Posts tagged with "supermodels"

Illustration of a Booker by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

Turf Shifts Modeling World

By Dana Feeney

The modeling industry has two very different faces. One side are supermodels, like Gigi and Bella Hadid, glamorously modeling, making millions of dollars, and traveling the world. The other are the unknown models working job to job, facing exploitation and manipulation by their agencies and clients, and trying to make their name in the industry. The mistreatment of models is as old as the industry itself. Skinny, cis, and white models experience this brutal reality. Working as a model is only worse for people of color [POC], LGBTQA+, and immigrants because of the lack of transparency or regulation and rampant misconduct.

New Players

The current push for diversity and inclusion has caused a much higher demand for POC, and LGBTQA+ models with different body types. In recent months, a few new players in the game are building their reputations on accountability and proper treatment of the models and creatives they represent. Three small agencies and one superpower are disrupting the model representation world: New Pandemics, Zandwagon, Community New York, and film and television power player Creative Artists Agency (CAA).
The way modeling deals traditionally work is that a model signs to an agency, such as Next Models, Ford Models, IMG Models, or Wilhelmina Models. The agency provides its models with certain services such as housing, transportation, portfolio shoots, and more. In most cases, anything an agency provides for a model they have to pay back to the agency, often at a high-interest rate. The interest rate means the longer they take to pay it back, the more they owe to the agency.

Although models sign contracts to agencies, they are not considered employees of those agencies and instead are independent contractors who the agency aids in booking jobs. The agencies do not keep models on their payroll. They do control the money that the models earn on a job and how their money models earn is distributed. Bad payment practices reach far beyond the agencies. The agencies are responsible for billing the client right after the model completes their job. Payment for jobs by agencies to their models is notoriously sketchy because clients are not required to pay upfront before shoots and can legally take up to 90 days to settle up. Most agencies take at least a 20% fee out of any money their models make and charge clients a “booking fee,” so for a $1000 job, they would charge $1200 but only pay the model $800. Worst of all, if a client does not pay the agency for work a model did, the agency does not owe the model the money they earned. The common practice in the industry is that the model only gets paid if the agency gets paid.

The film and television management world contrasts the modeling world in many ways. The modeling industry as a whole is riddled with misconduct, manipulation, and poor treatment of models by their agencies and brands. Many modeling agencies use contracts that include fees and costs they can pull out of the model paychecks and use debt, housing, and visas to keep their models dependent.

Agencies in other media such as film, only make money if their clients make money. In film, the percentage is around 10% because of unions. Although, none of these industries are flawless especially considering scandals in the film and tv world with predators like Harvey Weinstein and Matt Lauer.
Creative Artists Agency (CAA) has a long history of representing talents across film, tv, music, and more. In August of 2020, CAA announced their partnership with KCD Worldwide, a fashion services agency, which signaled CAA’s entrance into fashion model management for the first time in the agency’s history. CAA has a strong legacy of representing high-profile individuals and building their careers. They have also stated that they only take a 10% fee out of their models’ earnings, half of the general standard of 20%. Despite their claims for better treatment of models, CAA is not blemish-free when it comes to allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct. Multiple former CAA agents have faced lawsuits.

Additionally, CAA has previously represented multiple people accused of misconduct, including Shia LaBeouf, Chris D’Elia, and Marilyn Mason; all of whom are no longer represented by CAA.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the smaller boutique agencies mentioned earlier, New Pandemics, Zandwagon, and Community New York. New Pandemics is “a casting and management agency dedicated to increasing LBGTQ+ visibility.”

Zandwagon is “a talent management company that could guide everyday life individuals who are breaking beauty standards daily” according to their website. Community New York is run by Butterfly Cayley, Moe Lamstein, and Richie Keoall, three first-generation immigrants from Laos, and “is founded on inclusivity and progressive values by changing not only the style but the very structure of management.” Cayley, Lamstein, and Keoall have impressive experience at agencies including DNA and Elite Model Management. Community New York now represents stars such as Hunter Schafer, who is well known for her work on the hit HBO show “Euphoria” and is now a brand ambassador for Shiseido.

