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08-12-2005
  46
daisy in my lazy eye
 
iperlchen's Avatar
 
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^ I think, as a scout you work in your own time. That scout just happened to be at Britney's concert and saw Heidi, she wasn't sent by the agency. You just do your groceries and accidentaly spot great model potential.

The thing I've always wondered is, can you earn your bread by scouting (full-time) or is it more like an additional job.

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08-12-2005
  47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perlefine
^ I think, as a scout you work in your own time. That scout just happened to be at Britney's concert and saw Heidi, she wasn't sent by the agency. You just do your groceries and accidentaly spot great model potential.

The thing I've always wondered is, can you earn your bread by scouting (full-time) or is it more like an additional job.
How does one go about getting a scouting job? I think I might have a knack for it. I'm very good at spotting pretty/interesting faces in crowds.

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08-12-2005
  48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marqueemoon
How does one go about getting a scouting job? I think I might have a knack for it. I'm very good at spotting pretty/interesting faces in crowds.
Yeah, would like to know too. I think almost every girl wants/wanted to be a model and dreamt of being discovered,I know I did/do and making someones dreams come true is just a beautiful thing.

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09-12-2005
  49
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I'm glad everyone likes it! There was another article from a few years back in The Observer in 2003, but I don't know if it's already been posted - http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magaz...996792,00.html.

Interestingly, I went to the Clothes Show last Sunday, and I got scouted 4 times while I was there. Select tried to scout me 3 times (a guy called Simon approached me first, but after him Sarah Leon did too and some others also). I was also scouted by Debbie from Models 1. Select took loads of pictures (polaroids and digital) and seemed really interested, whereas Models 1 just took 2 polaroids. A guy from Storm was looking closely at me too, but he was busy with another girl and I had to go, so I don't know if that would have come to anything anyway.

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09-12-2005
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Observer article from 2003 on scouting... again, sorry if it's already been posted. However, I thought the last one interested quite a lot of people, so maybe this one will too, seeing as it's the same sort of thing:

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magaz...996792,00.html

The model makers

Are you 5ft 8in tall? Do you have a big nose? Are you 'edgy and interesting' rather then 'sexy and pretty'? Polly Vernon hits the street with the country's top scouts to find out what makes next year's models

Sunday July 13, 2003
The Observer


Directly opposite the tourist-clogged exit to Covent Garden tube station, half-obscured by a shadowy doorway, slouches a boy of apparently zero consequence. You can't see a lot of him. He's got his parka hood pulled up to protect him against the ravages of this temperate early June afternoon, and his nose is poking out from beneath it. His Strokes-style fringe is fluffing forward. His insignificance seems to be the most significant thing about him. Hard to say for sure, but you would probably walk straight past him, assuming you registered him at all in the first place. I know I would.


Gemma Shaw wouldn't. 'I like sulky boy over there,' she whispers in the name of pseudo subtlety, flicking her eyes parka-boy's way. 'He's got a look going on.' She looks again, takes a little bit longer this time. Then she swoops. There's a flurry of activity, of sunny smiles and focussed charm (from Shaw) and self-consciousness and blushes (from sulky boy). A business card, which announces Shaw's professional credentials (model scout and booker, Select Model Agency, London), is produced, along with a Polaroid camera. Sulky boy (real name Dominic) pulls back his hood, revealing skin marred by a gentle smattering of acne, and poses for a picture. As the Polaroid develops, the thing that 99 per cent of the population would have completely missed, the thing that Shaw recognised in a fraction of a second, becomes screamingly apparent. Dominic is a raving beauty. A pouty-lipped, exquisitely boned, delicately coloured stunner. Half-angel, half-rock star. Breathtaking. Shaw takes Dominic's details (he's a Londoner, 20 years old, working part time for the local council), invites him to come into the agency to talk further, and then starts scanning the teaming hordes again - before attacking a gangling, goofy Danish teenage girl who is ambling cluelessly towards the central piazza. 'It's an odd job, this,' she says. 'I stand on street corners and look at people. And if I like them, I stalk them.'

Depending on your perspective, model scouts - Shaw and her kind, the people who devote their lives to spotting obscure, money-spinning beauty on the mean streets of London, Birmingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes - are either contemporary fairy godmothers, facilitators of incredible opportunities, of fame, of wealth, of glamour and of travel; or the last word in beauty pimp. Exploiters of the young and naive, corrupters of the innocent, introductory agents to an anorexic, cocaine-addled, looks-fixated existence.

