you all know her. you’ve seen her a million times. in a million looks. she’s made you want to buy. you’ve thought, is that kendall jenner? no wait, maybe emily ratakowski? who is she?
emily statkun, or _emstat.
when you choose a model for you brand, you have to believe in their ability to capture a viewer, evoke a feeling + tell your story, all while adding their touch to it. it’s a hard job- on both parts. as a designer, you’re hoping your vision comes alive through this muse. as a model, you have a brand's story to tell.
that’s why i think it’s important to know more about who we all work with... who are our models? what is their style, their muse, their inspiration? how does it feel to be a model in a sea of instagram thots? read below to see more of my conversation with emily...
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L: easy start- how did you first get into modeling?
E: I got into modeling when I moved to Philadelphia from my small, rural town in Northeast,PA. I quickly made photographer friends, and modeling was something I always secretly wished I could do, so it came naturally when I found the opportunities. I got my first job for United By Blue through instagram, shoutout Sticks + Stones’ photog Kelly Smith!
L: was it a long process until you got signed with an agency?
E: I signed with VIE in the summer of 2017, when Will first opened the agency. It was comforting to start out like that because I did always have a desire to explore modeling, it just never seemed like a plausible dream coming from such a rural place. That world seemed so far away. It was kind of incredible to me that I was officially signed, and could start working professionally. I sent an email, met Will for coffee, and soon found myself in a space that frankly changed my life.
L: most people probably aren’t aware of this, but one of the best things about working with you is your eye for styling, design, and the arts.. tells us a bit of your background and what you’ve been working on outside of modeling?
E: Thank you! That is my favorite part of all of this. Models learn to create an appealing visual with their bodies and energy, and being on a set around a range of creators has opened my mind to what kind of designer I want to become. I moved to Philadelphia to study Industrial (aka Product) Design, and although it has taught me much about design processes and how to view the things around us, modeling is the added layer that is key to my identity as a future designer. Right now, I’m working on my senior thesis, a small collection of functional, genderless clothing made with environmentally conscious textiles.
L: the world is batshit crazy right now, but in an ideal world, what would you do after college graduation? you have an interesting mix of talents working for you!
E: The question that every college senior LOVES to hear. Lol. I’m an idealist and non-practicing Taoist, so basically I will only accept the job that will make me the happiest, but like someone who truly “goes with the flow,” I secretly expect the opportunity to just hit me in the face.
L: ok.. now the fun + interesting shit: what is your favorite photo of yourself and why?
E: by aka_jophoto during our first sesh: natural light, natural energy, my brown eyes...
L: who is your muse? it’s ok to tell us a few!
E: My parents, myself.
L: we constantly see you dressed as how others want you to look! what is the best way to describe your style?
E: living on a college budget means options are limited, but I make it work at thrift stores, raiding my boyfriend’s designer closet, and with a good, spontaneous shoe purchase. A strong mix of masculine and feminine.
L: favorite designer?
E: Jil Sander, Rick Owens, and Stella McCartney because she’s leading the way for sustainability right now!
L: your go-to local favorites: brands, restaurants, stores, bars, etc...
E: NINObrand— Bela Shehu is a fucking beam of light guiding me in so many ways. Cheu Fishtown is yummy, and I’m hoping to wander into Rikumo soon.
L: favorite photog to shoot with?
E: Jordan [aka_jphoto] and Jordan [jm_kickz] because you meet someone and it feels like you’ve known them in a past life. People like that capture us best.
L: free the nipple? yes/no
E: yes x100
L: i was very much a part of the #metoo movement. unfortunately, i was subjected to inappropriate behavior and disgusting use of power from a previous boss. It’s so prevalent right now, especially in the arts.
do you think it’s happening with photographers, talent managers, etc. for the modeling industry?
E: Sorry to hear that Linds. I follow the Model Alliance, a nonprofit organization, on IG and they’ve given me a great education on how deep this goes into the fashion industry. I’m optimistic about #metoo and it’s effect - I’m frequently reassured on set that I don’t have to do anything I’m uncomfortable with, and if something does occur I feel assured that I can report it to my agent. But, many women and men are still put in these terrible situations with little consequence to the perpetuater because of his or her talent and clientele. There’s still some time to go, but it feels positive.
Thanks so much Lindsey!! This was fun.