With small diversity forward agencies up and coming, the existing modeling industry is under attack from all sides. All three of these agencies emphasize how much they value representation and inclusivity in this industry that has avoided breaking societal beauty standards for so long. They also claim they will be different from other agencies and provide better treatment for their clients. These agencies are sending the message that you’re either with them or against them, and they’re willing to think outside of the box to get proper treatment and equity for models from all walks of life.

Same Old Problems

Many of the biggest fashion houses in the world are still reckoning with the #MeToo movement. The fashion industry is known as a highly predatory business. Many of even the largest names in modeling have had to survive people abusing their power on sets and behind the scenes to become who they are. Household names, such as Kate Upton, Coco Rocha, and Cameron Russel, have all spoken out about their experiences with the abuse they’ve experienced while working as models.

Kate Upton spoke out against Paul Marciano in 2018, which led to a total of $500,000 in settlement agreements involving five individuals. He has remained an active participant at GUESS as a board member and chief creative officer, despite resigning from his position as an executive. At the beginning of February, the news broke that Marciano is once again being sued over sexual assault allegations by a woman who has chosen to remain anonymous. The allegations against Marciano are not an isolated incident. Similarly, allegations were brought against Alexander Wang in December of 2020 but began as early as 2017, yet some still chose his side despite the overwhelming corroboration of multiple individuals. If the word of a woman as successful as Kate Upton is not enough to oust a predator from power, it’s unclear what realistically can protect vulnerable individuals with less acclaim from the same experiences or worse.

The silver lining of these allegations coming to light is the industry supporting the individuals coming forward more than ever before. In the past, many models lost their careers before they had even begun due to the actions of predators and the mechanisms powerful people use to silence their victims. Accounts such as @shitmodelmgmt and @dietprada have been using their online platforms to expose predators and condemn their actions openly across Instagram and Twitter. Additionally, the Model Alliance, an organization dedicated to giving models a voice in their work, has also spoken out against Wang on their Instagram saying, “We stand with David Casavant, Owen Mooney, Gia Garison, and all the accusers of @alexanderwangny in their pursuit towards justice.”

The upheaval that began in 2006 with survivor and activist Tarana Burke’s creation of the #MeToo movement has continued into 2021. Slowly but surely survivors are taking their power back and pushing to create real change in media industries that have exploited them for far too long.

Illustration of models by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Roger Moenks photography inside 360 MAGAZINE

With a Style of Their Own

The NuAuthentic Celebrates Fluid And Transgender Individuals
 
By Photographer Roger Moenks with Shelly Brown
 
Roger Moenks is a leading celebrity and fashion photographer who has published several books highlighting inspirational beauty including The Class of Click (featuring Click Agency’s most notable models), Inheriting Beauty, and I Am Eco-Warrior: Portraits From The Front Lines Of The Sustainability Revolution. However, The NuAuthentic is his first book portraying the transgender community through individual personal expression, creative freedom, and the ability to embrace one’s identity and proclaim it with a spectacular boldness.
 
The NuAuthentic is a 196-page visual exploration and portrayal of 100 of the most intriguingly beautiful genderfluid and transgender individuals in New York City.  The book by photographer Roger Moenks with curator Shelly Brown sets out to underscore the triumphs, struggles and powerful beauty of its non-conformist subjects who are “free to be” through self-expression, self-acceptance and love. Life may have been much simpler when people were divided into two genders, male and female,  but today’s new reality reveals that a full-spectrum of beauty may be found through the freedom to express oneself in non-traditional ways and through a rainbow of colors. 
 
“Today gender is actually an ever-expanding continuum comprised of authentic warriors who dared to be who they want to be and claim their right to express themselves freely, making them all the more beautiful and intriguing subjects to photograph,” says Roger Moenks. “The exciting thing about today’s social landscape is that you can’t assume anyone is either a ‘he’ or a ‘she,’ nor can you presume they are just one of those two possibilities. It’s up to them to tell you how they identify, and you just might be surprised by what they say.”
 
