An interview with Patty Brand, Owner of Brand Models & Talent
Brand Models was founded in 1986 by Patty Brand. Known for its boutique style personal approach and excellent service, Brand has built a reputation as one of the top West Coast agencies in the industry. The corporate office is located in Orange County California in downtown Santa Ana’s hottest new area, The Artist Village.
Brand represents both models and talent with divisions in Fashion Print, Plus Size, Runway, Kids, Lifestyle Commercial Print, Promotions, Showroom, Fit, and Television Commercials.
What are you currently seeking in a plus size model?
5’9″, size 12-20, age 16-35, great attitude!
Tell us a bit about Brand and your clients.
Brand is a full service talent agency specializing in print, plus size, runway, kids, commercial, trade show, and classics. Brand has been a leader in the industry since 1986. Our clients include Catherine’s, Lands End, Dockers, Guess, and Gap to name a few.
How many models are in Brand’s plus division? How often does your average plus girl work?
Brand represents approximately twenty models. Our plus size models can work from one to five times a week.
How much bearing does a model’s experience or prior representation have on Brand’s decision to represent her?
Brand is interested in fresh new faces. Experience is not important. Height should be at least 5’9″. We are not as interested in models that have been overexposed.
I understand that Brand is seeking to exclusively represent models. What are the pros and cons of exclusivity? How does it affect a model’s growth in other markets?
Brand successfully represents models throughout the United States for all the major plus size campaigns. Our plus size clients have been great in the fact that they are eager to consider models regardless of where the model or the agency resides.
Today’s technology has enabled us to compete aggressively regardless of the distance. By exclusively working with one agent, the talent knows that the agency is not landing the job solely because they happen to negotiate the lowest rate. Clients learn what agent represents what talent and clients never have to get involved in a war between two agents bidding for the same job, not to mention the stress the agents can put on the model who may also get caught in the middle of a loyalty war. The relationship between a model and a booker is crucial to a models’ career and the agency’s reputation. Open communication is a must.
When Brand models are up for jobs out of state, how do you market them so that they have an edge over models who might live closer to the job?
Electronic mail, FedEx, relationships, reputation… no problems.
Is it true that larger clients go to larger agencies? If so, how do you fight this?
Absolutely not! Boutique agencies are the rage! Brand has a great reputation in the industry and love going up against any name. Brand has fourteen women working together and we are all like family. We have created a camaraderie that also extends to our clients, models and even the office cat. People feel the energy when they stop by Brand and that’s what we’re about, positive energy.
With the large number of NYC based models, are west coast models at a disadvantage when it comes to national work?
Again, dead wrong! Clients are always looking for fresh new faces. Location is rarely a factor.
What are the advantages of being signed with an agency like Brand versus larger agencies like Wilhelmina and Ford?
Who says Brand doesn’t have the same advantage when it comes to the clients? We seem to be getting all the calls. We’re hungry, aggressive, and have an urgency to serve our clients as well as promote each model as if they were the only model we represent.
What are west coast clients seeking in a plus size model right now? How do west coast preferences compare to the rest of the country?
The market and clients all seem to be seeking the same thing, that special image that will sell their products the best!
What is the average career span of a plus model (age-wise)? Is there an age preference right now?
The average age span seems to be between 16 and 45. As far as we can see, the baby boomers and their kids are still the major driving force in the industry.
How have things changed with the demise of many plus-size magazines, and the slow economy?
The agencies that were barely hanging on, closed their doors. The remaining agencies simply regrouped and continued paving the road for a much larger plus size market.
If a woman reading this interview right now thinks she has what it takes to be a Brand model, how can she submit herself for consideration? Would you rather see snapshots or professional photos?
Please send candid snapshots to Brand’s Plus Size Division (address follows).
Think you are Brand material?
Brand Model & Talent
ATTN: Plus Division
601 North Baker Street
Santa Ana, CA 92703-2213
Submission guidelines: Please include three to four non-professional candid photos. Pictures will not be returned. Photographs must include a close up, clear head shot, profile shot, and full body. All submissions should include name, phone number, date of birth, and height. Please clearly mark the proper department for all mail submissions. Do not call the agency. Do not submit online. If we’re interested, an agent will call you within two weeks to set up an appointment.
Brand blog: http://www.happeningatbrand.blogspot.com/