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Pre-ID: a chat to Aliana McDaniel


March 12, 2009/22.06

Bronwyn Williams talks to Aliana McDaniel at the Ali McD agency as we lead up to the Emerging Designers’ Awards tonight and ID Dunedin tomorrow night.

On the make-up
Our trainee make-up team is doing the faces for both the Emerging Designers and the ID show. The Emerging Designers show has one look: it is a subtle make-up with quite strong lips. ID has a different make-up look for each designer. We are using Revlon, one of the sponsors of the show. They had a bit of a break but have come back on board this year which is fantastic. They are an awesome brand.

How many make-up artists on your team for Emerging Designers?
There are 10 of us, some of them in my advanced make-up class, and some from the beginners’ class. The beginners will just be doing lipsticks and foundation, and the advanced students will be doing the full look. It’s a great opportunity for them. You could have been on that team Bron!

Are all the models in the shows (Emerging Designers and ID) from your agency?
Yes, they are all Ali McD. We sourced about a quarter of the models this year at orientation week [at Otago University], and the rest are already on our books. We have been training the orientation models up over the last couple of weeks. We wanted the models to be a bit taller this year than last, so they are all above 58 [the minimum height for international models], and they are all aged 14 upwards. Models for New Zealand Fashion Week must be aged 16 upwards, but because ID is just two shows, and we are very protective over them: we are all there, watching over them—the polytech tutors, the whole fashion community, they are in safe hands.

Have you discovered any potential golden girls in your latest model hunts?
I have found a couple of very amazing girls lately that are going to be represented internationally. One of them I found at a local school, she walked past me, I stalked her and gave her my card, and the next day her Dad called me up.
   Both of the girls are amazing, one is just 13 years old though, and they have to be 14, so she is on hold. From the age of 14 the models can start being developed and trained. They both sign next month to Trump Models. You just wait, at the end of this year they will be everywhere.

How does it feel to know that you have been instrumental in changing all these girls’ lives so dramatically?
I have this eye (for talent-spotting), and I didn’t even know it until recently, so it is happening to a lot of girls now.

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