High fashion models are often associated with lanky limbs and sharp, symmetrical bone structure. It’s almost as if there’s a factory hidden in the depths of a forest, covered in Dior flowers, constantly churning out these doe-eyed, lean human hangers. So where do they come from?
Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn, Candice Swanepoel. Collectively, they have walked for designers such as Givenchy, Emilio Pucci, Jason Wu, Versace and the like — not to mention that they all have wings from Victoria’s Secret too. Another similarity they share is that they were all street-casted.
In fact, some of runway’s favorite models were scouted on the streets. Kate Moss was spotted by Sarah Doukas, arguing with her father at John F. Kennedy International Airport before their flight back to London. As soon as the seatbelt sign turned off, Doukas approached the then 14-year-old Moss. Jourdan Dunn was discovered in a Primark, “mucking around,” as she told The Guardian, at the age of 15. Soo Joo Park was scouted while in a San Francisco vintage store.
Often times, casting directors and scouters will walk around cities for hours, trying to find the perfect model. It’s a rather unglamorous process. However, it seems as though street-casting is being replaced by a more time-efficient method — social media.
Social media, specifically Instagram, is beginning to replace malls and other public locations as a place for modeling agents to scout new talents. The scouting process for fashion model newcomer Nastya Abramova, for example, started on Russia’s Facebook equivalent, VKontakte.
“[The agency] messaged me and asked how tall I was,” Abramova said to Vogue.
For the Spring/Summer 2016 Fashion Weeks, Abramova walked in a remarkable 32 shows — those of John Galliano and Prada, to name a few. It’s safe to say that Abramova was one of spring’s most successful fresh faces.
“Getting to do shows like Gucci, Chanel, and Calvin Klein [Collection] is so thrilling,”she said to Vogue. “I grew up hearing those names, so to be a part of them was amazing.”
Finding raw talent like Nastya Abramova online is the reason why top casting directors like Noah Shelley of AM Casting are ditching the streets in favor of smartphones.
“I’m finding street-casting to be less and less effective. In New York, it’s very difficult. If you’re attractive, if you’re cool and you’re scouted in Soho by someone from my team, then you’re probably already a model,” Shelley, casting director for Dazed and Confused Magazine, told Vogue. “It’s very hard to discover raw talent on the street anymore.”
It seems as though social media is once again evolving — not revolutionizing — the ways in which things are done. From scouting fresh-faced models via Instagram to creating a business empire through YouTube, social media is now the medium through which new talent and ideas can be captured and expressed.
So choose your filter wisely the next time you decide to post a selfie. You never know who will find you.