An interview with Aida Brigman, Click NY
Click represents plus-size models from New York and around the world. The division frequently works with clients on an international level including Dillards, Ulla Popken, Eddie Bauer, Catherine stores, Macy’s, Glamour Magazine and Lane Bryant.
How has the plus industry changed since you first started?
The industry is constantly changing. Fashion is never at a standstill. I see more designers are adding plus-size women to their catalogs and using them for campaigns. For example Eddie Bauer and Tommy Hilfiger.
When you are evaluating new models what do you look for?
Good skin, teeth, and bone structure. Her body should be well proportioned and toned. And she should photograph well. A beautiful girl doesn’t necessarily take a beautiful picture.
What size range do you work with frequently?
It depends on the client. there are clients who specifically want the 14s and 16s. And then there are those clients who like girls on the smaller end like the 10s and the 12s. I would say a size 14 is always a happy medium.
Is there modeling hope for a girl who is under 5’8″ or 5’9″ in any market?
Plus size modeling doesn’t differentiate from straight size modeling in that respect. A girl should at least be 5’9″.
When a brand new model is signed to your agency, how much should she expect to spend to get started (comps, developing a portfolio, etc.)?
I can’t give an exact estimate. But I will say to the young woman who really wants to pursue modeling be prepared to invest quite a bit of money into it. Yes, in modeling you make a lot of money but in the same breath you have spend quite a bit of it to get there.
Would you rather sign a brand new face or an established model with a developed book?
I like brand new faces because it is always fun to develop and introduce someone who has not been out there. But I do not say no to the already developed model either especially if I feel that she has look which is compatible to my division.
What do you feel is the most common error models make (finances, photography, etc?)
A new model has to be prepared to update her book by testing regularly. don’t stop after the first two tests. Also a model has to maintain her own physical upkeep. She is a house who is on the market. Lawn has to stay trimmed and manicured and there can be no paint chips on the exterior.
How do you feel about tattoos/piercing, cellulite, stretch marks and acne in relation to prospective models?
We all have models with the tattoo on the ankle or with the stomach piercing. But no, I do not want a human canvas or a walking pin cushion. Cellulite and stretch marks? I guess who doesn’t have some of that? Depending on how bad it can always be fixed with makeup or airbrushing. Anything too bad just leaves lingerie out for that model. Clear skin is really a must have for a model. Clear healthy skin is one of the main criteria to be a model.
You mentioned that the size trend in modeling is fickle and rather unpredictable. How frequently do clients change their minds about what sizes they want to use? Do you ever envision a time where size preferences will level out?
I’ve seen clients request sizes 12 and 14 and then decide they need to go bigger because the customers do not feel they are being well represented by models who are on the smaller end. I’ve also worked with clients who in the past only booked sizes 14-18 and now use models starting at size 10 and no bigger than a 14.
As to whether I envision a time when size preferences will level out, it all depends on what direction this market will decide to go. In many ways it is still at a pioneering stage and not quite decisive yet.
We tend to see some of the same faces repeatedly in plus-size advertising and magazines. Why do you think that is? Are clients gun-shy and wanting to use known faces rather than chancing a campaign on a new face?
I don’t know. I question that as well. If we want the plus modeling industry to grow and to be taken seriously chances are going to have to be taken. The same chances and changes we see constantly being made in the straight size market. The other side of the fashion industry is constantly in search of new faces and constantly changing faces. That is what keeps it fresh and the public interested. If the plus arena doesn’t follow that same path it will never catapult into what it should be.
How can a model who wants to be signed to your agency submit herself?
Call to set up an appointment or send polaroids or snapshots with her height, size and body measurements. (I would prefer to see) snapshots and polaroids preferably head and body shots with no makeup from aspiring models.
Think you are Click material? Submit your photos and stats:
Click Model Management
129 W. 27th Street – Penthouse
New York, NY 10001
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