This method has blown apart the pre-conceptions people have about the modelling world being a closed book. Scouting has provided an element of excitement and opportunity into an industry, which is by its very nature, elitist. Yes, agencies still want the best, but now the best models of the next five years might be found trawling the rails at Topshop.
Every agency, subsequent to Select’s pioneering approach, now has scouts working on their behalf. Select has proven the success of this method, with faces that were discovered through scouting now working on international campaigns. Their New Faces team also has an impressive success rate: Lily Donaldson, Agyness Deyn, Daisy Lowe and Paul Sculfor have all started their careers at Select.
Maintaining an internationally-renowned client base, Select continues to explore new possibilities with its Special Bookings division. Former model Alexa Chung and music wunderkind V V Brown being just two of their signings, shows that Select has a very clear vision of what is current. To ensure an agency’s survival in these difficult times, no skill is more essential.
Select’s legacy, if it can be summed up at this point in their history, is a democratisation of modelling. In the 1950’s, models were the daughters of aristocrats, and it showed. This all changed in the free-wheeling Sixties with the discovery of an ordinary working-class girl with an extraordinary look. Twiggy’s discovery re-shaped the future for models, but it wasn’t until Select came up with the idea of scouting that modelling became a truly open market.