From pandemic markets, to modeling agencies to cosmetic procedures, hear from the experts
Now that fall has landed and brought with it a welcome feeling of hope and happiness, there is excitement in the air as we look forward to the upcoming Holiday Season. We all want a return to normalcy.
Fashion retail is struggling to survive the onslaught of online shopping. We all miss trying on clothes in a brightly lit store in a dressing room with mirrors, platforms, and someone to bring a different size or color at the press of a bell. Having a package dropped at the front door come rain, hail or shine does not have the same appeal.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside-down. Many people have rallied to survive. They have closed businesses built on dreams and reinvented those dreams to reopen in another form.
One hilarious event in London went topsy-turvy this year; the revered Chelsea Flower Show has always opened the London Social Season in the spring. It is a beautiful event which draws people from all over the world. It opens with a mix of cork-popping events: Ascot (horse-racing), Wimbledon (tennis), Henley Royal Regatta (boat racing), Glorious Goodwood (car racing), the Proms (concerts) and Cowes (the largest sailing event in the world). The 2021 Chelsea Flower Show, which started on March 26, 1839, was moved to September this year and had an early Halloween theme. This was a first in its 108-year history. There are some incredibly beautiful (and hilarious) fashion moments at every event and if you are modeling in London and have an invitation to attend one of them, it will be an experience you will never forget. This city is steeped in history; a modeling career can be a great education. The perks make the hard work and constant rejection worthwhile.
There is no shortage of potential models, or agents and managers who are ready to help launch a career and place models in fashion capitals all over the world. It was inspiring to meet two young highly experienced model agents at an international model and talent convention in Orlando, Florida, who, pandemic or not, were surviving brilliantly. The word ‘passion’ was used several times during our chat as the main ingredient for success in this industry. Karina Curto is one of three founders of Ophelia Model Management, which was launched online this year. Karina, who is twenty-seven, started modeling when she was eighteen. She enjoyed modeling but was more interested in development and model placement. She worked for a time at the then MSA (Model Service Agency) in New York. To diversify, she worked with Curve and Plus size models and then scouted for the No Ties agency in San Diego, California. She told me, “By moving around, I was able to get experience with a wide range of models in different markets in this country. I love this business so much. I live and breathe it. It is a very specific industry and only certain people can do it. You have to have passion for it.”
Karina’s partner Luke Hayden is equally as enthusiastic. He owned his own agency, OMD (Optimum Model Development), “a bricks and mortar business” until the pandemic made him decide to change to a strictly online mother agency. The third partner, Eden Fletcher, had grown up in the same city, Huntsville, Alabama, as Luke where they had been close friends. She and Karina were in the throes of starting an agency and the result was the three agents joined forces and opened Ophelia Model Management. Luke said, “We each have high standards, work ethic and our own strengths. We complement each other very well.”
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