Working for Modeling Agencies ... Becoming an Agent, Booker, Scout, Manager - Page 9 - the Fashion Spot
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Carrme's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: canada
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i know most women that work in the agency are friend of a friend. At least the smaller ones that I know of. Looks don't matter.Besides assuring you're clean and what not lol

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model_mom's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 15,260 Interview with Jonathan Phang

Life Of A Model Booker

How much travel is involved in being a model booker?

Model bookers never used to travel as much as they do now. In the old days, agents would only travel to very established markets (i.e. Paris, Milan, New York) because of their relationships with foreign agencies. Now, because of more scouting, and with Eastern Europe opening its doors, everybody had to start travelling everywhere to start finding new talent and meeting new ties with other model agencies.
What was the most glamorous part of your career?

When you do a job that you enjoy, you don't really think of it in glamorous terms; you think: "This is, what I'm supposed to be doing, this is why I get to pay my mortgage every month." I was very blasť about being a model booker by the end of it. Now, of course, I sit in an office in West London and I don't go anywhere and I sort of miss it, but now I realise that it was glamorous, particularly to people that weren't involved in it, because it was work and I was always tired and people demand so much from you in such an individual way. Travelling became a dread of mine. I think, just before ending my career as a model agent, I went to the Nelson Mandela Children's' Foundation Versace show in South Africa, and every Star girl was there. There was Shalom Harlow, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Amber Valetta, Bridget Hall, Susie Bick, Kate Moss - the whole lot of them. At the aftershow party it was the one time I wished I had kept a camera with me, because I don't have very many memoirs of my twenty years of representing girls at all and I regret it now. There was Christy Turlington, Naomi, Amber and Shalom dancing around handbags to some disco song, and I thought, "God, actually this is almost historic, isn't it?" All the Versace crew were there and it's like, "Wow, there are a lot of people that would really kill to be in this party, and I am." And I thought, "Get me home and I'll give it all up", but I suppose that was really probably my high point and low point at the same time.
Are many of your friends are fashion designers or models?

No, I have great relationships with a lot of my old models, because remember, I was quite young when I met some of them. We grew up together, so I was privy to a lot of what went on in their personal lives, probably more than their families were. I'm very proud that some of them are now old and fat with children, and we still maintain a friendship. I think my relationships with the models was very genuine. Relationships with clients often end. The modelling world is a very fickle industry, and if you think your clients are your friends, you probably won't go very far with that, ultimately. Clients were friendly to bookers because they want something from them.
What makes a great model stand out from the crowd?

A new face becomes a star model because she delivers something unexpected and she maintains that and she keeps inspiring people. Then, she has to constantly keep reinventing herself to keep her market and her public. What keeps us wanting to see a picture of Angelisa and Kate Moss? It's because of their lifestyle that we feel interested in and the images that they produce constantly surprise us. If a girl can maintain that, she can maintain her star status. It can only come from the girl and it's a combination of mystique and surprise.
If you could work with any fashion designer who would it be?

I'm very lucky that I've been to the shows by the designers that I've always really respected and I've wanted to go. Some of them disappointed some of them didn't. I love couture and I would like to have been around in that wonderful period in the 50s, with Dior and the heyday of Givenchy and Balenciaga. I love skill and I love elegance; I love to be detached from something and I like to feel that something is unattainable and I like the mystique of it. In that generation, probably, it really typified what was really attractive to me about fashion and being a model booker.
What is the worst thing about being a model booker?

Booking is a very thankless job. Don't expect models to say, "Gosh, thanks a lot for all the devotion you've given me." Don't expect a Christmas or birthday card. Do expect to be called up at 3 o'clock in the morning with a girl making your life difficult, saying, "I have a headache, I can't be bothered." But also remember that you're the one with the skills to get her out of it. Your career may last longer than a model's, and don't expect too much from her.
What is the best thing about being a model booker?

Because you are dealing with individuals when working as a model booker, you're allowed to be individual yourself. There is no right or wrong way to represent anybody or handle anybody's career. There were some times I'd look back and think, "Gosh, I wish I could just switch work off at six o'clock, like a lot of other people, namely there's a right and a wrong way." But really the best thing about it is that it exposed me to so many interesting people and talented people. You're in the middle of this creative field where you can then go off and do lots of other things because there are very few jobs that expose you to so many different people.
How damaging is a bad shoot to a models career?

When a model gets to a certain level and she's a star, you have to really, really put a lot of thought into what your moves are. Sometimes, you have to turn down millions of pounds for the good of keeping the career alive. When somebody has been doing Vogue and they have a huge fan base, if you let that fan base down, they'll move very quickly on. It's not always a good idea to associate somebody to a naff brand, just to help that brand out but killing a career whilst doing so, and that's happened a lot over the years. People underestimate how bad one campaign can affect someone's modelling career. It can set them back for a long, long time.

