Hannah Berner: Model, Actor + Producer

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We are so happy we got to chat with Hannah, the multi-talented fit, commercial, print, and fitness model – and most recently – video producer and comedian for the infamous Betches Instagram account. Continue reading to learn more about Hannah and how she got started!

We love watching you on Betches! How did you fall into this?

Thanks so much! I was at a desk job questioning my life purpose and crying in the bathroom when I decided I needed to quit and reevaluate my career path. I asked myself what I would do if money wasn’t an issue and it was to create funny videos. I had no idea how I could do this, but I applied to a video internship and started to hone my video editing skills. Out of nowhere, a model I had met at an Adidas photoshoot (that Bicoastal booked for me) reached out to me saying that he was working for a brand called Betches who was looking for a video producer with 5 years experience. I laughed and said I’m not a good fit, but I submitted a funny video anyway. They called me into their office and said that they will start me as a freelancer. 7 months later, I was officially hired as the first video producer at Betches. Since starting the video department, I’ve increased video views from 2.2 million views in Q3 2016 to 155 million views in Q3 2017. I love creating new ideas to make my friends and family laugh everyday.

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Tell us a little bit about your other talents – sports, hosting, improv? What do you enjoy most?

I grew up around sports including basketball, golf, softball, and tennis. At 12 years old I decided to focus on tennis and ended up playing for the University of Wisconsin and playing professionally for a bit. After tennis, I worked as a sports broadcaster for the University of Wisconsin Athletics, so I would interview basketball, soccer, and track teams and then edit their highlight reels. Since I’ve been little, I’ve always been very silly and outgoing, so comedy was a natural step for me to use my experience in video and hard work ethic from sports to create funny content. Sports, hosting, and comedy are all different ways for me to express myself, whether it is physically or verbally. I think it’s healthy to find a lot of different hobbies and never define yourself by just one thing. Everyone is multifaceted and you can surprise yourself by finding out you are passionate about a new hobby or skill.

Tell us about your experience as a fit model with Bicoastal – what are some highlights/favorite clients?

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As a fit model, I’ve worked for Hanes, Urban Outfitters, Elie Tahari, MM La Fleur, One Jeans Group. I love fit modeling because I really enjoy being a part of the creative process. I feel like a fly on the wall while serious decisions are being made about the length of a dress that will be sold in thousands of stores or something as little as the color of a button. It’s also pretty cool to go around and brag to my friends that my body has perfect proportions and then they tell me to shut up.

Do you have any particular favorite sketches? And why? 

I do! I love to expose the reality behind social media and make fun of the fake personas that can make people feel insecure with online. During this time of social media, it’s important not to compare yourselves to someone else’s highlight reel. Let’s be serious, we are all in yoga pants with no makeup on scrolling our Instagram feed majority of the time. I made this video joking about fitness influencers:

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Love my fit fam! #motivationmonday

A post shared by Betches Media (@betches) on

To see more of Hannah’s great posts and videos, make sure to follow @betches!

Model of the Month: Julie Prugar

We are so glad to have the very experienced Fit model professional, Julie P, as our February Model of the Month! Continue reading to learn more about this Fit star and how she got started!

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1. Where you are from? 

I am from Cleveland, Ohio.

2. What you are into… studies, hobbies, special skills etc..?

I love swimming, biking, hiking, skiing, dancing, yoga, traveling the world.

3. Favorite clients from the biz?

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Armani, DKNY, DVF, Marc Jacobs, LAMB, Ann Inc, Chaus (Cece Sport), Tory Burch CK, RL, Nellie Partow & Draper

James are all team I have had the pleasure of working with over the years!

4. Dreams/goals any thing else of interest (any other dream clients?)?

I would love to learn guitar, piano, & become fluent in Spanish

5. Career highlights?

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Many trips to Italy (working with Giorgio Armani). Trips to Hong Kong, & Sri Lanka. Also, working with Gwen Stefani & Reese Witherspoon on their lines.

6. How did you get into modeling?

I started fitting when I lived in LA & was working in the film industry. In between jobs I was restless & wanted to make extra money. My friend Paige got me into it when she needed me to sub for her. I ended up landing Fiorucci & Guess Jeans. Shortly after I moved to NYC. I contacted an Agency to start fitting again & within a year I was booked full time. The rest is history!

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SPOTLIGHT NEW-SIGN: Gilbert Costache

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1. Where you are from?

I am from Romania though I have worked in this industry for the past 10 years in some of the main fashion capitals of the world such as: Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, Istanbul and New York.

2. How did you start modeling?

When I was 16, a scout discovered me in Bucharest, Romania. I was in Madrid, Spain when I really started modeling, so at 19 I quit soccer to commit to being signed to multiple fashion agencies.

