Back to the modeling

We’re packing up our bags and heading out. Not to Europe but to St. Louis for fashion week. Beth will be walking in her first ever runway show and oh boy is she nervous.I’m glad her first show is going to be in a much smaller setting. I think we would both be nervous wrecks if we were headed to NY for fashion week.  This should be a nice way to ease into it. Plus Beth’s agents Mary and Jeff will be there and they will be working with Beth on her walk.

We’ll be driving to St. Louis with my parents and Thomas. Dad and Thomas will explore the city during the day. While Mom, Beth and I will be doing model stuff. Hair, make-up, fittings and learning how to walk. All that fun stuff. Then in the evening we’ll all gather to watch Beth walk in the shows. So far she’s on the schedule for Jillian Lewis (2008 project runway designer,) Bolongaro Trevor and Michael Shead.

Here’s a behind the scenes look at the Bolongaro Trevor show last season:

And last but not least Beth is finally on the NEXT website under new faces

I’ll be posting more from St. Louis!

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Next stop Paris

Our final morning in New York and we found a nice coffee shop to eat breakfast at before our meeting at the agency.

Here’s Beth at the agency playing solitaire on her Ipod while we wait. She spent a lot of time playing solitaire this week.

We had our meeting at the agency before we left New York Friday morning. We got to the agency early (as usual) and still haven’t adjusted to our position as someone they represent. The agency was mostly empty so we sat down in the unmanned lobby not sure if we should just walk in back. Someone we had not met yet came out and asked us if we had an appointment, yes we did with Tammy. Then she asked if we were with them, well yes maybe we just weren’t sure. So she told us to go ahead and walk back. Both Agnes and Tammy, the two people we’ve mostly been talking to were in and asked us to come into one of the unused offices to sit down and talk. After the meeting when Beth and I talked about this we both thought they were going to say after looking at all the photos they’re sorry but they’re just not going to be able to represent us. Instead what they asked us was about our flexibility. They wanted to know how available we were to travel to other markets. NEXT has agencies all around the world and we knew from talking to our mother agency that this was what you need to do to move your career forward. So Beth and I got our passports a couple months ago just in case. Good thing we did because the plan is for us to go to Paris & London in Sept.

That trip will be similar to our NY trip, every market has their own agency. So we’ll be meeting with a NEXT agency in both of those cities that will be representing Beth in their markets. We’ll go to photo shoots in those cities with local photographers to create Beth’s portfolios. If it follows the same schedule as NY we should have plenty of time for site-seeing.

We were warned that at some point I need to think about letting Beth travel to Europe alone because it shows those agencies & designers that she’s mature and ready to do this job. I said that’s something we could work towards but it’s going to take awhile. They also commented that there aren’t as many model apartments in Europe so that becomes an issue when there’s two of us traveling together. So that’s something we need to talk to our mother agency about. But they did stress that wasn’t something they expected to happen in a month or two. Well I hope not for heaven’s sake!

We did get a few of our questions answered; the model apartment in East Village is $350 per week per person. So that was $700 charged to Beth’s account. Plus the cost of the 3 photo shoots, who knows how much that was. All of these charges will accumulate in her acct until she starts earning money then they will deduct it from her pay. We have not signed a contract with neither NEXT nor our mother agency. I forgot to ask about that, are they all implied contracts? Are there no contracts? I do know that it is a standard rate of pay that all (or most) models receive. The model makes 80% of the billing the other 20% goes to the agency plus an additional 20% is paid to the agency by the client. Then the agency pays 10% of their payment to the mother agency. So Beth gets 80%, NEXT gets 30% and Mother Model Management get 10%. And the model pays all their expenses. There is the potential to make a lot of money but in the beginning I think a model is happy when they break even. I know I’ll be glad when we start breaking even. J

The final word on the elusive haircut; they are going to let Beth’s hair grow out until our next meeting then they plan on doing a haircut.

Our mother agency is located in St. Louis which has their own Fashion Week in Oct. So Beth plans doing that Oct. 12-18. I think that will be good practice for her and help her be a little more comfortable in that type of environment before the big Fashion Week in New York in Feb. Because that is what we’re working towards Spring 2010 Fashion Week! It’s hard to imagine in 5 short months she could be walking down a runway in New York with all the other fashion models. That’s just crazy to even think about.

That’s where we’re at right now on our modeling journey. In the airplane on the way home from New York Beth remembered that she had to wake up at 7am the next morning to go work at the farmers market. One week she’s living the life of a fashion model in NY the next week she’s back in the Midwest earning $40 for a mornings work selling bread. That’s OK though, she’s going to need that money for shopping in Europe!

The world of modeling

I know so very little about this new world. The more I learn the more I question the wisdom of putting our young daughter into these situations. She loves fashion design, this could open up so many doors for her. It can be a great stepping off point to college and eventually a career in the fashion world. But it’s also going to force her to grow up a lot sooner than would happen if she just stayed at home. Somewhere in there is a balance that I am responsible for finding and maintaining for her, while she gets to hopefully have an amazing experience.

What I do know is that we are going to meet with Next modeling agency in NY in Aug. We will be in NY for about a week, they will be doing her hair and making a plan for her future.

Next Models NY

PRO: Next remains without question, one of the wealthiest and best managed management companies in the business and in many ways the best current performer amongst the big brand agencies outside of IMG. With a very concise and focused scouting network that scans through Brazil, Australia and Poland, the past year has seen major dividends pay off for MDC Top 10 Faces, Malgosia, Anja and the sensational newcomer Catherine. Add to that the hard earned stability of Next’s big money bookings and what you have here is an agency that can guarantee you your checks without slipping into the mediocrity all catalogue bookings, all the time. When it comes to client relationships and alliances, Next Management is very discreet about its leverage but all the more powerful because of it. Faith Kates is one of the toughest negotiators around and with her on your side, you will work and at an impressive day rate.

CON: It doesn’t really faze the bottom line of the operation which is swimming in lucrative catalogue capital that it doesn’t focus on image bookings. But there’s been a constant struggle with those “high image” bookings to counterbalance the big money commercial bookings that keeps Next rolling in cash. Thankfully the consistency of the scouting net that produces at least one editorial star a year, addresses that challenge nicely amplifying that Next is indeed that ideal of a full service destination.

SCOUTING CALL: Any new model scouted by this company should grab the offer. The one-two punch delivered by the Wilkenfeld/Kates team is unmatched in the business. Next stands distinctly not as a vanity production like so many other agencies, but a business with a capital B. With an amazing scouting to management ratio there is no doubt that Next knows how to break a new face on the market.

Two of Next’s top models came from Mother Model Management, the agency that “discovered” Beth.

In an effort to eliminate my naivete I recently watched Taken (there’s bad people in Europe, who knew?) OK that really didn’t have anything to do with Beth’s modeling our neighbor just said we had to see it, and now Dan doesn’t have to worry about me sharing a cab with a cute guy.

However, the new documentary Picture Me does have to do with modeling. It looks into the abuses on young girls by power wielding photographers and unscrupulous managers. As a parent you hope to shield your children from bad people, I hope I’m still able to do that while we’re out in this new world.

Picture Me Trailer