Stylist Nolé Marin has worked with a celebrity clientele that includes Claudia Schiffer, Tyra Banks, Iman, Heidi Klum and Alicia Keys, so he was more than qualified to bring a bit of glamour to the lanky factory workers and shopgirls who made the top 10 in this season’s Canada’s Next Top Model.
A longtime friend of host Jay Manuel, he was initially doubtful when Manuel asked him to become the show’s creative director earlier this year.
“Some of the best fashion models in the world have come from Canada,” Nolé says over the phone.
“Linda Evangelista, Jessica Stam, Daria, Shalom Harlow. It’s no backwater in terms of talent. Some incredible girls and guys have come from Canada, but, yeah, I was a little afraid when Jay offered me the position back in January.
“I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go back to TV, and this venue, but when I saw the 10 to 20 finalists, the girls looked really great.”
“I thought, yeah, that’s great, let’s make this a fashion show, and Jay gave me the complete control. He said go with it, and when you look at the show, hopefully, you can see the major difference between us and the other Top Models around the world.
“We really are pushing the envelope when it comes to fashion, trying to give you an inside look at what a fashion shoot is, and what it takes to be a top model.”
While fashion is as big as ever, it’s hard not to notice the industry isn’t the same place that gave birth to the supermodel phenomenon almost three decades ago.
Marin explains that the demands of the audience have a lot to do with it, with an insider’s perspective on the industry that the half-dozen girls left standing after last night’s show might want to remember.
“If you look at the models today there’s a different look,” he says. “There isn’t that late ’80s or even early ’90s look of a model — Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with all of them, and it’s different. There’s been a change. People want instant gratification, they want change.
“Each season there’s a new group of girls — it’s not like the girls the last three or four years, and longer. Every two or three seasons there’s a hot new supermodel that everyone’s vying for.”