Meet the Guys Who Bed Models!
There was just the slightest stir as “Gregory Roque,” the conspiracy
Filmmaker, slipped into the Bowery Bar on a recent Friday night. The auteur of such controversial films as G. R. F. (Gerald Rudolph Ford) and The Monkees, Mr. Roque was wearing a tatty tweed jacket and keeping his head down. Surrounding him was a swarm of six young women, new models with a well-known modeling agency. All of the girls were under twenty-one (two were as young as sixteen), and most of them had never seen Mr. Roque’s films and, frankly, couldn’t have cared less.
Functioning like two small tugboats in keeping the swarm moving and
Intact were the modelizers, Jack and Ben – two self-employed investors in their early thirties – men of nondescript features, save for the buckteeth of one and the stylish spiky haircut of the other.
At first glance, it looked like a merry group. The girls were smiling. Mr.
sat in a banquette, flanked by his beauties, while the two young men sat in the aisle chairs as if to ward off any unwelcome intruders who might try to talk to Mr. Roque or, even worse, steal one of the girls.
Mr. Roque would lean toward one or another girl, engaging in snippets of conversation. The young men were lively. But it wasn’t quite as charming as it appeared. For one thing, if you looked closely at the girls, you could see the boredom pulling down their features like old age. They had nothing to say to Mr. Roque and even less to say to each other. But everyone at the table had a job to do, and they were doing it. So the group sat and sat, looking glamorous, and after a while, they got in Mr. Roque’s limousine and went to the Tunnel, where Mr. Roque danced dispiritedly with one of the girls and then realized he was bored up to his eyeteeth and went home alone. The girls
Stayed for a while and took drugs, and then Jack, who had the spiky haircut, grabbed one of the girls and said, “You stupid slut,” and she went home with him. He gave her more drugs and she gave him a blow job.
That sort of scenario is acted out just about every night in New York, in
Restaurants and clubs. There, one invariably finds the beautiful young models who flock to New York like birds, and their attendants, men like Jack and Ben, who practically make a profession of wining and dining them and, with varying degrees of success, seducing them. Meet the modelizers.
Modelizers are a particular breed. They’re a step beyond womanizers, who will sleep with just about anything in a skirt. Modelizers are obsessed not with women but with models. They love them for their beauty and hate them for everything else. “Their stupidity, their flakiness, their lack of values, their baggage,” says Jack. Modelizers inhabit a sort of parallel universe, with its own planets (Nobu, Bowery Bar, Tabac, Flowers, Tunnel, Expo, Metropolis) and satellites (the various apartments, many near Union Square, that the big modeling agencies rent for the models) and goddesses (Linda, Naomi,
Christy, Elle, Bridget).
Welcome to their world. It’s not pretty.
Not any man can become a modelizer. “To get models, you have to be rich, really good-looking, and/or in the arts,” says Barkley. He’s an up-and-coming artist, and he has a face like a Botticelli angel, framed by a blond pageboy haircut. He’s sitting in his junior loft in SoHo, which is paid for by his parents, as are all the rest of his expenses, his father being a coat-hanger magnate in Minneapolis.