Uncovering the Modeling Industry
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Uncovering the Modeling Industry Uncovering the Modeling Industry Document Transcript

  • UNCOVERING THE MODELING AND FASHION INDUSTRY Obinna Izeogu Designing for Usability Final Project Prof. Morry Galonoy
  • SCENARIOS: Natalia, Patrick, Jan
  • SCENARIO: Natalia, “The Next Big Girl” View slide
  • Natalia is fifteen years old and is of Ukranian and Polish ancestry. She was born in Minsk the capital of Belarus toan extremely poor family. She has spent most of her 15 years in the capital, occasionally spending time in the coun-tryside with her grandparents. She is just about to enter high school in September; this summer has been interest-ing: she had her first kiss from a boy, Alex, she has known and liked for about 2 years. Taking a break from choresaround the small apartment she shares with her younger brother Vladimir who is 11 years old and her mother Anna,she indulges and tells her friends about the kiss at their meet up spot in the center of the capital city. On her wayback to her apartment complex, Sonia her best friend tells her that they should drop by DPG Model Managementsince Natalia is now a woman capable of capturing the attention of boys and men. Natalia laughs at the idea, butthinks it would probably be fun to be a model and she could help her mother with money since her father died 2years ago. But Natalia is not sure about the modeling agency because she has heard horror stories of girls been dupedinto being models but actually end up as sex slaves. Sonia reassures her that DPG Model management is a legitimatemodel agency and that her cousin is represented by them.Natalia and Sonia enter the offices of DPG Model Management, the office is on street level so they walk right infrom the street as a detour from the route to Natalia’s apartment complex. The receptionist tells them to wait whileshe gets someone to come take a look at Natalia. The owner of the modeling agency, Yulia Stenkova, walks into theoffice and in her gregarious manner asks: which one of you wants to be a glamourous model? Natalia raises her handwhile slumped in the couch with plastic covering in the waiting area of the agency. Yulia asks Natalia to stand up.Natalia stands up, and Yulia says “Wow! You are amazing! You have to go to Paris this week!” Yulia takes Natalia intoher office in the back, takes digital pictures of her, and tells her about the contract that she should sign with DPGModel Management representing her while their international partner IMG Models represent her internationally.Yulia presents a contract to Natalia. Natalia says she needs to talk it over with her mother first.Natalia and Sonia leave the offices of DPG Model Management excited about what lies ahead in the future forNatalia. Natalia returns to her tiny apartment and tells her mother about Yulia and DPG Model management. Hermother, Anna, is skeptical at first, but thinks the extra money can help her and Vladimir. Anna decides to go andtalk with Yulia about Natalia. In fact, Natalia insists on going with her mother to talk with Yulia about modeling.Natalia and Anna return to DPG Model Management the very next day to meet with Yulia Stenkova. They waitwhile seated on the same plastic covered couch that Natalia had sat in the day before. Yulia walks out and greetsAnna and Natalia. She ushers them into her office.She begins telling Natalia and Anna that Paris has already gotten back to her and they are excited about Nataliaand she has to come to Paris now. Anna is a bit surprised about the attention that Natalia is getting, afterall shethought she was a beautiful child, but all parents feel that way including Anna. Nothing special here. But Yulia isreally excited and her excitement rubs off on everyone in the office including Anna and Natalia. Yulia keeps insistingthat Natalia leave for Paris as soon as possible. But Natalia needs a visa and a plane ticket; her mother doesn’t thinkNatalia can go to Paris all by herself to meet these important people. Yulia in her down home way says she will takecare of Vladimir while Anna and Natalia are gone. Anna thanks her, but says her friend who lives in their apartmentbuilding will do that for her. Anna is concerned about the cost of the plane ticket and accommodations once inParis. Yulia tells her not to worry about money, that she is sure Natalia will be a hit and everyone will want her. Yuliatells Anna and Natalia that they will front her the expense of travel and accommodation. It goes on Natalia’s debt.A representative of IMG Models, Emmanuel, in Paris meets Natalia and Anna at Charles De Gaulle Airport. Therep immediately tells her she’s amazing and beautiful. Natalia’s personality shines through, and although Nataliadoesn’t speak English or French she has a certain something that makes her a natural for modeling. Emmanuel cansense this and keeps telling her how amazing she looks. They get back to the agency on Rue Danielle Casanova.Upon entry into the offices of IMG Models Paris, Emmanuel declares and presents Natalia the next big girl theywill represent. Sophie welcomes Natalia and says to Emmanuel in french that she doesn’t need any grooming, and 04 View slide
