Monthly Muse Interview- Leore Hayon, "The Girl Habit"

Leore Hayon has the allure of a 90s supermodel & the sweetness of an innocent young girl from a perfect family.  I've had a girl crush on her since I first discovered her blog a couple of years ago.  From those delicious locks and the undeniably perfect eyebrows to her perfectly light brown skin and toned yoga body, Leore leaves her audience mesmerized every time.  When she agreed to be my monthly muse for May, I was so excited.  Check out her blog when you get a chance, one of my favs..  Above are some snaps from a super quick shoot and interview we did one Saturday afternoon in Silverlake. Styled by Leore:)

TMM:   I've always since the first day I discovered your blog "The Girl Habit" been obsessed with your aesthetic and sensibility.  Can you give me some insight on how you came up with the concept for it?

LEORE:   What is so special to me about "The Girl Habit" is it's a hundred percent me. I unconsciously needed a space to express myself and it has grown from there. I like a balance between provocative and subtle. It's my vibe, my inspiration, and my feminine energy. 

TMM:   Sometimes, for me, being a fashion photographer, I get tired of the whole "game" so to speak- the competitiveness, the catty girls, the narcissism, etc.  I think about leaving it all to go live on a ranch and garden, hike & explore nature for the rest of my years, then something or someone inspires me and reminds me why I do it all, brings me right back to that passionate moment when it all began.   What inspires you and keeps you happy to be in this industry?

LEORE:  You're not alone. I constantly have moments where I'd like to be free of the industry, live on an island and have a simple life so to speak. But then I realize the hardest things in life, you have to struggle for and that's what makes them worthwhile. Also we've all been so socialized to judge what "success" is and that is not what life is about. It's all bullshit. I constantly am working on being grateful and enjoying the journey because hey life is fucking amazing. Also easier said than done, but you can't compare yourself to anyone because we each are unique and have something special to offer. I'm having a good day today. Where I am is where I am suppose to be. Hot yoga is keeping my mind right at the moment as well. I highly recommend it!

TMM:   I know you are a model, and a pretty successful one at that, but just recently I learned that you are actually maybe even more of an actress and have a film about to release.  Can you tell me a little bit about how you got started in modeling and how you feel about balancing both careers?

LEORE:   I love anything creative. Modeling was something I naturally got into because I love fashion and photography but I did not focus on it until after I graduated from college. I am most happy on a shoot if I'm somewhat apart of the creative process. Acting was a natural progression from modeling since there is only so much to do as a model. I much prefer acting. It's my passion and focus currently. I don't even think of myself as a model. I have so much more to offer than whats on the outside. I know most models feel this way. It is toxic to be judged for your physical appearance. With acting I know it is nothing personal. I do everything I can and then it just comes down to whatever is meant to be. 

TMM:   What is this movie about to come out? 

LEORE:   My latest film Eden is a story about a plane crash and our survival on the island. I play Eva, she is the purest entity on the island, uncorrupted by the life or death circumstances. Survival does crazy things to human beings. Eva symbolizes hope and she proves to have a lot of strength. It was filmed on islands in Malaysia so the scenery is gorgeous. It is coming out this fall in theaters!

TMM:   Current society's standards have been so heavily based on what you have - ie. how many followers you have, how many likes your photos average, what label you're wearing, what clique you are a part of.  I've noticed that you have a very level head regarding modeling, work, fame, etc.  What would you say keeps you so grounded?  

LEORE:  Thank you so much. I came from a good family. They've kept me very grounded and I am very lucky to have them. My mom also always made sure growing up that I understood that being a good person is far more important than looks. I think kindness and love are what really matter rather than the amount of followers or likes because in the end the only footprint I want to leave on this earth is a loving one. All the rest doesn't matter. Sure I love pretty things and have some vanity in taking care of myself, but I think it is about a healthy balance. 



Monthly Muse Interview: Alex and Addison

I met Alex Hoover one night I was out at a club with my sister in law Marie.  I saw Alex across the room & she looked so beautiful.  She reminded me of Blake Lively.   She was laughing, dancing, free spirited and just an overall cool chic.  I asked her if she would pose for my monthly muse interview.  Later I found out she was a twin, which made it that much more fun:)  Enjoy our snaps from her sister Addison's home in Malibu we did a couple of weekends ago.

TMM:  What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

AH: Man, this is a loaded question.  I've been so blessed in my life.  At the top of my list was working with the Bold and the Beautiful playing Steffy Forrester.  No words to fully express my time there, "family".

TMM: What is your biggest failure?

