Why Our MM Co-workers Make Great Models
January 14, 2017 | Filed in: Humans of MM
For our Better Things collection, MM art director Callie Kant decided to try something new: She recruited a handful of co-workers—plus a few of their family members—and had them model the looks. “One of the best aspects of my job is our diverse crew of intelligent, put-together, and beautiful employees,” she says. “It only made sense to put them to work in front of the camera!”
We often feature non-models on our website, but this is the first time we’ve done it so comprehensively—and included sizing information for customers to see what items look like on a broader range of shapes. “We know our customers come in many different body types (just like we do!), so representing a few different people in each of our staple products was really important to me,” said Callie. “I hope these photos will make it even easier for customers to envision themselves in our clothes, and build a wardrobe that works for them—after all, they have #BetterThingsToDo than shop.”
Below, MM staffers share their experiences from the shoot.
Hanna, Senior Associate, Pop-up Sales & Operations
Hanna: I was definitely excited for this shoot. (Is it weird that I was also excited for a new Bumble pic?) I got to wear the Lydia, which was one of the first dresses I bought at MM and continues to be a favorite. It’s stretchy, but holds me in in all the right places, and the twisted straps accentuate my shoulders and distract from my arms, which I’m usually self-conscious about. Plus, it’s perfect for dancing.
Taka, our photographer, is amazing. He knows how to get exactly what he wants, and he played great songs to bring out my “dad” moves. He also manages to turn the moments when I’m fixing my hair into incredibly glamorous shots—the “oops” photos, when I wasn’t trying to pose, are the ones that turned out the best.
Nyjerah: Unless I’m taking a selfie, I’m pretty camera shy—getting my picture taken usually feels awkward. [Ed. note: We beg to differ.] And as a stylist, I prefer to be behind the camera, not in front of it. But this shoot was so much fun! If you put on a Beyoncé playlist, I turn into Beyoncé…
Surprisingly, the dress I liked the most was the Toi. My style is usually more tomboy-ish, so it’s totally out of my element, but the flared skirt brought out my girly side.
Mary, Merchandising Manager
Mary: I was thrilled to wear the Aditi in modern houndstooth—the pattern is striking, the silhouette is elegant, and the style communicates power and boldness. These shoots are always good fun, very relaxed and informal. There was no pressure, and the creative team provided music, snacks, and tons of guidance and reinforcement.
Sarah, Accessories Designer
Sarah: I’d never done a shoot before, so I was worried about how the photos would come out. If my previous experiences with photographers (mostly from being in friends’ weddings) have taught me anything, it’s that I make awkward arm/face combinations. But this photo shoot was great! It totally made me push my boundaries with being comfortable in my own skin. I watched all my co-workers go before me, and they seemed to have their best angles and poses already down, which was intimidating—but once I stopped comparing my experience to theirs, I was able to take myself less seriously and have fun.
Danit, Physician (and wife of Ron, MM’s VP of Supply Chain)
Ron: I think my wife was nervous, but she immediately said yes when I asked her to be part of the shoot. She was such a pro, even though she’s never done it before—when I came in to see how things were going, she was so focused on the camera that she didn’t even see me!
She is a doctor in internal medicine, and teaches at the Albert Einstein Medical Residency. She also works at Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. We have four kids: Yulie is almost 15, Yair is 12, Ella is 8, and Adam is 5. Ella came to the set, and she had best time. She loves to perform, so if you give her a stage, makeup, all that stuff—it’s the dream!
Danit had to move her schedule around a bit for the shoot, but she made it work. She loves the team, and she’s so jealous that I get to work with them every day. She also likes hearing about the thought process that goes into the brand. Earlier this year, I bought her the Yulie dress, which is an older style that was named after our daughter.
Emily, Head of Strategic Operations Initiatives
Emily: I always forget how much I love the Etsuko; it’s our bestseller for a reason. It’s a supremely comfortable dress with perfect construction that conveys power effortlessly. I look at that photo and I feel like I have my shit together—and just as importantly, I can see my personality shine through. The dress is not the focus, I am.
I love photo shoots! Any time I’m asked, I say yes. I come from an acting background, so headshot sessions and promotional photos were always a part of my life. I don’t get nervous in front of the camera, but I am a bit of a diva when it comes to selecting the final photos. (Sorry, Callie.)
Susanna, Interior Designer (and mother of MM staffer Michaella)
Michaella: My mom had the best time at the shoot. It took no convincing to get her up here. Callie suggested she model for us, so I gave her a quick call and had barely asked before she rescheduled her whole week to make it work.
On the set, she looked like she had been a model forever. She loved the hair and makeup guys, the music, the “wind machine”—we talked for an hour that night on the phone, to debrief.
My mom also has tons of vintage and current MM. A lot of the silhouettes fit like they were made for her, and I like to send her little surprises, so she gets something new every once in a while. She wears them for all different things—to the office, out to dinner, or to different events (she’s a busy lady). I gave her the Bell sweater for Christmas, and there’s an 80% chance she’s wearing it right now.