by her, and casted her in his film ‘Flesh’ in 1968. But it wasn’t until her role as a Long Island socialite who joined a women’s liberation group in ‘Women In Revolt’ (1971) that made her a Warhol Superstar. Being a Warhol Superstar was life changing & iconic. It comprised of a clique of New York personalities whom Andy Warhol promoted endlessly. These personalities appeared in Warhol’s artworks & accompanied him in his social life, revolutionizing fame. The most famous of them all would arguably be his muse Edie Sedgwick, who became an instant style icon.

However, due to Warhol being unable to get a distributor for the film, he rented out the Cine Malibu on East 59th Street & launched the film with a celebrity preview which created much buzz on February 16, 1972. After the screening there was a dinner in Candy’s honor at Le Parc Périgord restaurant, on Park Avenue, followed by a party at the iconic fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo’s townhouse, where they watched TV reviews of the movie. Among the guests at Darling’s party were former Harper’s Bazaar editor D.D. Ryan, actresses Sylvia Miles & Julie Newmar, journalist & founder of The Paris Review George Plimpton, fashion designers Halston, Giorgio di Sant’ Angelo, Prince Egon & wife Diane von Furstenberg.

After working with Warhol, Darling still went on to work independent films. She also appeared in ‘Klute’ with Jane Fonda & ‘Lady Liberty’ with Sophia Loren; even landing a leading role in ‘Myra Breckenridge’. But was never taken too serious for the mainstream movie circuit due to being a transwoman.

Darling died of lymphoma in 1974, at the age of 29, at the Columbia University Medical Center division of the Cabrini Health Center. She left a letter written on her deathbed, intended for Andy Warhol and his followers. The letter read, “Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life… I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. Did you know I couldn’t last. I always knew it. I wish I could meet you all again.”

She was given a huge send off. Her funeral was flocked by many, including Hollywood stars such as Gloria Swanson & Julie Newmar (the original Catwoman) who read the eulogy. Her legacy lives on as Darling was the subject of The Velvet Underground‘s opening track on their third, and self-titled, album in 1968 with the song “Candy Says”, sung by Doug Yule. The album is ranked at no. 314 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list. Candy is also mentioned in music by David Bowie & The Rolling Stones.

the unpublished Cosmo cover of Candy, shot by their then photographer, the iconic Francesco Scavullo

the unpublished Cosmo cover of Candy, shot by their then photographer, the iconic Francesco Scavullo

portrait by Andy Warhol

portrait by Andy Warhol