Model of the Month-Leah Heifferon!

We are thrilled to have pro fit model, Leah H, as our November Model of the Month!  From being one of our very first signs, to now being one of our top models, we are so happy to see how much she’s taken off and we’re so excited to see what future brings her! Read more to learn a bit about her story, and her “stroke of luck” for stumbling across the fit industry-talk about genetic lottery!

1. Where you are from?
I’m from Tucson, Arizona. A cruel place to raise such a pale person!

2. What you are into… studies, hobbies, special skills etc..?
I’m a big reader, having worked for many years in publishing before transitioning to fit lisahoulgrave_photography_0312_rtfmodeling full time. I’m also an avid cook, am obsessed with spin class, and love meeting up with friends all over my favorite borough, Brooklyn!

3. Favorite clients from the biz?
Ralph Lauren Collection is just as classy as you’d imagine, and Rag & Bone is just as cool. I’ve worked for Diane Von Furstenberg for over five years, so their fit room really feels like my home away from home. Another favorite client where I log a ton of hours is Tory Burch. Coincidentally, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tory Burch are the only two fashion designers on the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. I’m honored to work for such inspiring women!

4. Dreams/goals any thing else of interest?
I’m planning to take patternmaking classes at FIT this January just to nerd out a bit with my job. The best fit models are able to visualize the changes techs are making to the pattern as they’re fitting, and I want to go deeper into my understanding of their work so that I can be even more valuable to my clients.leah-retouched-hand

5. Career highlights?
I love getting to travel with clients: to Milan with Ralph Lauren and Hong Kong with DVF. What’s dreamier than that?

6. How did you get into modeling or acting?
I was looking for a way to supplement my publishing income when a friend recommend I try fit modeling. I’d never heard of a fit model, but went to an open call at an agency where they told me I have the perfect measurements and offered me a contract. It was an incredible stroke of luck!

