Modelution is an international modeling agency founded by Karin den Ouden in 2005. With her partner Carlo den Ouden they have created a perfect nesting ground for building and managing supermodels all over the world.
After 12,5 years of working 24/7 and flying to major fashion cities all over the world, Karin and Carlo are ready for a change. They fell in love with the beautiful beaches and sunny weather in Aruba. So what is the next step? In this interview, founder Karin Smit, will share exclusively with Modellist-ID, the most memorable moments of Modelution and she reveals what will happen to this successful modeling agency and her models.
CONGRATULATIONS, MODELUTION HAS TURNED 12,5 YEARS
Yes, that’s correct. Let’s just think about that for a minute. That’s more than a decade of managing models all over the world or to put that into something more digestible, that’s over 50.000 hours of personal management, over a thousand fashion projects, an unbelievable amount of tea and coffee and a good anti eye wrinkle cream.
WHAT MOTIVATED & INSPIRED YOU TO START YOUR BUSINESS?
I loved the fashion industry. In the beginning, I was just so grateful to be working for myself that the first couple of years just flew by. As the fashion clients and international partner agencies grew, all of the extra hours paid off, entrepreneur Carlo joined the agency and we gradually built up amazing relationships with national and international clients such as Balmain, Bershka, Cosmopolitan, Flair, Glamour, Gsus, Harpers Bazaar, Invito, Manfield, Oger, Porsche, Pull & Bear, Supertrash, Specsavers, Teen VOGUE, VOGUE, WE and Zara. We have had the opportunity to work on some fantastic bookings, for example, the worldwide campaign of G-Star (starring our model Zazoe in all stores from literally Australia to the United States).
WHAT ARE YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS AS A MODEL MANAGER?
1. Front row seats at fashion weeks
Modelution was honored to work with top designers during numerous events and shows. It all started during Amsterdam Fashion Week, where Dutch designer Marloes Blaas did book all of our models exclusively for her runway show. Later, our supermodel Eline Helena was confirmed as -the only- female model during Men Fashion Week in Milano, none other than Calvin Klein! Further, our models were rocking the international catwalks from Marc Jacobs (Nina at New York Fashion Week) to Louis Vuitton (Felien Bergman at Paris Fashion Week). And what’s cooler than your seat front row during New York Fashion Week, next to the editors of VOGUE.
2. Modelutions models in the windows of the shopping streets
A precious moment was when we were buying casting clothes with our new faces in Dutch shopping street the Kalverstreet. We noticed 4 campaigns came out and our models were in 4 different fashion stores (within a 10-minute walking distance). From beauty campaigns to shoe campaigns. I was so proud of them.
3. Traveling all over the world
Modelution has collaborations in Auckland, Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Capetown, Hamburg, Istanbul, Melbourne, Seoul, Sydney, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich. Countless times we jumped on planes for new international collaborations. So we have seen a lot of fashion cities and discovered great alleys and neighborhoods with our models.
4. Nomination as businesswoman of the year
Model managers receive a lot of invitations to join red carpet events. Though I skipped a lot of events, I was very proud when VIVA 400 nominated me as a successful businesswoman. I went to their dinner and this nomination was a crowning glory.
5. Helping the multi cultural models to join the international fashion industry
Modelution was asked to be on the jury of the Dutch modeling competition: Topmodel of Colour. The aim of the competition is to help multicultural models in the fashion industry. This is a great initiative of Monica van Halder, because the winner of this model competition wins a modeling contract and gets opportunities as a model in the fashion industry. To support this improvement in the fashion industry, I said yes to a position in the jury. In the end, we signed the winner of this competition and we arranged bookings for Bijenkorf and Bershka in the Netherlands and Spain.
SO YOU’RE MOVING TO ARUBA, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE MODELS?
We will help all of our models to find a new, good mother agent in the Netherlands. Most of our models already have a big network with modeling agencies abroad, so we are confident they will find representation soon. We also did place our full-time models successfully with another great Dutch model agency, because they are already scheduled for next fashion season. We have high expectations of our new faces and we truly believe they will do well the upcoming fashion weeks starting in September. Model Charlotte is holding an exclusive option for Burberry. So exciting!
WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MODELUTION?
We will close our agency and relax for a while. We will move to Aruba. Of course we will stay in touch with our models, because we have supermodels like Eline Helena and Nina de Raadt who joined us since the beginning, for 12,5 years! We have seen them growing up, from wise teenagers to beautiful supermodels. Also, we are lucky because we will see the great shooting results of our models until the end of this year. Even when we will fly to Aruba, we will read Dutch ELLE magazine and see our supermodel Nina de Raadt on 14 pages.