Conversations with Coco

Coco_Mitchell_15With Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris completed, and Couture Week and the fall 2014 ready-to-wear fashion weeks just on the horizon, Coco Mitchell gives a nuanced and a layered perspective on what’s currently required for working models. With great care and intelligence, Coco Mitchell generously imparts her pearls of wisdom.

In this installation, Coco gives advice on diet, runway walks, and what makes a Supermodel.

I have been on several go-sees and I realize most of the girls are a lot thinner than I am, I eat healthy but I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. What to do?

—Not thin enough

Coco Mitchell: Cut out all products that contain flour (cakes, cookies, pancake cakes, bread and pasta). Next, cut out rice, potatoes and corn (including popcorn) and cut down your salt intake by not eating any kind of chips.  By eliminating these products you should drop some pounds.

My agency loves my walk but they think I look too sweet. How do I bring out my “inner fierce”?

—Fierce deficiency

Coco Mitchell:  When you are on the runway, you have to be more commanding. I suggest you focus be directed total toward the photographers or the wall in front of you, walking with purpose in every step making every move definite.  I achieve a focus fierce walk by taking deep breaths through my nose (without raising m chest) and slowly exhaling (through a slightly open mouth), always mentally giving thanks for the incredible opportunities afforded you.

Hi Coco, I am a black model and I walked in 10 shows during New York

Fashion Week. I want to walk in more shows, not just in NYC, but globally. Any advice?

—Striving for more

Coco Mitchell:  I saw you in a couple of shows and you definitely stood out. I suggest not to rests on your recent success. Keep striving to be better. Continue to ask yourself is this good enough? What do I need to do to arrive at Supermodel status? With careful reflection and study I am sure you will conquer not only New York, but also have success in other fashion capitals.

What makes a model a Supermodel?

—Supermodel aspirations

Coco Mitchell: I believe having interests outside of modeling gives a model depth and perspective. Through dance lessons, acting lessons, old movies, museum visits and art and multi-media art installations, a model gets to experience the world and other cultures, even if she/he hasn’t traveled to those places. Remember, designers get inspiration from a wide range of influences, and in order to be able to facilitate their vision, it is important for a model to be aware of those influences. A Supermodel is more than a great beauty. A Supermodel evokes mood, and above all sells product.

Coco Mitchell Chats with Fitness Guru Oscar Smith

Coco_5781On the eve of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, industry professionals scramble to get in those last few show requests before the big day on September 5. While you are frantically getting in requests and attempting to match the right ensemble with the right accessories, don’t forget everything looks better on a fit body. And though MBFW is just a day away, you can still maximize your time, look slimmer and get more fit with the right workout.

Supermodel Coco Mitchell sat down and exercised with fitness guru Oscar Smith. Oscar Smith has trained everyone from Selita Ebanks to Karolina Kurkova to a slew of Victoria Secret’s Models. In between getting his celebrity clients and supermodels in shape, Oscar gave a few workout tips to our creative liaison Coco Mitchell at his gym, O-Diesel.

Go to the video section on the home page and listen to Coco Mitchell’s brilliant and thought provoking interview with Oscar Smith.


Conversations with Coco

coco-mitchell-5Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is less than a month away, and as Fashion Reverie prepares to give it readers exciting and comprehensive coverage, Coco Mitchell gives much needed advice and encouragement to models who are prepping for all the castings and hustle and bustle that accompanies Fashion Week.

Always aware of what the industry currently requires, Coco Mitchell with great care and intelligence generously imparts her pearls of wisdom. In this installation, Coco gives advice on runway walks, model prep, and personal style.

Coco, I know you are a supermodel from the 80’s and 90’s, when models ruled the world. Nowadays, most of the fashion magazines are filled with celebrities. Where do I find inspiration for acceptable, fashionable, personal style?


Coco Mitchell: There is an amazing site called that can give you a sense of what is fashionable and assist you in developing your own personal style as a model. Check out the 50 top models’ link. Keep an open mind. Be color blind when you look at the models; after all you’re looking for style. A model’s style is usually paired down—no earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings, a least not all at the same time. A model must inspire as well as be a blank canvas.

