Simone Banos started modeling when she was 13 years old, and it wasn’t long before she ended up on the cover of YM. She spent the ‘90s shooting with renowned photographers, including a Calvin Klein ad for Bruce Weber.
But when she had a baby, everything changed. No longer able to spend most of her time traveling, she had to think of new ways to make money. And thanks to her latest invention, we’re all benefitting.
How did having your daughter affect your modeling career?
Every decision I made had a heavier weight. I was also starting to age out of an industry with fierce competition. I shifted to more lifestyle shoots, such as being in Pampers ads as a young mom. It’s a blessing to get opportunities like that, but I wasn’t pulling in as much money [as before], so I needed to get creative.
How did you decide what to do next?
I started thinking of what I knew and what I loved. One of those things is real estate. When I was a young model, I pounded the pavement all over New York City going to castings and I got to know the entire city that way. I also really love architecture and design. So I started working a few days a week for a real estate agency. I can make my own hours, which is good since I’m a mom. And I absolutely love it. It’s so fun!
How did launching your app, Row A, come about?
I grew up with all these amazing hair stylists — Fredric Fekkai is a close friend — and I just thought, wouldn’t it be great for other people to get that same experience? I think it should be something everyone has access to.
Describe the app. How does it work?
Basically, it’s like Uber, but for hair stylists. A lot of amazing junior stylists happily take on extra work. Professionals who I vet and know are good log on at times when they are free and want to take on some extra clients and then get matched up with customers based on GPS location. The customer puts in where they are and what they need and the professional will come to the customer.
So now you’re balancing modeling, real estate and being the CEO of Row A. What does your schedule look like?
Typically I work at the real estate office two days a week, spend one day a week going to casting or shooting for modeling and the rest of my time is devoted to Row A. The app is constantly evolving, We’re working on expanding it to wardrobe where users can have a lookbook of their closet.
Just like on “Clueless”!
Yes — it’s the future! The possibilities are endless.