Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 RECAP...

Dear Friends,

I want to wish each and everyone a truly Blessed and Happy 2010!

2009 was an eventful and beautiful year for me which began with me traveling between Miami and New York and all the amazing countries God blessed me to, including one of my favorite cities in the world, Vienna, Austria for yet once again the incredible LIFE BALL Fashion event, considered the largest charitable fashion benefit in the world (which I've been blessed to support and work on each year) in May which had the usual supermodels and celebrities which included KATY PERRY, SISTER SLEDGE, FRAN DRESCHER, AMBER VALETTA, etc, on the private Life Ball jet that departed from New York, Milan, London and Paris to Vienna where the press had a feast on the red carpet and at the event with all the stars in attendance which also included some major A Listers such as former President BILL CLINTON, EVA LANGORIA & hubby TONY PARKER, PAMELA ANDERSON, etc (the list goes on).

Once again, USA TODAY newspaper had me mentoring one of the 12 students that were chosen across the United States from essays written based on their desired field of work after school. I always have a great time with the student placed with me, so as usual, I made sure the time spent was memorable. I would introduce them to the celebrities or models we are priviledged to work with daily by taking them on set with me. The kids always leave happy and motivated for what the future holds for them.

As usual, some of the most beautiful shoots this year included LAUREN CONRAD which I've had the priviledge to work with on quite a bit - she is an incredibly kind and approachable individual (as you can guess, we do get along quite well); the kids always seems to love seeing her.

One surprise this year was having AMERICA FERRERA from "UGLY BETTY" on set getting her hair done by our lovely hairstylist MIOK - she is just as funny and beautiful in person.

Apart from doing all the productions for MARK (AVON) Cosmetics this year, I also did the castings for the new reality TV show about to be launched this year on BRAVO network titled "DOUBLE EXPOSURE" starring photography team MARKUS KLINKO & INDRANI. The show features Supermodel NAOMI CAMPBELL, KATY PERRY, LADY GAGA, DITA VON TEESE, etc.

Throughout the year, there were model conventions around the country to attend; we met so many young talents and models that were happy to meet us. However, I pray we were able to be a blessing to them as they were to us.

Then, in October, we finally produced and launched the book "LETTER'S TO AILAN" a love letter from the former MISS UNIVERSE (1998) of Trinidad & Tobago & U N Ambassador, WENDY FITZWILLIAM, to her son Ailan based on a single mom's love for her child and the relationship between her and the father of her son. The book was launched in the Caribbean which meant traveling to book launches in Trinidad and Jamaica. The book is scheduled for North American release on and around Mother's Day this year.

Also, in October, I attended the DOM MODA fashion event in the Dominican Republic which I must say is "the best fashion event in the Caribbean"; totally on par with NY Fashion Week and all the major fashion cities in the world. I was truly blown away. The organizer (Sokrates McKinney) showed that the Caribbean could do just as great an event as anywhere else in the world! To close the event, International designer CAROLINA HERRERA showed her beautiful collection which was good (quite predictable - she knows how to beautifully dress her clients) but there were some amazing young hidden talents from the island and the rest of the Caribbean that showed some amazing pieces that made the event spectacular including former top model LOIS SAMUELS-INGLEDEW of Jamaica who showed a classy tailored collection that was plain beautiful. I think she should also consider doing men's pieces as her tailoring was impeccable. One designer had a snow piece collection that was so dreamy and romantic (even the set design reflected the collection) it transported you to Iceland. While there on the island I was able to help produce a segment for BET TV which was fun.

By the start of December, ART BASEL Miami came around and of course I was finally able to make it this year since I did not have to shoot that week. I had a wonderful time with TICO TORRES (BON JOVI) who is an accomplished artist as well as musician. I had great time with ROBIN QUIVERS from the HOWARD STERN show who was introduced to me by my lovely friend JIMMY HESTER who's NEW YORK TIMES best selling diet book "21 POUNDS IN 21 DAYS" - The Martha's Vineyard Diet had helped Robin lose over 80 pounds within the year. I must say, she was truly AMAZING to look at; her body was incredible. She gave me some wonderful tips about eating nuts because we talked of my love for almonds, pistachios, just about everything 'nutty'! :-)

Throughout all this, I had to spend time working on my first book manuscript approprieately titled : "THE LORD IS MY AGENT!" (More details to come later on).

Well, the year ended on the beautiful island of Dominincan Republic where I met up with agent George and David of NY MODELS whom I both worked with separately at two different agencies years ago. Also on the trip was Alisha from Oprah's magazine O, photographer Karl Simone who shot two lovely brothers I met on a previous trip to the Dominican Republic, Eddie a producer friend of mine from DEFACTO agency and celebrity fashion stylist JOHN MOORE who has done everyone from DEBORAH NORVILLE to CIARA, etc.

When all is said and done, NONE of these accomplishments could have been achieved if the Lord had not truly blessed me and for this reason, I give HIM all HONOR and GLORY FOREVER.

Have a Blessed 2010 and hope to see some of you this year on our journey's.

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