Do you want to wake up in a city that never sleeps? Find the king of the hill, melting away in a little town blues? Knowing if you make it there, you can make it anywhere? Then do it like Antonio at Elite Models and listen to the familiar sounds of Frank Sinatra, sounds that caress your ears with the smooth sounds of dancing trumpets and swinging harmonicas; telling the story of busy roads, glooming city lights and the path to find your way to New York.

Photographer Leila Jacue captures Antonio’s in the city of big dreams and endless opportunities. In a natural-toned portrait series, she portrays him as he channels the Big Apple's sweet Winter melancholia. Catching the sprinkles of January light, enwrapping Antonio with soft shafts of the sun. Warming him up, despite the days being shorter and the leaves from the trees having to the ground long ago and turned brown. 

For this series, Leila and Antonio become a part of the city. Exploring less packed side streets in East Midtown Manhattan, and getting to know the typical architecture with its charming staircases in front of every house. Not far away from those roads, everyone sinks into the rushing stream of anonymity. As a model, Antonio is used to enjoy being a stranger in the foreign. He is a cosmopolite, traveling from one metropole to the other, always staying for simply a few days. Leila gives him some minutes in this golden afternoon to embrace a rare moment freedom, discovering what it means to unfold daydreams - dreams that can become reality if you are in the right place at the right time. It’s up to you, New York, New York.

Words by Berit Warta.

Manhattan Winter Hours