Homer Cusic, agent, model agency Joy Model Management, Milan
Where did name of the agency come from?
JOY Men Division has been open for 18 years, and we just opened JOY Women 4 years ago. I believe though that when they opened they just liked the freshness of the name and the meaning of the word... “Joy” is a very beautiful thing, and we have always liked the name!
Does experience or intuition help in your work?
I have to say that both experience and intuition help me in my work. I have been an agent for 24 years, so I do have the knowlege that I have acquired working in the business for so long to guide me in my choices. Besides that, instinct or intuition is a major factor, when deciding which models to take and promote. I think that a GREAT girl is easy to pick out only by instinct. There are a lot of beautiful models, but only the ones will rise to the top, you can almost sense it when you first meet them.
Do scouters in your agency have considered geographical plan for searching the new faces or they rely on the occasion?
Scouting has to be planned and done in a very rational manner. It can almost be a considered science; it was not left to chance. We know which times are important to be in which cities and search for new models.
Male-model and girl-model… Who is better to work with?
I have worked with both. I worked with men as an agent in the beginning of my career, and started working with women 16 years ago. I have to say that I much prefer working in the women`s industry as there are so many opportunites for professionals in this business and for the female models themselves. Fashion is about woman in the long run! It is the woman who is obsessed with the clothing and the designers and beauty in general, even if men have also become more interested in fashion in the past 20 years. It is nice to be able to protect gilrs and to guide them, and maybe in the end, to influence the type of person that they become and to give them an experience that they will carry with them for all of their lives.
Tell us about the national ratio of girls in your model agency.
The fashion world seems to fall in love with the beauty from different countries on a periodical basis. Right now it is obsessed with the Dutch girls; it seems that a very high percentage of the “new” girls are coming from Holland. It began 2 years ago, when Prada started booking a number of Dutch girls for their shows and campaigns. Then this tendency spills into the rest of the industry. Besides that, we had “The Brazillian wave”, “The Russian wave” and “The Belgium wave”. We are always keeping our eyes open for new talents, and it is not really important where they are coming from. At the moment we have a good number of Dutch girls, Brazillian girls, German girls and Eastern European girls. I do not think that we need to concentrate on girls only from one country. We need to constantly be looking, so that we can be influential in creating the next “wave”!
Who is the first model that you have put on her legs? What is she doing now?
The first male model that I personally had a hand in starting was David Boals. He was a top male model in the early nineties. Actually, I`m not sure what he`s doing now. I have worked with a number of top models in recent years, they are Toni Garrn, Siri Tollerod, Lisanne de Jong, Margaryta Senchylo and Marloes Horst. They are all still modelling and doing very well.
Who among colleagues from the fashion world gives you an inspiration?
My colleagues are other agents, and we are not the public people at large. Fortunately, I have a number of friends in the modelling business which do give me inspiration. If there were not a group of honest and good people in our business I would have given up long ago… I have to say that I respect the designers who will take the chance to the “new” model, who like to “discover” models, and are not just using the famous girls. In this sense, I have to say that Prada comes to my mind. They are willing to take chances and not afraid of taking a new girl for a fashion show or campaign. They create their own stars, and the rest of the fashion world is looking to see whom they have coming down the runway.
The fashion world fascinated you by its…
I was drawn to the fashion world after I got my college degree in the United States. All my friends were going to get office jobs down in NYC, and I thought that it might be interesting to have the possibility to travel in Europe before settling down. I was approached by a modelling agency in New York, and they sent me right away to Milano to start a modelling career. I was immediately attracted to the idea of travelling and seeing different countries and meeting people of different cultures. I still believe that this is one of the greatest opportunities that modelling offers to young men and women – the possibility to grow and to learn more about the world. Now I am on the other side of the booking table, because the life of an agent on the other hand is not nearly as glamourous as people might immagine. It is made up of long hours in the office, staying on the phone and more and more working on the Internet. But I still find my work stimulating to be able to discover new talents and to help them succeed in their careers. I think that it is an amazing thing to see a young girl who is developing into a top model. The ones that make it are very lucky, and they really need to appreciate the chance that they have been given.
