>> Models are having a tough time of it, now that brands, from Chanel on down, are feeling the pinch. Designers hired fewer models to walk during couture last week, and labels are cutting fees in general.
"Half price! It's half-price everywhere, in Milan, even in New York," cried Ukranian model Anna Chyzh, backstage at Stephane Rolland last Monday. Aidan Jean-Marie, director at Premier Model Management in London, which has represented Claudia Schiffer in the past, confirmed that clients who used to pay a daily rate of $4,200 are now coming in with a budget of $2,100.
In response to the budget crisis, agencies are adjusting their mix of "commercial" models and pricier "catwalk" models. "You need both sides to survive the downturn, but the balance shifts slightly towards the commercial models," said Jean-Marie. "The catwalk girls are not your day-to-day girls, they are anomalies, with measurements they had when they were 16 and still have at 18." The rise of the more "commercial" look has already come into being in Spring 2009 ad casting, judging by the prevalence of Toni Garrn and Anna Maria Jagodzinska.