By Doug Fallen

Hi, I’m Doug, I work alongside IMG models in Sydney and walked in MBFWA SS:R2019 or whatever that ridiculous acronym is. I’m 16 and still in school, so taking a whole week out of study in the middle of May did not do wonders for my academic career. But, I still think going was absolutely the right decision – I met so many amazing people! Models are so various and interesting, something that really I never expected they would be… despite being a model myself.

Modelling is amazingly fun, it’s tedious at times but the sheer diversity of all the people involved easily makes up for it. I got scouted at the Canberra show (yes, Canberra, it’s actually the capital of Australia! Who knew?) by two women who stopped us by the entrance. They held out a card to us, me, my brother, and my dad, and said

   “Hey, we’re from IMG models Aus-“

That was as far as they got before my dad quickly said “no thanks, we’re not buying anything” and hurried us on to the alpaca displays. model scouting stories

While we were admiring the local alpacas – they’re beautifully fluffy animals – those two women kept looking over at us. At this point my brother and I were feeling a little strange: there was something different about these women, they weren’t just selling something. As we left the alpaca tent, about ten minutes later, they walk over and stopped us:

   “Hi! There’s been a misunderstanding – we’re from IMG models Australia, we really like your look!”

They explained who they were, what they were doing (scouting), and why they were at the ACT Hillbilly Festival rather than H&M in the city. They gave us their business card and left us. At this point we honestly expected a scam. The Show is a dodgy place and IMG was a big business ripe for impersonation.

However, that’s not what happened. It wasn’t a scam, and the next public holiday I had, me and my mum drove the 3 and a half hours to Sydney. There, I did a test shoot, signed a development contract (the young models of the group – so that we are experienced and capable by the time we’re out of school). I’d been up only twice before Fashion Week, and doing that was a real leap of faith for me.

model scouting stories
model scouting stories
model scouting stories

But do you know why these modelling agencies send scouts to go to weird country fairs with lumber-cutting festivals and vegetable competitions? Because it’s the perfect place to catch models. Nobody dresses up to go to the Show, nobody wears their best outfits, and nobody puts on any makeup for it. Scouts can see just how a person is when they’re being themselves and showing themselves. They can also catch people like me – people who would never, no way in hell, go to a modelling audition. It just wasn’t something I was interested in before I became involved in it.

Crazy things do happen, sometimes.