As an independent, we have to be the best we can. There is no big corporation behind us. We’re doing this on our own.
If anyone had said to me in my teens that I would have had my own business, I wouldn’t have believed them.
You have to be photographer, stylist and client all in one. You have to see a face, recognise a certain look and know that it will work. It may not be a conventional beauty but it’s got to have real personality.
When me and a friend used to do car boot sales she’d make 30 quid whereas I’d always take about a hundred. I just seemed to have a knack for it.
The fashion world is ruthless. You have to fight for your place in this industry. If you can handle the pressure, then fine, but if you can’t, the cracks will appear pretty quickly.
If models make a product so attractive it encourages higher sales, then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be paid well for it. It’s the same with footballers. If they put bums on seats, then you can’t really argue with it.
People think model agencies dictate what goes on in the fashion world. We don’t. We merely cater for a demand.
I tell new models that when they go and see clients they have to think of themselves as a loaf of bread. One week, they’ll want brown bread, the next they’ll want a bacon sarnie on soft white. It’s a fickle business and they have to learn to live with rejection.
There were loads of rag and bone shops where I grew up and I started collecting Victorian underwear. My mother refused to hang it out on the washing line in case people thought it was hers.
Models have a reputation for being awkward or difficult but they’re not really. It’s like any other workplace. I worked in a typing pool when I was young and there were a few bitches there too. You’ll get mardy ones, wherever you work.
I don’t like complacency.
I don’t take my laptop on holiday but I do have my mobile phone. I’ll take an important call when I’m standing in the sea. That way, if it threatens to ruin my day I just remember where I am and it goes away.
I have a cottage in the Isle of Wight. Some neighbours sent me a postcard saying my garden wasn’t up scratch. So then I found myself in meetings with Gucci or whoever worrying about the weeds. And who had sent the postcard.
I have a strong work ethic. When I was younger my mum would give me money for shoes and then I’d work Saturdays or in the school holidays to make the extra cash to buy the pair I really wanted.
You can change lives in this business. Sometimes we’ve given girls the bus fare to come and see us. But it’s tough. Too many people think fame and fortune are just going to land in their lap. It doesn’t work like that.
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