The 1960s were an era of great change and revolution in the fashion world; modeling agencies first appeared. In the beginning, agencies that provided secretarial services offered their services to models to get contracts, charging weekly rates for bookings. Models were alone in choosing brands and customers and maintaining their contracts and billing accounts. The payment was usually made in cash, so cat-and-mouse games between models and customs officers seeking money from individuals were always at odds. Their work was limited to their areas or cities, and they rarely traveled. Most modeling contracts focused on internal markets because of the vague and unclear labor laws in different countries regarding modeling. If a model traveled to France or Germany, where fashion magazines and fashion houses were already well established, they were at the mercy of the agencies who exploited them by withholding their pay and forcing them back for more work, sometimes even without the proper work visas. Competing agencies often tipped police officers to rob hotels that housed models without work visas.
In the late 1960s, London, with its more organized and streamlined approach to modeling, became the center of the industry. It was time for the models to hit the jackpot; they became known outside their circles and became fashion icons. Models who ruled the London scene were Celia Hammond, Jean Shrimpton, Joanna Lumley, Penelope Tree, Pauline Stone, and Tania Mallet were household names. The only significant person in the entire scene was Twiggy, just 16, who became ‘The Face of ’66’ despite her young age and inexperience, inspiring many young women with her striking personality and fashion sense. In many ways, she was different from many other models with only an average height and a small body and short haircut, almost boyishly akin to the taller and more voluptuous models that were the choice of many agencies. She earned more than the others; at £80 an hour at a weekly average of £25, she was the highest-paid and very popular.
The founding of the Association of London Model Agents in 1967 revolutionized the modeling industry, bringing systematic changes and regulations to operate more professionally. Previous models were expected to be responsible for their makeup and hairstyles; modeling agencies took on this responsibility depending on client requirements and contracts. In that year, the Wilhelmina Model Agency was also founded by Wilhelmina Cooper and her husband. This and other agencies that emerged soon after, such as Models 1 and FM Agency, helped models by representing them to companies and helping them get better deals and work environments. The world’s first modeling agency, Ford Models, also encouraged teenage models to earn money and support their families; they often had young people in the house,
The year 1968 also saw the creation of “supermodels,” color, ethnicity, and race were not limiting factors; only models that attracted the world’s attention for a long time and appeared on the cover of magazines such as Glamour, Vogue, etc. were included in the list.
In the 2000s and beyond, model coordinators took it upon themselves to profile aspiring models and have portraits done for a small fee. Bubblegum Casting specializes in seeking out young women with confidence and pleasing personalities, helping them gain a foothold in the competitive modeling industry. Their models are known for their professional craftsmanship and attitude and have proven themselves repeatedly in promoting top brands and products.