We are fortunate here at Tiny Frock Shop to have some of the best models in the business. We asked the girls and boys some questions so you could get to know them better and here's what they had to say.
Brandon Aldridge - Age 32 - Morganton, NC
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Morganton, NC. Its in the western part of the state close to the mountains.
I was told you are a fashion designer and design assistant to Betsey Johnson and only model part time for Tiny Frock Shop. What made you want to be a designer and how did you like working with Betsey?
I always did fashion sketches as a child and always loved clothing. It took me a long time to put the two together, but after many changes in majors at university, I decided to study fashion design. A light bulb went off and everything fell into place!! I love working with Betsey. I've been working with her on and off for almost 10 years now. Currently, we work really closely together (we are the only 2 in our office) and I'm a creative consultant for her brand as she is now the Creative Director. I really get the Betsey Johnson aesthetic.
We hear through the grapevine that you are starring in a reality tv show to be released soon on cable….any details about the new show? Any spoiler alerts!! :)
Yes, I have a supporting role on the upcoming show "XOX Betsey Johnson" on the Style Network. Its a very funny show about the lives of Betsey and Lulu Johnson. No spoiler alerts though...you'll have to watch to see how funny it is!!
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not designing, modeling or being a television personality?
I love traveling with my amazing partner of 11 years Andrew and our super duper cute St. Bernard mix dog Beethoven.
CHECK OUT THIS CLIP OF BRANDON ON XOX BETSEY JOHNSON
Daisy Adele -Age 21 - Bergen, Norway
How long have you been a model?
I have been modeling since I was a small child in Norway. I went to the US to visit when I was 12 with my family and was discovered on the streets of NY. It sounds like a modeling fairy tale but is true!! I was lucky to sign with an agency when I was 13 and lived with a relative who watched over me. It was so hard to be away from my parents. I love Norway and its beauty and miss the fjords and gorgeous scenery that you just don't get in the US.
What other interests to you have outside of modeling?
I have been making amazing money since I got to the US and always dreamt of owning my own dress shop. I opened it about 2 years ago in Chicago just after I married the love of my life, Hector. It was a fantastic year! The shop is doing really well and I love being able to communicate directly with the customers and hear direct feedback about my service and the designs. I actually carry some of Pamela's designs in the shop!
DJ Midori Wendy B -Age 28
- Bronx, NY
You have an incredible look? Have you always been a model?
I do model but my first and foremost love is DJing. I spin vinyl and have worked at some of NY's best clubs - Limelight, Tunnel, Robots etc. I was a bit of a NY music prodigy and worked as a DJ during the late 90's when I was very young. I was roommates with Pamela for a bunch of years and we were part of the club kid scene in NY at that time. We spent tons of time perfecting our different looks from day to day. It is hard to stand out in NY but we got into the clubs for free so we must have been doing something right. I was an apprentice fo Young Richard's for a while at the Makeup Room at Webster Hall in NY, and designing a clothing line with Pamela for club kids. We had some crazy cool times and the music has always been a driving force for me.
Wow you sound busy. Do you have other things you like to do in your downtime?
I love to make cupcakes, dance salsa and other classical dances and hang out with my kitty Moby (named after Moby the DJ/Musician). I also love to travel although I don't get much time to do that these days.
Jessie -Age 31- Stockholm, Sweden
How did you end up working at Tiny Frock Shop?
I am actually a hair stylist and I started with TFS doing hair for their catalog and editorial shoots. I love working on all types of hair and the shop has a great amount of multi-cultured models with looks representing all parts of the world so it has been fun working within different hair types and lengths. I have always wanted to do hair and used to work in a salon but I have fun now being a stylist and getting to work with new people all the time. Plus Ken is the best photographer out there!
We heard you are modeling at TFS as well? How do you manage your work schedule?
I started do stand in modeling for Ken so he could get his shots set up and lighting levels set. He really liked the way I photographed and showed my test shots to Lily the CEO who decided to hire me as a part time model as well as staff hair stylist. Its great since I have been making a little extra money from the new modeling job and am saving to go visit my relatives in Sweden. It has been a long time since I was back to visit.
