Back in 2010, Instagram was a place where users played with different filters and shared vintage esque photos of their day-to-day lives, avocados on toast and polaroid-style selfies. Fast-forward to 2018, it’s turned into a platform not only aimed at sharing who you are but also an opportunity to build a business and generate income. With current online influencers and its vast global reach, it’s safe to say that Instagram is proven to be a powerful platform affecting not only the business world but also the current modelling industry.
Many agencies and scouts now prefer browsing Instagram instead of walking the streets to find new fresh faces. This opens a door for potential models to share their best pictures online for a chance to be scouted.
In December 2014, IMG launched an Instagram campaign We Love Your Genes to find new models. People were sharing their photos using the hashtag and in just under a year more than 50 girls and boys to be scouted and signed to IMG.
Being a public platform, Instagram gives agencies a sneak peak into different people’s lives and a contrast between polished portfolios and more natural and raw images. With this in mind, in 2015 Marc Jacobs also followed and launched the #CastMeMarc campaign, selecting ten lucky winners for their Spring Summer high-profile advertisement. Soon after, fashion magazine W along with IMG scouts launched W Model Campaign to find a model for the magazine, receiving more than 1,200 entrees.
By Kamilla Bakiyeva
1. Anok Yai
Egyptian-born American model, was first discovered on Instagram through a street-style photographer that took a picture of her at an annual Homecoming concert and shared it on his Instagram. In a matter of just two days, the photo became viral and her Instagram following grew from 150 to 50,000 users. Immediately after, she began receiving messages and calls from different agents, until eventually settling with Next Models. Being opened about encouraging diversity, last season Anok made history of being the second black woman to open Prada show, ever since Naomi Campbell made her debut in 1997.
Image Source: Teen Vogue
2. Yoon Young Bae
Korean model Yoon, was first discovered on Instagram when she was just 19 years old. With her doll-like features and cheek freckles, she soon caught the attention of casting director Ashley Brokaw. Shortly after, she made her debut walking a Prada show and even received praise from Moschino director, Jeremy Scott himself! Under her belt, Yoon already represented designer brands such as Dior, Kenzo and Chloe.
She’s currently signed to Seoul native agency YGKPLUS.
Image Source: Zara
3. Nadia Rahmat
Nadia was one of the Instagram users that entered the 2015 Marc Jacobs campaign. Originally from Singapore, with Arab and Indian descent, she managed to catch an eye of Marc Jacob’s creative directors Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley and along with ten other winners, became the face of their Summer-Spring advertisement. With her cool style, resemblance to FKA twigs and passion of diversity, Nadia is the name that we will remember for a long time.
She’s currently signed to a London based agency Nevs.
Image Source: The Strait Times
4. Lameka Fox
In 2016, Lameka was one of the lucky girls who were scouted and signed by IMG through their We Love Your Genes Campaign. Just a few months after, she made her debut at Marc Jacobs runway in New York. Originally from Washington, the 20 year old Lameka is already building a big name for herself and representing designer brands including Burberry, Valentino as well as walking the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Show.
Image Source: IMG
5. Alexis Primous
Alexis was first discovered on Instagram after the entered the W Model Search Campaign. Through the hashtag, the Florida native came on the top and was eventually featured in W magazine. She’s been praised for “looking like a pro” on her first photo shoot and has already walked for brands such as Hood by Air, DVF, Derek Lam and 3.1 Phillip Lim.
She’s currently signed to IMG.
Image Source: W
6. Elizabeth Bishop
Elizabeth first started sharing photos of herself, as well as her own photography on Tumblr before moving on to Instagram. With her creative eye and artistic approach, the photos not only helped her gain a following but also be noticed and scouted by Elite Agency. The British model has already been featured with international brands including Puma, Uniqlo, Tezenis and more recently Fendi and Dolce Gabbana.
Image Source: Teen Vogue
7. Gina Pacak
Gina always dreamed of becoming a model and after seeing the IMG campaign, decided to create an Instagram account dedicated to modelling. Within 24 hours, the 15 year old was contacted by IMG vice president of development Jeni Rose and flown to New York shortly after. Being from Pittsburg, Gina was accompanied by her mother and introduced to IMG Vice President and invited to attend the Caroline Herrera Fashion Show. After doing some photo shoots, she was signed to a three year contract with IMG.
Image Source: IMG
There are different ways you can be scouted on Instagram and these girls are a perfect representation of taking this opportunity and stepping their foot through the door of the modelling world. We should not forget that current media is continuously evolving and the modelling agencies, just like us, are trying to keep up with the change and create new opportunities. We are hoping this would inspire you to expands your possibilities and continue working hard to achieve your dreams.