As a model who has been in the fashion industry in London for almost a decade I have some real concerns about the industry right now. I’ve seen great leaps forward for diversity but also major setbacks. I’ve seen the visibility social media has allowed models but also the obsession with followers and constant comparing that comes with it, not to mention the entirely new breed of ‘influencer’ model that has spawn from it.
I sat down with Sarah Bunter, a London-based casting director who has been in the industry as long as me. We actually met in her office seven years ago when she cast me for an Ostwald Helgason lookbook but haven’t spoken since so I was eager to see what she has made of the developments in the industry from her perspective.
Sarah’s long-standing quest to bring age and race diversity to commercial projects has been met with resistance from many clients, but the ones that agree with her keep coming back and those include Kinfolk, Toast, Peter Jensen, Whistles and Wrangler, as well as designers such as Christopher Raeburn, YMC and Matthew Miller. Some of her most widely seen work is The Vaccines popular ‘Come of Age’ album cover portraying each band member as a female look-a-like. In advertising, Sarah recently cast the first gay couple as parents for Mamas & Papas progressive, award-winning and much discussed ‘How We Roll’ campaign.
We talk about trend forecasting today, why agencies should actually be worried about Instagram, how a man in his sixties is seen as aspirational but a woman as expendable, the anti-beard backlash and the extremes young models are taking to be ‘unique’.