  • no need to lose weight. The agency sees and says that Natalia has a lot of potential. Emmanuel says to Natalia thatshe will need to learn fast, and that she has to go see clients (photographers, fashion designers, casting directors etc),these meetings are called go-sees. Emmanuel tells Natalia that she is the future.After her go-sees, clients send feedback to her booker Sophie the woman who received the email of digital picturesfrom Yulia. The clients all say the same thing: “Natalia is amazing!”It is now August 6th, Natalia is ready to be sent out to castings but she doesn’t have a book. Sophie asks Natalia andher mother if they can stay another week in Paris. Sophie says they need to start developing Natalia immediately.This means that Natalia needs to start working to put a book together. IMG Models has relationships with variousphotographers worldwide, so Sophie makes appointments with various photographers to do photo shoots that willnot appear anywhere else except in her book/portfolio and the photographers book/portfolio. This is called testing.This process happens to test Natalia’s abilities, and to practice. Meanwhile Natalia’s debt continues to increase whileshe’s busy developing as a model through go-sees, testing, learning, accomodation, food, clothes and everythingIMG Models is fronting the expense for. She is currently living on 65 euros a week. Anna, her mother, has to goback to Minsk. Natalia stays in Paris and she has a book ready and it’s amazing.While testing for 2 weeks, in the meantime, her agency gets her new pictures and sends them out to everyone ontheir contact list. By the 3rd week, big name photographers want to meet her probably based on the digital picturesYulia took at Natalia’s mother agency DPG Model Management. More casting directors and photographers want tomeet Natalia.Fashion week starts first week of September: Natalia goes to NYC to do fashion week. IMG NY says we need to dosome work on Natalia: she gets her hair bleached, they shave her eyebrows. Her New York booker gives her a mapand a metrocard, and gets her new clothes to go to castings. All of this goes on her debt, the expenses fronted by heragency. She goes to precastings (organized go-sees, where everybody is seen so that casting directors know whichmodels to look out for). Natalia is also testing/shooting new pictures for her book so she can also do runway. and sheis paying for it all. So she is going to her go-sees (when a model goes to see a client not for a particular job, just sentout by agency to get feedback). All the clients say she’s wonderful, she’s amazing, she can work, she’s great. But whatis really going on is that the clients are saying the same things about other girls. Natalia is on week 3-4 and she’s$5,000 in debt.Fashion week comes around, IMG Models is positioning Natalia for high end brands. They will not let her do mid-level shows. Her agency has high expectations for her. She doesn’t book anything. They send her to London early.While in London, she has a head start on casting and go-sees because everyone else is still in New York. Then heragency figures out that London is a waste of money, New York was a disaster. If they keep sending her out, it mightlower what little buzz she has generated. What she doesn’t know is that a very powerful casting director in New Yorkliked her but not for a show he was doing in New York. Rumor has it that she was in New York and London, but noone saw her on the runway. She is pretty much forgotten. But what else is going on is that IMG Models has been incontact with the casting director. Milan fashion week is ending, a lot of other models, the ones who were not doingwell in Paris have gotten a head start in Paris. Only the top girls will do the top shows in Milan. Those are the girlsthat get hired by name.Everyone is waiting to see who does the Prada show because it’s the influential show in terms of a model’s career anddemand afterwards. It is a good launch pad for a model’s career. Natalia opens the show. She becomes an exclusive toPrada. After that show, she becomes the face for the collection. 05
  • SCENARIO: Patrick, “The Precocious Designer”
  • Patrick Radboy is the creative director for the high end luxury fashion brand Givenchy. At 25, he is the youngestand first American to run the historic fashion brand. Patrick has had an interesting path toward fashion. He attend-ed the Royal College of Art where he began his studies in painting and architecture, later choosing fashion design ashis major because as he put it, “The body is the only truth.”Patrick grew up on 5th avenue and 89th street in the upper east side of Manhattan. His father was a wealthy Persianrug retailer. Patrick attended the Lycee Francais de New York, where he excelled and decided to continue his studiesnot in New York or America, but in Europe. He thought about going to Parsons in Paris, but decided that Londonwas more exciting for an 18 year old. His father, Ahmed, encouraged him to study architecture due to the fact thathe himself wanted to be an architect. Patrick was interested in art, philosophy, and literature. He decided takingpainting and architecture would allow him to please his father and please his own desires to