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Ford Models | Damien Neva, News Editor

 
By Pablo Avion 

Damien Neva of Ford Models | Photographer, Writer, Music Documentarian

 
As Ford’s News Editor and multi-tasking creative force, Damien Neva is one of those individuals who serves as a very visible reminder that the fashion business is filled with intellectuals as well as fearsomely hard-working talent.

His writing is articulate, eclectic, and dense with cultural references showcasing a seemingly insatiable hunger for global culture.

Damien’s interviews with underground musicians (and video portraits of new faces) represent a whole other sphere of creative endeavor worth an exploration.

MN: So obviously you’re a detailed and eclectic blogger with Ford, but also a photographer and something of a documentarian. Judging from the work on your site (ghostfeed.com), underground music and street fashion are subjects you’re passionate about, maybe even a bit obsessed with. What’s your background. Where did you grow up, and where and how did these interests form?

DN: I grew up in Michigan and as an undergraduate studied English literature at the University of Detroit Mercy. I moved to New York to attend graduate school at New York University. There I completed my Master of Arts in humanities and social thought.

My interest in photography was an outgrowth of my passion for music. Going to shows was a regular thing for me, but the photographs of the bands I liked never really satisfied me.

Having a decent 35mm camera I decided to start shooting pictures of the bands I liked in a way that I liked. I have no training in photography — I studied writing after all — but growing up was a fan of Glen E. Friedman’s work.

That said, I was first drawn to making images because it had nothing to do with my formal education, which in many respects freed me to make mistakes in ways I was possibly unwilling to do with my writing. I shot live music for the better part of a decade, but have largely abandoned the art form as I think I said everything that I had wanted to say with it.

The last show I attended, Company Flow at Santos Party House in Manhattan (see photo by Kyle Dean Reinford, I’m the tall skinny white guy in the crowd), I enjoyed going nuts in the crowd without having to worry about my photo equipment.

Photo: Kyle Dean Reinford

My need to create, however has not abated.

Much of what I do for Ford Models in terms of daily writing and the occasional foray into portrait photography and video production satisfies my creative drive. I have always liked to make things and am now very lucky to do it professionally.

MN: I dig some of the more unstructured interviews on your site, especially the interviews with Ford’s “new faces.” They almost remind me of the Warhol factory interviews, where he would just turn on the camera and have the subject stand there until something about them came out. Sort of letting the person’s personality shine through with no interference. Are Warhol (and the associated Velvet Underground subculture) influences in what you do?

DN: I definitely admire [Warhol and the Velvet Underground’s] collaborations, but never so much had any of their work in mind for the model portraits I have done. I like to strip away as much of the frame as possible so that the subject takes priority.  That’s all, really.

MN: How did you come to modeling / fashion in general? And to Ford, specifically?

DN: My involvement in fashion came about through my employment with Ford Models.

My first gig as a graduate student was scanning model portfolios. Thankfully my role has evolved into my current position as News Editor. I have been very lucky to work for this incredible agency, which has afforded me access to some of the most talented people in the industry.

MN: In terms of music, how do you choose your interview subjects? What have been some favorite interviews so far, and who do you plan to interview next?

King Buzzo

DN: The musicians I have chosen to interview generally speaking have been down to who is in town any particular week that I dig. Whether or not people know who Dâm-Funk or James Pants are doesn’t concern me. A good interview should be able to interest anyone regardless if the viewer knows the subject. Not sure I’ve achieved that, but conducting compelling interviews is certainly my goal. I’ve enjoyed all my interviews for a variety of reasons.

Whether I’m speaking with Anti-Pop ConsortiumKing Buzzo, or model Crystal Renn, I am interested in speaking about their relation to the creative process. People don’t have to make music or be models, which makes why some do it — and how they go about doing it — unique and interesting.

Not sure which musician I will interview next, but I have an interview with the Gaslamp Killer that I’ve not yet fully edited. Hopefully that’ll go live some time before, erm, Christmas. The next model I will be interviewing, however is Delfine Bafort. She is a model with Ford and also an actress and stars opposite Vincent Gallo in his film Promises Written in Water.

Model / Actor Delfine Bafort

MN: Anything else you’d like to tell us? Fun travel plans, for example, or other personal or professional news?

DN:

There are some ill new Web developments in store for Ford Models that will kick off right around Fashion Week in early September. Can’t say any more than that, but it’s going to be dope.

Thanks for the opportunity to speak with you.

MN: Thanks!

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Whitesnake, Sigrid Agren and Ford: I Am a Little Afraid


By Pablo AvionMusic as heard on SPIN

I was watching a live Starcraft match the other day, which was being webcast from Germany.

 
If you don’t know what Starcraft is, it’s probably for the best. It’s basically like football, but it involves little armies that … but I’ve already said too much.

The point is, it’s sort of a sport (cough cough), and the top matches are webcast from around the world.

FORBIDDEN ’80s MUSIC

Here in the U.S., we all know ’80s music is cool. Culturally we do what we’re told, which may be Orwellian, but let’s face it, following orders just saves a lot of time, so that’s helpful. But really it’s not “’80 music” we love, it’s a certain kind of ’80s music.