AH:  My biggest failure has been not following and building on my acting and modeling career.  I worked with two Nickelodeon shows, a network show, many national commercials and ad campaigns.  Thankfully I'm a huge believer in learning from my failures and mistakes.  Now I'm jumping in with both feet. 

TMM:  What is your driving dream or aspiration?

AH:  Aspiration!  I know what my goals are.   I'm focused on them.  Time to be a "go getter and do doer!"

TMM:  What are your thoughts on fashion?

AH:  I love a personalized style, doing my own thing when it comes to fashion.  I feel clothing is an expression of ones self.  You are your own canvas.  Appropriate to the occasion.

TMM:  Beauty advice?

AH:  Keep it natural on a daily basis.  It makes dressing up that much more fun. 

TMM:  How has being a twin helped you or hindered you towards achieving your goals?

AH:  Having a twin has helped for sure in the industry.  It's a great marketing gimmick and attention grabber.  The only time it's a hindrance is when people think we "need" to work together.  We are individuals.  We are as different as we are the same, only twins really understand that.  Being a twin over all?  Means the world to me. 



Monthly Muse Interview- Toree Arntz of F A U X T A L E

Photos by Scarlet Mann

When I met Toree, many years ago, I was immediately enamored by her sense of style & confidence.  She was not a conformist as a lot of cute girls are.  She held her own space in time and existence which is a rare trait these days.  A couple of years later, I saw her insanely amazing collection for her launch of Fauxtale.  I was even more blown away.  Toree has seemed so mysterious to me in that she is so young, yet so professional and in touch with something that is out of this material world.  She has always been one of my favorite muses since I first saw her.  I asked her if we could do an interview and shoot around her house on the mountain with her raccoons and other animals.  It was a day in heaven and away from the city.  

1) Your work is so beyond intricate, unique & amazing; yet surprisingly very wearable.  What would you say is your most influential muse, or where do you draw your inspirations from for these heavenly designs?

I am very much inspired by the natural beauty of our world and by our animals.  Nature has an amazing way with combinations of color and function and form.  Science has used nature and animals to inspire our technology for years, and I use it for form and beauty.  Nature is the true artist that has billions of years of practice, and I draw a lot from it.  I am also lucky enough to work with a sanctuary, called the Wildlife Way-station, where I get to work very closely with animals and collect naturally shed or molted materials from them.  Often times, my work is evolved out of the materials themselves.  Using materials from my animals gives my work a personal story, and makes each piece very special to me.

2) I love your connection with nature and animals.  What would you say turned you on to this part of life?  And has it been something that you were always drawn to?

I have always been drawn to animals and nature.  As a child, I was constantly bringing baby animals home, whether they needed rescuing or not.  My mother was constantly tasked with trying to re-locate birds nests or otherwise to replace babies that I had picked up along the way. As a kid, I was always making sculptures out of found materials and I had this odd habit of carving little animals out of baby carrots.

3) You have a partner in Fauxtale, Kate.  How did this partnership come about?  How do you plan to continue to the future of Fauxtale?

Fauxtale was founded by myself and Kate Thompson. Before the inception of Fauxtale, we were both doing similar things separately, making art out of nature. When we met (in 2010) it was a creative match made in heaven.  We decided to combine our visions and move forward together.  Kate had a strong role in the aesthetic development, design and production of Fauxtale for the first two years.  Kate left Fauxtale 2 years ago to venture into developing her own collection, Fauxtale's sister company, Amaroq.  We still work on collaborative projects from time to time.

4) How is a normal day at the office of Fauxtale?

There is no such thing as a normal day at the Fauxtale office. It is usually some combination of hiking to look for new materials, creating new wearable collections of clothing and jewelry, designing costume pieces for one of our performers, doing photo-shoots, and doing interviews with beautiful people like Scarlet Mann ;)

5) What would be your biggest dream for the future come true?

My dream has always been to be able to live my life exactly how I want every single day.  I get to hang out with animals almost every single day and make a living from creating and doing what I love, so in that respect my dreams have come true.  I think the dream of any creative is to have the freedom and the means to create whatever you want on any scale. So my dreams for the future are to continue creating, and eventually to have to means to do it in a much bigger way.
Toree Arntz




Monthly Muse Interview: Bella Shulman

I believe Bella was around 5 years old when I met her.  She is now almost 18.  I can't believe how fast time flies.  I was always enamored by her beauty.  Her and her sister (whom is extremely beautiful as well) posed for me time and time again in their youth for many artistic creations with film.  I remember the first shoot I did of Bella, I forced her to squeeze into I think a doll dress, or maybe it was just too small, but I loved the idea of making little girls look doll-like in photographs.

