Let’s take a look at the changing faces of the modeling industry, especially in the Chinese markets
We can expect to see more and more beautiful Chinese models appearing in magazines, runway shows and campaigns in the European fashion capitals, as well as here in the United States. I chatted with striking Emmanuelle Pouliquen, an extremely knowledgeable modeling agent, while she was on a scouting trip in New York. Emmanuelle told me, “Agents are desperate for Chinese models in Europe. They want them here in New York also, but the demand is much greater in Europe.”
Emmanuelle has two model agencies, both called Synergy Model Management; one is in Hong Kong and the other in Guangzhou in Southern China, which is about two-and a-half hours from Hong Kong. She told me how she is grooming Chinese models for the foreign markets. She has started “boot camps” at both locations, which focus on drawing out the personalities of the models as well as teaching them interaction skills. She explained, “Communication is very important in the fashion industry. Being able to communicate with people, especially clients, is essential. Chinese models tend to be reserved and quiet and we teach them how to interact with people. We draw out their personality and teach them how to be more outgoing.”
Emmanuel has a fascinating background. She shared with me, “I was born in Korea, and was adopted by a French family as a baby and grew up in France. I currently live in Hong Kong.” She went to business school specializing in life in Asia and fell in love with the fashion industry. She knew at that time she wanted to become a modeling agent, and to pursue her goal, she worked for several agencies. She had the invaluable experience of working with a wide range of clients from luxury brands such as Chanel to commercial clients working in banking, insurance and real estate. She also worked with local brands and designers and about ten years ago she decided to open her own agency.
I asked her about Synergy and she told me, “We represent men and women, but in this industry women make more money, so we have more focus on female models. We also put emphasis on quality not quantity. One of the changes over the years is Chinese girls are now taller; they can be as tall as 5’9”, 5’10” even 6’0”.” This new statistic in height certainly fulfills the haute couture runway height requirement in Europe and all over the world.
Emmanuel’s wide experience in the industry and the working life of a model has resulted in special care and attention being paid to the welfare and placement of her models, whether in local or international markets. Drawing from her experience, she has this advice for models, “Take care of yourself! Watch your measurements! Some models have an attitude. It is important to accept the fact clients do not want to work with models with an attitude. Be on time! Be likable! Parents also need to be nice!”
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