Hi Renee. First off, I
love your website. It has a
really fresh and appealing look, welcoming. You are an agent for Click
Models and if I were looking into going into the fashion industry I would
find your site inviting and reassuring. It strikes me as highly
professional marketing. Does Click have anything to do with that? Or do
you act as an independent agent? How do you work in your association with
Thank you so much Rick.
Yes I have been an agent for Click Model for just over ten years. Click
Model Management is a great top level family owned agency. We have offices
throughout the world. Although my site encompasses of all my years in the
industry, it is my personal project. I still work as a modeling agent for
Click Models. I run the Philadelphia office. I meet many potential models
through my site so there is the chance that I will meet someone who is
right for our Click offices and recommend them to our agents.
What is your family
background? You are married. Do you have children?
My parents raised us in
California but we no longer live there. I live in Pennsylvania. Yes I am
married. I got married in Jamaica a few years ago and have two children, a
boy and girl, one of each. :)
Your are listed as “Keeka”on
your MySpace site. Is
Keeka a stage name? Were you, or are you, a model?
Yes, I started in the
business as a model and then started my own agency, but Keeka is not my
stage name. Keeka is a nickname for my daughter. When my little boy was a
baby he could not pronounce her name, Krista, so he called her "Keeka"
and it stuck. Now everyone calls her Keeka.
Your site is all about
providing solid advice to people of all kinds interested in getting into
modeling, but you have a book focused on child and teenaged model
aspirants. I might think they would represent the core of the industry.
What approach do you take in guiding these young people in what must be a
Yes I have always had a
special interest in the teens market, known as the junior markets. I book
with a lot of clients who book teens - Urban Outfitters, Deb Shoppes,
Seventeen Magazine. Many any of our models are A & F models
(Abercrombie & Fitch). I also like to work with young people. Me and
my sister, who has an events production company, do a lot of teen events
from fashion shows to charity benefits.
Do you see your book as
filling an un-met need in the industry? Tell me about that.
I do, I wrote the book
because I get so many calls from parents who don't know how to get their
child into the industry and there is an awful lot of misinformation out
there to confuse people. So, I created the book to fill that void and help
potential models not get caught up in the modeling traps.
My wife once worked in
the modeling industry. She worked for an agency where the approach was
that they were selling “modeling training,” and she was uncomfortable
selling “training” to girls whom she perceived as having no
probability of a future in modeling. The rationale was that the training
was rather like that provided by a “finishing school,” and that the
trainee would benefit from developing poise and comportment, make-up and
fashion skills, regardless of what line of work they ended up going into.
Does this reasoning make sense to you? Do you work on this level, or is
your focus exclusively on people with professional modeling potential? Is
there an audition followed by “cuts? (dismissals, people who don’t
make the team, etc.).
No, I have never worked
in a school like setting in any way. I have always worked as an agent for
a modeling agency management company- the difference is that we get paid
thru bookings/work that we secure for the models with our clients. Clients
pay our rates for models then we get a commission on bookings. It's a
funny thing being that we manage the careers of our models so in effect we
work for them.
friend of mine had a beautiful child whom she took to a modeling agency.
She was told the child had appealing looks, but lacked a sort of extra
something – personality, responsiveness, a certain spark. What do you
look for in a child model candidate that says this child is right for the
There is definitely that
certain spark that a child possesses. It does not necessarily have to be a
thing of beauty that is the spark, something in the sparkle of the eyes, a
sneeky smile, a laugh that you can remember for days; something, but it is
just not tangible to put your finger on what exactly it is.
Speaking of what makes a
child right for modeling, this is apparently a pursuit you feel
comfortable guiding young people into. Any reservations? What survival
skills does a young person need going into modeling?
Honestly the biggest
reservation I have is when a child does not want to be a model and it is
more of the mother or father's dream for the child. In these cases I will
not represent the child and ask the parent to reconsider their child's
modeling career. My best advice is to know and study all that you can
about the modeling industry, know what the expectations are and if you can
What attracted and still
attracts you to the modeling industry?
