Interview: The Lions Brand sets the bar for 21st century management

By Jasmine Chorley Foster

This week, The Lions Brand re-launched with Partners Ali Kavoussi, Christiana Tran, Louie Chaban and Madisyn Ritland, and a much anticipated digital platform, which emphasizes social media and the importance of individuality. We spoke to The Lions Brand Partner Christiana Tran about the agency's innovative approach to model management.

The Business Model: What does The Lions' digital strategy entail?

The Lions: The Lions Brand developed a robust, customized website that unifies the agency brand with our talent’s brands, looking to creatively engage our audience with social media integration.  

TBM: Digital innovation is crucial to every industry imaginable. Do you think that modelling agencies have been slow to innovate? What are the consequences for agencies without a comprehensive digital strategy?

Cameron Russell's April 2014 cover of French Vogue shot by Mario Testino | The Lions

Cameron Russell's April 2014 cover of French Vogue shot by Mario Testino | The Lions

TL: While the fashion industry has modernized a great deal, modeling agencies have been slow to innovate.  Digital innovation is undeniable in the fashion industry today.  The Lions Brand sees digital innovation as an essential part in the development, management, and sustainability of our talent’s brands, as well as our own.   

Legendary supermodel Veruschka is now represented by The Lions | The Lions

Legendary supermodel Veruschka is now represented by The Lions | The Lions

TBM: The Lions has sold itself as offering management tailored to each individual talent. What does that look like on a daily basis?

TL: We manage our talent’s multifaceted careers with unique & creative strategies.  We work with each talent on a personal level – intimately getting to know what inspires them so to develop individual strategies that support them in creating their own authentic brands.  

Currently, we are strategizing the development of Agyness Deyn's clothing line, Title-A; planning public appearances for the HERCULES movie premiere starring Irina Shayk; welcoming a New Face to New York ahead of her first show season; and, promoting Cameron Russell’s recent French Vogue cover shoot by Mario Testino, while highlighting her advocacy efforts for social change.  

TBM: How is The Lions' approach advantageous in the early years of a model's career? How is it advantageous in the career of an already successful, established model?

TL: There are many differences in the management of a New Face or an already established model. They are at different stages of their careers and therefore have different needs. We have a full-fledged team that caters to these needs. The common denominator is Personal Management. We work with each talent individually to creatively formulate a plan of action moving forward. Each strategy is unique to the individual talent.  

TBM: The Lions has quickly grown into one of the top agencies in New York, boasting an impressive roster. Does the agency plan on expanding or remaining boutique?

TL: We are extremely energized with the success and support we have been receiving. The goal is to expand creatively while remaining boutique. What makes us unique is that our core value is Personal Management, which is very rare these days with the massive mergers and acquisitions within the industry. It is important to me and my partners to be accessible and present in every step of the way.  A personal connection with our talent is fundamental, which is the key to a long-lasting career. 

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