SELFIES FOR PROFIT: “Put your selfie to work” is the slogan for Model Me, an app for aspiring models that will debut in a test Feb. 20 at a BCBG party, according to company founder Melissa Batsel. The full launch is slated for mid-April.
“My hope is to create a platform for discovery for brands, casting directors and creatives and to connect people with that community,” said Batsel, owner of Batsel Creative casting service. She got the idea when she saw her clients combing social media to find new faces and analyze popularity. Model Me is intended to uncover talent of all ages, noted J. Logan Horne, a stylist and partner in the venture.
“A hundred million selfies were posted last year,” Horne said. “We want every person on there – moms, kids. This will be an amazing tool for [casting directors] to see who is trending in different areas. We have all kinds of analytics.”
Model Me will initially accept models and scouts by application and has more than 8,000 registrants on its website, model.me. Users will be able search the app by region, height, size, hair color and other criteria, including who has racked up the most “likes,” Batsel noted.
To introduce the concept and generate content, the company will set up a custom Model Me photo booth at the BCBG party, Batsel explained. The roughly 5-by 6-foot booth is “a complete selfie studio modeling experience,” she said. The company is negotiating to install the booths in fast-fashion chains and mass merchants, but no deals have been inked yet, Horne said.
Model Me was first tested in September at an Interview magazine party during New York Fashion Week, but it went back to development when people uploaded images unrelated to modeling. “We don’t want people posting pictures of their breakfast and their backyard,” Horne said.
Batsel does have her eye on family pets, however, having secured URLs for Model Me Mutt and Model Me Meow.
“We have a lot of cute stuff in the works for later,” she said.
Model Me has contracted MRY for marketing and promotion.