So imagine my surprise, between games, to hear “forbidden ’80s music” from the German webcasters. That’s right: hair metal. Agh! I made the mistake of making a sarcastic comment in the chat thingy (which I usually leave closed, for very good reason), and was promptly shouted down.

“YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT GREAT MUSIC,” one helpful person pointed out. When I mentioned I’d been in SPIN, to desperately try and reassert my authority in these matters, I was promptly laughed out of the room by multiple people. “SPIN? THEY SUCK.”

So much for trying to look good in a chat room. German chat: 1. Me: -1, I think.

Nirvana kicked ass in part because we realized we hated Flock of Seagulls. Silverchair-later, we realized Flock of Seagulls very possibly wasn’t so bad, after all.

WHERE AM I GOING WITH THIS?

Oh yeah: Dr. Phil-style wrap-up. Musical tastes change. Nirvana kicked ass in part because we realized we hated Flock of Seagulls. Silverchair-later, we realized Flock of Seagulls very possibly wasn’t so bad, after all.

As Hume pointed out, nothing means anything. And as Kant pointed out, everything means something sometimes.

FORD MODELS + MARIANO VIVANCO = WHITESNAKE?

Oh yeah, here’s the scoop:

A new video for Italy’s Muse Magazine, by everyone’s favorite Mariano Vivanco, featuring Ford model Sigrid Agren.

DAMIEN NEVA via FORD MODELS BLOG:

“Titled ‘That’s Right,’ the Beth Fenton-styled story charts a big hair safari back to the 1980s with the Chanel Chance Eau Tendre fragrance contract model playing the starring role. The story’s tone is set almost immediately with Sigrid wearing for her opening look a Malin Landaeus Vintage denim jacket, Charlie by Matthew Zink one-piece swimsuit, Tom Binns earrings, and full volume hair by Peter Gray“.

As Hume pointed out, nothing means anything. And as Kant pointed out, everything means something sometimes.

MORE CREDITS:
Film by Mariano Vivanco
Directed by Luca Finotti
Edited by Dan Stebbins
Stylist: Beth Fenton
Models:
Sigrid Agren @ Ford
Doug Pickett @ Soul
Casting Director: Melissa Lee Batsel
Hair: Peter Gray
Make up: Francelle Daly
Props Stylist: Christopher Stone

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Posted in Featured, Model and Talent News, VideoComments (4)

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Ford Models’ Anna Jagodzinska in Vogue Türkiye June 2011


By Pablo AvionMusic as heard on SPIN

NOT LONG AGO

(or maybe it was awhile back: I can’t remember), I read an article in Newsweek (or maybe it was Time, or something completely different), that named Istanbul, Turkey as “the best city to be young.” The article showed a lot of people sitting at cafes on laptops, which is really good enough for me.

But I think we can all agree: this shoot with Anna Jagodzinska in Vogue Türkiye can only help further the image of Turkey as a fashion-forward locale.

“Sicak Temas” means “hot contact,” and this shoot by Mariano Vivanco certainly sizzles. Stylist Mary Fellowes chose a Gucci tank, Vivienne Westwood striped shorts, Alberta Ferretti lace dress overtop and bikini briefs by Melissa Odabash

Originally blogged by DAMIEN NEVA | FORD MODELS

(Credits: Vogue Türkiye June 2011; “Sicak Temas”; Photography by Mariano Vivanco; Styling by Mary Fellowes; Hair by Ward Stegerhoek; Makeup by Francelle Daly; Production, William Carducci at Urban NYC; Fashion assistance, Gisella Lemos; Casting, Melissa Batsel for Batsel Creative; Image source, Team Vivanco.)

ANNA JAGODZINSKA

Anna Jagodzinska is a Polish supermodel best known for her work with Calvin Klein, Moschino and Stella McCartney.

She is currently the face of Tom Ford Black Orchid. (Perfume review to come.)

BIO

Anna Jagodzinska was born September 12, 1987, in Sierpc, a small Polish town in the north-west part of the Mazowsze Voivodeship. She began modeling professionally in 2003 and within a year, she had already appeared in runway shows for DKNY and Marc by Marc Jacobs in New York and Milan.

By 2005 she was appearing in runway shows for more than 50 of the world’s top designers including Max Azria, Christian Dior, Jil Sander, Jill Stuart, John Galliano, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Diane von Furstenberg, and Jeffrey Chow. She also made the leap from editorial assignments to being an international cover girl, appearing on the covers of Australian VogueL’Officiel and French Revue de Modes.

ANNA RETURNS TO SCHOOL

In 2006, just as she was set to become a household name, Anna unexpectedly left the industry to finish her schooling in Poland, which was deemed by many to be career suicide.

In 2008 she made a triumphant return to the catwalk in 2008 by walking for Donna Karan, Balenciaga, Chanel, Givenchy, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, and Viktor & Rolf in New York and Paris. She also appeared on the cover of Italian Vogue and was featured in eye-catching editorial spreads in British Vogue, French Vogue, Japanese VogueHarper’s BazaarNuméro, and V.

AGENCIES

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