create things of beauty.Patrick got a lot of inspiration while growing up from his mother Jackie, who his father met in business schoolat CUNY. Jackie was a woman of style and presence, who always went to extraordinary lengths to make sure thatthings happened as they should, which for her was perfectly. With his mother’s grace and ideals of perfection as aspringboard for inspiration, Patrick began taking courses at the Fashion Womenswear program at the Royal Col-lege of Art. In his junior semester he decided to combine all that he had learned into his new major in the fashionwomenswear collection. For his final thesis show , Patrick worked with another student from the Design Interactionsprogram to rethink the idea of clothing as a second skin in the information age where materiality is continually putunder pressure. Patrick’s thesis show caused quite a stir in the underground London design scene.The clothes had tobe downloaded from the internet and the pattern was cut from a printout on special paper. The idea and the pat-terns were instantly bought up by luxury designer store Browns in London.After the critical success of his thesis show, Patrick decided to start his own collection called simply “Patrick Rad-boy”. He got a lot of interest and commissions from musicians to create something unique for them to wear whilethey were on tour. His work for musicians started getting a lot of attention which increased his profile. Patrick,however, had other ideas about how he wanted his career to go. After working with avant-garde pop sensation Bjorkon the look for her world tour, he decided to focus his attentions exclusively on developing his signature collection.Patrick decides that London is no longer the right place for him to work, and instead chooses Paris as the locationfor his new studio. He gets an atelier on rue Saint-Honoré. He feels like he finally can express his creativity throughgarments that speak to women who have a desire to showcase their creativity, artfulness, and sophistication. Fromthe little money he made from working with celebrity musicians and small sales made in London he starts travelingevery weekend all over Europe to gain a better understanding of how people dress in different cultures.After accumulating digital photographs, music, editorial shoots, food, lifestyle, culture, and other inspirations ontohis hard drive, Patrick goes into the archives of French Vogue for further inspiration. He designs his 4th signaturecollection at a frenetic pace with two assistants still in undergraduate design school. Patrick is excited about this col-lection because he feels it’s his best work yet. He works with a casting director to find the models for his presentationof the collection and put together the look books. The entire process is time consuming and he would rather workon putting the final details on the clothes, but casting to him is a necessary evil that must happen to have a success-ful presentation to editors, buyers, and other “important people” for his career.Patrick’s presentation is a complete success and buyers from New York, London and Tokyo want to carry his clothes.The editor of French Vogue, Corrine Roitfeld, is astonished at the sophistication of the clothes, their cultural refer-ences and the construction of the garments. She tells Patrick that this is the best show she has seen in 10 seasonsfrom a designer as young as he is. Patrick thanks Corrine. Corrine said she will be sending the fashion director overto get some samples because they are definitely going to use it for a photo shoot for the cover of the magazine.Patrick Radboy’s signature collection is featured on the cover of French Vogue, L’Officiel, Dazed and Confused, 07
  • Another Magazine, and about 10 other fashion magazines internationally. His collection is an instant success. Buyersfrom all over the world are calling his atelier requesting look books, samples, and anything of his that they can gettheir hands on. Meanwhile, there is a scandal in the small Parisian fashion circles: the creative director Marcel Lan-dry for Givenchy was caught in China sharing Givenchy patterns with counterfeiters. The story is national and frontpage news.Bernard Chauncy the chief executive officer of Givenchy contacts Corrine Roitfeld about the scandal and asks forher advice. Corrine recommends to Bernard to visit the atelier of Patrick Radboy. Bernard makes an appointmentthe very next day to visit Patrick at his atelier. Upon entering the atelier Bernard is impressed with Patrick’s designsensibility. Patrick welcomes him into his atelier they have an extended conversation about everything from Patrick’smother to scuba diving. Bernard is taken aback by the precociousness of Patrick. Bernard gives in and asks Patrickif he will be willing to become creative director for Givenchy. Patrick always methodical in his decision making tellsBernard he will have to think about it.The next day Patrick phones Corrine and tells her about Bernard’s visit. She responds by telling Patrick that shemade the suggestion to Bernard to visit. Corrine encourages Patrick that such opportunities appear once in a lifetimeand that Patrick should accept the position, it will be great for his development