Role model

Role model

Davina launches Paris-based agency

Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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Former Miss Jamaica Universe Davina Bennett and business partner Dimitris Kosvagiannis, have established A Model Management, an agency with headquarters in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré district of Paris, France.

She told the Jamaica Observer “I really wanted to create a direct link from Jamaica to the international market. Over the years, the practice here has been to sign models to a local agency and then play the waiting game — wait to be picked up by an international agency. I have been through that as a model. I was sent to London twice to see agencies, went through my share of rejections. But not only that, it takes time and costs money. not everyone has the money to spend or the time to wait, so what we are doing is creating that link. So once we sign the models they will be contracted to an international agency.”

For Kosvagiannis, the fact that A Model Management is located in one of the world's fashion capitals will set them apart from other Jamaican agencies.

“With my contacts I made in the hotel industry over the years and in the fashion and beauty industry, I have developed a very strong network. I have found that the agencies here keep their models lingering, without the proper development and training that they deserve,” he explained. “There are so many beautiful and talented young ladies in Jamaica who are in poor environments and have no one to believe in them. We want to use our contacts to bring Jamaicans to the world, expose them to the world of fashion so that they can grow and earn. We are not into signing the models and have them wait.”

Bennett, 22, added that lack of exposure, training and mentorship worked against her in her early career. She hopes to bring that experience to bear on models signed to the agency.

“I will definitely bring my experience, background and knowledge to the table. We will be sending out girls that are ready and prepared for what the industry offers. I was sent to London without having a mentor, someone who could advise me on how to present myself. I was shy, reserved and introverted with very little confidence — and I believe that worked against me in those early years.”

She has no intention of hanging up her stilettos, and stressed that there will be no conflict of interest as she pushes her own career.

“I am not in management. I will have to work just as hard as the other models to get the jobs that are out there. Yes, I have shares in the company, but I can't sit and say because of that I deserve a spot — that's not how the fashion industry works,” she said.

A Model Management held its first casting session at National Dance Theatre Company's dance studio on Tom Redcam Road in Kingston last Saturday. Over 40 aspirants showed up; Bennett and her team have chosen their first set of faces.

“We have chosen six girls who will be groomed and prepared for the international market. There is another four who we are going to give some training and hopefully prepare for down the road,” she revealed.

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