Sex scandals have always plagued the modeling business. It's usually fairly routine stuff. Milanese
playboys booking talent for orgies at Lake Como; Parisian agents deflowering underage girls plucked from
the American heartland; coke-addled photographers bartering test shots for sexual favors But the latest
debauchery to rock The Fashion World is infinitely more imaginative and of such an insidious nature that
even John Casablancas -- someone not easily shocked by depraved stories involving models and the men
who prey upon them -- is stunned.
Jason Itzler Sylk saw it the same way, and was determined to remedy the situation. After hooking up with
two clueless investors from New Jersey, the self-proclaimed "phone sex king" from Miami secured a raw
loft space in downtown Manhattan, printed up phony business cards, produced a promotional video (starring
himself) and began his bizarre and improbable quest to become the Al Goldstein of 7th Avenue. He would
ultimately fail, fizzling out like a Roman candle after the final blinding starburst. But before he did, Itzler
took meetings with some of the most prominent figures on the fashion circuit, fooling almost all of them into
believing he could make them rich. In the process, "models" were defiled, defrauded and discarded, lives
were threatened including Sylk's, a half-million dollars was squandered, and enough drugs were consumed
to launch a new chain of Peter Gaiten nightclubs.
Casablancas' disappointment is almost palpable when he's informed that Sylk has indeed ended up behind
bars. Such ambivalence is understandable. Since the celebrity model agent's retirement some years ago,
the business has been infiltrated by a cadre of joyless money managers and faceless CEOs. This is not a
good thing says Casablancas. Where's the hype ? Where's the controversy ? More importantly, where's
the sexiness ? "There aren't too many personalities in the business since Eileen [Ford] and I and a few
other characters left," he laments. "The modeling scene is kind of dull."
After digesting all the nasty details, Casablancas unleashes a hearty laugh, marveling at the sheer audacity
of Jason Itzler a/k/a Sylk, the 34-year-old mastermind behind SoHo Models Management, a fictitious model
agency used as a ruse to recruit attractive women for an internet sex business that was equal parts sweat
shop strip joint and after-hours club. "It sounds like a complete fantasy !" marvels the former president of
Elite, whose own real life fantasies -- including bedding a 16-year-old Stephanie Seymour -- pale in
comparison. "Where is this guy now, in jail ?"
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"The

written by Rene Chun
investigative work
Rene Chun and
Richard Renda
photos by Richard Renda
NOTE: This Story is rated
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THIS IS STEAMY and Revealing.
beware beware ...
Model

Rain pelts the cobblestones of SoHo on a humid August night 2001. The downfall is surprisingly loud, like
pebbles falling from the sky. Dry but well-lubricated and oblivious to the weather outside, Jason Itzler, alias
Jason Sylk, alias Jason Itzler-Sylk, but usually just plain Jason, is seated at the bar at Nello Soho (funny, at
Amici Miei) SE corner West Broadway and Houston - flirting with a voluptuous Russian bartender named
Irina. Jason boasts that he once dated Miss Ukraine. So chatting up Irina, Sylk says, isn't difficult.

The 7th On Sixth -
C.F.D.A. Scandal

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