Coco, I want to come to New York City and get signed with a modeling agency. What is the first thing you suggest I do prior to coming to New York York City?


Coco Mitchell: I am a firm believer in preparation. You need pictures. The biggest mistake that most aspiring models make is using a photographer whose work is not current or up to par. Remember, modeling agencies will not blame the photographer for the bad images, they will hold you accountable as a model who is not prepared to work in a major fashion market.

Do your homework and carefully study magazines that use only models. Do not imitate or emulate celebrities that are on the covers or in the pages of these fashion publications. Celebrities are not models and not expected to perform as such.

Secondly, study the “feeling or attitude” you get from each shotsexy, sultry, piercing, questioning, etc. Ask yourself what you have to do to achieve that look. What is the model thinking about when they emote. Emotion is not just in the face. Look at the total feeling from head to toe, from shoulders to fingertips; even examine the position of the hands and feet.

All this reflection and examination takes time. Have a friend help you practice until your modeling is more organic and natural, like dancing. Once you are confident that you can deliver, find the right photographer. Ask to see the photographer’s work. You know what to do. So, don’t settle!!
Miss Coco, I do a lot of shows. Everyone says I have a fierce walk, but how do I know if I have what it takes to do the shows in New York, Milan, and Paris?

Fierce Walker

Coco MitchellIt has been my experience when training a model that already has some experience that sometimes modifying or tweaking the walk can be a challenge because some models believe their walk is appropriate for every runway show or designer.  Be aware the runway walks should evolve or be adjusted depending on the show or designer.

If you are serious, and you sound like you are, go and look at the shows on from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week fall/winter 2013, Milan Fashion Week fall/winter 2013, and Paris Fashion Week fall/winter 2013. Ask yourself “do I fit into the lineup of these shows, and is my walk current and reflects the walk in these shows”? Nowadays, casting agents are not looking for “signature walks.” They want a very cohesive show.

If you  feel you need to tweak your runway walk, use the runway videos on as your sounding board, so to speak, and Practice, Practice, Practice !!!




Conversations with Coco

Coco_Mitchell_15With New York Fashion Week just on the horizon, modeling agencies are busy signing new models and preparing comp cards and look books and for their new recruits, as well as keeping their stable of established models portfolio’s fresh and current. With all the hustle and bustle that happens in preparation for New York Fashion Week, Coco Mitchell gives much needed advice and encouragement to young models who always seek her wizened counsel.

Always aware of what the industry currently requires for new models, Coco Mitchell with great care and intelligence generously imparts her pearls of wisdom. In this installation, Coco gives advice on dressing for go-sees, casting protocol, and pushing your career to the next level.

Hi, Miss Coco, I’m 14 years old and when I go on castings the other girls are always asking me questions. Should I answer?

Young and Questioning

 Coco: I think you should respond if the other models are asking you which modeling management agency you are signed with. Respond honestly and candidly if they ask you questions about who shot the looks in your portfolio or about the fashion business in general.

Being honest and positive is a great way to make friends. Plus, some models are not happy with their agency and are looking to change management. I would stay away from anything too personal.

However, remember castings are all about you booking the job and not a social get-together. Keep conversation and chatter to a minimum!!


When going on go-sees do I have to dress in the designer’s style?

—Style Revamp

Coco: When going on go-sees I believe you should be acquainted with the designer’s style; however, no one will expect a new model to wear the designer’s clothing or brand at the go-see. (That comes after you start making money.)  Consider that a lot of these brands are expensive, and you are not rolling in cash, yet.

I suggest that you be well groomed—pedicure/manicure, bikini, under arms, and legs hairless. Be confident and do some research on that designer/brand before the go-see. Remember, knowledge is power!!


Coco, my agent said she was going to send me to work in Paris, but she hasn’t brought it up again. Do you think she changed her mind?


Coco: Do not be afraid of your agent. Remember, she works for you!! After all, the agency does take 20% of your earned income.

That said; be as bubbly and as charming as you can be and say “I can’t wait to go to Paris!! Is there something I should be doing to get ready?” Agencies appreciate models that are proactive and ambitious. Though you are signed and have a agent, this is your career. If working in Paris is your goal, put the wheels in motion!!

