‘My sex pest hell as a model in the nineties’
Photographer ordeal for Lisa
A FORMER model has detailed how she brushed off sexually aggressive men in the fashion world – by turning her anger into a passion for painting.
Lisa Izquierdo says that as a teenager in the nineties she had to flee a predatory photographer.
She added: “I started modelling at 13 and by 15 was with Elite and getting some serious professional assignments.
“It was a very glamorous industry but this sort of sexual harassment was always there just under the surface.”
Lisa said about the photographer: “Things got very creepy very fast. It became clear what he wanted and that he didn’t really care whether I consented. I ran back into my changing room, locked it and ended up yelling. In the end I talked my way out.”
Despite the challenges, Lisa says her career blossomed and took her to Japan for client Bentley Motors as well as working the catwalks for late designer Dame Vivienne Westwood.
She added: “Vivienne was amazing but you had to be careful in her outfits. She designed these incredible platform stiletto boots and you needed a lot of practice to walk in them without going for a tumble.
“All your weight had to be in your toes; it was like going for a tiptoe on stilts. Naomi Campbell turned up with about 10 minutes to go before one show and hadn’t had enough practice in them, and that’s when she fell.”
Lisa says the pressure of being expected to sleep with influential men began to take its toll on her mental health. It resulted in crippling anxiety which forced her to withdraw from the industry.
The mother of one, now 47, later threw herself into her painting as therapy from her experiences.
The latest venue to host her contemporary art is the Bickerton-Grace gallery in East London. Manchester-born Lisa’s art has also been displayed in Madrid and in New York’s TriBeCa district.