Why brands don’t hire local models?

A lot has been written about use of foreign models in local campaigns and most recently a fellow blogger Haseeb wrote on the same. He raised a few good points but sadly the real fashion industry doesn’t work like Americas Next Top Model. We may have many Mr/Miss Jays but not we don’t have many Tyras to mentor them or to teach them how to smize.Abbas Jafri and Ayaan

One of the primary reasons brands use exotic models is to differentiate their brand, why would I use Abbas Jafri or Ayaan if the are on every other campaign. For an average of 20 clothing brands in Pakistan, we have less than 20 female models and about 10 male models who are usable anyway. Having said that local models at times don’t even match the aesthetic/image of the brand. Fashion is about aspirations and fantasy so “relative bodies types and skin color-ethnicity” proponents are just plain bullshit, testament to this is the fact that Dove real beauty didn’t really do much to sales of the brand. Chanel‘s major TG is women above 30(increasingly asian and middle eastern) yet they continue to use teenage skinny white models. Kapoors did prove to be great for Firdous Textiles. I could go on and on.

Secondly as for finding new talent, why would a brand go through the trouble to have open casting call, train the newbies to pose for months only to know the aspirant model has switched to the competitor next season. Why would a talent agency/modelling agency thrive and train the newbies when all a jeweled eyed giraffe has to do is to sleep with a brand personnel, photographer or the coordinator to become a MODEL. You get the job directly no matter if you fit the bill or not. It is uncompetitive as a business to run an agency. Speaking of which there are 3 main camps in Pakistan who usually don’t let their ‘talent’ work with others. Certain models/photographers wont work with certain others. And the tantrums, diva attitudes are another story on their own.

Big FMCG companies P&G and Reckitt‘s Veet both have had successful model hunts to encourage new talent. But it requires big bucks and is relatively a thankless job. Having been associated with Pantene’s Bridal Couture Week with STYLE360 few years back I saw how gruelling the process is. In the end most of the individuals ‘groomed’ did not end up modelling and are no where to be seen today

It is not about color, ethnicity,complacency or what not. It is ABC of business, why do something which is noncompetitive in nature and bears no fruits.

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7 responses to “Why brands don’t hire local models?

  1. for the sake of growth. Money or sex is not all. With an attitude like this, pakistani fashion industry is no where near to growing.

    Very valid points man. But then again, i will stick to what i wrote on my blog 😀

    but yeah, the easier way is the easier way. Always.

    Thanks for the shout out!

    • Well its not about the easy way. Being an outsider it is easier to curse the darkness when one is in the toil day in and day out you get to know where the shoe pinches.
      Its not about right or wrong either its about being practical, our all Pakistani brands such as Gulahmed even started using european models in their lawn catalogues few years ago because the newbies arent inspired by Nadia hussains and Irajs. Economics of hiring new talent is so bad you can produce a whole show for season by the same money well thats what style360 did for veet and pantene.

  2. You have mentioned some very valid points but doing catalog shoots is not as hard as you have put it to be. With all these mainstream brands, Outfitters, Crossroads, Stoneage to name a few, their focus is hardly on producing edgy shoots. All they want is pretty looking models posing like mannequins for their catalogs. How much training does that require? I understand the point you are trying to make about how the business runs but the results we get to see do not match up to that!

    • I agree but its like 50,000 for these bland gorey models and 70,000 plus tantrums and otherthings if you hire local one. All the brands you mentioned have experimented with local ones too like emmad irfani iman in Stoneage, Outfitters/Crossroads had some Khawar Riaz models etc, I couldn’t even differentiate one brand from another.
      As for edgy shoots well even glossy fashion magazines don’t produce editorials of that quality. Sadly everybody likes the “pyari beti/pyara beta” looks.

  3. Aamir I want you to have a talk on this with me and do a follow up. I have been working in advertising an media. Fashion models and advertising models are world apart and every brand has specifications. I will explain in detail and you can add a sequel to this.
    Certains points are valid…others I dont agree with as it has some facts missing or maybe I can fill you in on those facts 🙂

    What you say?

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