Featuring a Venetian gal named Milena...
A few weeks ago a beautiful girl walked into our shop. This delightful occurrence is nothing new to our little slice of paradise at 52 Brooks Ave. Something was different with her though.
While working in our office above the shop I caught myself getting sucked into the conversation below, I recognized a few of the voices but there was a new voice I couldn't pin down. She sounded giddy and upbeat, sorta carefree, actually. West, one of the local kids ran up the stairs and told me to come meet the new voice below. I walked down the stairs and across the counter stood Milena. She had strong distinct features; a mix of Aubrey Hepburn and Cindy Crawford. She even has the iconic beauty spot. It wasn't all looks however, she had the kind of personality that the women who costarred Clark Gable portrayed. Not ditzy though, more alive and in the moment. She seemed friendly and kind, and I knew she was perfect.
For S/S17 we made small sizes in our popular basics collection and wanted to showcase that it isn't just for the boys, but made to be worn by girls too. Up until now we've been really cautious about what kind of girl to dress it on however. We wanted to use someone from Venice, and Milena is born and raised. We also wanted to shoot someone that we could keep using as we expand the women's collection, not just buy out a face for a quick moment. Milena seems to see the bigger picture, which we've come to think is rare among these millennials, so after the shoot we set up a little Q&A to accompany the photos so you can get to know this impressive young lady.
GA: What's your favorite thing about Venice?
Milena: The quality of living. There's really nowhere else in LA where you can wake up and walk to get your coffee by the beach.
GA: What do you hate about Venice?
Milena: The shift of people who have been drawn to venice with the preconceived notion that the artist/beach community is something they can capitalize on.
GA: If you could travel anywhere tomorrow where would it be? and why?
Milena: New Delhi, India. I don't just want to see the glamorized vacation destinations in this world. Being able to witness severe poverty without living it is a privilege.
GA: Modeling runs in your family, you told me your mom was photographed by Helmut Newton, who’d be the one photographer you could shoot with if you had your pick?
Milena: Mario Testino, seeing his his towel series grow throughout my childhood has always been inspiring plus he's also worked with mama.
GA: That’s cool. I’m a big fan. You said your mom shot nudes with Helmut Newton back in the day, is it riskier doing nudes these days because of the internet? Or was it riskier then because the world was a more reserved?
Milena: The main difference between nudes back in the 80's and now is the artistic value. A statuesque woman on film by helmet carries a bit more weight than an Instagram photographer shooting digital. So, I'd say it's must riskier now to shoot nudes, solely because no one easily accessible knows how to take elegant nudes.
GA: What are you most excited about at the moment?
Milena: Turning 20 and leaving Venice to model in other countries (as much as I do love it here).
GA: Is that your favorite thing about modeling, the places it will take you?
Milena: Definitely the places, and the creative people I get to meet and vibe off of.
GA: Do you think the influencer model still works or is it dead?
Milena: Influencer models have oversaturated the industry. Girls who truly wouldn't be looked at twice at an agency are giving brands free exposure in return for shout outs or product; taking away jobs that would normally be my livelihood.
GA: Lastly, how do you want to be remembered?
Milena: Hmm still figuring that one out honestly, definitely not as just as a model though.
Photographed in Venice Beach by Lyon Herron