Sirens of Chrome

February 16, 2010 10:56:38 AM PST
The cars are the indisputable stars of the Chicago Auto Show, now underway at McCormick Place. But the cars' co-stars are young women -- and men -- who are on hand at the displays. Auto show models used to be nothing more than attractive accessories, but over the years, the models have evolved into product specialists who entice customers with facts and figures, not just their looks, according to Margery Krevsky, founder, owner and CEO of Michigan-based Productions Plus ? The Talent Shop and author of Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models."The product specialists are the brand ambassadors with improvisational deliveries who create a memorable experience for the 24 million people who come to auto shows in America each year," Margery says.

Today, Margery is the go-to person who recruits, outfits and trains talent for various car manufacturers and who develops offsite training to maximize sales potential for dealers. The company annually employs about 250 to 300 product specialists to fill a growing demand for presenters who can work as many as 80 to 90 days during the auto show season and earn from $200 to $1,500 a day.

"The models really had to become the ambassadors of their brand," Margery says. "The talent at auto shows throughout the past century have actually gone though as much of an evolution as the cars themselves."

Before training of the specialists, Krevsky and her team begin in the spring working with clients, which include Toyota, Honda, Acura, Mitsubishi, Lexus and Scion, in choosing the right product specialist to represent the brand and specific vehicle that will be introduced for the next auto show season.

To create the total package, the company's in-house wardrobe department develops and creates original fashions designed to "work" with the car and the auto show displays. And one thing has remained constant through the years, the fashions match the cars.

"The product specialists' wardrobes create an all-important first impression, grab attention and make a bold statement about the image of each automaker," Margery says.

Krevsky, who began working out of her kitchen to becoming an international authority on auto shows, is the author of Sirens of Chrome: The Enduring Allure of Auto Show Models. Through archival photos and engaging text, this first-of-its-kind book highlights the history of models in car shows and automobile advertising. Krevsky respects and acknowledges the origins of models as an auto show attraction. In Sirens of Chrome, she documents how models morphed from "plaster to poster to person."

Krevsky helped change the way talent presented themselves at auto shows throughout the world. Her knowledge of the fashion and talent industries, along with behind-the-scenes insights and personal anecdotes, make Sirens of Chrome a must-have for car-buffs and fashionistas. Readers will take notice of the page after page of rare photographs, programs and posters culled from private collections, corporate files and auto enthusiast portfolios. Each captures decades of hot vehicles and torrid models.

Sirens of Chrome published by Momentum Books, was named a 2009 Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan, Sirens of Chrome is available through select Barnes & Noble, and Borders bookstores, and online at Amazon.com and MomentumBooks.com

Vintage Wardrobe, Cars and Models

1950's blue organza dress and 1950 Ford
Model: Stephanie Wohlgamuth (Toyota Product Specialist) is from Michigan and was crowned Miss South Central Michigan USA in 2003. Stephanie is currently a Product Specialist on the Toyota team and has been with the Toyota team for six years.

1960's psychedelic print sleeveless jump suit and 1968 Lennon Phantom Rolls Royce
Model: Katelin Flanigan (Toyota Product Specialist) is from California and has worked as a Product Specialist on the Toyota team for the past three years. Prior to working on the Toyota account, Katelin was a Product Specialist on the Infiniti team for two years

1990 red & gold sequin Pontiac short sleeve flame dress and Pontiac Firebird
Model: CheVonne Burton (Lexus Product Specialist) is from California and has worked as a Product Specialist on the Lexus team for the past six years. CheVonne was crowned Miss Michigan in 2000.

2010 Chicago Auto Show
Acura's 2010 auto show wardrobe has been custom design and manufactured by Tom & Linda Platt, NYC especially to match the Acura 2010 display kit.
It is made of pewter silk / wool blend and is designed to be worn as a collection that includes a dress, jacket, pant and various underpinning options.
Tom & Linda Platt are best known for their custom designs for such celebrities as Aretha Franklin and Monique to name a few.

Acura's jewelry has also been custom designed and manufactured by KHJewels in NYC to coordinate with the collection. The necklace of silver and Majorca pearls can be worn in a long single strand with the pant outfit or doubled and worn as a shorter necklace with the dress option. Matching earrings and sliver cuff bracelet are also part of this grouping.

Model: Valerie Ojeda (Acura Product Specialist) is from California and has worked as a Product Specialist on the Acura team for the past seven years


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