Model of the Month-Axilleas Gregory

2015 Gregory .jpg
Where you are from?
You know, I grew up on Long Island, a place that made me infatuated with two entities: the city and the beach. The beach was simple. I recognized from an early age that a day spent sitting by the ocean was a gift from the universe. The older I became, the more I learned how hard my parents worked for what we had, and if sitting on the sand in the sun was an option, then life wasn’t too bad at all. The beach was a place for peace of mind, meditation, fun, rest, relaxation, socializing; it’s the island life; it’s paradise. The city called my name with the same lure but for completely contrasting reasons. The city represented a challenge and an opportunity; in my young mind I imagined it as both a place of danger and risk but also what I envisioned as a meeting of the minds; the greatest artists and scientists and workers collectively changing the world.
What you are into… studies, hobbies, special skills etc..?
I’d say what interests me most are some things that truly vary from each other. For example, I have a long history with grappling and kick-boxing, but I also am extremely dedicated to reading and writing poetry. I spent this past summer reconnecting with the surf and skate culture that was so important to me growing up. I’m extremely competitive and hate losing more than I like winning; my efforts as an amateur and semi-professional MMA fighter, which I ended up undefeated with all 1st round finishes, was a result of not accomplishing my goal to win the state qualifier as a high school wrestler in my senior year. However, surfing and skating are parts of my life that I’ve never been competitive about simply because they have always offered me solitude and tranquil time to think. Earlier this year I was a bit frustrated and confused with how I was expressing myself as an artist and floating on a surfboard alone in the ocean gave me the space I needed to rediscover why I have dedicated so much time to being a “creative-type.”
Desert Raven.jpg
 How did you get into modeling?
My first photo shoot was for a college magazine (Emerson College) just after I won my bout in the World Fight League. I was studying poetry, performance, and minoring in journalism at Emerson while I was giving most of my energy and time to kick-boxing and jiu-jitsu at a gym not too far from campus. My fighting abilities were unique to the Emerson student body and so I was asked to be a feature story in “Em Mag.” Around that same time, Emerson was producing its first year of “Emerson’s Next Top Male Model.” The photo shoot was experience enough for me to consider entering the competition. So I entered. I didn’t win. I hate not winning. It made me thirsty for more. Soon after, I discontinued my studies at Emerson and moved back home to Long Island. After a summer spent digging graves as a groundskeeper at the Long Island National Cemetery, I saved enough money to move into Manhattan with a friend and pursue all things acting and modeling. I dove in head first with no real connections or understanding of how it all worked but I was young and believed, as I do now, that I was smart enough to learn quickly.
Favorite experiences from the biz?
Very early experiences: When I first moved into Manhattan, I started doing a lot of background work for the tv shows shooting in the city and I nearly lost all of my enthusiasm within a short time. I was extremely excited and anxious to make a name for myself and when I found I was being treated like cattle on big shoots for shows like ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘Blue Bloods,’ watching the principal actors perform right in front me was extremely tantalizing. However, after sharing an elevator with Blake Lively after shooting, and seeing her eat an orange and litter the peel on the floor, it made me realize that like everyone else, these actors were real people who must have put their time in when the camera was off. While I believed, perhaps, I could act on their level, I knew I didn’t have the knowledge about the business side that would be necessary to move forward. I also got to play hangman with Donnie Wahlberg on ‘Blue Bloods;’ he ended up stumping me, but he signed my notepad wishing me good luck. He thought it was noteworthy that I brought my own notepad prop to be a detective in the background of the show
 Career highlights
Last year I worked as a principal actor and then a featured actor on a couple of commercial spots that aired on the ESPN networks. I’ll never forget when my cousin Zach texted my brother Jay a screenshot of me on tv with a note that said, “It’s my birthday and I’m drinking with my buddies and they don’t believe that Greg is my cousin!” It wasn’t a huge milestone but it was certainly encouraging when I heard how excited my family was for me about any success. I also got a taste of the “viral” world last year when a director I had worked with for an industrial ad, asked me if I was available to shoot for a sketch that Lorne Michael’s (SNL) digital content company (Above Average) was shooting – “If Sex Was Like Call of Duty.” The video, now viewed over 7 million times, was a satire for video game nerds fantasizing about hooking up in a world based on the “Call of Duty” video game. The shoot was absolutely hilarious to work on from start to finish and definitely made me appreciate the possibilities I could stumble upon in the commercial world. An additional personal highlight would be all of the Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway work I’ve done over the years; the camera world is amazing because “Hollywood Magic” allows you to do anything imaginable, but I’ll always have a special place in my heart for being in front of a live, engaged audience.
Dreams/goals any thing else of interest-feel free to tell the world about?
Six or seven years ago, just about when I was turning 21 and pursuing this lifestyle, I thought I was invincible. I thought that the partying from late into dawn would connect me with the eccentric artists I was supposed to meet. Granted, I had a lot of fun and did meet a lot of interesting people, but watching a lot of those people take it too far and lose their focus forced me to become more responsible and accountable for myself. My dream hasn’t changed in many years; I want to change the world. I don’t care if it sounds crazy. I think the people that change the world are the ones that believe they can change the world. I’m not science minded, so I won’t do anything as special as cure disease or perform life-saving surgery, but I do believe in the power of art. Art is a symbol or a message that expresses relative thoughts and there’s nothing more powerful than communication. I live by three principles: 1. Love your family unconditionally. 2. Treat your friends like your family. and 3. Know that anyone can be a friend. Acting and modeling has taught me as much about myself as it has the world around me. My future will not just be the life of an artist, but of an activist. The more work I book modeling and acting, the more time I have for writing and performing poetry and music. The more I write, the more I read, and the more I read, the more I see struggle and confusion for something so simple as getting along with the people beside us. I am very grateful for all that I am blessed with and I won’t stop sharing the love that the universe gives me.
gregory.jpg