From model to entrepreneur: Busy bee Peter Burghoudt talks about his modeling career, how he started his own agencies Role Models and Ego’s Models and about his agencies’ top priority to promote a more realistic image for women…
How many years have you been working in the industry and how did you start out?
I started as a model in 1980. I walked shows for a men’s fashion store. Nothing really fancy but at this job I met some professional mannequins and that’s how my modeling career started. I modeled for six years in a row.
When you are a model, you don’t work every day. Even the supermodels don’t. I am a busy bee and always on the move so besides my shows and shoots I took the opportunity to become a booker at the agency that represented me. In 1993 I decided to start my own agency in the living room of my apartment. I continued doing some modellingjobs on the side, worked at a Thai restaurant and was extremely focused on building ‘Ego’s International’. I picked this name because I see the word EGO in a very positive way. A strong personality someone who knows what he or she wants. In October 2015 I started ‘Role Models’.
Role Models is a boutique model agency with an ethical dimension. As a top priority your agency wants to promote a more realistic image for women. Why?Commercial wise it’s very interesting. ‘Ego’s’ already had a big plus size division, but not all the clients were aware of that. There is so much more than only the centimeters of the model’s body. All the girls that are signed at ‘Role Models’ are natural beauties. Everyone understands that I cannot fit a girl size 48 in a dress size 34, but it’s time to think outside the fashion box.
The slogan of Role Models is ’Beauty without Borders’.You don’t work with labels like ‘regular’, ‘curvy’ or ‘plus-size’?
We have girls in all sizes from size 34 till 48. Not size but beauty is leading. Unless size matters.
Who is your ultimate Role Model?
Danielle van Grondelle travels the world and is our most sought after model. Praised far and wide for her beauty and talent. The Netherlands quickly proved too small for her, after which she settled in New York. She works for major clients all over het world. She loves working for ROLE MODELS and she represents what we call Beauty without Borders.
What type of personality must a model have? Do you consider this when looking at a new model?
A good model is: fresh, easy going, open, ambitious and shows courage!
Quite frankly most of the time ‘city’ girls develop faster in the business than girls from a small village. I always want to know some background information about them. Where do they come from? Who are their parents? Etc.
Do you immediately see if someone is suitable to become a model?
I love classic girls. A real woman like the supermodels in the eighties or nineties. Cindy Crawford had 92 cm hips and it was not a problem at all. She is actually still one of my all time fave supermodels. I prefer a girl that everyone can see she’s beautiful above the more edgy girls. I don’t see it immediately if an edgy editorial type of girl can rock the industry.
As mentioned before I just love natural beauty like for example one of my Role Models Tanja Kok.
What do you recommend models to wear when they meet you for the first time?
No loose outfits. Something figure-hugging like a (black) skinny jeans, a tank top and high heels.
How do you decide whether a young candidate has potential?
You see it immediately after a first test shoot. That can be a Polaroid or at a real ‘test’ shoot.
Does the presence and influence of a model on social media networks have a significant effect on the success of a campaign?
Nowadays it’s very important, unfortunately sometimes.
Describe how the screening process of your models works.
I get loads of emails from girls sending snapshots.
When I’m interested I invite them at the agency to meet them and take some Polaroid’s. When I see potential I arrange a test shoot for them.
I don’t go on the street to scout but when I see the perfect model walking by of course I stop her and start a conversation.
How do you maintain contact between the clients and models?
I am maybe old fashioned but I prefer real contact. When a client emails me I call them back most of the time. A connection on the phone is always nicer instead of mail.
What would you say are the current model trends and trends going forward?
I don’t do trends like the always-changing fashion scene. I prefer a type of girl that never goes out of fashion. So you can start a long term working relationship together.
What advice would you give a model that just started working in the industry?
Please be patient. See what your chances are and stop comparing yourself with others. Be realistic and know something about the fashion world. Who are the big designers? Important names of photographers…Knowledge is power.
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?
On Modellist- ID you find tips and tricks. Nice places to go to when your abroad as a model. Where do you go for lunch, gym, yoga in the fashion cities like Milan, Paris, London or New York?