NYC-based modeling agency comes to Salt Lake City
BY DAVID BURGER
THE SALT LAKE TRIBUNE
PUBLISHED NOVEMBER 28, 2009 5:55 AM
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Trudi Tapscott helped launch the modeling career of Gisele Bündchen.
And on Dec. 5, Tapscott will be in Salt Lake City looking to discover America’s next top model. DNA Model Management, from New York City, will be in town for its first open Salt Lake City call at Studio 600.
The modeling agency represents well-known models such as Linda Evangelista and Amber Valletta, and works with companies such as Chanel, Christian Dior, L’Oreal, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Oscar De La Renta and Prada, while collaborating with magazines like Vogue , French Vogue , GQ , Harper’s Bazaar and W .
This open call is unique in that it’s for a professional modeling organization and won’t charge prospective models any fees simply for showing up.
Tapscott, model manager at DNA, answered e-mail questions about the upcoming model search. In addition, read comments from three new young models from Utah — Hannah Sobisky, Tessa Peay and Whitney Jensen — who are affiliated with DNA.
What do you see in these three models from Utah?
“This is always such a difficult question to answer as what we see is difficult to describe and they are all so different. Each is not comparable to the other nor anyone else and potential is difficult to determine as so many elements are involved in how models develop. Here are the qualities that I see initially:
“Hannah is a beauty who looks like a teenager, and yet has a face that is stunning. She is fearless is front of the camera and has a quirky style that I think will be received well. She is completely aware of her body due to her years of dance and it will be a great asset in modeling.
“Tessa is a classic beauty. Although she is very young at the moment, she has the type of beauty that we are just waiting for the rest of her to grow up into. Regardless of how beautiful one may be, timing and maturity is everything in fashion and when the moment is right, Tessa’s classic beauty always has a place.
“Whitney is a striking blonde who is very special. She has a unique look and a great body. She is the quintessential American beauty.”
What do you say to people who think these model searches are a scam?
“First, always check who is searching and verify their legitimacy. If you are being interviewed by an authentic scout or agent, you will not be asked to pay any money up front for any services, such as a portfolio or classes. Your potential for modeling is not based on that in a market such as New York or Paris.”
What do you look for in young models, in general?
“This is one of the most difficult questions to answer. What we look for is very subjective and difficult to explain to parents and young people interested in our industry. First, we look for a variety of physical requirements, such as height and proportion, photogenic potential and great skin. Personality is an important quality that is part of our interview, as well. There are exceptions to every rule in fashion: It’s our job to see potential and advise what steps to take if you have what it takes to be a top model on an international level.”
Tessa Peay, 13, Alpine
How were you selected to be a model? » “I was scouted at Snoasis [a shaved-ice kiosk] in Alpine by Erin Olson’s brother. Erin then contacted me, and we did a little photo shoot at the library in Salt Lake. It was a little intimidating, because I had to show up with no makeup on to do the photo shoot. She sent my pictures to DNA and they were interested, so I interviewed with Trudi when she came to Utah this past summer. I am still too young and won’t do much for another year at least. [My advice is] they aren’t just looking for a pretty face. Lots of girls in Utah are beautiful. They are looking for girls [who] are tall and between a size 0-4. If you don’t fit the requirements, just find something else to do that makes you happy. Trudi gave me some good advice: ‘Modeling shouldn’t be who you are. It’s just something you do.’ It is a tough industry to be in and models face a lot of rejection, so it’s important to have other things in your life that you are interested in and not make modeling your whole focus. Watch out for modeling agencies that want a lot of money up front for classes and pictures.”
Whitney Jensen, 17, Fillmore
How were you selected to be a model? » “Erin [Olson], a DNA scout, spotted me at a high-school track meet. I thought it was funny because I looked pretty crazy that day. She ended up taking some Polaroids, gave me her number … and here I am now. [Since then] I’ve been in several photo shoots, been taught proper runway techniques and have been exposed to more high fashion than ever before. [My advice to others is] don’t give up. There will be a lot of people out there waiting to break you down. But if you believe in yourself, then nobody can stop you. Also, work hard on keeping a good figure by eating right and exercising. Practice different poses in the mirror each night, and walk in high heels because soon you’ll be using the skills in front of the camera and on the runway.”
Hannah Sobisky, 15, Provo
How were you selected to be a model? » “I was approached by Erin [Olson], a DNA scout, at a party. [Since then] I have just taken a couple photo shoots that have been really helping me become a better model and I’ve had the chance to travel to New York City to meet with clients and shoot with amazing photographers. I live in Utah, and I am planning on going to New York very frequently. [My advice is] you have to love it, because it’s not as easy as it seems. While becoming a model you have to be very careful in what you do and say. It is also a long learning process. When you do photo shoots, take in the pointers that the photographer gives you. Every time you do get better and better, each and every time.”
Are you a shooting star?
DNA Model Management Model Search
When » Dec. 5, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where » Studio 600, 26 E. 600 South, Salt Lake City
Info » Seeking females ages 14-19, 5’8″ to 5’11″; males ages 16-28, 6′ to 6’2″; no previous experience or test shots needed; bring any available recent snapshots and arrive in a simple outfit, in flat shoes, with no makeup.