You mention you are from Sweden. We always thought Swedish girls were blonde?
Not all of us! We do tend to have light eyes but many Swedish girls have brown hair. I guess I am not typical of your average Swedish girl but I guarantee I am all Svenska!!!
Elizabeth -Age 28- Chicago, Il
You have a great look. How did you start modeling?
It's funny. I never sought out to be a model. I worked in Advertising for ages and one day I was asked by the art director at the agency to stand in for the model who was late. The photographer loved what I did for the campaign and word spread. I ended up working as a model for Tiny Frock Shop because my agency sent me on a go see there but oddly enough they didn't realize I was the Aunt of the CEO. Lily was so surprised to see me show up for the go see but they tell me I landed the gig on my own merit and not because I am a relative. Either way, it's great to work with Pamela (my sister) and Lily.
What did you dream to be when you were little?
I always thought it would be great to be a hair stylist. I used to have Barbies when I was little and practiced cutting their hair in different styles. I was a natural....although I think Pamela didn't like that she would go to find her favorite Barbie or doll and it would have an unauthorized hair cut. Luckily I am the oldest of the two of us so I always just convinced her she cut their hair and forgot she did it.
Sara Jane -Age 24 - Evanston, Il
Tell us more about yourself.
I am a jewelry designer in my day to day reality. I know Pamela and one day I came to show them my work in hopes they would want to place some jewelry in the shop. They loved my work and Iam working on a line for them currently. Aside from that, they love my vibe and style and decided to test shoot me. They said they plan to use me mostly for close-up product placements and maybe even model my own jewelry!
Tell us more about your jewelry line.
I have had a love for vintage jewelry for years and decided at an early age to make it into a business. Currently I own SeeJaneSparkle, my jewelry line where I update and re-invent vintage jewelry pieces and beads into new sparkling pieces of heaven! I love the idea of taking vintage pieces which have a life story of their own and giving them a new life for a new generation. It is a similar vision to TFS's vision! Re-introducing vintage to a whole new generation.....wow that makes me sound older than 24! :)
Gee Gee -Age 41 - Leawood, Ks
How did you get into modeling?
I have been modeling since I was a child. I always was told there was an energy of love around me and I bring out the best in people. I guess that energy is what attracted the industry to me at an early age. I have always loved fashion and sew and do crafts whenever I have a free minute. I love decoupage and feel it is a lost art. Maybe with the resurgence of DIY, this will become a "thing" again! :)
We have to ask about your age. Is it hard being the oldest model at TFS and in the industry in general?
There is always pressure on older models to "look young" but I think we fill a necessary void, representing ladies that aren't just out of high school or college. I like being that role model for young girls as well, that even though you are in your 40's, 50's etc you can still hold your own in front of the camera, flaws and all! I am really appreciative that I am still getting work and hope the tide is changing to include more mature models and plus size as well.
We heard that Ann is your daughter....is that true?
Yes! Oddly enough she ended up following in my footsteps. I tried to keep that part of my life very separate from my husband Jerry, Ann and her sister Marilyn. It is a rough business and being that I had experience from such a young age I was hesitant to let Ann start at 16, but she was found without the help of me by TFS's casting agent in a local mall and I figured why fight it. At least I can keep my eye on her!
Gertrude -Age 25 - Chicago, Il
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been living in Chicago for a number of years but grew up in the deep South. I always wanted to come to the big city so when my friend told me she thought I should move to Chicago I took the chance. It is a great city because it has all the beauty of the countryside mixed with the energy of a city. The people there are kind and polite. I really can't see myself living anywhere else permanently.
Lets start by saying you are stunning. We can't notice the resemblance between you and Lois...any thoughts?
