Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Le' Talk: Vision Models' Teqen Zéa-Aida on New York Fashion Week

Vision has been a force to be reckoned with in the international modeling industry since its inception in Minneapolis back in 1996. Over the past few years, the agency with a reputation for discovering new talent and unleashing it upon the world has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts over the past few years, launching the explosive careers of Megan McNierney (who's graced the pages of Elle Italy, Harper's Bazaar and German Glamour) and Will Defiel (the 2009 face of Calvin Klein menswear). We posed our burning questions to Vision owner and co-founder Teqen Zéa-Aida.

l'étoile: New York Fashion Week is always an exciting time for Vision models. Which models made it out there this fall? What shows did they walk in?

Teqen: This season Megan McNierney, Mary Cann, Michael Elmquist, Will Defiel, and Nic LaFrance were all casting for the shows. It was the first New York "season" for Mary and Nic. Greta Sundquist was just placed in New York as well, but missed walking this season due to her multiple show booking for Macy's Glamorama. Nique also missed casting as he was constantly flying to Texas for a major catalog client. Blake Kuchta seemed to be tied up with his job for the owners of A&F.

What was the biggest "Fashion Week moment" for you and your models this season?

For us, I think that Megan's booking the Anna Sui show was quite major. Anna Sui is very close with Steven Meisel - therefore he "books" the show for her - casting only the freshest girls that he is looking at or interested in. Of course it is a star studded event - and to be honest, one of the fullest tents that I have ever been to. Lincoln Center, by the way, was quite different from the traditional Bryant Park location. I think it will take some time for stubborn fashion people to accept it and take it as their own.

This was the first Fashion Week for 16-year-old Mary Cann. What has
this experience been like for her?

It was amazing as well as hard. Mary had an impressive response - as per her agent, whom I spoke with today on the phone. However, I think it was a shift for her - coming from this market where she was a very in-demand big fish in our little pond. She only walked a few shows - but the ones she did were good - and an amazing indication of what this first timer can achieve in up coming seasons. There was a moment at the very end that was so so special for both Mary and myself. I was leaving the Rivington apartment of my dear friend, lawyer John Faricy II, and walking down Essex Street when I happened to see a very chic Afro photo team shooting on the opposite corner - so me being me, I had to know who they were and what they were doing. As I continued to walk by and snoop I saw that they were shooting a very cute girl in some very good clothes - then saw another girl who's body was strangely very familiar to me. As I pried even more I realized that the other girl was none other than our Mary Cann! I immediately yelled out to her, "Mary! You look absolutely amazing! I am so glad I got to see this!" and kept on my way. I know it made her smile - and made the photo team wonder just who this crazy guy was on the other side of the street. What a Manhattan Moment! The editorial Mary was shooting will be published in Elle Belgium.

Let's just talk fashion for a minute. What was your favorite show to see and why?

To be honest, they all run into each other. Once you've seen one, you've seen them all. I think your first season is always the most magical - for me, it definitely was. I was with Megan, and was able to stand/sit there inches away from Ralph (Lauren), Donna (Karan), and some of the other luminaries of American fashion. It was a time that I will never forget. I will say this though, as the profile of the model becomes higher, so do the shows, and the major shows will stun almost anyone with their beauty and amazing front row.

Vision always makes a big statement at New York Fashion Week. What does going to New York Fashion Week mean to you and your agency?

It is our rightful place. To know these people and be considered one of the great mother agencies is a major honor. Additionally, it keeps the me and company going. We have worked very hard here in our local market - with sometimes little recognition, so going to New York and being surrounded by so many of our friends and ex-pat Vision family members is always very validating. For instance, one of our office alumni Andy Rempel works for the L.A. design house Rodarte. I am always invited to this very important show, where you are able to see the likes of Anna Wintour and the entire Vogue team including Grace (Coddington). You see so many of the intelligent Hollywood stars like Kirsten Dunst and Natalie Portman, or mega stars such as Bono - in addition to every global fashionista/socialite known to man, such as Daphne Guinness. The after party - which I am also honored to attend - is in some ways even more important as you get to chill at the bar with these people! This season was total glamour as Rodarte is rumored to be in talks with LVMH Moët Hennessy • Louis Vuitton. The after party, which is normally in lower Manhattan at a grungy underground dive bar, was this season in the tony Meatpacking District. All I can say is that the paparazzi bulbs were flashing non stop! Our very own Jane Belfry, who accompanied me this season, was photographed upon entrance and throughout the night (and week for that matter)! It was amazing. When it is all said and done, it is extremely important for me to be there - keeping my profile high - as I am always (hint hint) keeping my options open.

Find out more about Vision Management Group at http://www.visionmodels.com/.

Photos from top: Megan McNierney at Vena Cava, photo courtesy CHIC.TV; Megan McNierney at Anna Sui, photo by Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com; Mary Cann at Erin Fetherston, photo via Vision Model Management; Mike Elmquist at Patrick Ervell, photo by Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com; Mary Cann at The Blonds, photo by Yannis Vlamos / GoRunway.com

1 comment:

christinasandok said...

Teqen has a spectacular eye for talent. We are so fortunate to have Vision in Minneapolis! Great Q&A on Fashion Week!