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The modelling industry now provides more opportunities than ever for individuals to start a career. However, greater opportunities also mean greater potential for new models to be exploited or underpaid. Securing proper representation, usually an agent or agency, can protect models, ensure fair pay, and provide development support. We spoke with Alessandrio Bergman, founder of SYNC Group for the creative industry, who offered insight into the current state of the modelling industry.

Wow, starting one of the top modelling agencies and making the Forbes under 30, that’s quite an accomplishment! What’s the journey been like running your own business?

My entrepreneurial journey has been both challenging and rewarding. Starting a modelling agency from scratch took a lot of hard work, dedication, and resilience. There were many obstacles like building a reliable network and managing finances. But seeing the agency grow, get recognised by Forbes Under 30 and industry leaders makes it all worth it. It’s been a learning experience at each step, teaching invaluable lessons about leadership, perseverance, innovation, and the importance of a strong team.

Why did you choose the modelling industry and what sets your agency apart from other agencies?

I chose modelling to merge my passion for fashion with a goal to promote diversity and redefine beauty standards. I saw an opportunity to create an inclusive space celebrating authenticity and diversity.

What sets my agency apart is our commitment to empowering our models by focusing not only on their professional growth but also on their personal development. We prioritise mental health and provide comprehensive support to ensure our models feel valued and confident. Additionally, our innovative approach to digital marketing and social media has helped our models gain significant visibility and unique opportunities in a competitive industry.”

What are some of the biggest challenges in the modelling industry?

One of the biggest challenges in the modelling industry is untimely payment. Models often have to wait up to three months after completing a job before receiving their salary from the brand. This payment structure can create financial difficulties given today’s economic situation. Addressing late payments is an important issue facing the industry.

Why is it important to have representation from an agency?

Agency representation helps models in several key ways. Models without an agency don’t always know what they should be paid and don’t have much power to negotiate a higher rate. Agencies make sure their models get paid what they deserve since the agency also makes more money that way. They also protect the models legally and only work with good clients so the models always get treated right and work with trustworthy people. Being with an agency opens up more big opportunities too, which leads to more money and chances to advance your career.

Advice to aspiring models looking to get signed by an agency 

When looking for an agency, check how long they’ve been around. Read reviews online and make sure they have a good reputation. Never pay up front – that’s usually a red flag for a scam. Agencies can charge for portfolios, but shouldn’t ask for money initially. Make sure they’re properly licensed too. Also ask for referrals from recent clients so you know they provide good representation.

Hopes for the modelling industry and future for Sync Models 

 I hope our local models will get paid the same as international ones soon. It would be great to see them walking in big shows like Milan Fashion Week too. My agency Sync Model has been around for 10 years now. We’ve had huge success getting our models booked and hired. Now we want to expand globally – open offices in New York, Milan, Paris. If we do that, the possibilities are endless.

For more on Sync Models click HERE

By Muzi Ndziba

Muzi Ndziba | Joburg-based freelance journalist | content creator | Istyleblaq founder


Thanks for sharing and as a model I know the struggle of getting paid late and I hope this issue changes

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