22 editorial cosmopolitan.jpg3. What you are into besides modeling/fashion?

I am an actor. I am a licensed life-coach and I believe that it is very important to have the resources, the context and to find the right path to follow for the rest of our lives. I consider myself a simple, honest human being who appreciates quality in life. My hobbies include reading, dancing and generally having a sense of humor (I love stand-up comedy and jokes). I play soccer often and I practice yoga. I have also written novels and I enjoy philosophy.

4. Favorite clients you have worked with?

Dsquared, Dior, Adidas, Zara, Hugo Boss, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Guess, Armani, Calvin Klein.

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5. Dreams/goals any thing else of interest (any other dream clients?)?

To spend my time writing books. I also dream of acting for the movie I am writing. More fashion campaigns.

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6. Career highlights?

Music clips in Romania and Spain with the best singers there. Catalogs in Turkey , Istanbul. Catalogs in Spain. Catwalks for Tommy Hilfiger, Burberry. Tv commercial for Nike. Tv commercial for Heineken. Walking runway for some great designers internationally.

7. Awesome! Do you have any notable Fashion Week experiences?

When I was in Europe, I walked in shows for Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger and when I was in Romania I worked with some of their best designers.

To keep up with Gilbert make sure to check out his website and follow him on Instagram!

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#MeToo ft. Merideth Morgan

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No matter how you feel about the #MeToo movement, you definitely can’t miss it. It’s clear that the current climate has made it possible for people to come forward with what they consider shameful secrets, and place the shame where it rightfully belongs. But one also has to wonder if the more we hear about it, the more we become desensitized and consider it a norm, and then take it for granted that it’ll never change.

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We are all feminists here, don’t get us wrong! Humanists, actually. We just hope the movement creates respect, not apathy. We’re so proud of our models who shared their stories for their bravery and support to the movement.

Check out our plus model/blogger new-sign, Merideth, who incorporated this into her blog recently. We loved it so much, we had to share – she touches on her experience and how it affects her day to day life, read about it here (click!).

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Also check out the rest of her blog which touches on plus fashion, health, and more. We’re so happy to have the gorgeous (inside and out) Merideth on our boards!

TALENT SPOTLIGHT: Christen Marucci

We’re so happy to have been able to chat a little bit with the multi-talented and stunning curve model, Christen Marucci! Coming from a background in entertainment, this beauty has finally found herself in the modeling industry – read more to learn more about how she started, her dreams, and some career highlights!

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How did you get into modeling?
Ashley Graham! I always wanted to be a model but with my clothing size I never thought it was possible. When I started following Ashley Graham’s career I realized that it was possible! The industry had finally made room. I searched out every agency that offered a curve division and finally found the right fit for me at Bicoastal!

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Tell us about a recent career highlight!
Since being signed there have been many exciting opportunities. The most exciting to date however was appearing on the Today Show modeling for the Macy’s Fall Fashion Show! There is nothing quite like seeing yourself on television especially on such a known network. It was a pleasure working with the staff and so fun modeling the clothing!

Any dream clients?
My dream is to be a Victoria Secret Angel! I always loved their line it’s the only undergarments I wear! To be featured in the magazine and walk in their iconic fashion show would be an absolute dream come true.

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We noticed you also sing, tell us more about that! (A project you’re most proud of, a song that’s special to you, etc)
I have been singing for as long as I can remember. I come from a very musical family. I was signed to an indie label my senior year of high school. It was an exciting time! I stayed with my label One Mind Music Inc for ten years. I wrote countless songs and sang on countless tracks. My most exciting project was “Damsel” and EP single that I wrote and released. Every song was written from personal experience, my favorite being “Masquerade”. Because of that album I received my own Pandora, iHeart Radio and Spotify station and was able to have it sold on iTunes!

What inspires you?
I am inspired by many things. I am most inspired by those closest to me, my family. Their differences and likeness inspire me. I was raised to be true to who I am, to love who I am. They love and support me and that is the best inspiration.

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To keep up with Christen, check out her IG page, (also available for influencing!)

Couples Who Create Together, Stay Together!

 

Check out the cool and talented couple, Valéry and Bryan, whose love for each other and love for creating has produced some wonderful, innovative content! Keep reading to learn more about their journey as partners!

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How did you two meet? Did your craft bring you together?Valery_Lessard_EDIT_Andreanne_Gauhier_2.jpeg Acting class at Anthony Meindl Actor’s Workshop in NYC. We first met in 2012, and started dating and co-producing the following year.

What is it like to work with your significant other?
We found that we are a great balance. Bryan’s tedious preparation and Valéry’s creative instincts complement each other wonderfully. By being able to trust and rely on one another, it allows every project we work on to grow stronger, together.

