- A company that is in the business of finding jobs for models and handling the business end of a model's career. As early as 1930, beginning with the Conover Agency in New York City, model agencies have been searching for the next great girl, the term the fashion industry uses to describe models. The Conover Agency launched the modeling career of Anita Colby, possibly the first supermodel, who later went on to a career in Hollywood. Agencies work on a commission basis, finding the best girls for fashion design houses, retailer establishments, and their advertising agencies. Prospective models are screened by the agency by a "dry call" (sending a comp card to an agency unsolicited), on a walk-in (an on-site interview), or via an "open call" (agencies advertise that, on a designated day, models can come for an interview). Models are booked for print, media, Internet, and runway shows. The best agencies train their models, set up test shoots, give "walking lessons," and help compile their "book" (head shots and editorial/print work) and "comp cards" (the leave-behind composition photo cards). People known as booking agents make contacts for their models with photographers and agencies and earn a 10-35 percent fee for each booking. Among the twenty-five top model agencies, Ford Models is the oldest existing agency in the United States, established in 1946 by Eileen and Jerry Ford, in England. They founded modeling schools such as Lucie Clayton's Modeling and Grooming School in Mayfair that recruited models from middle-class backgrounds. Other agencies include CAPE London Model Management, 2PM Model Management, Action Model Management, Boss, Elite, IMG, Look Model Management, Madison Models, Major Model Management, Models 1, Next, Premier, Storm, Trump, VMH, Wilhelmina, Fimnesse, and Wicked Talent.See also Model.
Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. Francesca Sterlacci and Joanne Arbuckle.
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