Funny you should mention Lois! She is the friend I spoke of that told me Chicago was the city for me. She and I met a few years ago at a casting and noticed how similar we look. We are certain we are soul sisters from across the Atlantic. I also knew Lois, Ruth, Ann, Jean, Gee Gee and Pamela. They have all been like family to me over the years. I look forward to getting to know the other girls as well.
Any special guy in your life?
There is only one man for me. My John. He is my heart and soul and the love of my life. Most people say he is so shy but they don't know the real John. He is my best friend and the love of my life.
Kara -Age 20 - Melbourne, Australia
How did you come to model for TFS?
I modeled for a designer named Pamela Thompson for her signature dress collection and she really liked how the photos came out so she asked if I wanted to work with TFS as well. She is a model here as well and said it was a cool place to work so I said lets do it.
You are from Australia. Do you ever get homesick?
Of course. My family is there and it can be hard to be separated from them for long periods, but luckily modeling has me jetting around the world often so I am able to stop to see them when I can. I have been blessed in my career and I never forget where my roots are.
Your hair is amazing. Is that natural?
Wouldn't you like to know.....haha....no it is not natural but is my current look since the Pamela Thompson shoot. We had amazing hair, makeup and photographer on that shoot and i loved how it was styled so I kept the hair! It is fun but crazy sometimes. I am a model so I am open to any changes in my appearance.
Jilly D -Age 23 - Long Island, NY
How did you get into the business?
I am actually a buyer at Betsey Johnson! I have been buying for the retail stores for years now and love it! Betsey is really sweet and I have made great friends working here. Another model/intern you work with, Carly, is actually one of my best friends! It is a very small industry! Carly told me that TFS was casting for models and I always wanted to try my hand at it, so I came over and got the job! Since modeling is freelance, I am able to also work for Betsey. I get the best of both worlds!
Carly refers to you as a real "Betsey" girl. What does that mean exactly?
Betsey has a terrific energy and is always smiling and dancing about. I find that most of the staff is the same way. We are carefree, fun, happy in life and bring that energy to our work environment. There are very few design houses much less businesses that allow that energy so I am fortunate because not only do I have it at Betsey but also at TFS! The staff here is so super cool I almost forget I am working. I must say I do get a little nervous when the CEO is around though.
We heard you just got married?
Yes!!! I am so happy!!! Not only do I have the greatest husband but I also have my cat HoneyBee and my dog Reggie which fills out our happy lil' family.
Joey- Age 22 - Queens, NY
How did you get into the business?
I originally was a pattern maker! I started pattern making at a young age and making my own clothes. I couldn't ever find cool clothes that I liked so I made them myself. I worked as a professional pattern maker for Betsey Johnson and then for Heatherette. People always seemed to like my personal look and wanted me in their shows so that's how I went from pattern maker behind the scenes to model on the runway. The best was when Bill Cunningham took my photo on the streets of NY and it ended up in the New York Times! He is so cool!
What advice do you have for other girls in the industry?
Don't be a diva! There are so many people in this industry that think they are all that, but those are the people that don't last especially if they don't have the talent to back it up. It is a very small business and you MUST be nice to people and not burn bridges or it will come back to haunt you! I try to always be positive and upbeat. Life is too short to let the industry get to you! Instead enjoy it and the friends you meet in it. That is what life is all about! Good friends, family and fun!
How do you describe your style?
I have a bit of an irreverent look and like to look 1 part rock n' roll, 1 part punk and 2 parts FUN!
Larysa- Age 17 - Ełk, Poland
When did you start modeling?
I started in Europe when I was 14. I am from a small city in Poland but I love to travel so when I was approached to model I was excited since I knew modeling allows you to travel to all types of places. I worked for a while in Paris doing runway but my real love is photoshoots! I love being transported into the photographers world and making his visual dreams come true.
When you are not modeling, what do you like enjoy doing?
I have a lot of hobbies. I LOVE movies, dance music and sweets. Any chance I can get to take a trip with friends, even if it is just locally, I take it! It gives me a great opportunity to practice my English. I think I am not great at speaking since it is my second language but my friends all say I have really become fluent.