What project are you most proud of?
We’ve completed two short films together. The first is UNDER WATER, and the second was soon after, called AFTER MIDNIGHT, which is a short tribute

BRYANFITZGERALD051611678R.jpgfilm to Linklater’s BEFORE… series (starring Ethan Hawke & Julie Delpy) and how it brought us together. Watch AFTER MIDNIGHT at https://youtu.be/znT1oiYCSiU.

Do you collectively have a dream project?
UNDER WATER the feature film is our next big endeavor. It will be a full-length film based on the short we did. We’re currently distributing the script to competitions, labs, and agents, and seeking funding and co-production opportunities.

Our dream project is a love story based on Valéry’s grandparents, and about how love and war cannot coexist.

Model of the Month – Chelsea B!

Check out the awesome Bicoastal MGMT model/talent, Chelsea, as our March Model of the Month! Not only is she one of our newest fit model stars, but she also entirely versatile when it comes to her talent and artistic expression – keep reading to learn some more about Chelsea!

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1. Where you are from?

I am originally from Rochester, NY but frequented the city a lot while growing up, and have been here for 12 years.

Chelsea B lingerie2. What you are into… studies, hobbies, special skills etc..?

I am a professional dancer – Performing in the immersive show, ‘ Sleep No More’ for about 4 years. I also work with my collaborative dance partner Adam Barruch, traveling nationally/ internationally performing, creating films and assisting him set works on companies. I recently did a site specific dance film with Sarah Elgart of Arrogant Elbow that was outfitted by Issey Miyake and was accepted into the Cannes Film Festival. Currently I am working on presenting my first ever solo show to premiere in June.
In addition to this, I’m an active AIDS activist, volunteering for God’s Love We Deliver, Dancers Responding to AIDS, and am starting an education in post conflict transformation work – using movement to promote healing with legend dance Margie Gillis.
So, in a nutshell I’m a dancer / performance artist, activist, feminist, coffee addict, Hitchcock blonde, who loves the ocean 😉

3. Favorite clients from the biz?

By favorite clients by far are MM LAFLEUR- working with them is to watch brilliant artists and minds at work. They are a strong, supportive group of creatives, who enjoy what they do and have a strong energy that makes it beyond enjoyable to be around. I am also astounded to watch them create, fix, tweak, and improve.

4. Dreams/goals any thing else of interest (any other dream clients?)Mp2E9PCxOV9b7mfFzf8C7krHAb5pDZyNRoux5jFJEiQ.jpeg

 I have dreams of owning a juice stand on the beach someday… and between now and then I am committed to living a present and honest life of art and adventure.

5. What are some of your career highlights?

I’ve been very blessed in my career, and it’s not over yet 😉
Some highlights over the past few years would be: when I spent time in Japan shooting 2 dance films- it was an epic and once in a lifetime experience…. being asked to be part of the Margie Gillis Legacy Project… Joining Sleep No More (after auditioning 3 times!), spending residency at The Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbra with Adam Barruch , and working with Pavel Zustiak and Gabrielle Lamb on LUNA ( my solo show).
Not to mention the brilliant artists and humans I have met!
6. How did you get into modeling or acting?
I used to model when I was little- mainly for Kodak- but when I was 9 I decided to go to a ballet training school, and that became my life’s goal. Any expression of art keeps my interest and I continued to stay involved with as many areas of the art world as possible, including my modeling. In a weird way, fit modeling reaffirms for me that I am enough- something we as artists forget sometimes. I value the team that has my back, to remind me of that when I lose my way.
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TALENT SPOTLIGHT: GILLIAN TODD

