All About Maggie...
(This article is based on an interview with
Maggie conducted 2/7/2000 for The Look On-Line)
Maggie Rizer is currently one of fashion's hottest models, particularly with those in the know. She is not dissimilar to another famous sporty beauty, Patti Hansen, in her heyday in the 1970's. Interestingly, Hansen is a model Maggie admires and someone she says she would like to work with someday. Maggie's image is that of the all-American fresh-faced girl next door, groomed within an inch of her life. She slips easily into the role of the sporty-looking socialite she portrays in Arthur Elgort's Palm Beach Story in February American Vogue. Her appeal is akin to that of actress Gwyneth Paltrow - in her blonde incarnation - but minus Paltrow's icy perfection.
Maggie is a model who shot straight to the top of her profession; her first job was shooting a story with uber photographer, Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue. There is one obvious difference that is immediately apparent when one speaks with her; she lacks the attitude of the supermodels who came before her in the early 90's. What is important to her is behaving professionally, and being treated with respect. "I'm more professional now that I've been working a while, I feel that I know what I'm doing."
She is unconcerned about any misconceptions people may have of her now that she's famous and does not feel the need to put up a front for anyone. She freely admits her lack of knowledge of the business when she began modeling. "I had no idea who he (Steven Meisel) was - people were trying to explain it to me. I thought, 'who wants to shoot an Italian Magazine? Then I thought, Well, at least I can show it to my friends at home.' I didn't realize how some girls spend their whole lives trying to do that."
It started when her mother, Maureen Breen, sent Maggie's pictures to Ford because she'd heard it was an important agency (read our interview "Mom, Maggie & the Internet". Maggie did one or two tests but wasn't really interested; she wanted to go to college. Her booker and later-on close personal friend, Louie Chaban, had moved over to Ford and called her, to no avail. After her first year of college, one semester at R.I.T., and one at Genesco University in upstate New York, Louie called again, this time relaying the message that Steven Meisel wanted to shoot her for Italian Vogue. After shooting three stories together as well as the coveted September Italian Vogue cover, (in 1997), she decided to stay in Manhattan to see what would happen.
Plenty happened in the next two years with Chaban's help, and Maggie is quick to give him credit. As many other models, her loyalty lies with that one person who has supported her from the start, before she became a name. "Louie is the only reason I'm modeling." It really depends on the person you meet and how much they push for you. In these past two and a half years, the list of designers and photographers she's worked with reads like a who's who of fashion.