The energy, the
excitement of seeing a model on a tv show, or in a big fashion week show,
turning the pages of Vogue and seeing our girls there. Recently one of my
favorite models, Alana De La Garza, was cast in a lead part in Law and
Order and it is so great to see her living her dream.
Going back to your site
for a moment, it is huge fun to surf through because, not unlike
RARWRITER.com, you provide profiles of “hot acts” from various parts
of the world. Your site is rather like an on line fashion magazine, in
that sense, with advice sections. In that way it is much more than a “business
site,” but also an entertainment. Do you have a business plan for that
site? Are you developing a Glamour for the Internet?
The site seems to evolve
each day so I just watch and see where it is going next. Much has to do
with the amazing photographers we work with, or models we have new ideas
for, or new ways for girls and guys looking to get into the industry to
meet those on the inside and connect with each other.
We are really looking
forward to content 2.0 for the site that will be the next stage where
models can add their own pages and thoughts to our pages and make it their
As I am looking through
your site, I notice that your model profiles often include their
measurements. Clearly modeling is all about the “objectification” of
handsome people, which is particularly powerful when it is applied to
young women because we have gone through this long period of “women’s
liberation,” which cast a critical eye on objectifying women’s bodies,
etc. And yet it seems to me that images have grown ever more provocative
over the years. Do you have qualms about presenting or viewing people in
an objective way?
It never really struck
me as objectification, more like these are the requirements. Otherwise it
will make getting into the industry on a real fashion level difficult. I
don't want anyone to get let down by not knowing exactly what it is that
is required, and that does change from time to time but for the most part
height and size are part of the biz.
Yes, I agree it has
become more provocative. Advertisers are pushing the envelope more and
more to the edge and sometimes over it. For me, I have always thought that
real sexiness comes with mystery and shadows of light. So in my eyes less
is not more, and sooner or later the overexposure will loose it's effect.
You have a “Model
Search Winner” on one of the blogs on your MySpace site. I’m not sure
who sponsored that search. Can you tell me about that? How will the winner
We have many different
sponsors who participate in the Model Search, from cosmetic companies to
designers to photo shoots and then the girl has the opportunity to work
with Click Models. Our last winner is a great girl, Dasha. She has been in
the states a few years from the Ukrain and she is studying here in the
The image and idea
of this thing we call the “Super Model” has become common to us all. I
have always assumed these special few are
defined by their earning power. That would indicate that they have
something special that others don’t. Are you able to describe the
differentiators? What have these super beings that the rest of us do not?
It is just something
that there is just no rhyme or reason to. Again, it does not even have to
be the most beautiful girl, just something that sets her apart, something
that others gravitate towards. Some girls, it could be their walk, or how
they are captured on film.
For some girls and guys
it is a simplistic as being in the right moment in time the right time,
the right place, being in the room with the one person who will make all
the difference to a model's career.
Super model earning
power aside, how much can the average working model expect to make? And
where would most of their work come from?
It all depends on the
model. Some girls can make a good living at one thousand to twenty five
hundred dollars a day, and that is not to say a girl will work everyday.
The girl has to put much effort into her career, as well. The models must
be available for castings, photo shoots, call backs.
Can you identify trends
in the modeling industry? Are we seeing greater opportunities for older
models? Larger-sized models?
There are many new
trends going on in the industry right now. Large size or plus size models
are surely coming into their own. Maketers are taking notice of the
customer demands. There are several campaigns running right now that are
very strong in promoting older women and their association with
What are the issues for
you these days in the fashion industry? Are there things that bug?
My biggest issue is the
merging of all the department stores it has caused a big ripple in the
The issue of girls being
underweight concerns me, not only for the model herself but for the young
audience looking up to her on the runway.
The Photographers always
inspire me. I love looking at new images. The Art and Creativity itself
inspire and fascinate me!
Is there anything you
have been dying to say about the modeling industry but were looking for
the right forum? If so, what is it?
For young girls who look
up to models and want to emulate them, that most of the photograph that is
before you is an illusion - created by a talented group of artists who
make up the modeling world and make the "picture" come to life.