Hearing about how best friends, significant others, and business partners first met is something we love (exhibit A, B, and C right this way). So when we heard that long-term friends Vanessa Packer of modelFIT and Danielle Nachmani, stylist and EDTN founder, had joined forces to curate a lookbook featuring the pair’s ideal workout looks, we had to hear the backstory.
When we stopped by Packer’s insane (really, there’s no other word for it) Soho apartment, she and Nachmani gave us a sneak peek of the collection. Featuring a mix of workout wear, vintage-inspired snapbacks, and Champion hoodies, it’s all heavy in Venice Beach and ‘90s Calvin Klein vibes. In true best friend form, they collabed on the whole project—from moodboards to the styling and photography. Fun fact: Nachmani shot the lookbook entirely on her iPhone6. Herein Packer and Nachmani fill us in on how they met, why working out with friends is the key to consistency, and their morning routines.
How Danielle met Vanessa:
“Vanessa and I met in my childhood kitchen, eight years ago. We were sharing a ride with mutual friends. I walked into my kitchen and there was this girl in a cute outfit, eating grapes. Honestly, it’s such a perfect depiction of her as a human! I remember thinking I liked her whole vibe.
Danielle said to me later, ‘I never do this with people, but have you ever thought about being a stylist?’ I had been thinking about changing my career. So I called her and we started assisting stylists together, we had so much fun.” - VP
“I was working as Annabel Tollman’s first assistant out of an office that she and Leslie Fremar shared, and Vanessa came and helped us a lot. We grew together through jobs, apartments and boyfriends. We’ve traveled all around the world together—it’s been a great friendship. There’s a really important balance required in strong relationships, whether it’s a friendship or a relationship. It’s really nice when you’re in your twenties and you find that in a friend.” - DN
What makes the modelFIT line different:
“When it comes to style as it pertains to wellness and fitness, we see eye-to-eye. When I started modelFIT one of my biggest pushes was that I wanted to create a space that didn’t feel like a gym. I want to create a line that doesn’t feel like fitness apparel. You can wear it to work out, you can wear it on a plane, you can wear it out. Right now it’s modelFIT gear, but hopefully it’ll develop into more.” - VP
“When developing the line it was exciting to think about what would we want to wear? What do we think the brand needs? There’s a shot that Bruce Weber took of Kate Moss in a leather jacket and a hoodie wearing a hat that’s become the basis for this line. ModelFIT apparel is the New York version of the old school workout vibes of Venice Beach. Instead of board shorts, high tops and tanks, it’s black jeans, leather jackets, black boots and a sports bra. It’s very ‘90s, Calvin Klein-esque street style that’s effortless. You can have six pieces in your closet and wear it 50 different ways.” - DN
And shooting the whole thing on a cell phone:
“It became a running joke that all my friends’ backgrounds on their phones were photos I took of them and their significant other. I started shooting styling projects on my iPhone and Vogue Australia picked up some of my photos, ran a story, and ended up posting it on their Instagram. After that, others reached out and that’s how it turned into EDTN—a side project that’s a good 60% of my workload. I get as much work as a stylist as I do with EDTN.” - DN
Why working out with friends is key:
“I think accountability plays a role...When you’re not as motivated, having someone be there [really helps]. It just makes it more fun and a bit more of an activity as opposed to a chore.” - DN
“With things that aren’t something you do every day, like brushing your teeth, it’s fun if you can bookend it with something else. So with Danielle we’ll go to a class, then we’ll have a bite to eat and go shopping or get coffee.” - VP
How their differences create balance:
“Vanessa and I balance each other out in the sense that we’re both intense in different ways. I remember we were running around and I said, ‘I’m going to faint, let me go get a bag of chips.’ Vanessa said, ‘What? Get a banana!’ My diet has changed a lot now.” - DN
“I think you should eat when you’re hungry. I found it makes the biggest difference. I’m not really hungry in the morning, so I start my day drinking a lot of water and I have coffee. I’ll do a juice or a smoothie, but my morning is very light. If I need something more I’ll have a granola smoothie bowl. Lunch time is usually a salad from Sweetgreen.” - VP
“I wake up around 9AM. As a stylist, every day is different; sometimes you’re shooting at 5AM. The first thing I do is put on music—I’m very adamant about music playing in my home. I’ll take a quick shower then I walk to Sadelle’s and get an iced coffee and bagel with cream cheese and lox. Their house salmon is the best in New York, hands down. Then I’ll go through emails, make requests if I have a fitting coming up and start my day. If I am going to modelFIT, after class I’ll go to Juice Press and get a cold pressed juice. I try to go to class at least three times a week and I walk every day.” - DN