Monday, February 2, 2009

Gutter photojournalism: Zippora Seven hops on the Cobra train

the cobrasnake

No sooner does Stephanie Carta reimage herself with a solo cameo on the runway of last week’s Givenchy haute couture show in Paris, than another antipodian clotheshorse is caught offguard by Mark 'The Cobrasnake' Hunter looking trashy. The images depict the 17 year-old New Zealand model Zippora Seven sitting in a Bondi gutter, chugging back a bottle of Cooper’s Pale Ale. They were taken just prior to Christmas at the launch of Hunter’s 'Too Young' exhibition at Ksubi’s Bondi store. Considering last year's furore sparked by a topless image of Seven in Australia's RUSSH magazine - which image also included bottles of Moët champagne, prompting Moët and The Sebel to distance themselves from the controversy - one might assume that Seven, or her management, would be a little more vigilant vis-a-vis her public image.

Frockwriter confirmed that the woman in the image is in fact Seven with Seven's Australian agent Priscilla Leighton-Clark.

Leighton-Clark was unaware of the photogallery prior to frockwriter's call, but confirmed that Seven was in town on November 26th and also identified the man in the blue shirt.

The man's name is apparently Jack and he once briefly worked at Priscillas.

Leighton-Clark told frockwriter:

"Unfortunately, yes it is her. I'm responsible as much as I possibly can be, but I can't hold their hands when they go out. Zippora is 17 years old [as of September 08] and she has been living in Paris away from her family. Sure the girl shouldn't be sitting in the gutter drinking a beer. But look it's one beer. It's underage of course but I'm not going to judge her for drinking one beer".

In May last year RUSSH found itself the target of an Australian Classifications Board inquiry over a Derek Henderson image of the then 16 year-old Seven, topless and sharing a bubble bath with 15 year-old male model Levi Clarke.

Four bottles of Moët champagne were visible in the foreground of the picture and Clarke’s eyes were closed in the shot, prompting some to suggest that Clarke looked as if he had passed out.

Although RUSSH was eventually let off the hook over a loophole - the magazine was deemed “unsubmittable” - the incident prompted much handwringing from Seven’s various agency reps, including Priscillas.

Leighton-Clark told The Daily Telegraph:

"I can't be on every shoot. Had I known it was to be a topless shoot, (Seven) would never have done it."

derek henderson/RUSSH via

This is the fourth controversial set of Cobrasnake images in five months to involve Australasian models – and the second set of images to involve a minor.

In July last year, as reported by frockwriter, Hunter photographed the then 16 year-old Australian Tallulah Morton at a party in Paris looking inebriated and clutching a magnum of Absolut vodka.

Morton was featured on The Cobrasnake again in November at a NO magazine party in Auckland, holding what looked to be a mixed drink.

NO magazine declined to respond to frockwriter's enquiries as to whether the magazine had served alcohol to minors at the party or on other related Auckland shoots/events that week.

Stephanie Carta, who is also represented by Priscilla's in Australia, was photographed on New Year’s Eve at Club 77 nightclub in Sydney’s Kings Cross, looking very much the worse for wear and being supported by friends.

Last month, Nicole Trunfio was photographed at a party in Byron Bay, clutching two bottles of Corona beer.

The photo was published 24 hours after US cable network BRAVO announced that Trunfio was due to be the new model mentor for the 2009 US season of Make Me A Supermodel.


Chip said...

what's bad for the girls is good for mark hunter

anyone else see the irony of his surname?

Anonymous said...

hahaha Chip that is hilarious!!! Oh, the irony!!! All these girls are just ridiculous. Heres to more models like Alexandra Agoston-Connor who always does so well for the right reasons. And i didnt see tallulah at jean paul gaultier? Maybe he reads cobrasnake!!

Anonymous said...

