She's maneuvering the world of high fashion using instinct, experience and a WILD and ROWDY past!
Winona is to FASHION WEEK what fireworks are to the 4th of July. The show might go on but without her it sure won’t be the same. Back in the day she was in such high demand on the catwalk that designers were known to adjust their show dates to work around her schedule. And now, as the agency owner with six of the fashion industry’s top models on her roster, they still do! Ah…it’s nice to be on top. But hard as hell to stay there.
She shows up on everyone’s web page and blog site during FASHION WEEK. Covering her fashion choices for the next seven days is just as important as anything happening on the runways so stay tuned. WHAT SHE WORE DURING FASHION WEEK starts now…
Lourdis is back! It seems like she’s been gone forever! We hook up at Atomix in midtown and she looks like a million and one bucks. Skin like velvet, hair color a hot magenta, she’s lean and mean as ever. Over cocktails, she shares the down and dirty deets about the tour that her band just wrapped up. They played all of the major spots in the UK and, to surprise me, she went out of her way to take pics of the little club in London where she and I first met. We were both still in our twenties. I’ll never forget it! She was such a bad-ass on stage. Taking no prisoners. But later on, totally wasted, she’s bawling all over my shoulder about some junkie hustler mistreating her. My girl has always been a mess of contradictions.
Winona is wearing Roberto Cavalli
While Lourdis is in the ladies room, Tom Ford strolls through and spotting me, he comes over to the table. His show opens New York Fashion Week on Wednesday evening and several of my girls will be on hand. It’s tradition. I walked for Tom myself back when he was at Gucci. Lourdis returns and reluctantly, I introduce them. It’s a piss-in-your-pants-moment for him. He’s a fan of the band and excited to meet her. But Lourdis, in full-blown rockstar mode, leans back and cocks an eyebrow, as if this man is NOT an award-winning designer and Oscar-nominated film director but some know-nothing peasant. She always does this. The bigger the name, the less impressed she pretends to be.
Tom slides into the booth beside me. He can’t stop looking at her. I’m reading his mind. I know what he’s going to say before he even says it. “Lourdis, I would love for you to be in my show. Would you consider it?” Dammit. Lourdis starts laughing at him like a crazed hyena. She couldn’t be more rude if she tried. “Are you fucking kidding me?” she howls. “I’m no model!” But if I know Tom, he couldn’t care less about that. He’s already deciding her wardrobe. “Come on,” he says. “It’s Fashion Week. It would be so cool to have you in my show.” But Lourdis absolutely refuses.
The next evening, I’m at the agency dressing for dinner when Tom phones. He’s got a proposition. Hearing of my efforts to land a seat on the board of the Cooper Hewitt Museum, he throws me a bone. My past, being extra-crispy and all, has made it impossible to get even an interview with them, but Tom’s got to have Lourdis in his show now and if I can deliver her, in exchange, he promises that he’ll get me a meeting at the museum. “Your tea is way deeper than mine, girlfriend,” he laughs, “and then there’s the Black thing. You would be the first. But your recent honors from NYU are too impressive to ignore. You get me Lourdis and I’ll get you in front of that board.”
Winona is wearing Narciso Rodriguez
It’s New York Fashion Week Eve! Tom’s show is kicking things off and I’ve got invites. My driver heads toward the Village and we pick up Lourdis. I’m practically on my knees in the backseat, begging her to do the show tonight. I even confess to the deal I made to get on the board of my beloved Cooper Hewitt. She knows how hot I am for that. But while she’s showing me the back of her head, in the window’s reflection, I see a tiny smirk on the heffa’s face. And It. Pisses. Me. Off. So I pull out my ace. I’ve never had to use it before. But she leaves me no choice. “If you don’t do this for me,” I say, “An angry little bird is going to tweet-tweet to Belle about you screwing her precious baby boy. How old was Courtney then? Fifteen? Sixteen?”
Lourdis flips me off. “He was seventeen,” she says. “And I don’t give a fuck if you tell his mama. That was three years ago so feel free to squeal.” But when we step out of the car in front of the Armory, there’s Belle, waving at us. Lourdis grabs my arm—
“You can’t tell her. Are you insane? She’ll hate me!”
“You think??? But…if I were you, I’d be more worried about that little pistol in her handbag. She might pull it out and shoot you. So Miss Thing…are we doing this show or not?”
Lourdis sneers. “I guess we are, bitch!”
Welcome to New York Fashion Week!
Winona is wearing Tom Ford Lourdis is wearing eoe|wear|ever
Fashion designer Tom Ford wants Lourdis on the catwalk for his New York Fashion Week presentation. And Winona does too. Why? Because not only would it be a supercool thing for her bestie to do but it would also help gain Winona entrance onto one of the most exclusive museum boards in town. But the Rockstar Goddess refuses. And Winona realizes that playing dirty is the only way to get the job done.
Winona in wearing Donna Karan
An honorary degree from NYU is nothing to shrug off. It’s a really big deal and I’m very proud. But the glow of that accomplishment takes a back seat once I spot Jojo, a beautiful, young, sociology major, and my instincts tell me that he’s THE NEXT GREAT FACE. I want to sign him to a WINONA, INC. contract. But the battle begins when JoJo’s father blows into town with plans of his own. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I’ll let YOU decide—
New York University’s Stern School of Business has selected me as this years’ recipient of an honorary degree. WINONA, INC. the agency is a phenomenon. The top shop for five years running, I sometimes forget just how fierce I really am. But what a blast it is to see my grandmother, Sylvia, along with Belle and Desi, celebrate my achievement right out here in the middle of Yankee Stadium. Look at Sylvia taking it to church. Don’t let her come out of those shoes!
