The American stamp of approval in the modelling industry

New York is the centre of the modelling universe - here's why.

 Chinese model Jing Wen (Supreme) for   Teen Vogue   February 2015 by Jason Kibbler. Wen has also appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. 

Chinese model Jing Wen (Supreme) for Teen Vogue February 2015 by Jason Kibbler. Wen has also appeared in campaigns for Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. 

By Natalia Zurowski

There's no denying the incredible amount of influence the United States has when it comes to determining market trends. In respect to modelling, New York is the epicentre of the industry - the same can be said when it comes to fashion and design. Before they've learned much else about the industry, new models already know that New York is where careers are made. If they're successful in New York and receive the American stamp of approval, their careers can flourish.

Whether the US is a fashion innovator is up for debate, but it's an undeniable economic powerhouse. Ranging from high end clients, beauty brands, and e-commerce giants, the US is home to some of fashion's top brands and companies such as: Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein, The Gap, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, Maybelline, Nordstrom, Victoria's Secret, and so forth. These clients don't only pay top dollar, but also act as prestigious endorsements of a model's caliber and relevance to other clients, agencies, and the media. 

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IMG pulls out of Miami Swim Week

Some big changes are hitting Miami, and will surely alter the casting experience.

The Miami Herald reports:

 Models walk the Luli Fama show at The Raleigh on July 20, 2014 in Miami | Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Luli Fama via  Source

Models walk the Luli Fama show at The Raleigh on July 20, 2014 in Miami | Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Luli Fama via Source

Miami’s annual Swim Week, a series of fashion shows, parties and trade exhibits attended by international press, designers and fashionistas, will be sporting a noticeably skimpier cut this year.
Executives at IMG Fashion, which presents the July swimsuit show’s main attraction – the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim inside air-conditioned tents outside the Raleigh Hotel on Miami Beach – announced they would be “postponing” their show until 2016 as part of a company-wide redesign to “better reflect the unique needs of its designers and partners.”
Other Swim Week events are expected to continue as planned.
IMG’s decision not to participate this year was the result of several factors, beginning with the purchase of the company by William Morris Endeavor for $2.3 billion in 2013. Since the sale, IMG has been retooling the various Fashion Week events it hosts in cities around the world, including New York, following the loss of Mercedes-Benz as a sponsor.

Read the full article here.

Elsa Hosk is latest model to sign Victoria's Secret "Angel" contract

26-year-old Elsa Hosk has been working for American lingerie giant Victoria's Secret since 2011. Today, her representatives at IMG Models announced that Hosk was the latest model to receive the "Contract Angel" title.

 Elsa Hosk (far right) for Victoria's Secret Swim 2015 |  Source

Elsa Hosk (far right) for Victoria's Secret Swim 2015 | Source

 Elsa Hosk at the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show |  Source

Elsa Hosk at the 2014 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show | Source

Previously, Hosk served as brand ambassador for the company's Pink line for two consecutive years. Hosk is from Sweden and has been modelling since the age of 14.

Read more here.

The WSJ breaks down The Society's management of new face Bhumika Arora

Bhumika Arora is one of the definite break-out new faces this season. The hitherto unknown 27-year-old from a small town in India started with Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs in New York, and followed it up with Gareth Pugh, Bottega Veneta, and Fendi. 

With interviews with Bhumika and her team at The Society, Ray A. Smith constructs a thorough analysis of the strategy behind her success for The Wall Street Journal.

 Screen shot from  The Wall Street Journal  online |  WSJ

Screen shot from The Wall Street Journal online | WSJ

Here are our highlights:

