Marie Claire meets Select Model Management’s Susannah Hooker

Head of New Faces Division At Select Model Management, Susannah Hooker, reveals what it takes to be a model

Susannah Hooker has one of the most elite jobs in modeling as the Head of New Faces Division at Select Model Management she hunts out the next fashion stars. Starting out as a stylist, Susannah soon gravitated towards the world of model booking thanks to her strong eye for fashion, desire to find new looks as well as her care for the welfare of the models she’d works with.

What makes a model stand out for you?
With all scouts they have what we call ‘the eye’, obviously some scouts have a better eye than others and experience goes a long way. My personal taste is for quirky, unusual girls – I seem to be naturally drawn to girls that perhaps have even been bullied for their looks. There is nothing more satisfying than helping improve a girls self-confidence and self-belief.

What is it essential every model has?
Passport, phone and a good booker!

As Head Of New Faces are you trying to find the next Cara Delevingne?
No not at all, the beauty of the fashion industry is there is room in the market for so many looks, so we are constantly looking for future trends and where we think looks may go. It’s about longevity and finding looks that will stand the test of time and the changing fashions, think girls like, Stella Tennant, who have timeless beauty.

What it is about Cara Delevingne that makes her so popular?
Cara is a quirky and cool kid so the youngsters can relate to her crazy antics. Eliza Cummings was at the forefront of this cool British wave of models – she came onto the scene looking like a young Elvis which was completely unusual and I think was just what the fashion industry needed at the time. Another girl flying the flag for British models is Sam Rollinson and of course Charlotte Wiggins.

What makes these girls so appealing is that they are all so down to earth – it was incredible getting hilarious texts from Sam around 3am, even though I knew that she had been in fittings all day – it’s exciting to see the British girls doing so well.

Can someone be photogenic but not necessarily model material?
Yes, absolutely – we see this all the time. It’s almost as if the camera falls in love with some girls and they can’t take a bad shot. Just because someone isn’t right as a model, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t beautiful. I think people don’t realise quite how physically and mentally demanding it is to be a really good model.

Great looks can take you so far but you need so much more than that – these girls have the task of interpreting someone’s vision and to see some of the top girls shooting behind the scenes is like watching a master class in action!

What’s your advice for girls who would like to be signed to Select?
I don’t want someone to try and desperately stand out – I’d like girls to be themselves. I want to get to know girls for who they are so that I can see their potential. Simple, raw beauty is sometimes the best inspiration and nothing can take away from that feeling of first laying eyes on a new face and instantly knowing you have a future star in front of you.

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