Young, dynamic and extremely professional, METRO Models is with no doubt changing the model management scene by offering their models much more than just plain promotion. This unique agency, believes in long-term success and is truly committed to help their models stay on top by giving them full career development, worldwide placement and personalized management.
This week ModelManagement.com had a chat with David Ratmoko, Director of METRO Models, who explained how the agency concept started, how it works and what it needs in order to build a successful long-term modeling career.
Valeria De Luca: David, tell us a bit about your agency history
David Ratmoko: METRO Models started out in 2010 as a pure scouting and placement agency, serving both the big networks like Women, Elite and IMG and the demand for on-stay models in Asia. This way, young models have had a chance to first build their books and get some experience in Singapore or Tokyo before hitting the primary fashion markets. In 2011 we added a Direct Booking Division to our Women’s Division, so as to better serve clients in Switzerland and across Europe. Our focus on high potential fashion models has remained, though we’ve expanded our board to include commercial faces. METRO Models has grown quickly over years and our goal has always been to maintain our quality in scouting, model management and client relationship.
VDL: What distinguishes your agency from others?
DR: Every agency is unique in its own ways and we’re no exception. As a boutique and placement agency, our focus has been on representing only a select number of models that we promote to build their careers. Our scouting, moreover, applies rigorous standards and this resonates well with our global partners.
VDL: Your headquarters are in Zurich but your scouting offices are in Moscow. Why? Is there any specific reason why you chose these two cities?
DR: Zurich is well-known for being a business-friendly environment and it happens to be my home town. As for scouting, it is also no secret that Russia is home to a large number of aspiring models with potentially suitable looks, so the two cities match perfectly. Moreover, my former partners and current employees are mostly Russian speaking.
VDL: What do you look for in an aspiring model?
DR: Beyond the standard requirements of age, height and measurements, I need to get a clear sense of an applicant’s potential career as a model before I agree to manage him or her. It happens that I have to turn down beautiful models just because I don’t see a market for them at the moment.
VDL: What are the qualities that will make a model stay on top?
DR: To stay on top requires a lot of commitment, perseverance and the ability to reinvent oneself, as well as favorable circumstances.
VDL: You recently added a men’s division to your agency. What are the challenges for men to build their modeling careers compared to women?
DR: We are very pleased with the success of our new Men’s Division. As for the challenges, the market for male models is somewhat smaller and it takes longer to build their books, since many photographers prefer working with women. Having said that, there are also advantages to men’s career: for one thing, a career can last longer and guys are often given the time to finish their education before embarking on a modeling career.
VDL: Recently one of your models, Daria, was featured in our New Faces Newsletter. How has she benefited from the extra exposure?
DR: She has received a lot of attention from agencies across the world and we might follow up on one or two offers if it fits her existing schedule. As for most of our models, we have drawn up her schedule for much of the year and she has plenty of representation already, which is the result of our management.
VDL: In what way is modelmanagement.com helping you in your business?
DR: We’re hoping to get more exposure for our models, helping them get extra attention. So far the team at modelmanagement.com has been very forthcoming!
VDL: How do you see the future of the modeling business?
DR: There’s an alarming trend of celebrities and movie stars landing so many of the prestigious modeling jobs, primarily due to the recognition value for the consumer. Another challenging trend is that so-called ‘real people’ are increasingly employed, especially for corporate commercials, adding a sense of ‘authenticity’ to a product commercial. To meet these challenges, we can only hope that the entertainment industry begins to appreciate again pure beauty and professionalism, which is ensured only by professional models, fully trained in what they do.
Want to know more about METRO and their models? take a look at their modelmanagement.com profile here!