Many models walk at fashion week. Only some make a name for themselves. Ms. Arora’s New York-based agency, the Society Management, has been preparing for months to get Ms. Arora noticed by influential casting directors, fashion stylists, and other industry taste makers.
“It’s really important to lay the groundwork,” says her New York agent, Christopher Michael. “Once you’ve built that, you can move on to the other arms of her career.” 
Growing up in a small town in the state of Haryana, Ms. Arora was a tall, skinny girl. While some people teased her for looking “like a guy,” she says, others said she looked like a model. Ms. Arora sometimes started to watch fashion shows but then changed the channel. “I used to think I was really, really ugly,” she says. “So modeling couldn’t be my thing.” In her town’s conservative culture, nice girls weren’t models. Her parents objected any time she brought up the idea. 
After she moved to a bigger town, Chandigarh, for college, she indulged her modeling fantasies through selfies. A friend submitted pictures of her to the “Model Watch” feature of a publication called “Cafe Beat” distributed at a local café. Ms. Arora was surprised to hear a few months later that the magazine had published her photo, placing it alongside three other young people it dubbed “steaming hot.” That convinced her—and helped convince her parents—that she could try modeling. 
Ms. Arora started to pursue an M.B.A., but soon a photographer who had seen the published picture offered to take her first professional photos. Armed with those, she moved to Delhi and modeled there for a few years. She began sending out her pictures to agencies in Europe, including Elite Paris, in December 2013. The agency signed her soon after. Both Elite Paris and the Society Management are part of Elite World, a global network of agencies.
A team at the agency that includes Mr. Michael, the Society Management’s executive agent, helps Ms. Arora and other models with personal development, including finding a personal style and dressing for castings. The team also advises her on things like traveling around cities. They also guide her and other models on social-media activity. Ms. Arora currently has a relatively small presence on social media, with an Instagram account that lists nearly 1,700 followers and 63 posts. The agency hopes to increase her interaction with her audience.
 Screen shot from Bhumika's portfolio on The Society Management online |  The Society Management

Screen shot from Bhumika's portfolio on The Society Management online | The Society Management

While she was in Paris last February, Ms. Arora didn’t have a visa that would allow her to work in the U.S. But her agency was laying the groundwork for a future move. It introduced her to Anita Bitton, a well-known U.S.-based runway casting director who was in Paris. “We kept her on our radar of people we like,” Ms. Bitton says. The agency regularly updated Ms. Bitton—and it let her know when the model obtained her U.S. visa. 
As the fall 2015 runway shows approached, the agency’s first big step was targeting a few big, high-impact shows for Ms. Arora. For her first New York Fashion Week, “we didn’t want to have an anticlimactic start,” said Mr. Michael. “We were really quite targeted in terms of where we wanted to begin with her in terms of our shows and where her first appearance would land.”
Ms. Arora started New York Fashion Week with a bang, making her runway debut at Alexander Wang’s show, one of the week’s must-see events. The casting director was Ms. Bitton. Ms. Bitton’s team requested that Ms. Arora not appear on any other runway before the show, which took place Feb. 14, two days after fashion week started. Ms. Bitton says the show had “a very strong point of view and one that Bhumika was a very key part of. We wanted to preserve that moment until she had walked our show.” Mr. Wang, the designer, says: “She exemplifies a unique look and I was immediately persuaded by her.” 
Ms. Arora’s appearance in that show sparked interest from other casting directors, Mr. Michael said. Three days later, Ms. Arora walked in Vera Wang’s show. Vogue.com singled her out as No. 3 in its “7 Things We Loved Today” feature, writing: “Our hearts were stolen by a fresh face on the Vera Wang runway: the moody-eyed, sultry-lipped, and enviously angular Bhumika.”
Ms. Arora then walked on Anna Sui’s runway and closed out New York at Marc Jacobs, one of the most sought-after shows for a model. Ms. Bitton, the founder of New York City-based Establishment Casting, cast her for that show as well.
Mr. Michael had sent Ms. Arora’s model show card—which features her picture and details such as height and shoe size—to stylist Charlotte Stockdale while Ms. Stockdale was in New York. “She just blew me away,” says Ms. Stockdale, who styled the Fendi show and played a role in choosing models, in collaboration with the show’s casting agent. 
After the show season ends, Mr. Michael hopes for Ms. Arora to make ”an impressive splash” in magazines and ad campaigns in the coming months. Mr. Michael, who is in Paris, meeting clients and supporting the models there, says several of the shows Ms. Arora walked in provided “a stamp of validation.”

Read the full piece here.