You can submit your questions and comments to Coco Mitchell at


Conversations with Coco

Coco_Mitchell_08In this third installation, supermodel Coco Mitchell gives advice to young models about personality, charm and evoking mood and feeling in front of the camera. Always aware of what the industry currently requires for new models, Coco Mitchell with great care and intelligence imparts her pearls of wisdom. She truly  is a benevolent keeper of the secrets!!


Dear Ms. Coco,

I’ve been trying to launch my modeling career for a year now. I keep hearing I need personality. I HAVE PERSONALITY!!!  But for some reason my personality is not coming through. I need some clarity. HELP!!


Coco Mitchell: It’s not about not having personality because we all have personality. Our personalities evolve through our experiences. It’s obvious that you are frustrated and that part of your personality should never be shown to the public. Like it or not, as a working model you are now a public figure. The personality you need is bigger and brighter than what you think.

I believe that you can attain this bigger, brighter personality by first putting aside your feelings of frustration and humbling yourself. Become excited about life the way child anticipates receiving a gift or a toy or going to Disneyland. That child sees himself already on the rides at Disneyland. That child will turn on the charm, too. Stir up that excited, anticipating and charming child inside!

Don’t let go of your dream. Eventually that light of excited anticipation will turn into charm and it will be there all the time. Clients, friends, and even strangers will be drawn to it. Practice the art of anticipation.

Good luck!!


Hello Coco:

I’m a male model and I need to know what is posing and how can I improve my technique?

 —Southern Comfort

Coco Mitchell: Posing is not what it was in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s or even the 90’s. Sometimes, at a photo shoot the designer or the photographer will tell you what they want; but not always. Currently, in the industry for male models it is more about emoting than the positioning of your body. Emoting is projecting on the outside what you’re thinking, and your thoughts and mood you are evoking will determine how you will position your body. In other words, you become an actor projecting through the photographic  image to the consumer “you will feel like this when you wear these clothes.”

This is a very powerful position to be in. Practice in the mirror. Take pictures of yourself. Do free tests with a variety of photographers—always know beforehand what the photographer has in mind.




Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Backstage Fall/Winter 2013

Collages188Though Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week fall/winter 2013 is over, as well as London, Milan, and Paris, memories still linger. We all love the way the collections look on the runway, and the way each model brings that extra something that makes us look at silhouettes, construction, fabrications and the designer’s point of view in new ways. Still, it is not all sparkle and shine.

In Fashion Reverie’s unique way of presenting texture, nuance and a broader spectrum of perspectives and with the assistance of our photo editor, Ernest Green, we demonstrate that Fashion Week is a collaborative effort. Putting a runway show together is a lot of hard work and without the collaborative spirits of makeup artists, dressers, the ground crew, PR firms, the technical crew, and the models and designers themselves the stunning presentations that we hold near and dear to our hearts would not happen.

That said: Fashion Reverie celebrates Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week fall/winter 2013 BACKSTAGE!!

Collages184The models backstage at Porsche Design know they look good. And they do!!

Collages186Gimme head with hair, long, beautiful hair, shining, gleaming, streaming, flaxen, waxen— “Hair” lyrics from the musical “Hair.”  Hair images are backstage at Richard Chai fall/winter 2013.


Downloads340Mama said there would be days like this.

Downloads339First looks backstage at Malan Breton fall/winter 2013

Collages185Oh the joy, excitement, and brotherhood that comes from being in a Nautica show.

Collages182The darker the berry the sweeter the juice. Does that apply to lips, too?


Fashion Reverie’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Model Watch

Downloads297Linda Evangelista, Jourdan Dunn, Liya Kebede, Gisele Bundchen, Coco Rocha, Naomi Campbell, and Karlie Kloss made names for themselves appearing in glossy fashion bibles and landing campaigns that have become legendary. Still, before any these hallowed models became household names, they had to learn to dazzle on catwalks from New York to Milan to Paris and all the other fashion capitals of the world.

With Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week less than a week ago, there is much buzz about which statuesque beauties will become the next Naomi, Coco or Karlie. One thing is sure, Fashion Reverie’s three picks for supermodel status will be sure to enchant and bring their special brand of goddess glamour.

