Free massages, merchandise -- for female models only

Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:37pm EDT
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By Basil Katz

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - A lounge in New York City is offering free massages, free food and free merchandise -- for female fashion models only.

Dozens of models turn up daily at The Model Lounge, located in the basement of Delicatessen, a trendy restaurant and bar in Manhattan's Soho neighborhood.

"All models love getting free stuff," said Chanel Iman, a popular model who visits the lounge regularly. "But I just came here to charge my phone before my next casting."

To gain access a model has to get a membership card, which doubles as a voucher for freebies or heavy discounts from sponsors -- of which there are many.

During New York's semi-annual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the lounge, which opened in June, provides free transportation for the models.

They also use the lounge to read magazines, check e-mails, change their clothes, have a snack or get pampered.

Vans, a California-based shoe company is currently the lounge's biggest sponsor, gives away shoes, jackets and bags in hopes the models will be photographed wearing them.

Founder Bernard Smith, who also runs a marketing agency, said the lounge is a good idea for its corporate sponsors.   Continued...