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 Interview of Linda Morand

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Join date : 2008-11-04
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PostInterview of Linda Morand

Interview of Linda Morand by Emerald Alexander

How did miniMadMOD60s get started?

About three years ago, I was toying with the idea of making a video about
facial exercise and putting it on an infomercial. I was working on a business
plan and was advised to mention that I had been a top model for awhile in
the Sixties. After receiving my proposal, the investor did a Google search on
me. Nothing came up but two walk-ons I had in a few movies, mostly just for
fun because I knew the directors. He actually said that for a top model there
was nothing at all about me on the web. It was almost embarrassing.

Luckily I had my yellowing tearsheets, to prove that I was telling the truth.
As I looked through my scrapbooks and the loose magazine pages I noticed
that they were getting fragile with age. I thought about having them
scanned and put onto a CD so that I could preserve them.

But it got me to thinking. Why shouldn't there be a website about the
great models of the Sixties, Seventies and before? These girls who were all
over the covers of Vogue and Bazaar and doing ten page spreads inside. If
there had been a web then, they would all have been all over the Internet.
Today, if a company or even a person does not have a web presence they
are often overlooked.

How did you get the idea to launch a website?

I did a Google search for the Sixties Models. Hardly a thing was there! I
was able to come up with Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, Veruschka, Lauren
Hutton, Susan Blakely and a few super models who had remained in the
public eye by becoming television and movie personalities, or who married
rock stars. The only thing about Dolores Hawkins, one of the greatest
supermodels of the Fifties and Sixties, was her part in "Adventures in
Paradise." And even if their names were well known there was very little of
their work archived. I just could not stand to see all those glorious days
forever forgotten. I put my video project on hold and began this independent
research project.

So far besides miniMadMOD60s, nothing else exists about some of the
very great models that graced the covers of the top magazines and were in
major cosmetic campaigns. Nowadays if you are not found on the Internet
you are not really that relevant. Even now, you can search for any of their
names and our site is the only one that comes up. Even if they had dozens
of Vogue and Elle covers and were the toast of two continents.

One Sixties model did have a tremendous amount of data online. It
was Colleen Corby. She had a fun, informal fan site, that had attracted
several hundred followers. I joined the group and introduced myself in
2006. The advent of a "real Sixties model" caused a little stir and I was able
to answer a lot of questions and contribute pictures of myself and my friends
and colleagues.

How did you build the archives?

People had started sending in pictures of Colleen's peers, like Terry
Reno and other interesting Sixties models. Many started sending in pictures
of me. Soon a few other Sixties models "came out." and helped the site gain
in credibility. It was really a fan-site, celebrating that happy image of Colleen
Corby and her entourage that colored the coming of age of the Sixties
Generation. The site is now run by a very talented person calle "Angora Sox"
who is the artist who does most of our animation and collages.

There were two really outstanding members: A person called
"ModelHistory" and Patty Holmes, with incredible memories for faces.
Each continued to scan and send in many pictures of other top models, and
still do. There was an album started for "Models Without Albums" and
"Mystery Models" "Models Composites" and "The Sixties Look" etc.
Soon these were overflowing as images came pouring in. It was clear that
these girls needed their own albums.

It was agreed that I would splinter off and create a separate group with a
website dedicated to all the models, from Vogue and Bazaar and all the
other international fashion magazines and open it up to the international
models. The two sites would promote each other. Some of the Colleen
members joined too. I made the most prolific ones managers. Slowly, only by
word of mouth, with no advertising, the miniMadMOD60s has grown and
grown. We have had to open a new group, miniMadMOD60s 2 to handle
the overflow. Angora, from the Colleen site has added many artistic
impressions of the models. We have a new Senior Editor called Sentimental Susan
who has been very helpful to Patty and me in organzing the archives.
Another person, Ranma Senschi is an expert on some of the Seventeen models.
Also Dayrell and Asher continue to submit new photos every week.

Have other Sixties Models contacted the website?

Yes, little by little, as people began to realize that our website, obscure
though it may have been, was legitimate, several models and/or their families
began to contact us. Several prefer not to reveal themselves to the public.
Others are happy to help and lend their support to this endeavour to
preserve our work and the work of our model colleagues. I was urged to start
a real website.

Several models have granted us exclusive interviews. I am happy to say that
Willy van Rooy, Joan Thompson, Sue Murray and Terri Smith have
been very helpful. We have been contacted by Sunny Griffin, Mona
Grant, Jaan Stephens, Gail Reaben, Kecia Nyman, Jane Hitchcock and several other
Sixties models. Their input has been invaluable. The family members of
some deceased models have contacted us and given us wonderful pictures
Many of the models have found their old friends including myself. I have
been in contact with Wallis Franken's daughter, Cathee Dahmen's
daughter and Agneta Frieberg's sister. We have also communicated with
Charly Stember's daughter and Denise Hopkins' daughter. There are
many others who have only revealed themselves to me..

I found my long lost best friends, Susan Brainard and Sara Vane, two
girls I worked with in Paris. Now I am meeting top photographers, stylists,
make-up artists and editors through the site. The great Model Card
publisher, Peter Marlowe joined us. He has thousands of images of model
composites, which are a great source of information. We have been
contacted by the family members of such great models as Susan Blakely,
Sondra Petersen and Joann Webb.


How big are the Archives?

We now have about 17,000 images at last count. Our goal is not to sell
anything or to judge who was the best model but just to celebrate them all
and make their images freely available to anyone who wished to glimpse
back to those golden days. The pictures look ever so much better when
properly scanned at a high resolution then in a scrapbook with the edges
crumbling.

So many models and their family members have contacted me privately
and on the site to say how grateful they are to see their work celebrated
here. Many had lost their portfolios over the years or had never seen some
of the pictures we have found. Back issues of magazines are becoming
more and more rare as the years go by and very expensive to obtain.

What is your goal with miniMadMOD60s.

What we all have tried to do with miniMadMOD60s is to continue to create
an anthology so that each model, her friends and family as well as her fans,
has an overview of the highlights of her career. However, some who worked
prolifically have only a few pictures and other lesser known models have a
hundred pictures. This is because the site is contributed to by dozens of
independent members from all over the world, who are partial to certain
models. These members have not been sought, they have found us through
interest and word of mouth.

Now people are contacting me and complaining that they are not included.
But they must realze taht if they or a fan or family member does not send
the photos in, we cannot post them. There is no other archive to refer to.


miniMadMOD60s is now being noticed by talented and creative people. I
am happy to say that the forum is visited from time to time by many noted
models, other fashion personalities from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties as
well as modern fashion aficionados, professional and amateur.

Artists, designers and stylists pore over our archives for inspiration and a
lesson in the history of design and fashion photography. Many contact me.
I am particularly happy when young people and artists are inspired by the Sixties
and all the wonderful pictures we have made available to everyone. I have been told
that our website isresponsible for the great resurgence of the Sixties Inspired
fashions we see on the runway today. That makes me very happy.


What are your plans for the future?

I am now working on a book based on my diary from those amazing days and a
documentary about the Sixties Fashion era. And I am sponsoring some young artists
who have been inspired by our models, including renowned paper doll artist Gregg Nystrom
and young teen-age fashion designer and illustrator Ross van Der Heide.
I have been approached by people in Hollywood to co-executive produce a
Supermodels Hall of Fame TV Awards show, so that is a potential project.

That is exciting news! Please keep us posted.

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Linda Morand BLOG
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