Agent View ~ Tara Davies
Booker View: Tara Davies – Co-Founder, Linden Staub
As a model agent, you are confronted daily with people trying to exploit your talent on differing levels. From the horrific treatment that you hear about models during fashion week to girls not being informed about re-charges, job fees etc. It is my job to ensure the girls are informed, safe and most importantly, happy.
A few years ago, I had an 18-year-old model confirmed for a worldwide major show exclusive. These are game changers for new models entering the industry, an exclusive show launch can lead to a top-level career on a ‘fast track’, they are major exposure and are coveted spots every season.
I accompanied my model to the show, it was one of her first jobs, and as a new model, the environment is very daunting, I wanted to be there, to support her fully, and ensure her experience was positive.
At this show, there were over 25 official exclusive girls confirmed (contracts signed, models officially booked months prior) to walk – these girls will have been held back from seeing any other show clients for the entire of the debut season in high anticipation of a ‘life changing’ show launch. Of these 25+ girls, only 16 walked the show. Why? Because the designer ‘changed their mind’ last minute. The others were savagely cut last minute in the run up to the show backstage.
A Mother Agent friend of mine had four super young models pulled from the same show within minutes of the the final line up. Two of them were hysterically crying backstage – and no one from the show team even cared to explain their reasoning behind the cancellation. The sad thing about all of this ~ this is common practice within the industry.
Not only is this treatment career damaging, it is inhumane and cruel. Following on from this many of them may have been dropped by their agencies, their debut seasons ruined, their potential diminished – another round of young girls left behind and move onto the next quota of ‘new faces’ the industry demands.
I was a professional dancer before I became a model agent, so I understand and know this rejection, luckily for me, I had considerable success to balance it out & a supportive network around me to keep me sane. Many of these girls have no other opportunity but modelling, so to be tossed aside in such a way is life changing and seriously detrimental to their mental health.
To be treated like a soulless commodity instead of a human being is a disgrace, and something many people in this industry are guilty of. These young women are human beings, not products. The pressures of this fast-paced industry mean not enough people expose the miss-treatments. At Linden Staub we inform and protect our models. We believe with education, we can empower these young ladies to understand their self-worth and know when something is not acceptable and to be robust enough to face this un-regulated industry head on, with our full support. It is a long road of strategy and education, but we believe the industry is due a change in the GOOD direction.
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