Downloads295Juliana Schurig

Juliana Schurig didn’t start her modeling career until after she finished high school, but since then she has walked in all the major fashion capitals. Her runway credits include fashion shows for Viktor & Rolf, Acne, Derek Lam, Antonio Beradi, Versus, 3.1. Phillip Lim, Preen, Sass & Bide, Anteprima, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Theyskens Theory, Victoria, Y-3, Christopher Kane, Moschino, Jonathan Saunders, Barbara Bui, Cacharel, Missoni, Prada, Chanel, Dries van Noten, Fay, Jil Sander, Max Mara, Salvatore Ferragamo, Matthew Williamson, Isabel Marant, Sacai, Angelo Marani, Versace, Kinder Aggugini, Lanvin, Vanessa Bruno, Alexander Wang, Nicole Farhi, Loewe, Giambattista Valli, Emilio Pucci, Just Cavalli, Louis Vuitton, Rochas, Philosophy, Reed Krakoff, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Erdem, and John Rocha.

She appeared in editorials for Nylon, Glamour Germany, Elle Italia, T Magazine, V, French Revue des Modes, Ones 2 Watch, Nylon Japan, Cake Mag and Teen Vogue. Juliana Schurig is currently signed with Ford Models in New York City.

Downloads296Cara Delevingne

This United Kingdom‒native is the 2011 face of Burberry. Cara has been featured in campaigns for Chanel, Blumarine, H&M, Asos, Dominic Jones Jewelry, Burberry, Clark Originals, Nelly, and A|Wear. And she has had editorials in V Magazine, Wonderland, Love, Numéro, M Magazine, and the British, American, and Brazilian editions of Vogue.

Cara has also walked in shows for Victoria’s Secret, Fendi, Chanel, Stella McCartney, Dolce &Gabbana, Oscar de la Renta, Jason Wu, Moschino, Clements Ribeiro, Burberry, Fashion East, Krystof Strozyna, and Louise Goldin. Cara Delevingne is signed with DNA Models in New York City.

Downloads294Manon Leloup

French model Manon Leloup’s breakthrough season was spring/summer season 2013. For the spring/summer season Manon walked in 30+ shows in New York, Milan, and Paris. She has walked in fashion shows for names such as Valentino, Calvin Klein, Christian Siriano, Aquilano.Rimondi, C’N’C Costume National, Rad Hourani, Reem Acra, Missoni, Prada, Elie Saab, John Galliano, Roland Mouret, Stella McCartney, Emporio Armani, Frankie Morello, Carven, Céline, Julien David, Loewe, Pedro Lourenço, Rochas, Costello Tagliapietra, Ohne Titel, The Row, Venexiana, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Jil Sander, Marco de Vincenzo, Miu Miu, and Nina Ricci.

Manon has had advertising campaigns with Balmain, Proenza Schouler, and Alexander McQueen. She is currently signed with Wilhelmina Models NY.

—William S. Gooch


Award Season Recapture

Click the photo below to scroll through Award Season Recapture, enlarge photos by clicking icon in the top right.

Holiday Season RecaptureHoliday Season Recapture

Art Direction: Coco Mitchell
Photographer: Frank Louis
Makeup/Hair Stylist: Yvonne Forbes
Styling Assistants: Joe Quezada, T. Bates
Models: Agency Model Management – Brianna Flores, Mika Furuya, Sara Longoria, Elizabeth Makhnachova, Tash Moore, Katherine Small

Conversations with Coco

Coco_Mitchell_03With Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week fall/winter 2013 just two weeks away, our esteemed colleague, supermodel Coco Mitchell, in this second installation, answers questions about model casting and model preparation for fashion week. As always, Coco has her pulse on current trends, what potential clients are looking for, and what models need to have a successful career.

Question: Fashion week is quickly approaching and my agency is telling me about designers that have runway shows and presentations. Is one more important than the other, and how do I prepare? I don’t want my agency to think I’m stupid. Please help!!


Coco Mitchell: Don’t feel stupid. How would know if you don’t ask? Don’t be afraid of the your booker at your agency; it is the booker’s job to help you. And remember, the agency can make up to 20% of your bookings.