in the fashion world. Patrick givesBernard a call on his cellphone on his way back to his atelier. He tells Bernard that he will accept his offer.Patrick spends the next 3 months in intense study on the history of Givenchy, although he already knows mostof it, and who the Givenchy woman is and what her aspirations are. He looks at all the collections and fashionshows of the disgraced former creative director. All of this is beginning to overwhelm Patrick, he hasn’t even beganto design the collection, or get inspired yet and the show will be in 3 months! He has a lot of work to do, he hasresearched and researched now he has to distill all that information into a coherent collection of ideas presented withthe aplomb expected of a Givenchy show. They’re so many areas to attend to as a creative director for a major highend brand, so many details. It is Patrick’s first show so he wants to make a strong impression not only for himselfas a head designer for the Givenchy brand but also for his customers, he wants to inspire them. With this in mind,Patrick thinks it will be interesting if he could somehow go back to his early thesis and harness the power of infor-mation and technology to address his concerns with the production of the collection he is working on, which hetentatively calls “The Sea”, or “La Mer”. He knows this could alleviate some of his problems, but he is not sure howfar he can use technology to address all the needs that he has. One of his major issues is time, he doesn’t have muchof it, and things need to get done really quickly. The show is in 3 months and nothing has been done in terms ofproduction yet! 08
  • SCENARIO: Jan,“The High Profile Image Maker”
  • Jan Dirk is a Dutch photographer, whose profile has risen in the fashion world with his ability to spot new facesand through putting them in his photo shoots raise not only his profile, but also the models profiles. It is a mutuallybeneficial relationship because not only do the models get the cache of having shot with Jan, it also allows Jan to beone who can spot the next big girl in the fashion world. He regularly shoots for Italian Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, W,L’Officiel, Numero and several other publications. He is also a photographer in demand for campaigns. Jan is con-sidered one of the most successful fashion photographers in the industry. His eye is incredible, and his aesthetic oneof a kind: mixing various topics usually controversial with amazing lighting effects, sets, and post-production he alsoa natural at making models deliver exceptional performances in front of the camera.At an early age in Rotterdam, Jan was fascinated with beauty and models. While his older brother Kuyt would playwith toy trucks, Jan instead drew women all the time. He would look at his mother’s international fashion magazinesfor inspiration, and when he got bored with those he would go to the local newsstand and spend hours looking atthe editorial and campaign shoots in the magazines. Jan would later go home and sketch the poses, compositions,and sets from memory into his sketch book which he gets every 2 weeks because he fills them up quite quickly. Fromthe flat he lived with his mother, Kulla a homemaker, his older brother Kuyt (2 years older) and his father Gaspara police man, Jan dreamt of New York, Hollywood, Paris, Milan and all the places of beautiful women and highsociety.As he got older, Jan became more and more obsessed with models such as Twiggy, Veruschka, and Jean Shrimpton.He moved to London in the 60’s to be in the swinging London scene. He was taken by the excitement of the periodand the time. He began his studies at Central St. Martins thinking that he wanted to be a fashion designer. After onesemester there, he decided he was more into the making of the images of glamour and society than the reality of theclothes themselves. He left London and moved to New York to study at Parsons. He studied fashion illustration atParsons and took some courses in lighting design, photography and art history.Jan greatly admired Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. He wanted to work for Richard Avedon and felt that drawingand illustrations were no longer valid upon graduating from Parsons. However, he took a job working for Women’sWear Daily as an illustrator. He started frequenting Ford Models where he had a friend Francine who worked thereand allowed Jan to photograph some of their models. He would photograph these models in his loft in Soho, or onthe street. His daytime job on the weekends allowed him to pursue his passion for photographing models on theweekends. Jan lived a double life. The models started adding Jan’s pictures to their books when they went to go-seesand castings. The buzz around Jan began to grow and then magazines like Seventeen, The Face, and Vanity Fiarstarted calling asking about his work and if he would like to shoot for their publication.Jan continued building his profile by finding new models and shooting them for established magazines like ItalianVogue, in which he has been featured in every issue for the past 20 years. He rides his BMW motorcycle to his stu-dio every day on Bowery and Grand street in lower Manhattan. He has a crew