MODEL by Mark Stevens


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Still another disdainful ""expose"" that doesn't quite hit pay dirt. Stevens, a syndicated business columnist, attempted to defrock Bloomingdale's in Like No Other Store in the World (1979); now his targets are the Big Four modeling agencies (Ford, Wilhelmina, Zoli, and Elite) and--a side interest--the petty jealousies of models, photographers, fashion magazine editors, and nudie mag publishers. The gist of the bemoanings is that models seldom hit the big time (it's all so insensitive); they are ruthlessly exploited by their all-powerful agencies (some talk of soul-selling contracts here); and even those who hit the top may find the glamour as elusive as ever. Trade gossip figures in heavily: we learn that not one of the competitors has a kind word for Eileen Ford (John Casablancas started Elite after a double betrayal by Ford in Paris), and that more and more husbands/boyfriends are sending in nude pictures of their women for publication. Stevens doesn't seem to have formed an ironclad opinion about anything, except that the typical modeling hopeful is a fresh-faced farmgirl from America's heartland, and it's a shame to break her heart; but when he recounts the fabulous successes of a Cheryl Tiegs or Beverly Johnson, he probably does little to dissuade daydreamers across the country. And fleeting, unsupported references to ""pills"" and ""discos"" and other tabloid items do nothing for the book's credibility. Uneven and unconvincing.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1980
Publisher: Lippincott & Crowell