Remember Kim Peers? I do fondly.Apart from modeling for Prada, YSL and Guerlain, Kim was in an electronic-band named (ahem) Monkey Pussy. Not much seems to have happened with this memorably monikored group but Kim did go on to form a new group (DSR Lines), appeared in Richard Hell's "Keep On Waiting" and cut a single on the Gigolo Records label titled " Tell Me More". It's pretty bad (I still love you Kim) but Ms Peers does lick a boot heel on the cover.
There is a reason for digging Kim up. This girl (like Tanga) made a healthy chunk of dosh modeling while clearly not giving a damn but just presenting the camera with her tough, curious and perplexed face. Legend contends clients were shelling up to 100K per campaign for her exclusive presence. She was not alone. While she romped for the likes of Gucci, Prada and Dolce , Hannelore Knuts was scoring those high rates as recently as four years ago.
Now for Fall 2008 modeling agencies globally are facing a crisis as the body of best blue chip campaigns have been paying less and less each year. There is a lot of disillusionment in the air and the general feeling that when it comes to bringing in the bottom line, anything goes, catalog rules and the money job is all. This week I'll be prepping a special report on the issue and will privately speak to a circle of power agents on their views as to why this is happening.
More importantly it feels like the modeling industry -which has developed a habit of playing the same booking strategies season after season- is now facing a moment when it will have to rethink the current "business model". Some agencies have junked the entire quest of editorial credibility to peddle themselves along the most mass-market lines possible. Others have gone into a bunker mentality, surrounding themselves with an Old-Guard alignment hoping the proven tactics of yore will win after-all. Crisis can be nerve-wracking but crisis can also trigger creativity and innovation and bold new ways of marketing models. I wonder what the Casablancas and Gerald Maries would have to say about the current landscape?