What else would you like to do besides modeling?
I have lots of other interests but really I would just love to meet an nice Polish boy, get married, have kids and live happily ever after!
Ann Klein - Age 16 - Leawood, Ks
How did you get the job modeling for TFS?
I actually was approached at a local mall in Kansas. I was very leery since I have heard that most models don't get "discovered" at the mall, but it just happened Midoku was in town for a shoot for TFS and saw me in the parking lot! He approached me and said I HAD to come to city with him and shoot with Ken. The rest is history! I guess I am surprised he picked me out. I am a bit conservative in my appearance but he saw something in me and said he could tell I had another more wild side that he said would be great for modeling....I guess he was right! My mom is a model and always was a bit hesitant to let me into the "world" but since she works at TFS she can look after me.
Ok so how crazy is it that your name is Ann Klein? Any relation?
Not that I am aware of although it is kind of ironic right? I never expected being from a small town in Kansas that I would end up in the big city modeling. Maybe I should have known that being named after a famous American fashion designer would lead me here!
Was it hard to leave home at such a young age?
Yes and no. I am really close with my family but luckily they are supportive and know how it important it is for me to see where modeling takes me. I am also very religious and that helps ground me in such a difficult industry. Also, it helps that my mom works for TFS too! She is a model as well.
Have you found that "wild side" Midoku (TFS's model casting agent) said he saw in you?
Yes!! It is funny how clothing can make you come alive! I find that I am playing out different characters in front of the camera which really allows me to have different personalities, looks and let loose! If my friends could see me on camera they wouldn't know it was me....its like a secret wild and outrageous life I get to live through my job, but I still have to be a bit reserved since my mom is on set usually!
Jean - Age 16 - Chicago, IL
When did you start modeling?
The first time I saw America's Next Top Model, I knew that is what I wanted to do. One day I was in Toys R Us in the mall and I was discovered! I was really lucky. Most models don't get picked off the shelf like that. I am so grateful to Tiny Frock Shop for giving me my big break. It's easy work cause I love the clothes and all my friends are jealous!
What is your personal style?
I love vintage. I love throwing together items from different eras. I raid my mom's closet whenever possible cause she has all this cool 70's stuff, like this poncho I am wearing. It may be July but I can't leave home without my poncho!
What do your friends think of your style?
My friends all want me to be just like them but I am not afraid of being unique and having my own personal style. I think that is what got me noticed at the mall. If I dressed like everyone else, I may have not gotten this job!
Ruth - Age 24 - Paris, France
When did you start modeling?
I have been modeling since age 14 when I was discovered. I was working out of Paris at the time and now I am bi-coastal depending on what designers want to work with me. I have done editorial and runway mainly. This is really my first time doing look books. I love Tiny Frock Shop so I jumped at the chance to work with them.
What inspires your look?
I love old French films and adore Catherine Deneuve! I have been told I look like Sophia Loren if she was French. I also love the styles of the old Hollywood musicals. The feathers, diamonds and glitz put a spell on me. The grandiose quality of the sets, dancing, singing and costume was over the top and si beau!!
What designer would you love to work with?
I am a HUGE Jean Paul Gaultier fan as well as John Galliano. Their talent is beyond imagination. I ran into Mr. Galliano once in Paris, but I don't think he noticed me. I looked a bit vacant that day but I was wearing feathers!
Pamela - Age 28 - New York City
You are a co-founder of Tiny Frock Shop....is that correct?
Yes! I work directly with the CEO Lily on all aspects of the shop. I have experience in the fashion industry working for designers Anna Sui, Betsey Johnson and Heatherette, so I have brought my knowlege of edgy fashion editorials, trends, and design to the table. I also work on photography with Ken, styling with Ms Bunny and the website. I have been blessed to be able to do what I love and get a pay check for it. If you believe in your dream and work hard, you can achieve anything.
Was it always in the plan for you to model for TFS?
I have been modeling in NY since I was 15 so I have a ton of experience and connections. It just seemed to be natural for me to model in the early days of the shop since I was already a founder of it and working here daily.
