Models dream of having the opportunity to work with Paul Fisher. The modelling agent and star of TV’s Remodeled has had a hand in developing some of the biggest names in fashion, from Kimora Lee Simmons and Stephanie Seymour to Naomi Campbell. In other words, Fisher knows just how to take a model from small town to high fashion. Perhaps best of all, Fisher cares about the kids he works with. Real Style Network interviewed the super agent to get all his tips and advice for all of you future modelling hopefuls. What you will learn may surprise you…
Real Style Network: What should models look for when they are approaching an agency?
Paul Fisher: First, don’t be a guinea pig. They have to show you a kid that they have taken with a digital picture and became a real model and made $100,000 a year first. God forbid you got in a car accident, but would you want a lawyer to represent you that’s never represented anyone who’s been in a car accident before? Make sure that you are with somebody who has gone down the path, understands the challenges, understands the pitfalls, and tells you the truth. The most important thing is that they can show you and prove to you without a shadow of a doubt they can do what your dream is and they have done it before.
Real Style Network: What are the top things you look for in a model when they walk into your studio?
Paul Fisher: The first thing is age. I want kids who are 15 to 19 years old. I am looking for girls who are 5’9 to 6’ tall and guys who are 6’1” or 6’2”. Every few years what Vogue wants is a little bit different, so our taste changes. It is physical, so we are looking for the height, the age and certain features depending upon what time of year it is. Then we are looking for what people call the ‘it’ factor. When Stephanie Seymour and Kimora Lee Simmons and some of these other kids walked into my room, they had that special something. They have that thing that for some reason when they walk into the room, we stare at them and they light up the room. So it is the physical features, but there is that something special that that little kid has that permeates from them and we are all attracted to it.
Real Style Network: What are some things that turn you off of a model?
Paul Fisher: We did a cross country trip right before the show and the kids on the east coast and the west coast had an entitlement issue. They were like ‘Give me something.’ They don’t want to earn anything. The kids in the Midwest and South are like night and day. They were part of foundations and charities. They were giving back to their community. What turns me off the most is the entitlement issue. ‘I am pretty so give me shit. I don’t want to pay for a photo shoot. I don’t want to do this or that. Everyone thinks I am pretty, give me stuff.’
Real Style Network: Are there some people who just shouldn’t be modeling?
Paul Fisher: Yeah, even beautiful kids. Even if you are 5’10”, you are 16 years old, you are stupid beautiful and everyone wants you. Do you have the strength of character? When you have $300,000 in your bank account and downtime for two weeks, are you going to party, blow that money and fall into the darkness of our business? Kids have to have the strength. It has to be a special kid. I’ve been doing this for a long time. Now the cameras are on me and people want my autograph and my picture. This screws with your mind and I am older. Imagine being 16 years old. What happens to me in five years when my show is off the air and people don’t care about Paul Fisher anymore? How am I going to be able to handle that? How is a little kid who is 17 years old when everybody wants you and then you are 19 and nobody wants you anymore going to handle something like that? I think even beautiful kids should be nervous about modeling. It is a radical double edge sword. It’s scary for these young kids. I don’t know if I could handle that.
Real Style Network: Should the parents be involved in this process because they are just kids dealing with this stuff?
Paul Fisher: I have parents who are really super protective and it drives me a little crazy to be honest. I have other parents that don’t give a shit. I have parents who say ‘Oh she’s 15 years old let her go to New York by herself.’ I say ‘You are kidding me right? She’s 15 years old.’ By the time she’s 17 do you know the type of shit that little girl is going to be doing? We are in an overly sexual business. You are telling 15 and 16 year old girls to be sexy. It’s unreal what we put these kids through. So should the parents be involved? 100 percent. If I had a little daughter who wanted to be a model, I wouldn’t let her. I would lock her in the house until she was 42.
There you have it. Think long and hard before entering this industry and make sure your parents are with you on this every step of the way. For those who succeed, this maybe a stepping stone to a remarkable life journey.