The name sounds strange but not until you separate the model + longe, then you’ll understand it is a special place for models to catch up with private activities like surfing the internet; sipping a cup of hot or iced coffee; or simply relaxing to shake off the pressures of stardom.
It is a members-only club in New York; a private relaxation center strictly for models. No intrusions allowed. Men and outside guests are not allowed in during normal hours.
Bernard Smith who founded Modellounge said: “At this point, it’s much bigger than just having a safe space within the city.
He continued: “Starbucks isn’t the most ideal space for models who need a place to recharge, use a bathroom, or change clothes between appointments. As ground zero for models, not only do we provide a safe haven, we offer models a truly off-duty environment that isn’t demanding, but instead resourceful and rewarding.
Any paparazzi hanging around for pictures will have to wait outside the gate and maybe, across the road. This place is only for models who might wish to honor appointments with friends either for business or pleasure.
Smith explained that his decision to float the business was inspired by his girlfriend Joan Smalls. “I conceived this idea to create a workstation where she and her model friends could converge and remain in work mode during the day.
“I presumed it would benefit other female fashion models, but wanted to restrict access to models who were working and really in need, so I went exclusively with top agencies.
One good thing about Modellounge is, it is free. No charges. The business is sponsored by Puma, Microsoft, Lexus and Dr. Dre’s Beats.
“We choose not to charge models and agencies because we feel girls should have access no matter their financial situation.
“When we work with brands, we try to create meaningful programs and relationships that benefit our community of models.
“We’re able to offer support through workshops, the Modellounge Card, and other key programming that benefits so many more than just a few models or agencies.
Modellounge grants the models a release from the hassles of keeping appointments or relaxing in public places.
Privacy and security are the important features of this place. Models couldn’t have asked for more after baring everything on the runway, they sure need a safe place away from prying eyes.
“It was a natural progression, as we always have models asking us about temporary housing.
“Bringing to life the Modellounge Apartment has been a great experience—searching for a property, decorating the interior, and seeing the property in demand. It serves a real purpose, and I’m happy we spent time making sure it was the best possible option out there.
Smith is really grateful to everyone – models, sponsors and the general public – for every success achieved so far.
Nothing could be better than seeing our models cat-walk on the runway with smiles all over their faces.
“It took time and a lot of convincing, but now we’re in a very solid place. It takes time to gain real acceptance and develop credibility when you’re the new kid on the block. Without the incredible support that we’ve experienced, especially from models, we simply would not exist.”