What Anti-Agency, the U.K.'s Anti-Modeling Agency, May Mean for the Fashion Industry
While we adore watching the parade of beautiful ensembles on the Fashion Week runways, the endless procession of impossibly thin, impeccably beautiful models is less enjoyable. But London-based "Anti-Agency" may herald the start of a new approach to modeling. The U.K. agency is selecting models based on factors other than beauty, most significantly, personality and ambition. Could this mean increased diversity and a more egalitarian attitude for the fashion industry?
Established in 2013, Anti-Agency has yet to become a top contender in the agency world. However, its motto of recruiting models who are more than simply a face seems like a winning — and more egalitarian — strategy. The Anti-Agency website presents the company's intentions to make modeling about more than just glorified (if elegant) clothes hangers, stating:
Our models aren't just clothes horses; we focus on hand selecting London based girls and boys with personality, individual style and talent...The agency is for people who could’ve been models and decided not to, for people who are too cool to be models and people with real lives…
Agency masterminds Lucy Greene and Pandora Lennard are in the process of expanding their already-impressive list of talent, called "Antimodels." The list already boasts models of differing ethnicities, backgrounds, and career paths, all of whom look as if they have a unique story to tell. With any luck, Anti-Agency will prevail, and the next generation of models will be more than just pretty faces.
Beauty is subjective, but the models who grace the runways of couture fashion shows have historically been homogeneous in appearance. Only recently have standards begun to change, thanks to models like Joan Smalls and Robyn Lawley who advocate for diversity in fashion, and designers like Rick Owens and Carrie Hammer, who cast more than just waiflike women in their shows. Anti-Agency may be the next step towards improving the fashion industry's attitude towards beauty.