Storm, Premier, Models1 being investigated for violating 1998 Competition Act

In London today, three top agencies are being investigated for price fixing.

The Evening Standard reports:

Plainclothes officers attended at the headquarters of Storm Model Management, Premier Model Management and Models 1 in dawn raids as investigators probed claims they are working together as a secret cartel to drive up appearance fees, the Mail on Sunday reported.
Officials from the Competition and Markets Authority are investigating claims they have been driving up the cost of fees by meeting as a cartel to agree prices they charge to big brands and retailers.
London skyline |

London skyline |

If the agencies are found to have broken regulations laid out in the Competition Act 1998 or Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, they could face fines of up to ten per cent of their worldwide turnover.
 A spokesman for Models 1 told the newspaper it was "co-operating fully" with the investigation, while Storm Model Management and Premier Model Management declined to respond to requests for comment.

Read the full article here.

The Financial Times analyzes the Burberry show

For The Financial Times, Grace Cook ran the numbers on the Burberry Fall/Winter 2015/2016 show. She then used the show to explain how the industry works. Especially interesting is the contrast in payment schema in London versus New York.

Our highlights:

Backstage at Burberry's Fall 2015 show | Photo by Russ McClintock for

Backstage at Burberry's Fall 2015 show | Photo by Russ McClintock for

● 1,600 guests representing 32 counties
● 7,220 tweets sent during the show. Burberry was mentioned more than 19,000 times during London Fashion Week, the most mentions of any brand
● 179 photographers of the 600 accredited by the British Fashion Council, took over 15,000 pictures
● 39 models walked the runway, with 15 models walking twice
● 180 media outlets live-streamed the show
● 30 minutes Average time spent by each model in the make-up and hair chair
● 21 make-up artists One lead artist (Wendy Rowe), with 20 assistants
● 52 seconds Average time that it took each model to walk the runway
● 54 looks made up Christopher Bailey’s AW15 collection for Burberry Prorsum
● 45 metres The length of the runway
● 2 casting directors Barbara Nicoli and Leila Ananna
● 13 minutes, 33 seconds Length of the show
● 19 hair stylists One lead (Christiaan Houtenbos) with 18 assistants
● 4 hours Amount of time before the show that the models arrived

Cook writes,

Picked by casting directors Barbara Nicoli and Leila Ananna (who also cast for Gucci), the Burberry models came from six continents — yet no casting is confirmed until each model has arrived in London, meaning that confirmations can be as late as the day before the show.
“The process of casting models starts with composite cards of all the potential show girls here for LFW being emailed [to casting agents] as a PDF, and then followed up with a hard package of model cards,” says Aidan Jean-Marie, a director at Premier Model Management, who had five models in the Burberry show.
Once the models have arrived in London, there is then a live casting, where they are optioned before the final process: fit to confirm — “this is where the model is either confirmed or cancelled — it’s all about the look working.” For fittings, models are paid a flat fee of £50 per hour, plus 20 per cent agent’s fee.
The rates that models are paid varies dramatically, and in London — where the British Fashion Council sets many of the rates — is particularly dependent on the show. Fees start at about £100 for a first-time designer, although models can get “£30,000-plus for just one show”, says Jean-Marie. At that rate, it is likely that the model is on an exclusive deal, permitting her to work only for that one designer worldwide. 
In New York, Marc Jacobs pays in trade, allowing models to pick pieces from his line, while Ralph Lauren and Oscar de la Renta are believed to be the best payers — with models referring to the latter as “Oscar pays the Renta”.

Read the full article here.

London: Wilhelmina Models acquires Union Models

In a press release on January 6th 2015, Wilhelmina International Inc. announced its acquisition of London agency Union Models.

Elisabeth Erm is represented by Wilhelmina New York and Union London |

Elisabeth Erm is represented by Wilhelmina New York and Union London |

Founded in early 2005 by Rachel Du Preez, Union Models is an international model agency known for its selective representation of talent, its development of models and its strong client relationships, making it the ideal fit to become Wilhelmina London. The boutique agency represents talent such as Jessica Gomes and Sora Choi, as well as Elisabeth ErmCharlotte Carey, and Sung Hee, who are already a part of a notable Wilhelmina Models roster. [...] Beginning today, Union Models will officially operate under the name Wilhelmina London
Charlotte Carey is represented by Wilhelmina New York and Union London |

Charlotte Carey is represented by Wilhelmina New York and Union London |

Alex Vaickus, CEO Wilhelmina states, "It is an exciting time to establish a physical presence in Europe. We see London as the foundation to further enhance our brand recognition in key international markets and continue to establish Wilhelmina as a global player in the modeling industry."
Du Preez will continue to provide guidance and consultation to Wilhelmina London during the transition and for a period of time thereafter. 

The release says that Creative Director and Head of Image at Union Models for the last three years, Victoria Rich, will direct daily operations. Prior to joining the Union team, Rich was Creative Director at FM Models and Head of Image at Storm.

Annette Koonjean will direct the women's board.

Read the full press release here.


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