Belle is my plus-one for the graduation luncheon. Hosted by the university president in his drool-worthy townhouse tucked away in the West Village, we munch and mingle with the brainy elite. And then I spot him. A beautiful boy with green eyes and auburn locks so full and lush, he gives Belle and her legendary mane big competition. I watch him as he works the room. He’s got personality-plus, a great physique, and my gut tells me that he photographs like an angel. I take a couple of shots and a few seconds of video with my iPhone. I can’t wait for Marc and the staff to see him.
Winona is wearing Cushnie et Ochs
It doesn’t take long to track him down. Joseph Kalani, Jojo for short, is a twenty-one year old NYU sociology major. I find his email address via Facebook and send to him a personal note with an invitation to meet at Minetta Tavern for lunch. On the Dean’s list, Jojo’s fast-tracking towards pre-law. But his Instagram page is loaded with wannabe model shots. “Law school ain’t going nowhere, baby,” I tell him. “But you won’t always look the way you do right now. Take advantage of it while you can. There’s a 12-month contract with WINONA, INC. in my bag, ready for you to sign.”
We order drinks to toast the signing but before the deed is done, Jojo’s girlfriend, Priscilla, pops up along with his father visiting from Hawaii. The handsome Mr. Kalani shows his ass within ten minutes, dismissing me and the entire fashion industry with a cheap wave of his hand. “You came here to get an education, son. A law degree. Not waste time with frivolous nonsense like this.” Jojo drops his head in obedience. It’s clear who’s steering this ship. But Priscilla’s a film major. She’s dreaming of bright lights and stardom and her big baby blues sparkle like sunlit diamonds. The idea of her boyfriend on a billboard in Times Square has lit her all the way up. I slip my card to her before leaving.
When Priscilla phones, her attitude hovers somewhere between Martha Stewart and Beyonce. She thinks that she’s in charge. We meet at the Clinton Street Baking Company for coffee the next morning and I’ve arranged for Natalie Portman to stop by our table. She dazzles young Priscilla and dangles a few carrots in her face before strapping her child into a Mima 3G stroller and hugging me goodbye. Priscilla is speechless. But she’s got things straight now. She belongs to me, not the other way around, and she takes notes as I order more coffee and advise her on how to handle her boyfriend. Most important, I tell her to put brakes on the nookie. Don’t even let him see it. Not until he stands up to his daddy and signs my contract.
I’m surprised when Mr. Kalani phones two days later. “My son has asked me to hear you out,” he says. Wow. Baby girl is laying down bricks really fast! I slip into a pretty red dress and meet him for dinner at the Baccarat Hotel. All evening I try to convince him to let me have his son for one year. If things don’t work out, Jojo can always return to school, right? But he’s not budging so back and forth we go. And Mr. Kalani, in spite of his lips saying no, is flirting with me. I’ve been trying to keep it all about business. Seriously. But his tribal tattoo, peeking from behind his woven knit shirt, as light as air, is pretty fucking hot.
Winona is wearing Lanvin
Mr. Kalani is a very trendy guy. He has a room at the Soho House and after dinner we head over to their rooftop bar, one of the best in town, to continue round three of our battle royale. It’s just a little after midnight but amazingly, there’s no one here. Even the bartender is calling it a night but she serves us before clocking out. Now we are completely alone, just him, me, two martinis and a glistening pool. He unbuttons his shirt, revealing his tattoo. The ball’s in my court. And you know me. I’ve gotta go one better. So I unzip my dress, drop it in his lap and dive into the pool.
Winona is wearing Manolo Blahnik satin mules
The next morning, I just can’t believe it. After working my tail off between those fine, Frette Egyptian cotton sheets, Mr. Kalani still says no. The stubborn son-of-a-bitch will not let Jojo sign with WINONA, INC. Not for six months. Not even for three. Finally I remind him that his son is twenty-one and doesn’t need his permission to do a damn thing. And that’s when things take a turn for the ugly. “I remember you,” he says. “Your exploits from back in the day were well-documented. Do you think I want my only son consorting with people like you? We’ve made our plans and the last thing we need is interference from you and your kind.”
While dressing in the bathroom, the nasty shit he said still ringing in my ears, I hear loud voices outside. Tying on the Hermes headscarf I tucked into my bag last night, I open the door and see that Jojo and Priscilla have arrived. “I can do what I want, Dad,” Jojo’s voice is trembling. But he’s strong. “I won’t be in your pocket for long. Isn’t that right, Winona? Where’s that contract?” I sneak a peek at Priscilla. She has done her job. And well. Gathering my diamond hoops from the nightstand, I drop them into my handbag and don my sunnies before giving Mr. Kalani’s dejected shoulder a squeeze. “You want to know something else about me and my kind? We’re a determined bunch of bitches. And one way or another, we always get what we want.”
I attended the Met Gala last year without an escort and had a blast. This year? Not so much. Being an ex-addict, I’ve got to stay way too woke now. Edibles float around like hors d’oeuvres these days. But we’re here for the gowns, right? And they were wild af. BLAKE LIVELY and her Versace mega-train blew in on a big-ass party bus. And RIRI stole the show in her tricked-out, jewel encrusted John Galliano pope ensemble. That drag had to weigh a ton and she had trouble keeping her hat on. But she managed long enough for pics and film. That girl was working! There were Joan of Arcs, several Nuns, lots of papal capes and robes. Me? I was feeling kind of Maid Marion-ish—without a Robin Hood—in my Vera Wang-inspired gown. It fit like a glove and the veil gave it a crazy, virginal spin, I thought. The big bejeweled crucifix? Well, everybody says that God has a sense of humor so I just rolled in on that. SMOOCHES!
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