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.
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.