*Lily and Bella Shulman circa 2001 on film by Kristy Mann

Over the years, I've watched Bella grow up, become more sophisticated, and really just inspire me especially when it comes to her style and personality.  I hope you'll enjoy the images we snapped a couple of weeks ago in her dad's apartment.

1) I notice you seem to have it more "together" so to speak than most girls your age.  What would you say motivates or inspires you?  What gives you that drive to accomplish your dreams, which, btw, are what?

Well I think people my age (including me) are figuring it out as we go. I've always been a really curious person and am always asking people about their experiences, accomplishments, and lives in general. I would say throughout my life I've learned the most from people I'm surrounded by and found my motivation and inspiration from them. I've also found a great amount of it through traveling and of course other artists. My overall dream is to contribute positive change and curiosity to the world through my art while pointing out the beauty endlessly surrounding us. 

2) Where do you derive your taste?  Runways?  Someone you know?  Just curious because I'm obsessed with what you wear:)

My taste definitely derives from my dad. I also love Japanese men's style such as Yamamoto and men's style in general. I love mixing patterns and anything that for the most part goes against what is considered cute/attractive on girls. So lots of baggy clothing, boots, overalls, etc. As long as I have a good pair of socks and shoes, I'm happy. 

3) Where and what do you visualize for yourself in five years?  What career, city, etc.?

In five years I will have just graduated from Parsons with a BA in Fine Arts. I visualize myself being a known fine art/street photographer and possibly a ceramicist as well. I hope to be continuing my world traveling, exposing and evolving my art along the way.  

4) How do you deal with insecurities if any?  How do you draw the fine line between taking a healthy risk &  just getting it soooo wrong.  I'm only asking because you seem so confident as well as a non-conformist.  Many girls your age just try and keep with the popular style, are afraid to go out on a limb, and never really establish their own voice with fashion.

I deal with insecurities having to do with my looks and style by constantly looking at the style and looks of other cultures and countries to remind myself that there is much more than what is considered "acceptable" in Hollywood/America. I also think that being original is better than popular style and if you think like that you are forced to find your personal style. 

Photography: Kristy Mann
Makeup Artist: Heather Cvar www.heathercvar.com
Styling: Bella Shulman



Monthly Muse Interview- Collin Levin

Photos by Kristy Mann

When I first met Collin, the thing I was inspired by the most was that he seemed to have such a great sense of style and was comfortable and confident in his own skin.  He has such a great look & inspired me from a photographer's viewpoint as well.  Then, to top it all of, I found out that he was only 19, super successful already ( in the sense that he knew he wanted to be a director & photographer & he had already so many amazing photos already under his belt )

The trait I like to take from him is that he seems to have no stops.  He's not worried about competition.  He is just doing his thing & with professional standards at that.  He has already done magazine editorials, directed and produced short films, produced two art shows, and is on his way. 

TMM (The Model Muse):  I’m super inspired by your ability to have such a great aesthetic at such a young age.  How do you see it?  Have you always considered yourself to have a keen eye?

CL (Collin Levin):  I am really drawn to light and shadows, colors and shapes, things that react in an interesting way with their environment. When I look for things to shoot or even now as I just go through life I try and look at things the way I would see them through the view-finder of my camera. Because of that, it gives everything around me some value. Things no longer look mundane, everything has some purpose; or if it doesn’t I think, “okay, how can I make that look beautiful”. 

TMM:  How long have you been in the fashion industry?

CL:  Probably three months now. I’m new to the fashion industry but I really enjoy it so far.

TMM:  Where do you go to school?

CL:  I go to Pasadena Art Center College of Design for writing and directing. (Nothing to do with the fashion industry haha)

TMM:  I feel like taste can't be taught.  Well, over time, I guess it sort of evolves.  What do you plan to do with your schooling?

CL:  I mean to me its been a way to challenge myself and push myself to keep getting better. Its also been a great way for me to meet and make friends with people who look at things differently from me. I love getting other peoples perspectives on art because it makes me then think differently about what I’m seeing or creating. That’s one of the things I really enjoy about being in school, specifically Art Center, is the fact that I'm surrounded by a myriad of talented individuals who continue to think in different and interesting ways. 

TMM:  Your photographs are beautiful, what inspires you the most?

CL:  Thank you! Photography-wise I really love William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Richard Avedon, Martin Parr, Vivian Maier to name a few. I’m not only inspired by photographers though. Being a Writer and Director as well, movies really inspire me. I really love the idea of capturing lots of emotion whether it be subtly or in your face and films to me carry so much of that. To name a few specifically, The Graduate, A Woman is A Woman, Manhattan, Taxi Driver and Waking Life. 

*See more of Collin's work here:  www.collinlevin.com