Each morning, your hardworking New Times staff trudges into our new offices at the Wynwood Building. We are haggard and hungover, bags under our eyes, wearing wrinkled button-downs and jeans that smell like the bar from last night. We were up late finishing feature stories or covering club events or lying awake in bed worrying about the state of modern journalism. We had no time for showers or shaving. We are looking rough.
And almost every morning -- seriously, at least four out of five workdays per week since we moved in at the beginning of March -- we've had to drag our embarrassing, exhausted asses past some perfectly styled models at a fancy photo shoot taking place directly outside our building.
The models and clothing brands involved in these shoots are usually unknown to us. (On our first day in the office, it was a children's fashion shoot, which was less personally embarrassing and more Toddlers & Tiaras-style creepy.) But now, we've found out we arrived too late for the real show: a Victoria's Secret commercial featuring "Angels" wandering around Wynwood in stilettos and not much else, filmed in February by Pain & Gain director Michael Bay.
The commercials feature Victoria's Secret models Karlie Kloss, Lais Ribeiro, Candice Swanepoel, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Behati Prinsloo, hanging out in front of Wynwood's defining assets: giant murals and ghetto-looking warehouses. "What is sexy?" the text asks, as if we don't already know it's obviously these scantily clad women in their Very Sexy™ lingerie strutting down the center of west Wynwood's typically deserted streets and kicking back in pink pointy-toed pumps in a convertible that's waaaay too nice for the neighborhood.
You gotta hand it to these models, though -- they're real pros. When Michael Bay tells them to writhe against that warehouse wall with the spooky face painted on it, they do it, all the while knowing it's been used as a urinal by homeless dudes and drunk Second Saturday Art Walkers for years. And they do it with a look that says, "This is sexy."
Having spent the past month on Michael Bay's former set, however, we've gotta call out a few inconsistencies. First, the models' hair is constantly blowing in some sort of seductive breeze. This is clearly manufactured; the air in Wynwood just hangs there, unless it's knocking you over, hurricane-style, and making you spill the pricey Panther coffee you're shlepping back to the office.
At other points, glittery light plays across the models' bodies, looking like a reflection from a nearby pond. That's adorable. The closest thing you'll find to a body of water in Wynwood is the stagnant mix of beer, urine, and rainwater left in its gutters after a storm.
But the part where attractive models wander around Wynwood? That part is totally true.
And now that Bay has brought Victoria's Secret to pose before Wynwood's police impound, there'll be no end to the parade of fashionable models and photographers who look pityingly upon us New Times staffers as we slog into work each day, bleary-eyed and defeated.
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Maybe one of these days we'll be shamed enough to dress presentably for work.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.