Giovanni's Shawn Dezan
photo: Neil O'Keefe
January 25, 2010
When I went to agency appointments in Paris they told me to go to London. When I did the rounds in Milan, they said the same. I visited a few more in Barcelona, and they agreed.
Until recently, my experience as a model had been limited to working in the Montréal market. After taking the repeated advice given to me by bookers from across Europe, I signed with d1 in London in October.
I made the trek overseas at the start of the New Year, and have been noting the market differences since.
In Montréal, models generally go to castings and meet the clients. You have some of that here, but a large part of the go-see's and castings I've been on so far have been for production agencies. It seems that here, clients commission their editorials, or campaigns to a production agency that executes the project from A-Z.
Depending on the time of year, a male model in Montréal will go on 2-3 castings a week. So far, I've been sent on an average of three castings a day.
London is also home to world famous commercial, and editorial clients. At the end of my first week here I had already been on castings for world famous photographer David Sims (www.artpartner.com), Arena Homme + magazine and Topman.
Today, I had my second test shoot in two weeks with photographer Alistair Guy (alistairguy.com) for graduating Central St. Martins menswear design students. While Wednesday I am still on option for a music video.
At castings last week, I briefly met a few other models from my agency who gave me insight into the market here. After saying only a few words, one of them noticed my accent and automatically asked me how long I've been in town. Since I am new here, their opinions of the market have really provided a starting point for me. We joked about the “London A-Z” map that apparently every model in town owns. There are so many small streets that this map has become my new best friend… other than my iPod, that is.
Fashion Week here begins February 19th, and although there are only a few menswear shows, I am excited for the experience to come. I know that it will be much more hectic (in an amazing-type of way) compared to MFW.
So many different people have told me that London is a great city for models, and so far – they seem to be spot on.
Shawn Dezan is a Giovanni model, currently with d1 in London.