Making a video is no simple task. For us, finding attractive talent on a shoestring budget was the hardest part. After speaking with a number of agencies, we realized that our limited resources would require a much more “out of the box” approach.
Luckily, our search for the female model was quickly fruitful: my niece’s friend Gabby, a French, playful and quite beautiful young lady agreed to help us out – it would be a fun escape to the Hamptons.
Our search for the male part was less straightforward. He had to be mature enough to have gray hair, yet youthful enough to pass as Gabby’s boyfriend. And he had to be attractive to both Sophie and me! As you can imagine, it became very clear that finding our Zadeh Man would be no easy task.
One afternoon on our subway ride back from a meeting with Paul Smith, I noticed a handsome man sitting, with his headphones on. I sat next to him and gently touched his shoulder asking that he make room for Sophie to sit next to me. He flashed a quick smile at me – and I knew he was the one. His gorgeous blue eyes, with his salt-and-pepper scruff and nonchalant demeanor exuded everything I was looking for. I nudged Sophie and excitedly (but stealthily) asked her in French to check him out, “Regards ce mec å coté de moi. Il est parfait!”
“Are you crazy? We are not inviting a total stranger to our house. He could be a serial killer for all we know!” She had a point. What was I thinking?
As we approached our stop at Times Square, we got up and I was squarely facing him. “Have you ever modeled?” I blurted out. Sophie pretended not to know me.
He took his headphones off and said humbly that he had, a long time ago…Why?
As the doors opened at Times Square, I hurriedly told him about the company, our video, and how he was our Zadeh man. I reassured him that we were not coming on to him, that I was happily married and Sophie had a boyfriend. The train’s doors closed, but I didn’t care at this point. “Here is my card, check out our website, if you like what you see, call me!”
Sophie was mortified.
We got back to the office, and I already had an email from him. “Love your designs…count me in. Tom.”
A few weeks later, we arrived at our set – our house in Water Mill. We hadn’t arranged for any special clothes for the shoot. So we pulled clothes from my closet for Gabby, and from my husband’s closet for Tom.
The connection between them was magical. They were complete strangers, but they captured playfulness between partners in love, waking up on a summer Sunday in the Hamptons, enjoying their day at the beach and getting ready for an evening out.
The shoot went smoothly, we had a blast. Josh, our videographer, and Jory, our photographer, were a great team – consummate professionals. Josh chose the song – a Francoise Hardy classic – tying the final bow on our first brand video.