Usually agencies have people, like me, that they hire to help new models with their runway walk. Now, a presentation is different from a runway show. There is usually no walking involved, and model could be posed in a variety of scenes that evokes the mode of the collection. A presentation, like a runway show, also calls for the model to channel her inner actress.

During a presentation the model is expected to change positions and give the audience a total impression of the designer’s point of view. Presentations can also last from an hour to two hours, so take your vitamins and have energy.  There is nothing worse than a lethargic model.

Be Blessed!!

Question: Coco, I am a new model and recently my agency sent me to have some pictures shot for my portfolio. It was horrible. I had no idea what to do. How can I prepare for the next shoot? Help!!


Coco Mitchell:  Jessica, in the fashion industry preparation is key to a successful career. Don’t wait until you are placed in an uncomfortable, unknown situation.  Try to be as prepared as possible. When it comes to images for your portfolio, I have a tendency to go for “the Fierce” first. I suggest, if you can afford it start buying fashion magazines. I suggest the higher end, European magazines (which are pricey) but give you the best examples of attitudes and poses and don’t use celebrities as models. Study every pose from head to toe.

If you cannot afford to purchase the magazines, go to a book store and look at the magazines over a cup of tea. Another good source is Look at the pre-fall and pre-spring images that are used for the lookbooks where you will get great examples of poses.

STUDY, STUDY, and STUDY some more!!

Question: I’m getting ready to start castings for New York Fashion Week and Paris Fashion Week. Are they different? I need your insider advice.


Coco Mitchell: The only difference in shows in New York City and Paris is the location. And unfortunately, you will encounter some casting directors and industry professionals in both locations that have an attitude, and are not friendly. That is just a part of the industry, so get used to it.

No matter where the casting is located, become acquainted with the design aesthetic and point of view of the casting you are going on. GOOGLE EVERYONE!! And if you have the time, go to and look at collections of the designer.

One thing that helped me my first season in Paris is that I realized that the casting person did not know me. Since you don’t know them and they don’t know you, use the unknown to your advantage. Don’t assume that they know that you are still trying to figure it all out.

Overlook the attitude that you may receive from the receptionist, the casting director, and maybe even the designer. FOCUS; don’t lose sight of your goal, which is to book the job!!!

Be confident, and don’t act like a beggar. Hold your head up and go for it. Remember, this is your opportunity, and you deserve this chance!!












Model Spotlight: Patrick Conboy

Downloads270The path to a successful modeling career is never silky smooth. There are lots of challenges and possible diversions along the way. Still, for those committed few, the winding road can lead to self-discovery and a sense of accomplishment.

Though Patrick Conboy in his wildest dreams would never have chosen modeling as his career of choice, he has wisely taken up the fashion mantle of this road less traveled. A natural in front of the camera—and I have witnessed it first hand—Patrick brings that relaxed ease, confidence and charm that is crucial component of every top model’s skill set.

No longer just another handsome model on the boards, Patrick is hitting his stride. And with the muses of creativity and inspiration in his court, Patrick Conboy is setting his own standards and playing by rules that work for him.

Fashion Reverie: How did you get started as a fashion model?

Patrick Conboy:  I was aimlessly going from job to job with no real direction. One day walking down a street in Charleston, SC, a photographer approached me and wanted to take some photographs of me. I later learned he was recruiting for an Abercrombie and Fitch campaign being shot in Charleston later in the month. My pictures were submitted and I ended up in an Abercrombie and Fitch editorial shot by Bruce Webber. Bruce Webber connected me to an agency in NYC, so I figured I could give modeling a try or keep working a series of no-where jobs.

FR: So, modeling was not on your radar prior to being discovered in Charleston.

Patrick Conboy: Fashion came out of nowhere for me. I really didn’t follow fashion or read men’s fashion magazines. I knew the names of some brands, like Abercrombie and Fitch, but I was not really into fashion. I hated shopping; I basically wore what my parents bought me. My daily outfit was jeans, white tees, and boots.

FR: What happened when you pursued a modeling career in NYC?

Patrick Conboy: I immediately signed with Click Models and did a lot of editorials, some runway shows, but after a couple years I really was not enjoying modeling. It wasn’t working for me.

Patrick_Conboy_01FR: What wasn’t working for you, New York City, modeling, or both?

