Nigel: In Fashion, Sex Sells

Nigel Barker

There’s no doubt that, if you become a model, you’re going to be partnered with other models . And all too often the name of the game in fashion is: sex sells. You’re going to be in steamy situations quite regularly, and if it’s something you’re not comfortable with or if you have no experience (which some girls don’t have in real life), it can be a challenge.  

From the model’s perspective: ultimately you have to be confident. Naomi suggested taking on an alter-ego, and I thought this was a brilliant idea. The chances of you finding the person next to you attractive are actually quite slim. Regardless of whether or not the model is physically attractive objectively, suddenly when you’re standing there in your underwear, it becomes real. It’s not a fantasy. It’s easy to think in that moment: I don’t want to! I don’t like his breath! Or whatever. But that’s not what you’re being paid for. You have to be in love for that moment. If you’re not, the lack of authenticity will ruin the picture. 

The very first time I met Naomi, I was asked to walk with her down the runway. We had to hold hands and be couple-y, and I remember being enormously intimidated. I didn’t know if I would be able to keep up! But from the moment I met her, she had this look on her face that said: she completely owned it. It was like she was leading the dance. Imagine when you’re on the dance floor, there’s a confidence invested entirely in that moment, even if you don’t know you’re partner. If done with confidence, it’s very sexy.    

Nigel BarkerIt was interesting to see how Team Lydia rose to the challenge. Initially I thought it wasn’t going to work. Even though Amanda is considered sexy, it felt like she was resting on her laurels. Her team wasn’t even practicing before the shoot. Honestly, you usually try to spend some time with your significant other from the photograph. Going on cold like they did is really tough, especially without any practice.

However, I think Amanda rose to the challenge. She gave in to it. Despite the fact that she can be super sexy, she actually looked the right sexy. She looked great in the androgynous shoot and she looked great again in this shoot. She has shown two new sides of her.

Team Lydia’s shot was the most coherent one. I didn’t necessarily love their final shot. I liked the idea, the use of the bathtub, there was chemistry for me. Across the board they were just decent shots, but nonetheless I’m not the client. The client is always right.

Tiana did a good job as well actually. It’s not necessarily her best genre, but I think she pulled it off. Sharon looked somewhat fake in the picture. She sort of rested her hands on the guy’s chest – if you’re going to touch the guy, grab the guy.  You have to commit 100%.

I think Afiya and Felisa’s photo was a bit of a miss this time around. Felisa seemed a bit wrapped up in herself and never really let go. Sometimes you have to just let yourself be in the moment and enjoy it. When I’m with shooting someone, I try to fall in love with them for the moment, even if it’s a dog, or whatever! I’m all about how beautiful this person is, or how interesting this man’s story is. Felisa is looking over the guy’s shoulder and her face says she’s looking for approval. Afiya, also, has an incredible body and can easily do this stuff, but I don’t think she was having her best day.

There was also commotion all episode long!  I think Naomi’s powwow with Lydia probably woke her up and gave her fire. Maybe it made her realize that her angle of mentoring wasn’t working. She was really working during that photoshoot, too. She was ON them, and she made sure they weren’t just comfortable and cruising through.

 It’s also rare to see Anne V mad! Seeing her fuming was an interesting part of the elimination. Really looking forward to next week! 

Read more about: Nigel Barker Anne V Naomi Campbell Lydia Hearst

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