of stylist, hair, makeup, props and set,assistants which he works with everyday. Jan is constantly interested in new faces and helping to build their careersbecause it supports his image as someone who the fashion world turns to when they need inspiring models to definethe next big idea, or statement.Jan has shot campaigns for Versace, Valentino, Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Prada, Miu Miu, Louis Vuitton,Chanel and Burberry. A lot of these campaigns have been repeat business for Jan. An example is the Burberry cam-paign which he has shot the last 5 campaigns. As a powerful fashion photographer Jan is credited with discoveringmany top models such as Karen Elson, Raquel Zimmerman, Amber Valleta, Coco Rocha, Lara Stone, Liya Kebedepropelling their profile in the fashion world while using them in editorial and various campaign shoots. Jan getsexcited when he meets a new face that he thinks can become the next big thing and he has a desire to be rightabout this. 10
  • INTERVIEWS: Preston, Lauren, Caroline
  • INTERVIEW: Preston, the casting director
  • What is a Spec?The spec is related to how much a model can generate based off a client goal.Specs include not only physical require-ments, require recognition, is the person’s face going to be showing, or not showing, usage (length the ad will run,where it will run, who will see it (domestic/international), renewal terms (runs for 2 years, will it be renewed? orrenegotiated)...will we cut hair...is about aspirations and the culture.Specs are specifics of client needs and goals. It is sent to the casting director or producer, or photographer, and mod-eling and production and ad agencies.Specs are based on previous sales; sometimes they have age restrictions. Mostly for money-jobs: campaigns (print,online, tv etc...) and catalogs.How does a model know she will book a job?No one really knows who is going to get the job, although some might have higher chances: the weight of her nameand previous work, plus budget. Agencies sometimes use the contacts and relationships that they have with pho-tographer, client, production to secure the job for the agency. Agencies, however, don’t work for specific models.Models are freelancers basically and agencies represent them and get them jobs, and they hold a lot of power. Agen-cies produce the talent. If you’re not represented by an agency you’re basically not a model. Management basicallydetermines a model’s career and future.What is a model in development?A model in development is synonymous with a new face, she has no experience and cannot command a lot ofmoney and their profile is not high.On one extreme you can be a new face for 3 weeks getting a Givenchy campaign and on the other end you can be anew face for a decade: making constant money (working everyday) for 5 years. It depends, never having any prestige,or high profile work.Some girls have established high profile fashion careers while young, as she gets older she starts doing commercialwork or vice versa.Fashion related work is about business, prestige, and creativity. And a lot of it pleases the industry and they makemoney while doing it. From the model’s perspective, the runway show is a chance to be seen for ads andeditorial work.How would you describe the workings of the fashion world?They always want something new within the fashion industry...Going back to management, what role does it play in a model’s career?A lot of model’s capabilities in terms of success are based on management, potential(have certain measurements andpersonality, professionalism), ability, luck, and timing. 13
  • What are some of the goals for a model?Getting a contract is highly coveted because of its financial benefits, a safe bet for years. Whereas high fashion isseasonal.Modeling is a high-risk job in terms of occupational hazards....your accounting (how do you know your agency isnot ripping you off? There is no union...actors have a union!What are exclusives?The model is picked by, for example a fashion house, and they’re used in fittings, runway, online, campaign and forthat season they don’t work for a competing designer, and any other pre-bookings are cancelled and they agree to theexclusive agreement. More for new faces. The goal of the exclusive is to generate high profile/prestige for the modelherself...It will generate more money for the client, and for agency. The trend now with exclusive’s is to get a girlwho has some experience, not totally new.How do you see yourself working as a casting director in terms of trends?Trends become more apparent during precasting...it’s more subconscious thing that has to do with who the castingdirectors based of who is being scouted...and also what happened last season...the cultural shift that happens eachseason. Job of casting director is to keep up with these trends. 14
  • INTERVIEW: Lauren, the fashion designer
