Friday, October 17, 2008
Model.Live episode 11 recap: Debt, debt and more debt
On this week's Model.Live
Fashion Week/6 weeks is finally over and the girls are back in New York trying to book editorial campaigns to pay off some of that agency debt. I was actually surprised that we get to see just how agencies can really screw over models.
Madeline explains the vicious cycle of modeling: In order to get hired, you have to spend money (for rent, plane tickets, clothes, photo books, casting cards, agency fees...the list goes on.) The more jobs you try to get, the more money you have to spend and the more debt you are in. If you get a job, you still don't get paid a lot, so your debt only goes down a little bit.
Most fashion shows don't pay models to walk the runway unless you are a top model. Madeline's agent explains: "Models can get paid anywhere from a t-shirt to $20,000 depending on the girl." Scary, right?
The real moral of the story is, you will only be debt free if you become a successful model as in you have beauty campaigns and designer campaigns.
There are thousands of struggling models trying to make it but most don't, and those that don't are faced with unimaginable debt that they owe to their agencies. It's actually really tough being a newbie model. Madeline's boyfriend describes their un-enviable position: "The agency invests in you and they expect you to pay them back. I wouldn't like to be in that position."
Madeline realizes that her job controls her life, when after booking a flight to see her parents, she gets a job for an editorial campaign. She has to take the job because she needs to pay off her debt.
Basically models are slaves to their agency until they pay off their debt.
The episode ends with Madeline dreading the next Fashion Week because of her poor performance at the S/S 09 shows.
Next week: Austria returns home...for good?