Their nebulous profession is sometimes associated with the dreamy, feel-good factor of success stories, the random encounter, suburbia-to-riches fantasy tales of Kate and Naomi and Liberty. With the unadulterated possibility of grand televised model-hunting extravaganzas like Channel 4's Model Behaviour - in which Shaw featured as a judge, and where (on the producer's instructions, she is quick to establish) she was so harshly critical she developed a Simon Cowell villain persona.

And it's sometimes battered by exposés like Donal Macintyre's Uncovered documentary, which revelled in the institutionalised seediness of one particular agency. By whispered rumours of ethically questionable scouting expeditions to poverty-stricken parts of the world, from which very young, very ill-informed girls are plucked. In April this year, a scout from Elite Model Management went to Bura, a remote bush village near the border of Somalia, in search of 'the next Iman'. 'If I'm going to pull someone out of the bush, she has to be the type who, when she walks into a room, people's jaws hit the floor,' announced Lyndsey McIntyre, before attempting to explain to the village elders that she wanted someone like the pretty girls they'd seen in Coca-Cola adverts. She didn't find anyone good enough, and you have to assume that was a good thing.

It is, in short, a contentious, compelling, provocative, shallow and glossy business. The scouts themselves are a very peculiar breed. Scouting is a vocation, and those that do it are unfailingly passionate about the need to pursue beauty and weed out the unbeautiful. Their motives are mixed (make money, make the world prettier, change lives, change perceptions of beauty), but they all scout, all the time, in the same way everyone else breathes.

'Is it a talent? Hmm... not sure,' says Sarah Doukas, ex-model, alpha scout, owner of Storm Model Management, spotter of Kate Moss. 'Certain things definitely make a good scout. You have to have an eye, but that can be trained. You have to be a good communicator. You've got to like other women and appreciate beauty in them, and not every woman, as we well know, does... I think it helps if you're a girl. I think it helps if you're pretty. I think, subconsciously, good-looking people are often drawn towards people who look a bit like them, don't you?'

Shaw, who is pretty, and who, in seven years' hard scouting, has honed her ability to see beyond hair and make-up and clothes to the features and bones beneath ('I scouted a Goth once'), believes scouting is an instinct. 'You just look at someone and know.' Doukas, however, suggests there's an element of science behind it.

'I see in 2D,' she says. 'I see what every feature will look like on film. The eyes can't be too close together, the nose can be long, but it can't have a wide bridge, because light hits it, and bam! You'll get a banana on the front of your face. Lips: sometimes a down-curved mouth is ghastly, sometimes it makes it the exceptional face... So, you see, I am forensic about beauty.'
While Shaw wanders the West End of London, assessing the faces of everyone she passes (assuming they're 5ft 8in or taller), Doukas is installed in an office at one end of Storm's gratuitously messy, psychotically upbeat premises. She wishes she wasn't. She wishes she was out there, too, looking. But then, more than anyone, Doukas understands the power of the scouting movement. She's told the story a hundred times, and she's a bit weary of it: she was at JFK following a disappointing scouting expedition to New York, when she spotted an exquisite 15-year-old called Kate Moss, in the check-in queue, and everything - her life, Kate's life, the fashion industry at large - changed as a result. 'Finding Kate made this agency,' Doukas says, and points out that scouting also made Kate. 'She's the first person to say she probably wouldn't have done it if I hadn't approached her first. She was living in Croydon, not Notting Hill.'

Outside her office, the unscouted - young things with the nerve and ambition and self-belief to turn up at the agency uninvited - litter the corridors and waiting areas, but Sarah believes that the real talent is on the streets, unaware and unlikely to consider a career in modelling unless she, or someone like her, approaches them. Like all scouts, Doukas delights in the notion that it's rarely the prettiest girls that become the most successful models. It's the skinny, hapless, unfancied, unassuming ones. This, all scouts believe, is model justice. 'Very occasionally, you'll get those that say, "Oh, I was waiting for this, what took you so long?"' says Shaw. 'But mostly, they are amazed. More like: "Me? Are you sure?" I love that.'

Doukas started scouting 14 years ago, when, having trained as a booker with the agency that would eventually become IMG, she left to launch Storm. 'I had to scout, I had nothing, no models, no staff, no money. I had to go looking for backing and I had to go looking for girls.' Until people like Doukas started scouring the streets for new faces, posh girls dominated the modelling scene. 'Lorraine, who I used to work for, she'd say, "Oh there's a friend of a friend's daughter who I met at a party, who we must see."' Accordingly, both she and Models One's Ellis (who's got a thing about 'girls with noses. I love, love, love a big nose') believe scouting has democratised the business. 'It doesn't matter what your background is, you can make it anyway,' says Ellis. 'We've got our posh girls, we've got our girls from Cheltenham Ladies' College, we've got our comprehensives...'

