When we interviewed her she was still expecting, but we are happy to announce she just became a mother! If that isn’t busy enough, she also recently launched a digital booking platform that connects professional models to fashion industry leaders from around the world called ‘UBOOKER’. Meet model turned entrepreneur Claudia Wagner…
Milestones: Armani Campaign, Chanel Cosmetics, Clarins
Current location: New York, New York
Tell us about your career as model. How did you get started?
I was standing inside a McDonald’s near my town of Wetter when a photographer spotted me and put me in contact with Elite Models in Hamburg. I was immediately selected to meet John Casablancas, the founder of Elite, and sent to Paris.
When did you first sign with an agency and what was that like?
I first signed with Elite Paris in 1997. It felt a bit surreal, and I was a little intimidated. Elite was the very best agency at the time, and almost all of the top models were signed with them!
What do you like and dislike about the fashion world?
I love meeting creative people with great talent. On the flip side, the few trends are often established by the power of marketing and money rather than craft and quality. I would love to a sense of authenticity replace that shallowness in the industry.
How have you seen the industry change in the past few years?
Unfortunately, there’s less and less opportunity for girls who are not the “top models” in the industry. And because there are only a few models at the top, there’s limited diversity in terms of the image that gets portrayed. It’s the same models and “it girls” doing all the campaigns and covers.
This leaves the rest of the modeling population at the “bottom of the ladder” trying to make ends meet.
With the advent of the internet, we’re also seeing a major shift where the majority of jobs are online and e-commerce ones, which provide lower day rates but higher shot counts. On the other hand it gives models worldwide exposure and potentially more job possibilities.
You recently launched a model job platform called UBooker. Could you tell us a bit more about this?
UBOOKER is a digital booking platform that connects professional models to fashion industry leaders from around the world directly.
When or how did you come up with the idea?
After 20 years in the modeling industry, my friend Diana Dietrich and I knew that it was time for a new way for models to book jobs. With UBOOKER, we’re leveraging technology to let models get jobs quickly and easily, while also increasing their exposure to potential clients through the platform.
What was the motivation for creating Ubooker?
Our goal is to design a system that lets models earn more but also has upside for clients. We’re also excited because we’re providing models with a way to become entrepreneurs; with UBOOKER, they have control over their careers, including full transparency, access to an increased number of jobs, and a way to increase their earnings potential.
Where can we find more information about Ubooker?
Go to our website, http://u-booker.com. Professional models who are interested in joining the platform can sign up to be added to our waitlist there. We’re already seeing a lot of interest and excitement from high-profile models and clients to join the platform, which is a sign that we’re on to something!
What do you think MODELLIST-ID can do for the model community?
Modellist ID has done a great job of creating a model community, something that has never been done before. It offers great opportunities for its members to meet up, share experiences, and learn about how they can help each other!
Do you have any model friend you would like to see presented on Modellist-ID?My friend and partner in crime Diana Dietrich.
5 fun fact don’t most people know about you yet?
1. I have been flying around the globe for 20 years being terribly afraid of flying.
2. One time I was very nervous on a flight and I asked the flight attendant to tell the pilot that he should change the altitude and go above or under the storm.
3. When at a casting with the then editor in chief of Vogue France, Carine Roitfeld, I accidentally banged my head on her glass table and almost passed out. The casting did not go well.
4. Some years ago I sat at an Amfar dinner together with Hillary Clinton talking about politics.
5. I have a driver’s license from Germany where they allow me to drive pretty much any kind of existing vehicle, including an 18 wheeler truck. This was a mistake from the license department employee when I went to do my test.
What’s next for you?
I’m looking forward to the continued success of UBOOKER and hope that we can say that we are the premiere model-booking platform soon. I am also expecting my first baby so I have a lot on my plate, but it’s all very exciting!
Where can we follow you?
UBOOKER blog: http://blog.u-booker.com