This multi-talented fashion producer can do it all.

This year during New York Fashion Week, I had the privilege of meeting the amazing John Martinez, a multi-talented fashion show producer, casting director, and stylist. John produced this year’s awesome Nick Graham menswear show at NYFW. The theme was “Life on Mars” and featured special appearances by the scientist Bill Nye and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. The styling was so cool, with silver-haired models and silver accessories. It was one of the most creative and entertaining shows I saw this year.

Photo Credit: Stephen Lovekin/WWD/REX/Shutterstock 

John was nice enough to chat with me about his life as of an in-demand fashion producer. I highly recommend following him on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look at his exciting career: https://www.instagram.com/swimjohn.

You are a fashion show producer, casting director, and stylist. You really do it all! Tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in this business.

“I wear many hats, as Producer, Coordinator, Casting Director, Stylist, and most of all Captain of the Ship as we get ready with clients to show during Fashion Week shows or fashion campaigns.”

I went to Fashion School in Miami and graduated with a Degree in Fashion Design. Then I was the first and only American to win the Bronze Award at Jeunes Createurs de Mode in Paris. That opened a lot of doors for me and started my career.

I first started working in NYC with Ralph Lauren and Anna Sui as Design Team Assistant. Then The Washington Post opened a new section of their Sunday Magazine and asked me to join them as Assistant Fashion Editor. That’s how I started producing and styling.

Walk us through the steps of planning a typical fashion show, from meeting with the designer, to casting, and so on.

A typical show varies, depending on the magnitude of the show. A press show for Fashion Week starts at least 10 days prior to the show. A smaller show takes about 4-5 days of prep work before the show. But the planning, coordination, budgets, creative, location, and castings start months in advance before the show.

Is the process different when you are working on an editorial project versus a runway show? How do you go about doing an editorial?

The lead-time prior to an editorial shoot is much shorter than a show since fewer people are involved. A major designer’s show can cast up to 45-50 models, plus hair and make-up teams (up to 30 artists), and production team (6-9 Assistants), PR in-house and outside PR for seating (another 10 people)!

With so many models out there, how do you select the right one?

There are so many factors in casting the right model for the job. First, it’s all about the inspiration of the collection or story. Then there is the brand that we have to bring to life through models that are hot and happening.

Is it different casting male models versus female models?

The casting process is the same for both. Models all have to go through the same process of go-sees, photos, fittings, call-backs, and finally the show. In today’s fashion world, they both go through the same process. Obviously girls rule the industry, so we have to see far many more girls for shows than guys.

What is a favorite project that you have worked on and why?

Too many to count. I love them all! Each one has something special about it.

Finally, I’ve noticed that you have great personal style! How would you describe your own approach to style?  

For me, personal style is not about money or having the latest item. Style is about knowing what looks good on you and wearing what makes you happy. Life is best when you surround yourself with things that you love!

My style is a mix of high and low. It is comfortable, and most of it all, I throw in some color to pop it up every now and then. I am Latin, after all, and we love color!

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