Most of all, though, Sylk believes, with every broken bone in his body (he's been roughed up more than a
few times by thugs, and has the x-rays to prove it), that he is the sole proprietor of the hottest model agency
in New York: SoHo Models Management. To verify this last résumé entry, he pulls a carefully preserved
Page Six New York Post clipping titled "Models Atop A Porno Parlor" out of his wallet. The clipping, dated
May 31, 2001, reports that Sylk and photographer Peter Beard are partners in a new business venture
dubbed SoHo Models. The kicker is that the agency will share office space with an on-line interactive sex
service. Irina does a doubletake when she hears he has been written up in the tabs. He feigns modesty and
palms Irina his SoHo Models business card. She scans the type:. Sylk: CEO. "I'm friends with Peter Beard,"
he says nonchalantly. "Call me. I'll get him to photograph you." Strangely enough, this is probably true.
Irina, blisfully unaware that Jason Sylk is fashion world pariah and that SoHo Models exists only in
the murky recesses of his chemically-imbalanced brain, smiles appreciatively and pours him another double
Johnny Black.
Several days later Irina Krupnik recounts her fortuitous encounter.. "He's like a jet-setter," gushes the
attractive Russian immigrant. "He's popular. He's in the scene and everything. If he's partners with Peter
Beard, he must be legitimate, because Beard is really big." Told that SoHo Models doesn't exist and never
has, she practically gags: "Really ! That's pretty cheesy !" As she ponders all this, the pieces suddenly fall
into place. "He asked me to come to Karaoke Night at Halo," she admits sheepishly. "He was trying to pick
me up." She pauses to vent silently before offering the ultimate proof of Sylk's lowly status: "He tipped
average." Irina's heavy Gorky accent makes the last word sound positively obscene. After several minutes,
her voice suddenly turns suspicious, as if this is some cruel joke and that Sylk really is the modeling world
bigshot he portrays himself to be. "I've seen him in Miami," she offers hopefully. "I think he was with Miss
Ukraine." From the street, SoHo Models looks like any other boutique agency dedicated to peddling designer
flesh. All the signature elements are in place: trendy downtown neighborhood; desirable floor in a converted
loft building; crisp nylon banner, bearing the agency logo, serenely billowing in the wind. Even the SoHo
Models brass plaque, mounted above the intercom panel, is standard issue. Deeply engraved in the polished
metal, the large block letters look authoritative and convey a sense of integrity.
Not surprisingly, SoHo Models, located at the corner of Broadway and Canal in The National City Bank
of New York Building
, has attracted scores of would-be models over the past few months. Whether walk-
ins off the street or unsuspecting victims who met Sylk at Lotus the night before, these aspiring cover girls
show up with their best runway strut and visions of tear sheets dancing through their heads. After being
buzzed in, they enter the elevator, where a posted sign reads: ALL MODELS PLEASE REPORT
DIRECTLY TO THE THIRD FLOOR. But once the elevator reaches the third floor, the meticulously
crafted illusion is shattered. There are no bookers here working the phones, scheduling jobs and haggling
over fees. Absent too is the requisite wall of glossy model comp cards, displayed behind Plexiglass racks
like precious jewels. No photographers showing portfolios. No framed Avedon prints in the lobby . Not
even a single dog-eared copy of Vogue in sight. Which isn't to say there aren't attractive girls for sale here.
There are. And at $5.95 per minute, it's the kind of day rate any client can afford. The "models" working
here have their names scrawled in grease pencil on two large schedule boards mounted on the wall opposite
the reception desk: Hot Lips, Poison Ivy, Candy Ass, Cashmere… The top wage earners for the week are
listed on a separate board. The numbers hardly seem worthy of celebration: $138.87; $148.85; $189.06 …
These meager wages are earned in the adjoining room, which contains two banks of cubicles, ten on each
side. The cramped five-by-eight-foot cells can barely contain their sparse furnishings: twin bed, wall-
mounted Hi-8 video camera and flat panel screen, keyboard and mouse.
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Sweat Shop"

No part of this Works, may be published or
reproduced in anyway without expressed
permission: in writing from the copyright
holders. c. 2002 All rights reserved.
Enter. 3rd Floor. Soho Models. Through The Doorway ...
The Sweat Shop. Photo courtesy of your
"On The Spot Reporter"

The 7th On Sixth -
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