If you look at cobra snake you will find two pictures only of zippora.. both taken when she is quietly chatting with a friend, not drunk..not looking for attention at all.
Anyone who has met or worked with her will tell you that she is professional, sweet, easy to work with and totally serious about her job. She doesn't go out a lot and is not part of the party scene, but goes out to watch a lot of bands play. There she is enjoying music and having a beer with a friend. Make it into what you will, but you are doing a really nice girl an injustice.
I challenge you to interview Zippora and judge for yourself..

Anonymous said...

Also.interestingly, this photo was taken months would have to go back for months to find it and it surfaces just as zippora is up for some big campaigns in australia? coincidence ? i think not..not gutter photojournalism, but more like gutter tactics by competing agencies..but good on them though..these are tough economic times!

Patty Huntington said...

she is sitting in the gutter, that's where the headline comes from. hunter is, as we have already discussed, a fly on the hipster wall at these events. these people are there, doing what they do. he shoots them. and then edits to highlight what he wants to highlight. he has admitted that (i link to a video interview on the 'dude, where's my career?' post).

as far as i can see there are three shots of seven in that 'too young' pic gallery - two of her sitting on the gutter, chugging back the beer and one standing. the shots might have been taken on november 26 but they seem to have slipped under the radar. possibly due to the fact that it's a little hard to recognise her. late last week someone left a comment about these shots on the 'from the cobrasnake to the couture' post - a comment that i could not clear until i had managed to ID seven. i gather they spotted the shot on the fashion spot's zippora seven thread. the shots did not go even on TFS until mid december. and just to clarify, those TFS threads are usually fan threads.

it's most likely to have come up now for the simple reason that we have been talking about the cobrasnake. and we do so because he keeps coming up with these trashy-looking shots of women who earn a living out of their images. make of it what you will, but if seven aspires to bag some big campaigns in australia, then you'd assume that after last year's kerfuffle, she might be a little more careful about anything that she does in public, and particularly anything that she does at events which are likely to be crawling with media. it’s not like a pap stalked her with a long-range lens. she’s sitting on the side of the road.

you claim seven isn’t part of the party scene but on her blog, stephanie carta talked about hanging out with ‘zippy’ on the party scene in europe. in spite of the fact that it is still illegal in australia to serve alcohol to minors, there is also a big problem with underage drinking here, particularly underage binge drinking. seven might not think that she needs to be careful about her image, or that as a high profile teenager she shoulders any kind of responsibility to other teenagers, but the reality of the situation is that the companies that she hopes are going to pay her to promote their products, do think about these things.

Anonymous said...

Patty, I actually love your blog, but as you say, you were alerted to these shots,"late last week someone left a comment about these shots" by someone at a time when zippora was up for some big campaigns, even though they are pretty old. I know that this post has been also anonymously brought to the attention of those casting directors also , just coincidentally.
but hey, all's fair i love and war and fashion, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

this girl is cool!!

sydney said...

Zippora! she can get a away with anything..could be any kids idol, knows exactly what she's doing I bet!! woo

Michelle said...

it doesn't matter if a rival alerted patty to these shots, or, unfortunately, if zippora is a nice kid. the fact is she is paid to sell someone else's products with her image. therefore she needs to keep her own image relatively neutral.

talking about the photo does not do zippora an injustice. she brought it on herself by 1. sitting in the gutter chugging beer and 2. allowing herself to be photographed doing so. it doesn't matter if she was drunk or not. it's about the image it portrays.

any professional has to make decisions. athletes make career-based decisions from an early age. modeling has some similarities.

i guess it just depends what's more important to each person. but the attitude (and complete misunderstanding of their role) that a number of australian/nz models show publicly explains why only a few make it to the big time, or blow a lot of opportunities.

those who understand it shine. it's a hard and often shitty job, but it can have great rewards. that's the pay off. those who've made it have earned their success.

but for those who don't get's a shame, but it's no-one else's fault or responsibility.

Anonymous said...

watch this!

the girl, Eliza, has just apparently shot 3 eds with Meisel, and the guy, Ash was the star of the recent men's show week.

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