(There is another part of this interview in post 98 of this thread.)

"Let's stop treating models like greyhounds we plan to shoot after a race. We have to remember we are dealing with real people who have real feelings."
- James Scully

Last edited by model_mom; 06-06-2008 at 04:27 PM.
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verna_gold's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Derin, & Carrme - that's really encouraging, thank you!

Maybe I could give it a go, at least I'd make the models look even more tall, thin & beautiful!

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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Maryland
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Working for
Currently I work for a major company and Im always casting models for our campaigns so daily im visiting and Ive met the creator Wayne Sterling and kept in touch. Does anyone have any advice about this or working at a modeling agency?
I plan to inquire about interning opportunities soon.


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Amour Comme Hiver
KhaoticKharma's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Posts: 5,396
I feel like it's nearly impossible to find info on working at modeling agencies online.

Is it best to intern at a modeling agency? Do most of them have hired staffs? I've heard that to work at a modeling agency, while you don't have to be model good looking, you do have to be very well kept up, maybe even beautiful- is that the case? I need dirt!!

"I say, let's have happy clothes. You could reply that's frivolous in this troubled world, but do you really think dressing like an existential nun with suicidal thoughts is going to solve Bosnia?"

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rising star's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Hi, if i was you i would just contact agencies and ask to intern (most agencies offer people placements) or if you want a job just send a bunch of resumes off and if they are need of a junior you may be in luck. Ive worked at a few agencies on placement etc and they were in the process of hiring juniors and they just chose people whod done related degrees eg photography or why were generally interested the majority hadnt worked within the industry for a long time if at all.

A few people who work at agencies probably will be models as i know a few of the bookers were past models but prefered working in the agency to being infront of the camera- plus they obviously know how the industry works and what models go on to do the best jobs.....i wouldnt say everyone who works there is gorgeous though of course not, you will probably meet some superficial people, but in the fashion industry whatever part there will always be 'those' people.

Just give it a go

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ognimod's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Gender: homme
Posts: 609
Work like Booker or Scout in a model agency
Well, Im interested in working like a booker or scouting in a model agency, work with models and in their carreers.
anybody knows how can I get this? Or what kind of things these people had done for get this job?

it's really interesting for me know it

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model_mom's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 15,260
My...My....look who I found to fill us in on how to become a booker or scout.

"Let's stop treating models like greyhounds we plan to shoot after a race. We have to remember we are dealing with real people who have real feelings."
- James Scully

Last edited by model_mom; 04-03-2009 at 06:18 AM.
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ognimod's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
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finally, i get a collaboration (like scouter) with group model management in spain (one of the most important agencies here) **** Edited *** Please do not mention your blog in posts. Say what you have to say ... right here, please.
and i really enjoy it but it's also difficult find a good model...

Last edited by BetteT; 25-03-2009 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Removing reference to blog in post, per rules.
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Miss-V's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: new york baby!
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Posts: 451
personally my experience with scouts are appalling. if they scout a girl, and they decide against her, their too weak to reject the girl they just dont contact her, dont give her any information and ignore her calls.

i'm talking about the big guns, ELITE, Premiere, Nevs..

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jonathonreis's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Long Island
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Posts: 356
anyone know the median income for a booker in NYC?

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youarearockstar's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
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^The only words of wisdom that I can impart on this are as follows: no one starts off as a model agent.

Being an agent is a career that's based on connections and relationships and managing those, as well as the model's career. Therefore its highly unlikely someone could even walk into an agency and start booking. The most likely course of action is to apply for internships at agencies to start off and get noticed for your hard work. Hopefully from there you can move on to becoming an assistant for the agents and then moving on to junior booker and then full fledged agent.

So basically, the best suggestion I have is to scour Craigslist/model agency blogs/ for any notices of agencies looking for interns. From there it's up to you to make a great impression. Oh and you have to live in New York City.

This is a business first; friends second.
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jetmeiko's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: U.S./Switzerland
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Posts: 94
Do you think New York model agencies would be willing to hire an intern who is an undergrad in a fashion university in NY? Would basic model and fashion industry knowledge be enough to start off as an intern--and also, do you think majoring in courses such as advertising and photography would be a step-up and help get an internship? I'm interested in interning if I chose to go to school in NY, but I'm not sure how "qualified" you'd have to be...

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romeoelliott's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Becoming a model agent?
I am always wondering how do people become model agents? were they former models or just regular people hired by the agency? most importantly what does a model agent do? and how do i become one?

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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: N.Y.C.
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yes Ive been wondering the same because Ive wanted to be one or a casting director

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