Thursday, December 13, 2012

IMG Models Australia goes live

madison stubbington via IMG models australia

Ever since news broke of IMG Models’ intention to open up down under, the Australian modelling industry has been nervously awaiting further intel about precisely which direction the company plans to take in this market. First Chic Management general manager Danielle Ragenard defected to head up the new agency (she was joined on Monday this week by new senior manager Jaz Daly, ex Priscillas). Then Miranda Kerr, Nicole Trunfio, Bambi Northwood-Blyth, Bridget Malcolm and Ajak Deng jumped ship to IMG Models from their respective Sydney agencies. Now an IMG Models Australia microsite has just gone live on the IMG Models website. The bottom right-hand corner of the website of the world’s largest model agency now lists the following tabs: "NEW YORK, PARIS, LONDON, MILAN, SYDNEY".

Sixty-eight names are listed on the main women’s board of the IMG Models Australia microsite, including some of the industry's most high profile faces, from Lara Stone to Joan Smalls, Karlie Kloss, Sasha Pivovarova and Candice Swanepoel. Also, new New Zealand face Anmari Botha.

An additional 14 names are listed under “Special Bookings”, including the celebrities Stephanie Seymour, Lauren Hutton, Gisele B√ľndchen, Maria Sharapova, Carolyn Murphy and Milla Jovovich.

In theory, any of these models would have been available for Australian bookings in previous years. But the fact that so many are now being actively marketed by an Australian division of the company potentially further facilitates things - and represents yet more competition for Australian agencies.

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Of particular interest to the Australasian market will be the 40 names that are listed on the IMG Models Australia “development” or new faces section, 14 of which hail from Australia and New Zealand (see gallery, above). They include a rather large contingent from Adelaide’s two key model agencies, Pride and Finesse - models who may have already been signed outside Australia to IMG Models, but who had never previously been represented by any Sydney agencies

They are:

Madison Stubbington, Adelaide
Megan Irwin, Adelaide

Shanna Jackway, Adelaide
Sophie Loxton, Adelaide
Adele McKeen, Adelaide
Amelia Schubert, Adelaide
April Tiplady, Adelaide
Tori Trigg, Adelaide
Laura Jade, Melbourne
Nikki Thott, Melbourne
Abbie Heath, Noosa
Casey Lee, Auckland
Ella Verberne, Auckland
Seon Hwang, Auckland

As of yet, there is no men's board on the Australian site. However, given the cool reception experienced by IMG Models’ new senior executive manager Greg Chan when he visited our shores last month, angst levels would appear to be high in some Australian agencies that their male models might also be at risk of being poached.

Chan – who launched the international career of Australia’s Joel Meacock, among others - is charged with relaunching IMG Models’ mens division after a seven year hiatus. But he scouts both women and men. 

Several Australian agencies point blank refused to see Chan last month – a volte-face from his last visit in 2011, when he was still working with the smaller New York agency Wilhelmina and was welcomed by all in Australia with open arms. 

photo gallery (all images via IMG models australia - 'development' board):

1/ madison stubbington
2/ megan irwin
3/ casey lee
4/ adele mckeen
5/ amelia schubert
6/ seon hwang
7/ laura jade
8/ april tiplady
9/ nikki thot
10/ shanna jackway
11/ tori trigg


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