Inside the Business of Managing Fashion Models — Briauna Mariah
The world of high-fashion and modeling may be glamorous, but it is still a business. How do models and their agents really make money, how is that changing, and what is it really like to make a living as a model?
My guest Briauna Mariah is the Founder of “We Speak,” a new-age modeling agency in New York managing hundreds of models on its roster — with clients ranging from Victoria’s Secret to Microsoft Xbox!
Join me as she gives us a peek into the “business” side of modeling agencies, and all its light (and dark).
As always, we cover a lot of ground on the podcast, so here’s the breakdown:
01:27 — What’s a “fashion week” and why it exists
06:11 — Major “market segments” and niches for models
09:54 — Surprising differences between luxury vs commercial clients for modeling agencies: luxury doesn’t pay?!
15:15 — How Victoria’s Secret Angels are going through a transformation
16:58 — How modeling agencies operate and make money
20:32 — Why models, despite being independent contractors, are not really “independent”
27:31 — How do agencies find models to join them?
30:31 — Why most models aren’t busy throughout the year, and what agencies do about it
36:31 — Major expenses of running a modeling agency? How much do they spend on “advertising”, and how does it vary over the year?
42:39 — How agencies promote and develop models for fashion week
46:57 — Starting a new modeling agency: what does it take, and what’s the hardest part?
50:46 — How Briauna fell in love with modeling, and some awful experiences as a model
53:00 — How some models sustain themselves while they look for modeling work
54:49 — Life as a model manager today