If not every model, at least your average model knows about Modellounge. It is a hidden lounge at Union Square, located in Coffee Shop, which has the atmosphere of a British aristocratic club. Models could have a nice lunch there with a wraps, sandwiches, juices and many other snacks. Beside this, during the Fashion Week in New York models from the top agencies (ranking on models.com) can get a Modellounge survival kit. Honestly, it's nothing special inside: bandage, hand cream, shampoo, gum, nail polish remover etc. The most desired thing is a Modellounge card, which provides you discounts in some shops, cafés, gyms and even hotels.
I didn’t get these perks because my agency is not among this ranking. But I've been inside to listen to an open talk of an A-list casting director and the head of her own agency (The Establishment) - Anita Bitton. One time, I saw her at a casting for the Alexander Wang show (she also works with Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Giles, Jonathan Saunders, Marc by Marc Jacobs ). Moving forward a bit, I should say that Anita started working with Mr. Wang after studying with him in university (Parsons The New School for Design, I guess) and being a close friends. It doesn’t happen right after a graduation, but they eventually both got enough professional experience to collaborate as a powerful team.
Like a ghost I've skipped in, grabbed some food and waited till her live talk had started.
What did I ask? Of course, the question which bothers all models: How does she do a casting?
It's not as easy as it seems. Practically, model casting for an A-list designer is a very serious aspect of the fashion business.
First, your appearance really matters. Every detail in your look should be perfect. Girls should invest in their clothes, make-up, hair, face to look polished in castings. That's why agencies shop for and change the look for a beginners (of course, all money that is spent is added to the model’s debt). Another important thing — preparation before the casting should take the least time as possible. If a casting director asks you something — do it immediately. When I was on a casting with Anita and changing my shoes there, Ms.Bitton asked me to come in line. I just said: "One minute", - and keep fixing my shoe strap while she immediately called another girl to be ahead of me in line.
Second, your emotional status. It's visible. I'm a person who can't hide emotions and people can read everything from my face. This is a real problem. For the most part, young girls don't realize who is who in this business. I lose because I know all of them and worry too much.
Third, details. Literally depends on a mood and taste of casting director. It's even worst than men's choice of women. On one hand, that's understandable because out of 20 blond girls they just need, for example, 7. So every detail on polaroid matters to sort out the best one.
Forth, brand management. As Anita said: «If the brands sales going well, we could choose more fresh faces. If not — we take top models or do any other kid of promotion». For the Fall 2015 season, Anita exclusively chose for the Alexander Wang show the 27-year-old Indian model - Bhumika Arora. With Mr. Michael as her executive agent from Society Management, they did a personal development to transform her into this unique girl, who is talking with every fashion source now. And it’s a bonus for Alexander Wang, cause he supports specific models.
Fifth, never get upset if this season's casting director did’t choose you. Everything is changing. The formula to make it to the top — luck and 4 above rules at one time. Sound like a self-hypnosis, but the most patient and hard-working get the prize.
Images credit: Modellounge official page