Susie Kiel has been modeling “sexy” Halloween costumes and lingerie for Yandy for the last six years. Yandy, for those of you unfamiliar with the world of “sexy” online retail, is notorious for their skimpy pop-culture parody costumes and barely there lingerie. And Susie is one of their favorite models. We got Susie on the phone to find out what it’s like to dress up like a sexy dolphin, professionally.
How did you get started with Yandy?
Sarah [Chamberlin, Yandy’s website strategist] found me on Model Mayhem (a portfolio website for unrepresented models and photographers). I was just kind of testing the waters in the modeling world and one thing led to another. I’m not signed with an agency, so I just do freelance stuff as it comes. I mostly just do it for fun, but Yandy has been my most consistent client over the years. I’m all about Yandy.
I worked for an entertainment and PR company for a couple years, and now doing a dental assistant externship. That’s where I am now. I’m actually hiding in the break room. That’s my next gig, being a dental assistant.
Do you ever get recognized?
Occasionally. Not a ton, but I’ve definitely had a couple instances. Some of our costumes have gotten a lot of attention, so people from high school or someone from my past will all of a sudden pop up and be like, “You’re not going to believe it. I just saw you [here],” and it’s always when I’m in one of those over-the-top, ridiculous costumes.
One year, when the sexy pizza costume was really popular, I wore it to the Playboy Mansion for the Halloween party. I didn’t think a lot about it, but there were other people that were like, “Oh, you modeled that for Yandy.” So I think that was the one time I felt super cool and super special.
Does anyone ever say anything negative to you about working for Yandy?
I’ve never gotten anything negative. I can’t imagine that there would be anything negative to say. It’s Halloween, so you kind of expect goofy and fun costumes to pop up.
Do you ever feel uncomfortable in any of the costumes?
I’m pretty comfortable with it. Everything is tasteful enough and we don’t show anything too crazy. The shoots are pretty intimate.
When I first started, I would put on a costume and have to say a funny line, or use a funny voice, and sometimes that can be hard because you don’t want to be awkward or embarrassed. Maybe I thought I was too cool to do that, but after a couple times, it was much easier to get into it, play the role, and laugh about it later.
I think [modeling for Yandy] has actually helped me be a lot more comfortable having fun with things — just being goofy and not worrying about the rest.
Do you have any advice for someone interested in wearing a sexy Halloween costume for the first time?
It’s important to feel sexy, for sure — I think everybody should feel sexy — but a lot of times, it’s your own negative thoughts that get in the way. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re skinny enough, or in shape enough, to wear something, but it’s important to put those thoughts aside. Buy the sexy lingerie or the sexy costume, and just have fun with it. Don’t let those negative thoughts take over or stop you from doing what you really want to do.
Are you planning to wear a sexy Halloween costume this year?
I totally am, but, honestly, this is the first year that I’m this close to Halloween and undecided, so I’ve got some work to do.