Find out what goes on at Xandra van Rooijen Model Management and what gives this agency an edge over others in this online exclusive chat with the founder of Xandra van Rooijen Model Management!
How did you start your business?
I started my business in 2011 when I discovered a beautiful girl in Paris where I was living at the time. Her name is Lula Österdahl – she booked a PRADA exclusive within 3 months.
That same year I moved back to the Netherlands after having lived and worked as an international topmodel myself in Paris the previous 25 years.
My contacts from Paris and New York, knowing how many beautiful girls there are in Holland and trusting my eye, encouraged me to keep scouting for them. I live outside of Amsterdam and as a mother of two teenage girls – one who goes to University in a different city, I also have the unique opportunity of scouting girls who have not yet made it to the big city.
What do you think is necessary to become a good model ?
Modeling is more than being pretty. It is based on so many elements:
Height: depending on the age, 1.74 at 14 and still growing or have the ideal model height (177-1.80 cm) when finished growing. Any one interested in modeling between the age 14 to 25 and height from 1.74 to 1.81 can apply.
Beauty, slim body, harmonious proportions, but so much more. You need to have a strong independent character, be an extrovert, unique, have a sense of humor, self confidence, good personality, know how to move, be photogenic and have that exceptional something that can never be defined. It’s really not for every pretty girl.
How many models does your Agency represents ?
We have now 3 full time models working. We prepare 15 girls from the age 13 to 18 in development.
Describe how the screening process of your models works ?
The young girl that has been scouted by me through different means (on the go, on the streets or on social media) will receive an email with information and an invitation for her and her parent(s) to come and meet me. I make digitals photo’s, where we can see if she photographs well from all angles.
The process after this all depends on her age, if she goes to school etc …
We need to determine if the girl has potential beyond the basic requirements.
All the while I consult with the best International Model Agencies.
What makes Xandra van Rooijen Model Management special compared to other agencies ?
Since I was a model myself and had a long career working in all major cities I know what it feels like to do castings, do major jobs and to also not get the job. Do Fashion Weeks; what it’s like to work in the studio vs on location; leave at the last minute for a job; to be so tired that you can fall asleep on the floor while waiting for your fitting.
My guidance is 24 hrs / 7 days a week. It’s based in part on my experience as a international topmodel, traveling the world, working all the Fashion Weeks, all the main magazines ( VOGUE, ELLE Harpers BAZAR etc), big campaigns and TV commercials. I speak fluent English, French, some Italian and German. I am still in contact and work closely with people I’ve known throughout the business forever and I am also guided by my experience raising 2 teenage daughters ( 14 and 20 ).
I know how important the image is that we have as a girl’s agent and what it takes to have a long and successful career.
Do you think the market has changed a lot considering the fact that you are already working in this business for quite some time now ?
Certainly, there are so many more models and agents then 25 years ago, the level of competition is much higher today. The look and body type changes all the time too of course. Social media presence was not something we were concerned with, the girls need to be much more engaged in their work.
Do you immediately see if someone is suitable to become a model ?
Well it is quite an art when the girl is still very young, a bit shy, one that does not stand up strait because she is taller than all her friends.
When a girl is around 18 years and older it is easier to see. The aspect of having a strong independent character is what I need to find out when I meet them.
When you are accepted in a model agency it does not mean that you are a model.
Being or becoming a model is an ongoing process of self development, the reaction clients have when they meet you in person and the reaction of yourself to your new job/life, with being independent, long working days, weeks and being under work pressure, travel etc
Have you ever rejected a model that later turned out to be extremely successful?No. At least not yet :). I have turned down girls. Some of them go to other scouts/agencies, there are many in the Netherlands.
Is there a circumstance in which you would reject a seemingly perfectly beautiful girl ?
I’m not sure if I would call it “reject” but I would absolutely try to dissuade a girl from pursuing a career in modeling if I thought it would hurt her in the end. Some girls are just too vulnerable.
What do you think about the concept of Modellist-ID. Do you think it is of great value to the models and would you advise your models to become a member ?
I wish that Modellist-ID had been around when I started modeling, I wish that internet and mobile phones had been around as well ! We did it without those convenient aides, we relied on each other to share the good addresses and where to go in which city.
But thanks to the internet sharing is so much easier !
As a model we can learn from the experience of other models, thanks to Modellist-ID we can now read all about every aspect of modeling and traveling.
For sure I’d advise them to become a member. They need all the support they can get.