Big Time


Angellika (plus-size model)

Income: $70,000 (last year)

Health insurance: $118.34/mo.

Rent: $780/mo.Utilities: $25/mo.

Phone: $116/mo.

Food: $600/mo.

Transportation: $60/mo.

So she was walking down the street one day in Washington, D.C. “and this man told me we’re doing a movie and Art Garfunkel is the star and do you want to make $100 a day? At the time I was a receptionist at a hair salon making $150 a week so I said, Of course, and I played a prostitute which I didn’t play very well but I tried to do my best.”

The next thing Angellika knew, she was $700 richer.

“I got seven days of film work and I’m 18 and in college and my mom didn’t even know I was making this extra money and so I bought these shoes for $129 and I told her they were $29.99 and she said, Wow, you’re really managing your money well. I’m thinking I’m $700 up on her but she’ll never know.”

This was in 1987. “Then the guy from the movie said, You should pursue modeling. I was a size four then, 115 pounds, no boobs. So I went up to New York to Sue Charney’s Faces Agency and I was working the next day, the whole summer. I became like this catalogue queen for Target, Sears. That’s when I was a straight-size model.”

She hit at the right time. “It was the ethnic look. There was all this talk about how biracial models were invading the modeling industry.” Angellika, who is Italian-black American, has a red-haired, green-eyed mother from Milan.

“While I was modeling, I was also studying child psychology at Georgetown University. So there I am on the shuttle commuting to New York,” reading child behavior textbooks and throwing back “Coca-Cola and Ruffles potato chips and gum drops—that’s all I ate.”

Then her “grandmother’s hips started popping out.” She got into plus-size modeling. Once again, she found herself at the right place at the right time: “big-size clothing really boomed two years ago.” Angellika, now a Ford model—”my dream”—is currently all over New York bus kiosks on a huge poster for Mode magazine. “I’m in this slick dress. I’m all out there.”

Angellika said about $50,000 of her $70,000 income comes from modeling—$187.50 an hour. The rest is from investments. “I have stock in my favorite drink, Coca-Cola. My father taught me if you buy stock, to buy what you like the most.” Angellika’s father was a big success in the music business. She grew up in great comfort with a lawyer-stepfather, a mother who didn’t have to work, two sisters and a brother, and a live-in housekeeper in a l5-room house on Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.

“My parents may have had money, but they raised us to work.” Though when Angellika went to intern at a day-care center while studying for her master’s, “I never got past the door. I wasn’t ready to give myself to society. I wanted to make money.” Angellika said she spends about $5000 a year on clothes—Emmanuel Ungaro, Ferragamo handbags, Chanel shoes. “But I shop outlet, sample stores.” Sometimes $100 a day goes toward food because her best friend and hairdresser, André, seduces her to go to Spartina, 2 Seven 7, Savannah’s. “We like to eat where we can be seen and I figure if you want to meet men who have money, you’ve got to go where they can afford to eat. The man I’m looking for must be making more than me. I’m not taking care of any man. I don’t do McDonald’s. Recently I went out with a model, he’s older, very refreshing. He didn’t ask me, What do you want to do? He made the reservations. He called the day of the date to confirm. He ordered my meal. I like being a princess. I have no shame. I love that a man just takes control. Get married and give up my modeling career? Oh, no, I still want my own money. You still have to sneak the handbags. They give you $1000. That’s like one outfit. But, as you know, you need the shoes and the handbag. That’s an additional $2000.”