CATEGORY: Monroe County





By Eileen Bailey

Daily Journal

ABERDEEN - Aberdeen native Lori Baker's pale green eyes sparkle as she talks about her life as a fashion model in New York and her travels around the world.

"When I first moved to New York, I didn't think I would stay through the summer," Baker, 22, said Friday during a visit home for the holidays. "I thought I would just stay for the summer and come home in the fall and go to college."

But Baker immediately fell in love with New York. "When I got there, I didn't know I would love it so much," she said.

Growing up on a dairy farm outside of Aberdeen, Baker said she never imagined she would become a fashion model. She is the daughter of Dan and Linda Baker.

The 5-foot-8-inch Baker said she got her start in modeling after makeup artist and fellow Aberdeen native Billy Brasfield saw a picture of her in the Aberdeen Examiner. After seeing her picture, Brasfield, known professional as Billy B, met with her and asked if she would like to be a model.

Seeing the world

Baker agreed and Brasfield sent photos of her to one of the top modeling agencies in the country, Elite. After seeing the photos, Elite signed her on. In the last four years, modeling has taken the 1991 Oak Hill Academy graduate to a variety of countries.

Most of her modeling jobs involve fashion and makeup shots for magazines. Baker said she tried runway modeling several times but was not happy with the experience. Her flawless features have graced the covers of such foreign publications as French Cosmopolitan, Italian Bazaar and Brazilian Vogue.

Her job has taken her to such countries as Italy, Australia, France and Germany. She said at times not speaking the language of a country presents some difficulties, but "the good points outweigh the bad points."

One of the good points is that she continues to spend time with Brasfield, who has become a good friend. "We see each other almost every day, and when we can't see each other we talk on the phone," she said. They have even been able to work together on several projects.

"I love working with him," Baker said.

Parallel careers

Brasfield, whose work is featured on the cover of the January 1996 ELLE magazine, said his career and Baker's are parallel. Both have lucrative and successful careers. For Brasfield, providing the makeup work for the cover of ELLE and all of the story photographs on the inside of the magazine except one has been an all-time high point for his career in the fashion world.

Brasfield also does makeup for celebrities. One of his steady customers is Miriah Carey.

The 32-year-old said that Baker's career has also taken off.

Baker, whose work schedule varies from week to week, said that even though she has met some interesting people and traveled to exotic places, there are still more things she would like to do. In the competitive world of modeling, Baker said she would love to be on the cover of an American magazine, especially one of the top four or five.

Brasfield said getting into an American magazine is difficult, especially one of the top five - ELLE, Vogue, Bazaar, Mademoiselle and Glamour - for both models and makeup artists.

Brasfield said his work in January's ELLE was part luck and part hard work. He said a photographer for the magazine saw his work in the early fall and liked it so much he used Brasfield for several assignments. Traveling to such places as Arles, France, Los Angeles and the south Hamptons, Brasfield provided makeup for several different photo shoots. He said it just so happens that they all appeared in the same magazine.

Baker's rise to being a top model does not surprise Brasfield.

"I am proud of her," he said. "It takes a smart person to make it a business and it can be lucrative if you market yourself correctly and make the right decisions."

Because modeling is so competitive, Baker, who now models for Company in New York, said she realizes that as she gets older the shorter her career becomes. "Modeling is a short career and not something you can do all of your life," she said.

Baker said as she grows older she looks for different things that might interest her when she stops modeling. One thing she would like to do is to study oriental medicines or maybe even take writing classes.

But until that time comes, Baker said she will continue to enjoy her career as a model and traveling to far-off places.

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