It’s amazing what a great model does for clothing especially if they have a beautiful face and attitude to go with it. This morning I was fortunate to shoot with a darling gal, Annette. She’s not a pro yet! It is her desire to become a model so how lucky I was to find her. It won’t be long before she can quit her day job where I met her.
I was a model when I was 17, “It was a very good year”, as Sinatra would sing it! I worked in the studio for Cole of California Swimwear back in the….no never mind…I’m not giving away my age today. I modeled suits for the buyer shows. I also worked directly with the designer, Barbara Grossman. I was her model to design things right on my body.
I’ll never forget my third day working. She made me try on a bathing suit inside out. There was another male designer that was her assistant in the room. She had to cut the bra cups out of the suit because it was pulling. I stood there with my chi chi’s hanging out through these cuts. I was mortified! After many fittings, you got used to walking around half naked all the time. The buyer shows were a bunch of dirty ol’ men saying, “Come a little closer, honey!’
I’m giving the industry a bad rap. It wasn’t always like that. I learned so much being in the design room looking over Barbara’s sketches and watching her make corrections on artwork for prints that came in from New York, fixing patterns, and choosing the right textiles. In the same room were pattern makers, a cutter and seamstresses that took me under their wings. They would check out my sewing and make me rip out the stitches if I did it wrong.
Here’s the background on this nostalgic swimwear company.
Founded: Formed by Fred Cole from family knitwear firm in Los Angeles, 1923. Company History: Began collaborating with Hollywood costume designer Margit Fellegi, 1936; signed Esther Williams to represent the company, 1950; began producing swimwear from Christian Dior, 1955; purchased by Kayser-Roth, early 1960s; sold to the Wickes Company; launched Anne Cole Collection, 1982; signed licensing agreement with Adrienne Vittadini, 1983-93; company purchased by Taren Holdings, 1989; Juice junior line debuted, 1990; acquired by Authentic Fitness Corp., combined with Catalina to form Catalina Cole, 1993; Anne Cole introduced the “tankini,” 1997
After being around all this talent, this information stuck with me for years. I goofed off a bit and teased with becoming a designer of lingerie. I turned out some real cute things for a budding kid. I just did not have the funds to pull it off. I made sure I hired models way back then.
I could easily lay a scarf on a mannequin but it isn’t the same as live models. People can easily visualize themselves wearing it. When you are selling items online, it’s important to see how a garment lies on the body. I have a great return policy in the case folks aren’t quite sure. So far, I’ve had great luck because of the talented ladies that have added their beauty to my beauties.