Started up in 1989 and only representing a few girls, NEXT model management now possesses the largest network of agencies on the planet. With offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris and affiliates as far afield as Sydney, NEXT has ensured that it has its eyes firmly on any up-and-coming talent: if a new face is creating a buzz, NEXT will definitely hear about it.
NEXT has simply founded its reputation on one core idea: beauty. Representing names such as Petra Nemcova, Jessica Miller, Molly Sims and Anja Rubik (pictured) – these girls are all famous within the modelling community for giving good face.
The fact that an agency can grow and develop so rapidly within the space of twenty years on the strength of this one concept may seem puzzling when you consider the high-fashion editorial looks of models such as Lily Cole and Agyness Deyn, who are both very much in vogue. Surely this type of face makes more money? Isn’t that what editors and advertisers want? Strong editorial edge, grit and ample fashion appeal?
While an edgy, fashion-forward face may work when lent to a cosmetics brand aimed at women under 25, the fact of the matter is that when it comes to selling products generally, pretty trumps edgy every time.
NEXT have long understood the power of conventional beauty. It may not move fashion forward in daring and dazzling new directions, but it is a palpable force the world over. The power of a face with good symmetry, bone structure and clear, strong features cannot be underestimated.
Tests have been run by showing very young babies (before the advance of speech or peer influence), photos of human faces. Without exception, the babies responded to the conventionally attractive faces more than the everyday ones. The conclusion? Humans are genetically pre-programmed to respond favourably to beauty.
NEXT exploits this fact to their advantage. Using classically-beautiful models (often harder to find than an editorial girl), they have actively chosen to build a book of talent around the principle of timeless, rather than chase that instant, of-the-moment look.
Their reputation for scouting the best talent is clear when you consider just a small batch of names from their Women’s Division. Names like Anja Rubik, Filippa Hamilton and Jessica Miller may not have the immediacy of a Moss or a Deyn, but their faces are everywhere.
Beauty has always equalled desire, and companies are clamouring to get these girls behind their products. In the advertising industry, it is one of the rarest and most desirable commodities, second only to celebrity. These girls are routinely booked for major campaigns, and as a consequence, their faces (if not their names) are among the most recognisable within the fashion industry.
These faces sell products because they are attractive, yes, but more importantly, it is a type of face that can be projected onto any image the client wants. From perfume and cosmetics to lingerie and sportswear, a NEXT model can lend their look to any of them and not look out of place. Versatility sells, and true beauty is very, very versatile.
NEXT has, from its substantial agency network dotted around the globe, proof that whatever the mood of the fashion world, there is always money in pretty. Quite simply, regardless of where fashion takes the modelling industry, beauty will never go out of style.