Marina Fairfax Shares What It's Really Like To Be A Model Agent

By: Valeria Ramos

Behind every successful model is an intelligent and savy agent. From organizing client meetings and bookings to communicating with other agencies around the world, model agents are assigned with the behind-the-scenes tasks essential to establishing successful careers for beautiful faces.

 In order to learn more about model agents and the specifics of their job, I interviewed Marina Fairfax - an agent at New York Model Management with 10 years in the game who is no stranger to the fashion industry.

Photo Courtesy NY Model Management

Who are some models you represent?
We look after some of the biggest names in the industry- Naomi Campbell, Sarah Brannon, Sanne Vloet, Sui He, Chiharu, and the new cool kids - Jazelle, Duckie, Marland and Lou Schoof, to name a few. 

How did you get started in the model agency business?
I was fortunate enough to get an internship at an agency in London (Take 2 Models), which I loved and they offered me a job at the end. Before that, I had work experience and internships within different fields within the industry. I worked for stylist Charlotte Stockdale, for a London casting director, a buyer, a designer showroom and a magazine. 

What is it like working for NY Model Management?
I couldn't be happier, we're a very close group. I have worked at big network agencies in the past and working in an independent agency where we are super selective on the girls we take on means that the personal management that we can give to the girls is far more than at a company with 500 cards on the wall. I know the models are far happier too. 

Marina Fairfax @marinafairfax

What are some of the responsibilities that come with your job?
My main responsibility are my models. Everything that I do is for them so I'm always wanting to make sure they are happy, working and we're moving forward and achieving their goals. Happy models = happy agents!

Do you scout models as well as manage them?
Yes, scouting has been a huge part of my career. I'm always looking, on the subway, at concerts and even on the streets of New York. I also travel a lot to other countries to agencies that we work with to bring girls from abroad to represent here in New York. 

What is a typical day at work like for you?
One day is never the same as the last. I work a lot with Europe and my girls are based all over the world so usually I'm replying to emails that have been coming in overnight and then it's focusing on jobs that I have going on here. Meetings with clients and models throughout the rest of the day takes up most of my time!

Marina Fairfax with model Sui He

Do you feel that the modeling agency industry has changed over the past couple of years?
When I first started, there was no Instagram and shopping online was very rare. Now, everything is digital and people are moving away from print adverting. With the impact of social media and the constant demand for instant fashion I would say that the industry has evolved. As long as we are one step ahead of the game and are adaptable, then I think we are in exciting times for fashion. A lot of agencies are changing the way their boards are representing social influencers; I am for this but I do feel that it's all about quality not quantity. 

What is your favorite part of the job and what is the most challenging?
I love the shows and the traveling aspect of my job but that is also some of the most tiring and stressful time of the year for us!

What advice would you give to someone pursuing a career as a model agent or in the fashion industry in general?
It's not as glamorous as it looks. It take a lot of hard work, sacrifice and dedication.