Sunday, June 22, 2014

Spotlight - Model Citizen: Cindy Hetzel

Hmmm...why do I get the sudden urge to drink Nespresso when I see this splendid face? Perhaps its because I saw it peering down at me from a billboard high above the streets of NYC, enticing me to drink those colorful capsule shots of caffeine. This model citizen has not only graced the billboards of NYC, but has also been represented in several forms including runway, commercial, every type of high fashion print and editorial. Although, if you are an avid reader of page 6, you may have seen that marvelous mug and long limbs walking down the street with one of entertainments' hottest new thing. And who is this face you might ask? Her name is Cindy Hetzel. A leading model in New York since the 90's, Fräulein Hetzel is more than a lovely face. This delightful human being couldnt be any more humble if she tried and is one of the most lovely, charming, approachable and chilled out human beings. We met several years ago in Los Angeles as we both share a sister-like friend and we hit it off from the start. We got to catch up while I was in NYC and spend a sun-filled afternoon drinking Mexican beer in Brooklyn's Habana Outpost. Originally from Detroit, this half Korean, half German beauty bomb is a practicing buddhist and does her best to keep balance in her bustling life in the Big Apple. I can image being a model in NYC is not easy, but Cindy takes it all in stride and she does it all with a smile. 


KG: How were you discovered?

CH: I was discovered at an open call with a model scout company that was called, "Manhattan model search"! Sounds like a scam (laughs) but turned out to be legit. I was still in high school but I got picked up by an agent that summer and never looked back!

KG: How long have you been modeling in NYC?

CH: I am way past my shelf life for modeling as I've been doing it for several years plus! However,  I have been lucky with half Asian genes (she winks and smiles as she says this). The height of most models career takes place between the age of 16-23 and then usually fades or as in my case, just becomes more commercial.

KG: How has modeling changed in NYC from when you first started two decades ago to now?

CH: Modeling has changed a lot from when I started. Now a days you see a lot more celebrities and reality stars gracing the covers of magazines and doing major campaigns. That wasn't so much the case in the beginning of my career. Also the concept of beauty has become a lot more diverse (I like that change).

KG: What was your favorite model memory or job?

CH: My favorite gig was after I had been spending a lot of time in Milan Italy, enjoying the Italian lifestyle. I had to return to NYC only to be flown back to Italy on a direct booking for an underwear campaign where they made me a pin up girl! I was shocked because I didn't feel I fit that role at all, but it was one of the first memories where I really felt like I made it as a model to get a direct booking like that! They transformed me to look like a real pin up! It was for a lot of money too..I was thrilled.

KG: What is different about modeling in NYC than LA (or abroad?)

CH: Most models who start off in NYC have a huge advantage for the prestige factor. You can basically model anywhere else if your main agent is in NYC. Paris, Milan and London are the next high fashion markets. Every other place is really fun, but considered as secondary markets. Working other countries has been amazing but the real money and biggest gigs are in NYC.

KG: Where are your favorite hang outs in NYC?

CH: Well, they used to be clubs. In my earlier years in NYC, when I was new to the city's night life, I was a regular on the club scene. All the big clubs really catered to models -- free entrance, free drinks, all the star studded beautiful was so exciting and enticing. Although, that gets old over time and now I prefer to hang out in more low key environments or try to attend to special events that support my friends and/or a good cause. NYC offers so many great things. You've got the theater, galleries, concerts, amazing food, extravagant parties, great hole in the walls that are super fun... it's hard to say I like any particular one -- the beauty of NYC!

KG: For models moving to NYC, any tips or words of advice?

CH: Advice to models starting off in NY? Save your money!! It's easy to blow money when you make a lot if it quickly and you are young. Take the time to take care of your mind, body and soul. It's easy to get caught up in the superficialities which can mess with a lot of girls after time. Build a strong support system, you're going to need it when you are traveling around so much. Be the leader of your career and be professional. Agents don't always have your best interest in mind. You need them for sure but they are not your boss:)

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