What model scouts are looking for (and the new place to get spotted)

Fancy yourself as the next Karlie, Cara or Jourdan? Read here to learn what is it model scouts look for and where!

Hannah Bennett- portrait.jpg
Hannah Bennett- portrait.jpg
(Image credit: IMG Models)

Fancy yourself as the next Karlie, Cara or Jourdan? Read here to learn what is it model scouts look for and where!

Think you have what it takes to be the next Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn or Cara Delevingne? Want to walk the season's hottest runway shows, be dressed by the best designers and travel the world? If the answer is yes, then read on...

We spoke to Jeni Rose, vice president of scouting and development at IMG Models, and Emma Quelch, director of IMG Models London (home to some of the biggest names in the model industry) to get the inside information on what model scouts look for… and where. Plus, see some of their recently scouted beauties!

Where are the places you specifically target to scout and why?

We frequent a variety of places to identify new talent – including concerts and festivals, vacation spots, and high street stores – but we look for beauty everywhere. The biggest game-changer for us recently has been scouting via social media. We have created a digital platform built specifically to scout on Instagram (@WeLoveYourGenes). It gives girls around the world the opportunity to be discovered. Now, if you want to be discovered by a team of scouts, all you have to do is hashtag your photo #WLYG and we will find you.

What are model scouts looking for?

Tall, fresh-faced, natural beauties with great personalities. We want to see young women as they are in real life. There is no need to hide behind make-up or worry about wearing the perfect outfit. We are just looking to see girls in everyday situations.

Amy Maggs, scouted at a One Direction concert in Manchester

How do you know if a scout is genuine and what should you ask them?

Always check their credentials! It’s important to exercise extreme caution when engaging with someone claiming to be a modelling scout. Young, aspiring models should never send photos to anyone before verifying that person’s identity. The key is to research the scouts beforehand. And if you are under the age of 18, make sure your parents are involved in the process.

Does 'the look' transcend seasons or is it constantly changing?

There are a lot of different definitions of beautiful and we are looking for all types. We don’t follow trends; instead, we focus on identifying models that we find dynamic and relevant, with long-term potential. Scouts at modelling agencies are almost like curators: we find young women that we find beautiful and this then defines the aesthetic of the agency.

Saska Ingham, scouted at Oxford Circus (eating a waffle on a school trip !)

What happens next after being spotted?

At IMG, we take a slow and steady approach. First, we sit down with the model and her parents to explain how the business works; what our management philosophy entails; and what she can expect from the process. Then we propose a plan and discuss next steps, which generally entails outlining her availability over the next six months to a year. We always tell our new, young models: 'Modelling is a hobby until you're finished with high school.'

Once signed, any advice on standing out from the crowd and making it big?

Photographers, casting directors, designers, brands and increasingly our models' fans on social media want to meet and work with individuals that have a story. To stand out, you have to be both interesting and interested. Just being pretty is not enough; you have to be smart, engaging and pleasant to work with. I always say you should never answer a question from a client with a one-word response – every conversation while out on casting calls or at a shoot is an opportunity to shine and show your personality.

Final advice for girls wanting to break into the modelling industry?

Hashtag your photos #WLYG. And don’t pluck your eyebrows!

Tatum Marchetti, scouted at an event at the O2 arena

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