By Eric Wilson
Women’s Wear Daily, June 14, 1999
NEW YORK — Since Calvin Klein recently proclaimed that people aren’t that interested in models anymore, it made sense that his alternative choice of using musicians and young actors in campaigns would include an alternative rocker, Liz Phair.
But when Phair performed at a benefit for Sanctuary for Families Thursday night in Chelsea, sponsored by CK Calvin Klein, she wasn’t wearing the company line, opting instead for a light gray tunic and pants from Morgan Detoi.
“I was wearing Calvin Klein underwear earlier,” she said, then went on to applaud the designer for his new model-free campaign.
“I think it’s a great idea to use models who are interesting in their own right, who carry a little more aura because they have lived a while and are doing interesting things in their lives. They are more charismatic than people who just look a certain way,” Phair said. “It’s not an anti-model stance, but I can see where he’s coming from.”
Phair was performing at the fourth annual “Night of Zero Tolerance” benefit to help Sanctuary for Families, which helps individual survivors of domestic violence and advocates policy changes and raising public awareness to end violence against women. According to photojournalist Donna Ferrato, who founded Domestic Abuse Awareness and displayed an exhibit of her work at the event, the benefit raised more than $250,000.
Oddly enough, the host for the evening was model Roshumba Williams, who just renewed her on-air personality contract with VH1 and signed an endorsement deal for Vaseline Intensive Care. Williams said she wasn’t miffed by Klein’s stance on her trade.
“I’ve been modeling for 10 years,” she said. “My future is in film and television.”
And apparently writing. She’s working on a fall release for Macmillan called “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Modeling”, which includes advice for aspiring models such as Phair.
“Approach it as a business,” she said. “I call it the serious business of beautiful people.”