Alexander Gurman is a man of many talents. A producer, photographer, videographer, designer, and more, Alexander and his wife, Svitlana, have increasingly made a name for themselves in the fashion and art industries. Alexander, who creates shows under the moniker “Mr Great” is also a skilled interviewer, promoter, runway coach and makeup and hair stylist. Alexander frequently arranges fashion shows in locations like Manhattan’s Sky Room nightclub, Brooklyn’s BRIC, YouTube Studios NYC, and elsewhere.

Shows, shoe collections, and Fashion Week

In October 2018, Alexander hosted a show that debuted the premiere shoe collection by abstract artist Meagan J.

Meehan. The initial shoe collection—which features seven pairs of shoes—shares its name with Meagan’s most famous series of artwork called “The Bejeweled and Bedazzled Collection” since the art directly inspired the shoes. As a result of the Sky Room event, Meagan’s shoes were also featured at the HGU Hotel in a follow-up fashion show hosted by producer Max Gold.

Alexander’s fashion events—humorously known as the “Mr Great Fashion Shows”—frequently feature a fantastic mix of art and entertainment. Models sometimes recite poems on the runway or show off pieces of art. As of Autumn of 2018, body painting by Andy Anderson has also been popular on the catwalk and is designed to match the dresses on display.

Alexander’s next show will be hosted at the Sky Room on November 29, 2018. Alexander and his wife and business partner, Svitlana, are also anticipating the forthcoming International Fashion Week which will come to New York on the week of February 7, 2019.

New York, fashion events, and models

In big cities like New York, it is relatively easy to find models when someone has a budget from $50 to $200 per person, but it becomes quite difficult to find models who are willing to dedicate their time and effort and not get paid a penny.

However, at the entry level, many models are willing to walk the runway in exchange for experience, exposure, and photos. Professional modeling head-shots, glamorous fashion photography, and video clips can cost hundreds--even thousands--of dollars. As a professional photographer, Alexander can offer images and videos to the young ladies who model his fashions for free, therefore making the fashion event well worth their time.

“It’s a fair trade,” Alexander explained. “Although no money is exchanged, I get to see the fashions myself and my wife designed modeled, and the girls get the photos which will help them rise through the industry. Besides, some models do it as a hobby, just for the fun of it, for the love of arts, for the thrill of being on the runway. To experience and learn. To get comfortable on stage, to get more images, videos and publications, to meet interesting people…Yes, there are certainly other things in life that may be more important than money to participants.”

Alexander frequently provides the models in his shows with professional photos and videos as a means of payment. Hence, to attract models who are not working for actual money, he understands the value of offering them the chance to model beautiful fashions that will lead to marvellous photos.

“It’s important to find amazing fashion designers so we can offer collections that the girls love to wear and get pictures of themselves in,” Alexander stated in a recent interview. “Girls love the bridal dresses and the glow-in-the-dark series. Meagan’s shoes were also very popular.”

Alexander also understands the importance of hosting fashion shows at the prominent and respected venue that can promise a full house and a sold-out show.

“Models want to be in the shows that might have Celebrities and important people watching,” he explained. “Models want to be in the shows that get press publications. Models love to be in the shows that have a great vibe and where everyone is friendly. Those kinds of shows can open doors for them to garner other opportunities.

So, the reputation of the event’s location is very important when someone recruits models or other talents.”

Alexander also has no problem attracting photographers and videographers to his showcases. “I treat everyone with respect if I do not pay they then I give them something of value to them so it will be a fair trade for them,” he stated. “For example, new photographers and filmmakers need to meet new models and new talent. I introduce them so the models get more free pictures and the photographers get to work with talent on a trade basis. Everyone wins! We need each other. It helps that I also know how to take pictures and video so I can relate to camera folks.”

To entice writers and publications, Alexander tires to ensure that his shows feature a unique aspect or an important cause that makes them worthy of being written about.

“I also try to bring in people with means who can afford to hire talent so press and everyone who is involved can also find paid gigs,” he stated. “I introduce the people I work with too rich and powerful friends of mine, and these are the folks who have the budgets to produce elaborate productions. Guests want to come to well promoted, and popular shows and people who are in the show may invite their friends to see them on stage. From there, relationships and opportunities can grow.”

Although he aspires to make it to bigger stages and higher rungs of the fashion world, Alexander has so far been managing very well on a low-cost budget.

“To be successful on a low budget you need to be talented, creative, and hard-working with many skills,” he declared.

“If you can do fashion, photography, marketing, promotion, publications and so on, you can do a lot of tasks yourself without any extra expense. You can invite other designers with low budgets to partner with you so, jointly; you can produce a better show than each one on their own. Instead of looking for sponsors you can use public spaces and non-profit organizations like YouTube Studios, BRIC Art Media and many other places where you can get location and equipment for free or a fraction of the cost. It’s all about good management and eye-catching fashions!”