“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. When I started the agency, 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 consistent 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 to 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 get involved, or even how I would publicise the event or pay the models. The first auditions I held were busy – huge numbers arrived in the hope of a part in the runway show, but huge amounts of people also 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 great publicity, I can train you, manage you and give you runway experience that is worth much more than 300 Lindens I can pay”. I waited with baited breathe, because secretly I feared the remaining few would walk away – but eight 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 a first face model, Holy Payne from Germany and Nikita Ewing from The Netherlands). All three were then runway debutantes with no previous modeling experience, let alone runway training. They are now performing 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 of moments. I couldn’t believe how fast things were moving – three featured clothes, accessories and hair designers in the form of Rikka Koi who styled the final part of the show called Models’ Choice. Models’ choice has since become 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 that.  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 in catwalk and photographic work, invitations to judge beauty contests, 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 nice hair and a good skin. The truth is that a successful model knows how to build and maintain relationships with other industry professionals, 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 pupals can use as they wish for things such as extra styling, shopping or even casting or contest preparation.

The agency now has a full set of staff in all areas, from PR and events to models to creative writing and graphics artists. We are still look for people to fill roles though, so contact us for more information.”

– Una Ewing, Founder and CEO of the Ewing Fashion Agency

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