  • What has been your experience working with models in your activity as a designer?Honestly, I only did the collection for 4 seasons, so I haven’t really had that much experience in working with mod-els. Overall, I had a pretty good experience. the final look books and videos came out well. The agencies were veryaccomodating considering I had a tiny budget! due to minimal funds I worked with new faces. Some of the agenciesI worked with were One model management, NY models and Ford. The whole model selection process is so stressfuland exasperating! It’s almost a full time job in itself.When it came to castings/shoots all models were punctual, on time for castings/ video/look book shoots. I feel likethe last season i worked on fall 2010 the model Emma Dumont was amazing. She was a natural. Working with herwas a piece of cake. She knew how to move and didn’t need much direction!What do you think can enhance the relationship of working with other professionals in the fashion industry?Hmmm not really sure. Maybe more networking? More online resources?Do you think technology can enhance the performance of your work? If so which technology do you find indispensa-ble in your work?Yeah possibly!Maybe 3d cad models. LOL! If an actual model was unnecessary! that would be kind of awesome. It would be cool ifthe collection was photographed and then somehow brought into cad like a virtual model! That would make every-thing so much easier!Where do you think your relationship to other creative professionals in your industry can improve?If I was a better networker seeking out the freshest new talented photographers/makeup artists etc!I have to admit i’m a bit lazy when it comes to this stuff! I’m alwayslast minute and then I’m in a panic state!Have you worked remotely with other creative professionals? If so how will you describe the situation in terms of col-laboration and the systems used to enable that type of collaboration?I actually worked with Preston remotely on a casting while he wasliving in Paris. We did the casting on video chat. That was pretty awesome. It was like he was in the room. He wasdirecting the models on how to walk etc. It was hilarious! I feel like that’s the future remote castings ha! 16
  • INTERVIEW: Caroline, the photographer
  • What do you think can enhance the work relationships of other professionals in the fashion industry?Sharing more information and details about models’ strength and weaknesses in their performances as a way toshorten the preps.Do you think technology can enhance the performance of your work? If so which technology do you find indispensa-ble in your work?Internet is indispensible, video conference call a must. And of course, fast remote server :-)Where do you think your relationship to other creative professionals in your industry can improve?Feedback on what assistant were good at – Which model was best at what specific jobs… In general, feedback thatwould improve creating a good team? I find that in fashion in particular, the ‘right team’ is key in creating goodwork and if undesired things or people are imposed by a production, it is sometimes by adding a key componentthat the flow can be restored.Have you worked remotely with other fashion professionals? If so how will you describe it in terms of collaborationenabled technology used in the interaction?Internet was not into play at my time… So I can only imagine here Obinna :-)But I imagine that the link between the on-shoot photographer, in-lab second assistant would benefit from a ongo-ing visual enabled communication. Any clues on what is about to be processed would enhance the procedure fromthat moment to completing the deliverables to the magazine/ company… 18
  • PROCESS MAPS: Modeling and Fashion
  • Mother Agency MODELING INDUSTRY FLOW CHART Agency Model Photo Rep Photographer Editorial20 Stylist Ad Agency Brand Production Account Creative Director Art Director Hair Makeup Casting Marketing Creative Director Design Director
  • FASHION INDUSTRY OPEN CREATIVE PROCESS Quality Mood board Bricolage “The Street” Sampling Appropriation Trends Copying21 Insider Information Obsolescence Acceleration Micro-cultures
  • CONCLUSION & ASSESSMENT
  • The process of uncovering the modeling and fashion industry has led me to conclude that the two industries withtheir various stakeholders with wants, needs, goals, and desires is quite large. Further ethnographic field researchneeds to be conducted to really tease out what the design problem could be. Some of the scenarios like Natalia forinstance might mean that the interaction design of a system might not address her concerns, but might insteadaddress Patrick the newly appointed creative director of Givenchy. The shadowing of a casting director in a castingsession would provide invaluable resources in terms of data both quantitative and qualitative.Modeling is a tough job, most designers and other stakeholders do not see the model in a positive light. She is madeto be almost mannequin like. I think it is interesting that Lauren, the fashion designer interviewed, was interestedin 3D models instead of live real ones. Overall, the role of technology was seen as something that could enhanceperformance. What that technological system would be is yet to be discovered. The idea is to continue to do researchand further develop personas that can now be narrowed down to a primary persona. Alan Cooper declares thatinteraction design for a software system should be done for one user. With an industry as complex as the fashion andmodeling industry, this view might be of value. 23