We talk to THE Artist Agency founder about her favorite Washington spots– and the key to modeling success.
Washington Life: How did you succeed where so many others have failed?
Lynda Erkiletian: For over 28 years, THE Artist Agency has strived to be the management we would want if we were the talent.
WL: Do you know right away when a model has potential?
LE: Yes! Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Spotting potential, however, is a function of understanding the clients’ needs. I know what they are looking for with regard to height, sizes, and overall clean beauty, though it varies depending on specific market demographics.
WL: What does it take to make it big on the runway?
LE: Aside from industry size and height standards, the most important attributes are professionalism and a positive attitude. We only hire models who are hard-working, punctual, and prepared; keeping up with current hair trends as well as maintaining healthy skin and toned bodies are essential to continued success. A diva-licious walk helps, too!
Lynda Erkiletian’s Washington
After the holidays, I contacted Sillah Koroma at Maxfit (4321 Wisconsin Avenue NW) to whip our entire family into shape. He met with each of us to design a personal nutrition and fitness regimen and even helped me create a mini- home gym for private sessions as I am not a fan of wearing Lycra in public!
My family are avid Washington Capitals fans, so we love to frequent the diverse array of José Andres restaurants near the Verizon Center for a quick pre-game bite or delicious victory dinner. The tapas and innovative cocktails at Zaytinya (701 9th Street NW) are big favorites, as are the spectacular Spanish small- plates and extensive wine list at Jaleo (480 7th Street NW).
Muleh (1831 14th Street NW) means “coming home” in Javanese and there is definitely no place like it. In addition to fashion buyer Vici Subiyanto’s innate ability to find the latest designers and trends, this wonderful store showcases the exceptional home furnishings of eco-conscious designer Kenneth Cobonpue.
When I needed to renovate my McLean home, I called my friend Deborah Kalkstein, owner of Contemporaria (3303 Cady’s Alley NW) to transform my vision into a reality. Her background as an architect and designer was priceless given our very limited lead time, and her showroom is just a short stroll from my office.
When no one feels like cooking we love Surfside (2444 Wisconsin Avenue NW) for its fresh fish or BBQ pork tacos. For dessert, brunches and so much more, we rely on Dangerously Delicious Pies (1339 H Street NE) for their sinful but not too sweet pecan and creamy coconut chess pies and scrumptious savory quiches.
When I have a moment to spare, I find a free bench at Georgetown Waterfront Park to relax and admire the view. Watching the Potomac River flow serenely by the banks of Roosevelt Island, I remember to be grateful that Washington, D.C. is my town.