Ellis is terribly earnest about this, evangelical almost. But then, while Shaw thinks it's fun and Doukas is pragmatic about it, Ellis is uniquely earnest about scouting, generally. She's another alpha scout, an industry celebrity with a 17-year history and a reputation for subverting traditional notions of loveliness by creating mighty careers for 'character' models like Erin O'Connor, Karen Elson and Alek Wek. She has changed lives and she's glad. She fills up when she talks about Erin, how far she's come and how proud she is of her. 'How silly. I'm very sensitive.'



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09-12-2005
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Ellis's perspective on scouting is borderline spiritual. She thinks she's good at it because her dyslexia made her focus on visual stuff. She believes in scout karma. 'If you're meant to find that girl on that day, you will,' she says. 'I don't lose sleep over the girls I don't get.' Nonetheless, she will make a concerted effort to track people down when necessary. 'I saw this great boy yesterday, walking along the road. I was late for a meeting, and I thought, shall I stop? But I couldn't, I was too late already. He was near the school that my daughter goes to. A gorgeous black boy with an afro. And it was 8.29, I looked at the clock. I thought, that must be the time he goes to school. I'll go back then until I see him again.'

Bolstering the ranks of the random street finds are the spoils of the increasingly popular free-for-all, pre-arranged scouting event. Your Clothes Show Live, your Model Behaviour, your designated late-night shopping evening at Selfridges. At the flagship Hennes store at Oxford Circus, a full-on, all-comers-welcome, Storm-sponsored scouting afternoon is in full swing. Downstairs, scout Diana and her ex-model protégée Nishan are loitering at the foot of the escalator, studying every newly arrived girl customer. They are clad in Storm-branded T-shirts, which read: 'We Want You', but in fact, they haven't found anything they want so far. 'The problem with girls is, they're generally quite short,' says Diana.

Upstairs, Sarah and Josh are prowling for boys. They are an established team, with an established rhythm. They split up and reconverge every few minutes for whispered consultations, they reassure each other that someone's worth the effort, or worth letting go. If they're not close enough to whisper, they communicate with raised eyebrows and urgent head nodding. They are perpetually giddy on the possibility of the situation.
You watch the teeming teen public, the scouts' resource, and you become stunningly aware of how knowing they are about the whole business of getting spotted. They walk slowly past the scouts, back straight, head up. 'You go into Topshop and you can see them a mile off, just waiting to be spotted,' says Ellis.

At Hennes, there's a gender divide in the way the unscouted attempt to get noticed. The girls loiter near Nishan and Diana, and indulge in strategic hair flicking, but they won't approach. The men are more forthright. 'I want to be one of these Storm models,' a handsome, camp French man tells Josh. 'Am I too old?' He is, it transpires, and too short, but Josh gives him a list of other agencies to contact. The rejected roll their eyes incredulously at the boys Sarah and Josh do scout. 'Boys are like that,' Sarah says. 'If you approach a guy who's with friends, the friends will say: but what about me?'
Spend quality time with the model scouts, spotters like Select's Chrissie Castignetti (the godmother of scouting, who doesn't like to be interviewed or photographed as she thinks her anonymity is a crucial scouting tool), and you'll assimilate scout etiquette. Potentials are not 'pretty' or 'sexy'; they're 'interesting'. That's the language of sexual detachment. Every model is either 'commercial' (read: money spinning) or 'editorial' (read: edgy, directional and credible).

You'll learn that agencies are very possessive about scouting territories. Select's Shaw, for example, is allowed into teen emporium Topshop, but only as a shopper, never as a scout. Models One have an exclusive arrangement with the store, brokered by Ellis, and Select have to respect it.

'I do sometimes stop girls outside,' Shaw admits (the pavement, it seems, belongs to no one). Select is the only agency with a regular presence at annual fashion extravaganza The Clothes Show Live. Storm is going to Glastonbury. Certain London schools are renowned for being particularly fertile hunting grounds, and the agencies divvy them up. Covent Garden and Oxford Street are anyone's. Sarah Doukas does her best work on the streets and beaches near her New Forest home. Ellis owns west London.

