I thought it fitting to open this blog with a personal message with some history about how things came to be the way that they are now and why I started the show and agency. Just a few months ago, I was one of the many models in secondlife looking for a job and going from casting to casting. This experience made me aware of the challenges faced by designers to establish a consisteent communication channel with the public about their new releases and also the difficulties faced by models (especially new ones) to break into the industry and maintain a consistent work pattern. I decided to do something about it and started FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

The primary aim was to facilitate for designers showcase their work and help new models get a “foot in the door” of the fashion world and runway circuit. I set a show date six days ahead having no idea about the designers I could involve, or even how I would publicise the event or pay the models.. The first auditions I called were busy – huge numbers arrived in the hope of a part in the runway show, but huge also numbers left when they heard that they wouldn’t be paid or be given clothes. As I watched the numbers dwindle, I put my cards on the table. “Ok, I cannot offer you money, but what I can offer you is offer great publicity, train you, manage you and give you runway experience and that is worth much more than 300 linden I can pay”. I waited with baited breathe, because secretly I feared the remaining few would walk away – but eigth remained, the  deal was done and I have not looked back.

The week was tough – long hours and planning stress. I was also quietly nervous as I saw the numbers dwindle further, holidays, lack of finacial incentives and personal commitments took away another three girls – two, I had to let go. It was a small number, but I was now left with three very strong and dedicated girls (Rena Mascot from Korea as first face model, Holy Payne from Germany and Nikita Ewing from The Netherlands) all three, who were then runway debutantes with no previous modeling, let alone runway training are now perform wonders at the shows. All prompt, punctual, professional at trainings, these models-in-the-making worked beyond the call of duty and showed the passion they had for the job in hand. I soon realised that these girls had totally put their trust in me and I had to do more.

Three days before the scheduled event, I decided to try my luck and started talking to people about the event. Fortunately, the first person I spoke to (Betty Doyle of Ingenue) to whom I will be eternally grateful,  saw it as an oppotunity. One designer became two (Moanasyrene Boucher), then three (Cattrina Careless) and then four (Rikka Koi). It would have been five (Callie Cline), except for a last minute inventory loss, which usually happens in secondlife at the worst moments. I couldn’t believe how fast things were moving – three feature clothes, accessories and hair designer in the form of Rikka Koi who styledthe final part of the show called Models’ Choice. Models’ choice has since became a popular part of the show, because the models are allowed to wear what they want and have an element of their outfit styled.

It was really happening- we had all the elements of a great show and the end result was just thats.  The first show secured us an interview in an Italian SL publication called SLibero. The re-run of the show two weeks later had the venue which seats 40 full within two minutes of show kick-off and had us featured in issue 32 of the Avastar, page 12.

Since the re-run of FIRST IMPRESSIONS I, things have been crazy! Non-stop requests from numerous parties – including models seeking training, and catwalk o photographic work, invitations to judge beauty contents, requests from scouts, photographers and clients requesting show co-ordination services and PR to boost on-location traffic. It is at this point that I decided to launch the agency and also open the modeling school, which now runs a ten-day elite model course. Unfortunately, a lot of people assume that the basis of a strong modeling career is a nice hair and skin. The truth is that a successful model knows how to build and maintain relationships with other industry professionals, the press and above all, is professional when required. This is the message the course delivers in theory and in practise and includes additional options like a two-hour personal time package that pupual  can use as they wish for perhaps styling, shopping or even casting or contest preparation.

The agency has also recently taken on two permanent members of staff in PR and events management and model development and is looking to fill further roles – please contact me for further information.

The next FIRST IMPRESSIONS show which will be held on the 7th of August and has been listed by the Avastar (issue 33, page 27) as event of the week! We look forward to taking up that challenge.