Patrick Conboy: I love NYC and I loved the perks that came with modeling; you know getting into the clubs easily, the beautiful women, everyone smoozing and cheesing on you because you are in a hot editorial or you are with a top agency. At first, it was really overwhelming, especially coming from the South. But, after a while I felt that there was something more I could do where I could use more of my personality, so I started taking acting classes.

FR: How does acting appeal to you in ways that modeling didn’t appeal to you?

Patrick Conboy: Modeling started to flatten out for me and was starting to feel like work I was no longer interested in, while with acting I could explore all these different parts of myself as a human being. Every time I was on stage, there was an opportunity to learn something about myself. Acting felt like a safe place to experience life.

FR: But you came back to modeling, why?

Patrick Conboy: I knew Nolé Marin while he was at VNY Models. My contract was about to expire with Click Models and Nolé wanted me to sign with VNY. But, I was looking to take a break from modeling. While Nolé was building Aim Model Management, we stayed in contact, and after much contemplation I realized that Nolé wanted to take me on the path that I was interested in.

FR: And what path is that?

Patrick Conboy: I am really interesting in becoming a stage and film actor, and Nolé wants me to be successful and happy in whatever I am pursuing. Nolé wants me to be myself and if I am myself and fulfilled, I can bring that freshness and joy to the fashion industry. That approach is so different from my experience at other agencies.

FR: What frustrated you at other agencies?

Patrick Conboy: I was kind of put on the back burner at my other agency. Though I got steady work, primarily in editorials and runway work, I didn’t feel that the agency was pushing me and helping me expand.

PatrickConboy_019FR: What opportunities are you getting at Aim Model Management that eluded you at other agencies?

Patrick Conboy: I was the underwear guy and/or shirtless guy at other agencies. Nolé believes I can do a lot more than that, even though I am 5`11. Recently, I was photographed in Angelo Galasso cocktail jackets for a holiday editorial in Fashion Reverie. I knew I had the ability to do more international work, and Aim Model Management is proving that I can do more than American sportswear.

I lived in Europe for a short time and I realized how great European men look in clothes because of the tailoring and construction. After living in Europe, I began to understand that there is a place for me in fashion internationally, and Aim is pushing me toward that goal.

Who are your favorite designers/brands?

Patrick Conboy: I recently discovered Moods of Norway and they make great suits, shirts and jackets. I love Harley Davidson boots; they are so comfortable and I do ride motorcycles. I also love John Varvatos.

Downloads271FR: What is your personal style?

Patrick Conboy: I am a very casual guy. I love a great pair of fitted jeans, comfortable shirts and some kick-ass boots. I have recently started wearing hats.

FR: What designers would love to work for?

Patrick Conboy: I would love to continue any work with Calvin Klein. I would also love to work with Guess, John Varvatos, Moods of Norway and European designers that really understand how to make a guy look and feel good.

FR: Who are your favorite actors?

Patrick Conboy: Daniel Day Lewis, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, James Dean, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Downey, Jr., and over the years I have become a big fan of Brad Pitt. Oddly, I love Olivia Newton-John in Grease.

FR: If you could live in a different time, what time would you want to live in, and why?

Patrick Conboy: I would love to live in the 1950s because the style was really cool. Everything seemed more pure. As great as technology is, it sometimes can be isolating. In the 50s, if you wanted to talk to someone you either had to see them in person or call them up. Your friends were your friends, not virtual Facebook friends.


All images courtesy of Aim Model Management

FR: Now that you have your feet in the worlds of fashion and acting, where do you want your modeling/acting career to go?

Patrick Conboy: I have been with Aim Model Management for about three months now and after being out of the industry for two years I have had to get back to being a model size. Which hasn’t been difficult because I continued staying fit. I have grown my hair out to give me more versatility.

Acting has helped me be more in touch with my emotions and I really observe people more, and I am bringing more intensity and awareness. And that focus and commitment is becoming evident in my editorials. I now create a narrative for myself at every shoot.

In essence, acting has helped me understand the personality and perspective of each designer and design aesthetic. That sensitivity was not there before I became an actor. So, the sky is the limit for me with both acting and modeling.

—William S. Gooch

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