This week I had a chat with Caroline Nankivell, a booker at Viviens Model Management in Perth about how she got into the industry, what makes a successful model and advice for new faces and aspiring models.
Caroline has spent the last ten years working in the industry discovering and developing new faces as well as managing more established models. With her fresh approach and bubbly personality she is well liked by the models she manages. She also takes some kickass digitals just check out #digitalsbycaz on instagram!
Full Name: Caroline Nankivell
City Based in: Perth
Agency: Viviens Model Management
How did you get into working as a model booker?
I started out styling tests with my then photographer boyfriend. Years later Christine Fox contacted me offering me a maternity cover position and I’ve been with Vivien’s ever since!
How many years have you been a booker?
This is my tenth year!
What is your favourite thing about the industry?
I love the process of discovering a new face and working with them to carve out a successful career, it’s the most rewarding thing about the job as a model booker.
Seeing one of your girls that you have worked with through their development years, throughout braces, high school, bad hair cuts to the catwalk for Chanel in Paris or on the cover of Vogue is pretty amazing.
What is your least favourite thing about the industry?
What did you do before you became a booker?
I was a flight attendant for Emirates!
What made you want to become a booker?
It wasn’t something I had thought about doing until the opportunity presented itself and looking back, there really isn’t anything else I would rather be doing!
What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into a position as a model booker?
Be prepared to take on many different roles! You need to be nurturing but tough at the same time. It’s a very competitive, fast-paced industry so it can be quite a stressful, high pressure job so you need to have the ability to juggle and multitask! You need to have a good understanding of fashion trend forecasting and intuition for which model/s will suit a particular client.
It can be a 24/7 job so you need to have a real passion for the business.
What do you look for when meeting with aspiring models?
A long, naturally lean, in proportion and healthy body, great skin and hair, full lips and height! A strong presence, great smile and personality are integral parts to being a successful model.
Have you got any advice for new faces?
Be patient! Overnight success stories are very few and far between and believe me, a lot of work behind the scenes has gone into “overnight sensations”
It’s all has to do with timing, dedication and professionalism. A booker can only work with what the model gives them to work with so taking care of your body, hair, skin, nails etc is paramount in this job.
Never compare yourself to another model, your uniqueness is your strength!
What traits do you think makes some models more successful than others? Is it just looks or is there something more to it?
A beautiful personality will always outshine outer beauty. No one wants to work with a diva even if you are a supermodel..
Who is your style icon?
I’ve always been a big fan of Kate Bosworth and of course Kylie Minogue 😉
What is your go to outfit?
I’m definitely a day to day jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, but for nights out, I’m partial to a sequin or two 😉
Do you think your style is influenced because you work in the fashion industry?
I think the longer I’ve been in the industry, the more relaxed my personal style has become. I’m definitely more of a converse than heels girl these days!
A little more simple rather than head to toe super styled.
On average how many aspiring models would you meet with each week? Are some months busier than others?
Generally I receive 10-20 applications a day and from there we may invite 3 or 4 people to meet with us weekly. School holidays are always busiest!
What is the busiest time of the year for modelling work in Perth?
July – September
January – March
What do you think is the current industry trend?
I am noticing a real shift towards a non traditional beauty – girls with unique qualities i.e shaved heads, freckles, tattoos, girls with more of a masculine feel about them.
Classic beauty will always be in fashion however and generally these girls have the most longevity in the industry, some working well into their 60’s.
What is involved in training and developing a new face?
Viviens provide intensive workshops for newly signed models, we train the new faces in catwalk, looking after their hair, skin and nails as well health and nutrition and acting.
Apply to be a model in Perth, email: firstname.lastname@example.org