Modelling Agencies Explained
What modelling agencies do is a mystery to most people. My fashion modelling career started at the tender age of 14. After finishing in the top five, in a country wide modelling contest, I began strutting my stuff in Milan and Berlin for Gucci and Agent Provocateur. But I still had no idea how a modelling agency actually worked. I decided to quit modelling when I met my husband. It will always be a delightful time of my life. “Why don’t you go and spend a couple of months as a trainee booker at a fashion model agency,” said Peter Adediran. So for three months this summer, I worked as an intern – trainee booker – for a London modelling agency, First Model Management. This is my account of what I learned about the modelling agency from the agency side of the business and getting started in a modelling career from the modelling agency perspective.
So let’s start from the beginning. My projects at First were challenging and new to me. Although I’m responsible for PR & marketing at PAIL, tasks at First were totally different and it took a few days to settle in. My first few days were spent, getting to know the rest of the team, exploring the new office environment and sorting out models’ books. “You need to start with the basics and work your way up from there,” said Gareth Roberts, the owner and founder of First Model Management. Looking back, that was a smart way to start my time at First, as it provided me with a great chance of getting to know what their signed models look like and their names. By the end of the first week, I knew everything and everybody pretty well. It really is a great team at First consisting of Gayle, Igor & Carlo who were all very supportive; always ready to encourage me. Like most people you might think the people in the fashion world are shallow or superficial, there was definitely none of this at First. They were the very epitome of sincerity and kindness.
The other tasks were much more challenging than sorting out models’ books. I had to find hairdressers who would cut or style our models’ hair for free. Yeah, that was a bit of a challenge. You might ask, “Why would anyone agree to do that for free?”. But the reasons are easy. It’s all about PR and marketing. Everyone likes to work with models; it’s kind of prestigious.
In my modelling days, I too never paid for a haircut but alas, things have changed now. So, the same day, I got on the phone and pretty soon I received some positive feedback. At the end of the week, we chose hairdressers based in Burlington arcade. Incidentally, I haven’t had my hair done there yet which I shall have to take up with Gareth sometime.
The following weeks were spent everywhere in London except the office. My mission, should I choose to accept it, was to find Britain’s next top model. Yes, you guessed right, I got the privilege to go and do some model scouting. Scouting wasn’t as easy or as glamorous as you might think. First, you have to know where to go and what to look for. You’ve seen Elle Macpherson scouting for potential talent for the show Britain & Irelands Next Top Model, making it look easy. When you are not a world famous multi millionaire supermodel, scouting for the next top model is actually not a stroll down the high street. You literally have to scan and notice every single girl that walks past, checking their looks, height and body for potential modelling greatness. I know you are now asking, “How did you do?”. Let’s just say some trips were more successful than others.
Ah, there are also some security issues. For example, it’s not advisable to go and scout in department stores as their security won’t allow you to do that and you may even end up being arrested. Something I’m sure Elle Macpherson never has to worry about. No worries, as I was warned beforehand, so I got back to First’s offices In Great Portland Street safely.
The rest of my time at First Model Management was spent contributing to their blog. The idea is to write interesting articles that will promote First and generate interest, not too different from this article really. Actually, by the end of my brief time at First, we received quite a few new twitter followers. So all in all, I guess my time was well spent and I’m a little more clued up as to how a model agency works.
This article was written by Dovile Subaciute Contact.
Copyright PAIL Solicitors 2012
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