There are other rules. Never scout when you're out drinking, says Shaw, because 'You'll get the beer goggles on and pull a minger'. Be very, very sure before you approach someone under any circumstances, says Doukas. 'You've got to be pretty sure that the girl is worth it. I find it excruciating to approach a girl, and bring her in and have the others go, "Hmm, not sure."' If you've turned someone down, never criticise their faces directly, never pull them apart, says Ellis, no matter how much they ask you to explain what's not right with them. And always say, 'You're very attractive, but you're not quite right for us' rather than, 'You're not right.' If girls are with their mothers, approach the mothers first. Look them straight in the eye, talk to them directly and be glad that they're suspicious. They should be. If someone isn't interested, don't push. 'If they haven't got the mentality, it doesn't matter what they look like,' says Doukas. 'This girl I found in Romsey, pushing her kid in a pram, she was exquisite. Her first job was with Juergen Teller and Venetia Scott. Everybody wanted that girl. But she didn't have the mentality. She walked out of the John Galliano couture show in Paris six months after I found her.' She throws up her hands in dismay. 'Caught the train and came home. I could have given her a lobotomy!'

Eastern bloc girls are fabulous looking, but expensive and a pain to organise because of the visas. 'I would also say that sometimes they don't have the personality to make it huge,' says Doukas.

You can't scout in the rain. You can't set yourself targets, you can't say, 'I will find two girls today.' You can't scout for the personality that will transform an OK model into something stellar. That will only become apparent with time.

The scouts happily adhere to the rules because they are high on scout-lust. They all talk about the excitement, the rush, the bonds they form with the girls and boys they find. They all believe they are perpetually a street corner away from finding the next Kate Moss - apart from Doukas, who doesn't think there will ever be a next Kate. Ellis has predictably noble scouting ambitions - crusades, almost. 'I really want to find a fabulous Asian girl. I've been to Southall, I've been to Slough, we've done competitions with Eastern Eye, with The Telegraph, but I just can't find one. But I will. And, most of all, I want to find a really amazing, really beautiful big girl. We need that.' They never switch off. They never leave home without their business cards. They never get bored. And whatever the rest of the world's perspective on their business, however suspicious, critical, morally questionable we, the non-scouts consider them to be, they will persist. 'I wouldn't know how to stop,' says Ellis.

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10-12-2005
  52
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hmm yeah that would be interesting to know. i tried searching google but couldn't find anything

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12-12-2005
  53
daisy in my lazy eye
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marqueemoon
How does one go about getting a scouting job? I think I might have a knack for it. I'm very good at spotting pretty/interesting faces in crowds.
Mail some close agencies you think you would do a good job at ['similar tastes'] or just drop by. I think We always seem to think model agencies have completely different rules than other companies
I'd love to do scouting too.

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13-12-2005
  54
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^but they do have different rules. It has already been explained that modeling doesn't belong to any corporate structure because it's all about independent contracting, and so you get less legal protection as a person and less corporate rights as being your own business (your name is essentially your business.)

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13-12-2005
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what i don't get is that for every discovery story, you usually never see it corroborated by another person. like you never hear from the scout saying "yea, it's true, i did discover her at a concert."

it seems like most discovery stories are made up to make a model more sell-able.

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13-12-2005
  56
princely
 
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The entire industry is a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

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13-12-2005
  57
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on theones2watch.com we are thinking about having some interviews with a few scouts, as a lot of people seem to be curious about that aspect of the industry. if any of you have specific questions that you'd like us to ask you can send me a PM with them.

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13-12-2005
  58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by it's happening
^but they do have different rules. It has already been explained that modeling doesn't belong to any corporate structure because it's all about independent contracting, and so you get less legal protection as a person and less corporate rights as being your own business (your name is essentially your business.)
My questions concerns scouting

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21-12-2005
  59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yourbestfriend
The entire industry is a bunch of smoke and mirrors.
And why is that? whats the point?

i hope the scouts aren't surprised that people are so curious about them. Everyone acts like the scouts are the heart of modeling; that if you can't get a scout's attention, then you supposedly aren't model material.

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21-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by it's happening
And why is that? whats the point?

i hope the scouts aren't surprised that people are so curious about them. Everyone acts like the scouts are the heart of modeling; that if you can't get a scout's attention, then you supposedly aren't model material.
The point is that, the stories are often fabricated to make a more interesting story. All part of the package of the model. The marketing of the model is important, from their story, to how they were scouted, to their looks and personality. Just like the whole thing about Natalia going from fruit stand to superstardom, it was extremely hyped and she had articles written on her, and profiles done of her story constantly. Its all part of it, the agents and bookers are only there to give you a packaged and slightly altered version of the actual model. Its to make the appeal of something appealing, even more appealing, hence the smoke and mirrors. Its not all that you see, its exagerated and disguised into something we are given.

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