BRYANBOY’S NEW MOVE: Blogging is becoming big business and IMG wants a bigger slice of the pie.
WWD has learned that Bryan Grey Yambao, aka Bryanboy, has just defected to IMG Models from Creative Artists Agency, whose two-year-old fashion division is being rolled into its licensing and intellectual properties group.
While that may make just two bloggers so far to have signed specifically with IMG Models — the other is New York-based casting director/stylist Natalie Joos from Tales of Endearment — compared to the 20 bloggers on the books of rival Next Model Management, Bryanboy is the third blogger IMG has signed in the space of five months. Bryanboy’s blog is hosted by Now Manifest, which is owned by WWD parent Fairchild Fashion Media.
In early April, to coincide with the launch of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, IMG Australia said its Talent Management division had signed Australian personal style blogger Nicole Warne, who claims to have a social media audience of over 1.4 million through her popular Gary Pepper Girl blog and social media feeds, notably Instagram, on which she boasts 630,000 followers.
Warne’s first gig under IMG’s management was to take up the role of official ‘MBFWA Insider’ — the presenter-host of the event’s live-stream show program.
In the subsequent months, she has beefed up her brand collaboration portfolio with a series of new deals with names such as Westfield, Lancôme, Dolce & Gabbana and Italian e-boutique Shoescribe.com — all brokered by the IMG Models Australia division.
A second Sydney-based blogger, Romy Frydman, has since been signed to IMG Australia’s Talent Management division. According to IMG Models senior vice president and managing director Ivan Bart, more may be in the pipeline.
Bart believes IMG’s broadcasting arm and IMG Models’ recently relaunched men’s division are well placed to develop Bryanboy’s foray into broadcasting via two seasons as a judge on “America’s Next Top Model,” and his brand collaborations, which include a deal with New York-based fur designer Adrienne Landau.