There are several movies about the life of fashion magazines (“September issue”, “The Devil Wears Prada)”. Imagine that you are shooting the film about the model agency. What kind it would be?
I think that it could be very interesting to shoot a documentary. It might be nice to follow a new young girl around for her first show week in Milano. I think that this would help to educate people on what the modelling business is really like. I personally enjoyed the “September Issue” as it is a true documentary, and you see the reality of what is going on to prepare an issue of Vogue. “The devil wears Prada” was an entertaining movie, but it is not reality and does not reflect our business truly.There are already too many television shows about modelling, which give such a distorted view of our business. But real professionals in the fashion busines know that these programs are all fake and just were made to attract a large audience.
How do you feel about the trend that actresses become models and often appear on the covers of fashion magazines and in the fashion-stories? And models, in turn, do not always become Hollwood stars…
I do not see any problem with this, and it is something that our industry has done to itself. We are no longer creating super models. There is too quick of a turnover and a models career can even be over in 6-12 months. The brands therefore are looking for a face which is known to the masses, the face that masses can identify. Today we do not have supermodels, whose image will rub off on the brand and bring an even greater exclusivity. The brands that are looking for that are turning to celebrities to help sell their products.
Can model allow herself to be depressed?
Of course, a model can be depressed. It is a very difficult job: continuously going to castings and not being selected and being told that they were not right for the job. It is easy to become defeated and say to oneself: “Why am I doing this?” But a model can never show this to a client. They can not present themselves and show their depression, they must learn to mask it and present themselves only in an up and positive way. In the end, the occupation of a model counts for a lot, so they must learn to “sell” themselves to the clients, it is an instrumental.
If the model couldn’t control herself and have ate a huge plate of pasta with sauce, what would be her punishment?
What can you do?! Our industry is concentrated on thinness in an obsessive manner at this moment. We are trying to do something about that, but it is not easy. There are many people in the industry, who are trying to make the designers change their sample sizes from the current “size zero”. I think that it will take some time, but we must eventually move away from that. Nowadays diet is an important part of a model`s life, and it is part of her job. A model`s job does not only exist of being on a photoshoot or on a runway in a fashion show. It is her “job”– to make sure that she is always prepared to go on her castings and to present herself in a proper way. Actually, fashion shoots or shows are only the end result of a model having done her “job” well.
Have you ever met the ideal model?
No, no models are perfect. This is another myth of our industry, which has been worsened by the ever increading use of Photoshop to alter the images for the magazines. I actually think that this overuse of Photoshop is doing disservice to women in general; they are looking through magazines and wishing that they could be as “perfect” as the models that they see. And models themselves are not anywhere near as “perfect” as the images which women are seeing. There are some models which are very beautiful on their own... But a perfection or an ideal? I do not believe that it exists.
Model of the past, model of the future…What are they?
The models of the past were older; most of them were starting at 18 and becoming famous at 20. Today they are starting at 14 years old and can be already finished their career at 18 years old, because our industry has become obsessed by youth. I honestly think that the model of the future needs to go back to what it was in the 90's with an emphasis on beautiful woman, and not beautiful “child trying to look like woman”.
Which of the models of your agency deserve the title “Miss-Superpositive”?
Without a doubt, it is Siri Tollerod! She is the most positive model that I have right now!
Your advice for models-beginners.
My advice is to be thankful for the opportunity that has been presented to you. Also they should not take it for granted, remember to thank all of the people that are involved in managing your career. I would also tell them to take advantage of all of the opportunities that are being presented to them. They should think to themselves of all the people who will never have the chance to even see Italy, France or the United States. And models have the opportunity to actually live in those countries even for a short time. They must realize it and be grateful for it. This feeling will ultimately help them do well in the business.
Source: Fashion Bank
Category: Fashion modeling
Prudence 12.01.2012, 17:53
Your article was excellnet and erudite.
International Modeling agency in Brussels 15.06.2012, 12:19
These are very interesting. Thanks for sharing.