Women 360 Management is making some inclusive changes to its roster.
The modeling agency has extended its Curve division to sizes 6 through 14, and reintroduced men to its model board, with the signing of New York City-based trainer and athlete Jason Robert. The agency also signed models Anna Agrelo, Anna Van Patten, Ellie Weston and Maria Reina.
Former New York Red Bulls player Robert was sought out for his talents as a professional athlete and trainer. “Not only does he have the look, but he has the credibility to back that up and that’s what we look for,” said Women 360 director Gina Barone.
Women 360 previously had two male models that were on the roster until July 2019, and Robert is the first signee since then. “When I joined Women 360, the name 360 really intrigued me. I saw the board as 360 degrees of talent. If I look at the term, I want to expand that out to the marketplace and the world,” said Barone.
Barone, who has decades of experience in the industry as director of Wilhelmina and The Lions, assesses talent by their look but also their authenticity. She believes that being “an anonymous pretty face” is not enough anymore, and that the talents at Women have to be “inspirational, but also aspirational.”
She said the latest additions were in the pipeline before COVID-19 from when she joined the company as director of the board in November 2019. “My plan and strategy hasn’t changed,” she said in regard to operating the business during the pandemic.
“I’m a believer that you have to prepare,” she added. “This is not going to be forever so what I’m doing now is continuing to plant the seeds for the future.”
The coronavirus has forced many models, photographers, producers, stylists, makeup artists and the like to be more creative with their shoots, relying on smaller teams to produce works and having team members wear multiple hats. Barone said the models have educated themselves on lighting, some apply their own makeup, and photographers have done shoots through FaceTime.
“I would say that it’s sparked creativity on everyone’s part,” said Barone. “I do think that the talent that is professional will survive and the agents that are professional will survive and the models that do a good job will work. I think brands are going to look for the most professional talent they can find and not take a lot of risks.”