What inspires your look?
As you can see I am a huge fan of Tarina Tarantino. She is a super cool jewelry designer that does couture Hello Kitty. People say I look just like her!! I love all things sparkly, pink and girly. I was big in the club scene when I was a bit younger too so the club kids from the 90's are a real inspiration. I do sometimes rock a harder edge too, just depends on my mood. I love having a look different from everyone else.
Vivian - Age 25 - London, England
When did you start modeling?
I started much later than other girls at around 20. I was always into fashion but it was only until I saw Naomi Campbell on the telly that I knew I wanted to model. So I went down to Camden and networked until I found the right people and my career took off. I was in bloody heaven when I realized I would be paid to be around fashion and get to work with some of the most amazing designer houses in the UK.
What inspires your look?
I love the 1970's disco era. Shiny sleek dresses and animal prints are tops. I also love batwing sleeves and ADORE shoes. You can never have enough shoes! My hair has always been a signature of my style.....all natural.
How do you feel about body image and models being required to stay thin?
I am naturally thin, its just in my genes. I think its brilliant when girls can look past what the mags and telly are programming them to be and just be themselves. There is a mountain of pressure on young girls these days and body image should not be something girls focus on. Everyone is beautiful in one fashion or another. The world would be so uninteresting if everyone was 12 1/2" tall and .17 kilos like me.
Lois - Age 22 - Malmo, Sweden
When did you start modeling?
I started as a child when I was 8, acting on television and starred as a teen in a film called "Söt Flikarna". I am sure you have never heard of it but it was like the Swedish version of "Mean Girls" but not quite as mean. That film led me into modeling and I have been doing it as a career ever since.
What inspires your look?
I don't know that I have a look? In Sweden I think I just blend in. I think the biggest signature I have is my white blonde hair. As much as American's think all Swedes are blonde, it isn't exactly true.....we have lots of brunettes too!
Is it hard living so far away from home? How do you stay grounded?
Sometimes. I travel a lot and rarely get back to Stockholm so it is hard to be away from my family but I am so blessed that I get to travel the world and meet amazing people that I wouldn't have had the opportunity to meet. I come from a large family that is very supportive and they help keep me from getting a big head. There is a lot of drama in modeling and it can swallow you up if you don't have a healthy foundation.
Carly (formerly our intern) - Age 22 - Midland, Texas
How did you get the intern job at Tiny Frock Shop?
I have wanted to be in fashion for a long time and after college I decided to move to the big city and get some real life work under my belt. It has been a trying experience. The hours are long, the pace is fast but I wouldn't change it for the world. I have learned so much about the fashion business while working at Tiny Frock Shop and that knowledge is irreplaceable!! I was lucky they chose me to work for them, since according to the internship coordinator Ms. Bunny, they have over 50 candidates each quarter to choose from! Everyone wants to work here and I feel so honored to have been chosen.
How did you end up modeling for TFS?
There are always times when the models will be late or not show up and since I am always here and am sample size, they use me to fill in. Ken, our photographer, is so great and seems to really like my energy. I am a bit of a goof and a ball of energy so we have a really good time shooting. I never thought I would get the chance to model for TFS! That is a dream come true and since TFS is so well connected in the industry, I can only imagine where this could lead.....I'll be quiet now....don't want to jinx it! :)
Here's a surprise for you Carly! Here is how the staff at TFS feels about you.
Ken - "Carly is a treat. She is always on time, and no matter what the situation she is on and ready to go with a smile. She is truly a ray of sunshine.
Bunny - "I had my reservations about Carly in the beginning. It is always tough when students come in and think that the internship is going to be all glamour and hanging out with celebrities. Carly quickly figured out that is not how it works and hard work and drive pays off if you don't let the excitement of the industry cloud your vision. She is remarkable."
Lily (CEO) - "Carly is a great asset to our company. She lights up the office and is a very reliable and creative young girl. I know she will succeed and whatever she does"