UPDATE: NEW FACE: JULIA SUSZFALAK (Elite, NY)
Back during castings pre-New York Fashion Week, I shot the new faces of Elite, which included Julia.  Today she closed Just Cavalli, in London she walked Burberry, and in New York she did Rodarte.  Discovered literally just over a month ago in Poland while shopping with her mom, I’m excited to see how this modern day Cinderalla Story plays itself out.
NEW FACE: LAURA MCCONE (Elite, NY)

Honestly, what doesn’t rivet you about Laura? Last season she walked Jil Sander and Givenchy. She was just lensed by Steven Meisel. She’s under industry titan Louie Chaban’s umbrella at the new Elite New York City. And she’s got heart to back her editorial and runway credentials too. Laura is personable, which made her VERY easy to feel comfortable with both professionally and personally. I felt like I was shooting a friend, not a “business associate” as there is a distinct warm enthusiasm behind not only her actions, but also her words.

Laura also answered a couple of questions:

  • altamira:If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
  • LAURA:I would choose to be a bird! To have the chance to fly all over and visit the people I love! The sensation of gliding through the air with the wind against my would have to be pretty amazing too!
  • altamira:Your favorite flower?
  • LAURA:My favorite flower would have to be a tulip. So simple, pure and beautiful.
NEW FACE: RITA VIOLENTIY (Elite, NY)

Just met Elite New York City new face Rita Violentiy, from Belarus. This is what her name looks like in her native language: Рита Виолентий. From her casting on West 25th street we E-trained it to Little West 12th street in the Meat Packing District where we shot. If I could chose one word to describe my experience with Rita it would be Focused. She works with efficiency, doesn’t get distracted easily, and stays on target. Above are some shots from our encounter.

Per usual, Rita answered a couple of questions

  • altamira:If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
  • RITA:cat, as it is affectionaite and adapted to the world
  • altamira:If not yourself, who would you be?
  • RITA:Margaret Thatcher
NEW FACE: JOSEFINE NIELSEN (Elite, NY)

In continuation of my series celebrating the new management at Elite New York City under Louie Chaban, I met up with energy poppin Josefine Nielsen. That’s Josefine with an “f”, not a “ph”. The first thing I noticed were her chiseled Scandinavian features — stunning eyes. Then I noticed just how organized she was. Josefine had a calendar, with specific times marked out for each casting she had that day and for the week completely effortlessly entered on her IPAD. With an inner optimism that is no doubt discernible when you look at her in the eye, it won’t surprise me if Elite New York needs to hire her to keep their books for them sometime soon. Because not only did Josefine walk Celine in the SS12 season, but she’s confirmed for some major editorials with some major photographers this week. Josefine Nielsen—on the altamira radar.

In keeping with the FW12 Elite new faces “tradition”, Josefine answered a couple of questions

  • altamira:If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
  • JOSEFINE:I would love to be a butterfly, so that I could fly. The best dreams I have is me flying, so to be able to do that everyday must be the sweet life.
  • altamira: Your favorite flower
  • JOSEFINE: I absolutely LOVE roses. My friends would say the same thing, everything I’ve got smells like roses. Nailpolish, lipbalm, creme, perfume, you name it….
NEW FACE: HAILEY HASBROOK (Elite, NY)

In continuation of my series celebrating the new management at Elite New York I met up this time with Hailey Hasbrook. We F-trained it to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), talked about the difference between style in Oregon and NYC, and braved the cold air on the water. Hailey gracefully began to move, sometimes subtly with the arch of an eyebrow, sometimes suddenly with a full jump. In every case, I could sense her whole heart and soul was behind each motion. HAILEY WORKS HARD and does so with spirited positivity.

As the others did, Hailey took the time to answer a couple of questions:

  • altamira:Your favorite virtue?
  • HAILEY:Inner Strength.
  • altamira: Your favorite food and drink?
  • HAILEY: I’m a girl that loves a good burger. And a shake…or Pepsi. Dessert wise: chocolate mousse or chocolate cake. OH! and I love taco salad…I just love food in general.

It’s little wonder that with Jacques Torres so close to the park in DUMBO, that we had a quick stop for a chocolate fix on the way home.

NEW FACE: EVGENIA SIZANYUK (Elite, NY)

In continuation of my series celebrating the new management at Elite New York I recently met up with Evgenia Sizanyuk. We took the 7-train to the Docks at Long Island City overlooking Midtown where I not only discovered a model who is genuinely enthusiastic about making new friends, but also diligent about her craft as a model. She shifted, she walked, and she moved with effortless ease in 4” heels across a stack of rocks that would leave Extreme Sports A-listers jealous.

She took the time to answer a couple of questions:

  • altamira:Your favorite hero in Real Life?
  • Evgenia:My mom, because she is strong and kind and very wise.
  • altamira: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
  • Evgenia: A cat, because they are very independent and beautiful and royal

NEW FACE: Neele Hoper (Elite, NY)

It may have been cold as ice the day I shot Neele from Elite, but I knew with stunning eyes like hers, we could freeze time down under the Union Square subway station, which is just what we did.  At 5’10” tall and under the new management at Elite, my eyes will definitely be tracking Neele’s progress this coming fashion season.

NEW FACE: ROBERTA NARCISO (Elite, NY)

Born in the country Angola. Legs a mile long. An incredible look. It’s almost an other worldy experience when you first set eyes on Roberta Narciso. That is until your trance is interrepted with a sense of just how grounded and authentic Roberta is from the inside. I’ve worked with Roberta twice now and in each case, she was cooperative, good spirited, and on a personal level, struck me as a sweet girl whose authenticity becomes immediately apparent to those willing to receive it.

She took the time to answer a couple of questions:

  • altamira: if not yourself, who would you be?
  • Roberta: I don’t want to be anybody else, I want to be myself.
  • altamira: your favorite hero in Real Life?
  • Roberta: Agostinho Neto (first president of Angola, famous for liberating Angola)

ANNOUNCING the Elite New York/altamira pre-FW12 collaboration

I usually make visits to modeling agencies throughout New York to get a pulse on the new faces they will be representing in the coming fashion season.  It gives me a heads up on who to look for.  Imagine my surprise when I was in the offices at Elite and they asked me to reveal their new faces for the coming fashion season.  I was delighted and for the next week and in an exclusive program, I will be revealing 10 new faces with a dedicated post for each new girl at Elite.

The significance of this goes beyond just a new face though.  It goes deep into the rebranding of  Elite New York.  With new management headed by industry titan Louie Chaban, who is reponsible for having developed the careers of Karen Elson and Agyness Deyn, Elite Model Agency as the world has known it is changing.


Elite is now more than just a modeling agency.  It goes beyond strictly managing models within the fashion industry to also support models who want to explore opportunities within the art world, the music world, the acting world and elsewhere.  Models who find inspiration in the music path of Karen Elson or the acting career of Agyness Deyn, will know that their other endeavors will be supported by the agency that manages their career in the modeling industry.


So stay tuned for the new faces of the new Elite New York!