There’s no busier season for casting directors than fashion month, a fact Eric Cano knows all too well.
Cano founded his casting company in 2015, after three years casting and styling for JackThreads and Thrillist Media Group. He has since helped buzzy brands like Kith, Stampd and Lively — and a few classics, including Timberland and New Balance — find the perfect models for their runway shows and campaigns.
With New York Fashion Week kicking off Thursday, Cano is in the thick of it, focusing on helping one of his recurring clients, Simon Miller, cast its Thursday show. He shared one of his busiest days of the week with us, which required an afternoon pick-me-up in the form of a vodka martini and stress relief via boxing.
5:30 a.m.: Hit the snooze button for a good 15 minutes this morning. My wife left for Paris last night. I usually have no issues waking up in the morning, but I don’t always sleep so well during the first two nights she’s not around.
5:45 a.m.: Finally hop out of bed and head to the kitchen to have my protein shake (peanut butter flavored) and my pre-workout drink (gummy fish flavored).
6:15 a.m.: I’m out the door to head to the gym. I missed the 5:45 a.m. kickboxing class I normally take on weekdays, so instead, I’ll settle for some weight training and HIIT (high-intensity interval training).
Normally, I’d spend a full two hours at the gym working out, along with some time in the sauna, but I have an extremely busy day due to NYFW, so I have to keep this workout short.
7:30 a.m.: I go home, check emails — during NYFW, I am emailing agents at all hours of the day, and visa versa — and then start getting ready for the day. My routine is pretty standard: I rock a jarhead buzzcut, so I’m in and out of the shower in five minutes. Once I’m out of the shower, I use this anti-acne regimen from Rodan and Fields — adult acne is real and sucks!
I obsessively check the weather, and make sure I am dressed appropriately and have a raincoat (mine is by John Elliot), an umbrella and the right footwear. Today’s #OOTD is a vintage Oxford University T-shirt, Simon Miller jeans (have to rep the brand I’m casting for) and Blundstone boots.
My wife left a laundry list of things for me to do before I leave for Italy on Sunday, the most important being to make sure we have unlimited international data for our trip. Need to keep that cell phone bill down!
8:15 a.m.: I walk to the PATH Station (I live in Jersey City — it’s “very up and coming”) and meet my casting assistant, Erica. We take a very crowded train to the World Trade Center. I work for myself, so I’m not used to the daily commute that “9-to-5ers” experience.
9:00 a.m.: This is my first time working with Erica on a show, so I want to sit down with her for a bit before our 10 a.m. call time. We stop in a cute Italian coffee shop called Cafe Belle on Mulberry Street. I’ve known the owner, Noelle Scala, for about 10 years — we are both from New Jersey. I highly recommend this place; the coffee is great, and all the pastries are homemade by her father, Paulie. I catch up with Noelle, and then I walk Erica through the day.
9:45 a.m.: We walk to meet Chelsea Hansford , the co-owner/co-designer of Simon Miller, at their office on Bleecker. To my surprise, there isn’t a line of girls that tried to get to the casting super-early. (I am not a fan of that; 5-10 minutes early is fine, but 30 minutes before is a whole different story.)
10:00 a.m.: Today, we’re seeing a lot of models we haven’t seen yet. It’s a pretty crazy day of taking digitals of the girls, printing photos out of the models we like in order to place them on the casting board, charting options for the girls we want for the show and negotiating rates.
11:45 a.m.: While this is happening, I have to step out of the casting for a brief conference call with two of my clients. I worked on the relaunch of the brand Habitual earlier this summer, and today, the design team is doing go-sees for a model that will do some presentations for their sales team. Normally, I’d be running this casting, but they are sensitive to the fact that it’s NYFW and are fine with me not being physically present.
12:30 p.m.: I also have a short call with Caio Ferreira, a photographer I’ve worked with in the past. He reached out to me about casting a lookbook shoot he is producing for this Brazilian brand called Stalker. The client decided on the two male models they want, so now we just have to find the right girl.
1:00 p.m.: Took a well-needed lunch at The Smile. Ordered the honey roasted chicken breast sandwich, which is apparently the most popular item on the menu. After a 45-second discussion, Erica and I decided we deserved an afternoon drink, because YOLO. She had the rosé and I had a vodka martini. My wife texted from Paris to tell me she bought a beret and was going to wear it all day.
2:00 p.m.: I see more models for Simon Miller and begin to confirm a few for the show, as well. The board is starting to come together nicely.
4:30 p.m.: A meeting that was scheduled from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the Bandier office was rescheduled to Friday morning. I’m going to be casting projects for them in October, which I’m really stoked about.
Since I have a free hour in my schedule, I decide to book a class at Rumble Boxing’s new NoHo location. I was able to get a spot in Noah Neiman’s class. He’s a really charismatic guy and his class is intense.
6:00 p.m.: After I finish showering, I have an hour or so to kill before dinner, so I walk around and check out some of the stores I go to regularly: INA, Supreme, Noah and McNally Jackson. Then I meet my other casting assistant, Abbey, at Kiki’s for a quick dinner. I love Greek cuisine, and Kiki’s is one of my favorite spots in the best neighborhood.
8:00 p.m.: We have the first round of fittings and fit-to-confirms for the Simon Miller show. I dedicated these two hours to seeing all of the high-priority models.
10:30 p.m.: I send my last round of emails out for the day — have to chase some options and confirm girls. I also start thinking about what clothes I’m going to bring to Italy.
11:30 p.m.: Back at home, I put my phone on silent and start getting ready for bed. Then I turn on “Game of Thrones,” which I decided to start re-watching from Season 1. It’s easily my favorite TV show of all time.