It doesn’t take a fashion expert to pinpoint the fact that the fashion world has had option over the past 18 months but to start getting a little more serious.
Even down to the fashion trends of the moment: everything is super-focused and clearly defined. Where this leaves models is that what designers and editors want becomes that much more specific. A model hired for a high-fashion, hard-edged shoot would not expect to be re-hired for a soft, romantic folklore editorial.
Models have always been called upon to be adaptable, but the newest trend does seem to be moving towards selection rather than adaptation. Rather than having one model do several different jobs with the help of hair and make-up, clients prefer to go with models who themselves embody most closely the qualities they require. Agencies are therefore having no choice but to follow suit. They are actively being more selective in which new faces they sign, but by being more selective, they are aiming themselves squarely at particular markets. This strategy helps them try to eliminate, as much as possible, the chance of their models being unsuccessful in scoring new bookings. Agencies are targeting clients with a renewed vigour, only sending out models who absolutely meet the casting requirements.
Rather than being restrictive, this approach in terms of refocusing can help new models looking for an agency. By agencies being clearer on what it is they’re looking for in new signings, the possibility of a new model wasting their time is diminished. When applying to agencies, the model gets a very clear idea of what is required, and who to turn their attention to. So selection, rather than being limiting, can be helpful in clarifying what is needed, and better yet for the new model, what is wanted.