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2011 June 28

Assistant Files, Vol. 17: Stephanie Wagenman, Betsey Johnson

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Stephanie Wagenman Stephanie Wagenman
Giorgio Niro
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What’s the most surprising thing about the gig?
The amount of modeling I do here. They needed a model when I happened to arrive as an intern—I’m not really sure what they were doing before that!—and I just fell into it. I lucked out like a thief. I was doing a bunch of modeling for the website. I was like a little one-woman show: I’d be dressing myself, doing my own hair and makeup, then running over to the computer to upload the images. Sometimes that pulls me away from Betsey; I’ll be gone for an hour to try something on, and I come back and an intern is doing something crazy and asking me where to send some weird package.

What would Betsey be doing if she wasn’t designing?
She always says she would be a Rockette or a cake decorator.

What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A ballerina—although in first grade, I wanted to be an artist. I was all about the crayons back then. I guess it kind of makes sense now because I like to design!

What do want to do next?
I’d like to get more involved with designing, and less modeling. That would only happen if Betsey was less involved with the company, and I never want that to happen! She’s not here today, and I get a little sad every time she’s away. She just makes the daily grind so much fun. Other than because I can’t really see how I can make a career out of being Betsey’s muse and assistant long-term, I can’t imagine leaving here. It’s been an unimaginable and amazing experience, and I’ll probably end up doing it for a long time.

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