We’re so excited to feature Bicoastal MGMT model/talent, Gillian Todd, on our blog this month! We’ve loved having her over the years and watching her talents grow and spread into different paths like developing and producing film, starting her own company (theBlox), and more! Continue reading to learn more about Gillian…
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How long have you been with Bicoastal as a fit model, print model and actor?
I  am very happy to say I’ve been a part of the Bicoastal family for going on 6 years.
Tell us about your background?
I’m originally from Montana, where I studied acting & modern dance, before coming to New York to pursue a career in acting. I had a multitude of supplemental jobs when I first moved here- everything from teaching pre-school, to working events to running my own private chef business. I have always been creative and entrepreneurial and I think that’s one of the reasons I connected with Marco, my business partner and new fiancé! His background is in writing, directing, producing, but business as well. We actually started working together and creating more quickly than we developed our romantic relationship and that’s when I got more involved in producing, in addition to acting.
GILLIAN_0540 2.jpgHow did theBlox come about?
I joined Marco in the Bronx about 5 years ago, shortly after we began our  company, Round Seven, where we develop and produce film, TV and branded content. While we were working on a Bronx-based documentary, we started to see that our Borough is portrayed very negatively in the media and on Google. Being marketing and social media savvy, we joked that we should use our skills as content creators to blow up the internet with positive SEOs about the Bronx. The notion became a more serious conversation when we started to see our area changing. We decided now was the perfect time to use content to protect and elevate the identity of the Bronx. Here at theBLOX, we like to say: Brooklyn has Vice, Manhattan has everything, the Bronx needs theBLOX.
What, in a nutshell, is it?
TheBLOX is the only new-media platform in the Bronx. It is made up of a community of media professionals, committed to amplifying and Bronx-centric, entertaining content that celebrates culture and diversity. Stylistically, think Buzzfeed, Complex, Vice, Vox…
Where and how can people watch?
Our website is www.theblox.tv and we are on all social media platforms @thebloxtv. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel to get the latest videos!GILLIAN_TODD_381.jpg
Do you have any favorite episodes?
It’s hard to pick my favorite segments, because there really is something for everyone. Of course I have to shamelessly self promote my sports segment! Check out my recent videos highlighting NYCFC and Yankees. I am very excited about and think the Bicoastal family will appreciate a couple style-based segments we have coming up. One is with Men’s Style Blogger Dandy in the Bronx and the other with Designer and Influencer Jerome LaMaar, called Stylin’ Out.
What’s your future vision?  
My vision for theBLOX is to continue to create opportunities for young, talented creators in the Bronx and to produce content that will be consumed by everyone. I really think we are on the path to compete with the new-media big boys… not naming names 😉

New-Sign Spotlight: Robert B

We are so excited for one of the newest additions to the Bicoastal team-Robert Brace! Not only is Robert a perfect size Large, but he’s been named a “New York Top Fitness Guru” by the New York Daily News, and a “Top Celebrity Trainer” by Bloomberg Businessweek.

Robert Brace is a celebrity fitness trainer, television personality, former soloist ballet dancer with The Metropolitan Opera Ballet and star of the Food Network’s weight- loss reality show “Fat Chef.” He is also the on-air fitness expert for WBLS radio show “Quakes House.”

Robert has shared his extensive knowledge as a featured guest on media outlets including: Good Morning America, The View, New York Live (NBC), The Food Network, PIX 11 News, NYTV, EOnline.com, Shape.com, Self.com, Foxnews.com, PopSugar.com, Essence.com, B.E.T.com, Teenvogue.com, New York Daily News, Bloomberg Businessweek, amNew York, Juicy Magazine, Gotham Magazine and Uptown Magazine.

Robert trains his clients in his exclusive fitness studio in Soho, New York . His clients include; Victoria Secret Models, A-List actors, and television/radio personalities

Welcome to the Bicoastal family, Robert!

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To keep up with Robert, here is a link to his website!

Model of the Month-Leah Heifferon!

We are thrilled to have pro fit model, Leah H, as our November Model of the Month!  From being one of our very first signs, to now being one of our top models, we are so happy to see how much she’s taken off and we’re so excited to see what future brings her! Read more to learn a bit about her story, and her “stroke of luck” for stumbling across the fit industry-talk about genetic lottery!

1. Where you are from?
I’m from Tucson, Arizona. A cruel place to raise such a pale person!

2. What you are into… studies, hobbies, special skills etc..?
I’m a big reader, having worked for many years in publishing before transitioning to fit lisahoulgrave_photography_0312_rtfmodeling full time. I’m also an avid cook, am obsessed with spin class, and love meeting up with friends all over my favorite borough, Brooklyn!

3. Favorite clients from the biz?
Ralph Lauren Collection is just as classy as you’d imagine, and Rag & Bone is just as cool. I’ve worked for Diane Von Furstenberg for over five years, so their fit room really feels like my home away from home. Another favorite client where I log a ton of hours is Tory Burch. Coincidentally, Diane Von Furstenberg and Tory Burch are the only two fashion designers on the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. I’m honored to work for such inspiring women!

4. Dreams/goals any thing else of interest?
I’m planning to take patternmaking classes at FIT this January just to nerd out a bit with my job. The best fit models are able to visualize the changes techs are making to the pattern as they’re fitting, and I want to go deeper into my understanding of their work so that I can be even more valuable to my clients.leah-retouched-hand

5. Career highlights?
I love getting to travel with clients: to Milan with Ralph Lauren and Hong Kong with DVF. What’s dreamier than that?

6. How did you get into modeling or acting?
I was looking for a way to supplement my publishing income when a friend recommend I try fit modeling. I’d never heard of a fit model, but went to an open call at an agency where they told me I have the perfect measurements and offered me a contract. It was an incredible stroke of luck!