“Gender is optional, expression is everything,” adds Shelly Brown.  “Diversity and differences are to be celebrated and supported. My role as curator for The NuAauthentic was a labor of love since I recently lost my 28-year old trans sister who struggled in life and found solace and love in the transgender community which gave her the freedom and acceptance to reveal her beautiful soul. The book is a testament to those trailblazers who took abuse from their families, schools, communities, and stayed true to their individual beauty. We salute you with love, acceptance and respect.”
 
Transgender and genderfluid people have always come to the nightlife, a world of inclusion where one is accepted and applauded for the very features that may have gotten them bullied in the high school cafeteria and ostracized in everyday life.
 
Susanne Bartsch known as “Queen of the Night” for her iconic club nights, special events and show productions representative of New York City nightlife graces the cover of The NuAuthentic.  She was instrumental in promoting the drag queen and House Ball scenes and also gave rise to the careers of such notables as RuPaul and Marc Jacobs. She continues to create an Avant Garde club landscape in which people are art and use their looks to make bold fashion statements and continues to provide the space and freedom for people to express themselves.
 
Rob Smith, CEO and founder of The Phluid Project, the world’s first gender-free retail store and global movement, is also portrayed in the book. The concept of non-gender clothing designed by Phluid and independent artists were carried by Phluid and featured throughout the book. 
 
MILA JAM is a model, actress and pop recording “artivist” who had always celebrated diversity and the different gender expressions. According to MILA JAM, “The NuAuthentic is a snapshot in time that commemorates the trans movement as another slice of life to be celebrated. As we find strikingly beautiful differences in plant and animal species, we can also find exquisite differences in how we view humanity.”
 
The NuAuthentic speaks to Bradley Miller, who is also portrayed in the book, because it is representative of “who I am.” “The trans community has to face pain and adversity to be who we are, but it also shows the world that we can be loved and beautiful.”
 
Trans people are continually targeted with bigotry and hatred. And so, trans and gender nonconforming people are left to fight the battles of everyday life, which they do with flair, activism, and chutzpah. The NuAuthentic captures them in all their gutsy glory and will retail for $75.00 on Amazon.com beginning December 10th.  Proceeds from The NuAuthentic will be 100% donated to LGBTQ youth programs.
 

About Photographer Roger Moenks

German-born Roger Moenks is a celebrity and fashion photographer who has called New York City home for almost 20 years. Best known for his portraiture, he has previously published three books: The First Class of CLICK; Moving Still; and Inheriting Beauty, featuring 90 women from around the world at the forefront of society and industry—a group that includes such high-profile figures as Roberta Armani, Delphine Arnault, Kiera Chaplin, Francesca Versace, and many more. In cooperation with Montblanc and UNICEF, Moenks also created images of 12 leading actresses for a Sotheby’s auction, the proceeds of which raised a quarter of a million dollars for the charity. Moenks’ work has appeared in such magazines as L’Officiel, Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Interview, Visionaire, and Flaunt. He has directed music videos for Blank & Jones, commercials for Van Cleef & Arpels and Moët & Chandon, and created the documentary Shooting Milk, featuring survivors of the Andy Warhol era and including never-before-seen footage of the artist himself. In the past several years Moenks has dedicated much of his time to socially conscious causes. His last book “I Am Eco Warrior” features 53 innovator environmentalist around the world trying to save our planet featuring Jane Goodall, Ted Turner, Richard Branson, Stella McCartney and many more. 

For additional information on Roger Moenks go HERE.

Nicki Minaj × Vogue Arabia

Nicki Minaj Covers September Issue of Vogue Arabia.

A fully-fledged member of rap’s fashion royalty, Nicki Minaj, who has more than 90 million followers on Instagram, has returned following a hiatus of nearly four years to drop her fourth album, Queen. In this moment when the fashion industry discusses inclusivity, diversity, and equality, it was only fitting that the cover story was shot in New York, just a few days before the Met Gala, by an all female-team. Renowned photographer Emma Summerton was behind the lens, while the styling was done by Anna Katsanis and overseen by Vogue Arabia fashion director Katie Trotter. The hair and makeup looks were created by Kim Kimble and Sheika Daley respectively.