Excavation #6, 2010
Gemma Ward backstage at Prada Fall 2006
oyster fashion: julia fuchs photographed by ivan ruberto.
Stephanie Hall for Tank Magazine S/S 2014 by Ilaria Orsini
Goethe Universität Frankfurt
taken by me
New York was like a shitty dream that I couldn’t wake up from.
I was living in a factory in Bushwick Brooklyn situated between a slaughter house and the garage where they rinsed out Manhattan’s garbage trucks. I would skip over stomach churning puddles of water—foamy and white with animal fat—on my way to Jefferson station in the morning to catch the train to the city with my Latin American neighbors. I had no agency in NY at the time. So I was up every day scared as fuck negotiating the sidewalks of Manhattan in a pair of clearance sale Alexander Wang boots that I had purchased with my credit card, praying I would someday see that money returned to me. I was 27 years old pretending to be 22 and I wanted to kill myself every day. The only thing that got me thru those times was a marijuana delivery service and this barely-legal Swedish male model who lived so deep in Chinatown, I needed to speak Chinese to get directions back to LES. I did manage to have a lot of friends in Manhattan that loved me but I kept my distance from them because I didn’t want any of them to know how shitty and alone I truly felt. Also, our friendships were just expensive to maintain. The thought of dividing a bill at a restaurant in the East Village between 15 people had me waking up in a cold sweat, and I couldn’t afford $60 of Molly-water on a fucking Tuesday. I had Brooklyn problems. I was inspecting the spaces between my floorboards for weed crumbs and rationing from my bulk stash of mint-choco Clif bars which were my main source of nourishment. Sometimes I would spend entire days laying on the bed in my windowless cubbyhole, completely catatonic. Tears streaming from my hot cheeks before soaking into my matted hair and the bare mattress beneath me. One of my 6 roommates, Donnie, would often knock on my door and wonder aloud what the fuck was wrong with me. But he couldn’t understand. He was a 25 year old graphic designer who had his entire life ahead of him to succeed in his field. I had a year tops. I was fucking trapped. I couldn’t quit modeling because I need to pay the bills that I had accumulated from modeling. I wasn’t in the financial position to give up modeling for an unpaid internship in fashion, and I was completely under-qualified to take any paying position. I felt totally and utterly fucked. I didn’t know what was going to become of me. I had supposedly made so much money modeling. I had the statements to prove it. But where was it all? Expenses. Travel. Accommodations. I was making money on paper, but I had nothing to show for it.
I was the working class poor, but Lord was it ever keeping me thin.