Saturday, April 7, 2012

Codie Young is the face of Marc Jacobs' latest fragrance

via wwd

Congratulations are due to Codie Young on the occasion of her first fragrance campaign. The Sunshine Coast model is the face of Marc Jacobs' third womens' fragrance, 'Dot', which is due to be released in the US and UK in July according to a story in the April 6 edition of WWD, which also reports a projected global first year retail sales estimate of US$100million. With this campaign under her belt, 19 year-old Young - who has been modelling for under two years - has entered the ranks of Australia's highest earning models. How many other Australians have scored international fragrance deals? They include Alyssa Sutherland (Bulgari), Gemma Ward (Calvin Klein), Abbey Lee Kershaw (Gucci), Andrej Pejic (Jean Paul Gaultier), Catherine McNeil (Narciso Rodriguez), Skye Stracke (Cacharel), Sarah Stephens (Lacoste) and Juliana Forge (Ralph Lauren). 

So, what did Young earn for the Dot campaign?

According to our well-placed sources, around US$100,000 - the same that Pejic is, we hear, being paid to be the new face of Jean Paul Gaultier's Kokorico mens' fragrance. Pejic's Kokorico campaign, shot by Matthew Stone, is due out in September.

Young was not the only Australian cast, as it happens.

Sources say that Perth's Dempsey Stewart was also flown to the Maldives in late 2011 to shoot the campaign with German photographer Juergen Teller. 

Judging by the WWD story, however, which makes no mention of Stewart, only Young appears to have made it to the final print campaign. This is not that uncommon in advertising. Australia's Myf Shepherd, some may recall, was among a large cast booked for a Miu Miu campaign one season to accompany actor Katie Holmes, only to wind up on the cutting room floor in favour of solo shots of Holmes.

In the event that Stewart does not actually appear anywhere in the final Dot campaign, then it is frockwriter's understanding that she would have been paid a straight shooting fee for this commercial job - an estimated 20percent of Young's fee.

What is Young's cut of that 100K? Eighty percent of the original contract, we understand, minus agency commissions (taken by the booking agent in the market where the job is located, plus the "mother agent" back home). If an agency "booking fee" of 20percent is added on top of the original contract by the booking agent - and yes, this is commonplace in the modelling business - then the model's cut would be roughly 66percent of the total in this case.

At the end of the day, however, it still represents US$80,000 before tax in the hands of a 19 year-old with no tertiary education, for a week's work in a tropical paradise. Plus additional usage payments if the campaign goes into another year, if Young's image is used anywhere other than print, appearance fees etc....

Nice work if you can get it.

Of course, it's not quite as simple as that. Young has invested two years of her time into her modelling career, not to mention the overheads involved in getting herself to and from international fashion weeks so she could be in the running for a campaign such as this.

Scouted at a Sunshine Coast shopping mall in 2010, she first popped up on our radar in July 2010 after scoring an editorial exclusive with Vogue Australia. A photograph of Young from one of the three editorial stories subsequently shot for Vogue wound up on the magazine's October 2010 cover.

The 17 year-old Vogue covergirl headed to the international show circuit in early 2011 and walked in 39 shows in her first show season, Fall/Winter 2011/2012. A number of these shows were high profile brands, including Marc Jacobs at New York Fashion Week. Young has walked in three Marc Jacobs shows, also appearing in several shows of his younger Marc by Marc Jacobs collection at New York Fashion Week.

There has been much talk of late of the propensity for designers to pay runway models not in cash but "trade", or their own clothing and accessories. The practice is endemic across New York Fashion Week, with some estimating that as much as 95percent of runway jobs may pay models in this way. Of course, this merchandise does have value - and much of it, we will wager, winds up on eBay. Frockwriter first talked about this in September 2008, when Canadian model Simona McIntyre blogged about her experience working for Jacobs.

The 'trade' story blew up after the last shows round in March, after 17 year old American Hailey Hasbrook blogged about her experience working 30 hours doing studio "looks" for Jacobs' Fall/Winter 2012/2013 collection not only in exchange for trade, but in the early hours of the morning - in breach of the Council of Fashion Designers of America's own guideline that under-18s should not be kept working after midnight. US womens' site Jezebel protested that this was particularly unfair in view of the fact that Jacobs and his business partner Robert Duffy are amongst the world's highest paid fashion executives. Hasbrook herself later blogged that she was "horrified" by the report, which she considered a beatup.

Addressing the trade for payment issue is one of the charters of the newly-minted Model Alliance in New York, as is a push for more transparent accounting from agencies, which traditionally have advanced airfares and living costs to newer models so they may attend international fashion weeks. For new models, the shows are essentially a profile-building exercise, with the potential to put them in front of the industry's movers and shakers. The bigger the designers who book them - and therefore the greater the competition for a spot in those shows - the bigger the buzz factor. This may then lead to editorial work and ideally, advertising, which is far better paid. In fact, much editorial work is also done for little or no payment, with the model's labour traded for the exposure and tear sheets for his/her book. It should be noted that Jezebel's model-turned-fashion reporter Jenna Sauers, who covered the recent Marc Jacobs story, is a board member of the Model Alliance and has thus moved beyond journalism into advocacy.

Did Young ever work for Jacobs for free up until this point? We understand she was definitely paid for beauty "looks" backstage before at least one Marc Jacobs show.

We also understand that, armed just with some earnings from a Tokyo work trip in the leadup to her first international show season in February 2011, Young rucked up a small debt with her New York agency DNA for that season's New York Fashion Week. This would indicate that her travel and living costs outweighed her runway earnings for 18 New York shows that season. It's not that hard to do the math. London does apparently pay models a minimum fee per show (395 GBP we hear), as does France, which has very strict labour legislation.

Was that initial debt paid off? Apparently so, within a matter of months.  

Not every model is as fortunate as Young. But it's the dream of a successful career which keeps them all going. 


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