Rene Gonzalez, a seasoned model agent who spent years working between Wilhelmina and IMG, wanted to create a modeling agency that catered to a new generation of models in a changing industry, one in which a model’s personality — and social media following — has become more important than ever.
On Sept. 9, Gonzalez will launch State, a full-service New York-based agency that aims to not only rep models, but also to create role models. “We’re calling ourselves digital managers,” he said. “What we would like to do is let kids know that yes, you can be a model, and yes, it can be glamorous, but there are other things behind it.”
State will support its clients’ images but also their talents and interests with a focus on social and digital content. In terms of what he is looking for in new talent, Gonzalez cited diversity and depth. “We really want models that have something to say,” he said. “When we do interviews, we ask what they’re doing in school. We’re about building who you are. The criteria is open for us; it’s about what makes you interesting to a larger audience.”
The agency represents about 30 models. Among them is Arizona native Alli Gooch, a Star Wars fanatic who designs Web sites and video games in her spare time, and Seth Atwell, a striking androgynous model from Nova Scotia and the only male on the roster.
State will mark its launch with a party hosted by London-based “It” girl photographer, model and blogger, Candice Lake in New York on Sept. 9.