When I was asked to appear on Good Day New York to talk about my book Backstage Secrets this week, I didn’t want to ruin a perfectly good day for the viewers. I asked my industry buddy Martha Hunt if she might join me, and to my very good fortune, she did. Who better to help me give the audience a balanced view of what it’s like to be backstage at the biggest fashion show on Earth, The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The stars of the show are the powerful women like Martha who walk the runway. However, there is a myriad of incredibly talented people that assemble each year to make this extraordinary event happen. Backstage Secrets is my attempt, through over a decade of photography and unique access, to bring the audience into the heart of the backstory. Martha was the perfect person to explain the controlled chaos from the models’ perspective.
Martha Hunt, London, 2014 from Backstage Secrets
Martha’s success as one of the top models is made especially great because it almost didn’t happen. She had to endure more blood, sweat, and tears than most of us could ever imagine because she developed scoliosis as a teenager, which was initially poorly diagnosed and under treated. She eventually endured a radical and dangerous surgery on her spine. Martha wears her scars with pride and as proof that anything is possible. I’m so impressed by the inner strength that Martha used to become the gold standard in her profession: a Victoria’s Secret Angel.
Martha Hunt, Karlie Kloss, and Lily Aldridge with Russell at the Shanghai Book Launch of Backstage Secrets
When Martha and I were speaking about this week’s TV appearance, she asked if there might be a way we could also offer some help to a charity close to her heart that focuses on assisting young woman with scoliosis. A few phone calls and some rapid negotiations later, and we were able to pull the people together to make a substantial commitment from proceeds of book sales this week. I’m always inspired by these types of projects. If this had been a commercial negotiation, it would have taken weeks. When there is something that truly matters, though, I find the people involved can get anything done in record time. I’m always reminded that it’s important to do some good while doing well. That made this particular TV appearance all the more engaging.
A total of 40% of the retail prices of all sales from the official Backstage Secrets site from March 8 through March 14 will be donated to Martha’s chosen cause, Curvy Girls Scoliosis.
I hope this makes your voyage through the Backstage Secrets all the more enjoyable. It sure did for me.