When it comes to models, London-based Russell Marsh has the Midas touch. For more than 10 years, his collaboration with Miuccia Prada has commanded the attention of the entire fashion world. Each season, all eyes turn to Prada’s runway to see which relative unknown will become tomorrow’s “It” girl. Among the names on Marsh’s discovery list are Lara Stone, Daria Werbowy and Sasha Pivovarova.
This story first appeared in the May 7, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Maida Grégory-Boina has had a vibrant and diverse career since the Eighties, balancing casting with her work as a stylist. Her client list reads like a who’s who in fashion and entertainment: music videos for Madonna, Michael Jackson and Prince, and casting for Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Yohji Yamamoto. “Beauty is about elegance, style, grace, mystery,” she says. “I’m not someone who’s going to fall into some kind of dictates.”
Angus Munro and Noah Shelley for AM Casting
Without Angus Munro, superstar Anja Rubik might have been just another pretty face. Determined to overcome the perception that Rubik was a bit too commercial, Munro booked her for all his projects until others saw what he did. That keen eye has served this former agent well. In 2006, he joined forces with casting director Noah Shelley. Now designers such as Matthew Williamson and Narciso Rodriguez and magazines including V and i-D clamor for this duo’s vision. A good model, in Munro’s eyes, has “a blend of good proportion, luxuriant skin and hair, bone structure and a facial symmetry,” he says, quickly adding: “And a bit of spark never goes amiss!”
Anita Bitton For the Establishment
Anita Bitton tasted the appeal of fashion early as a former child model in England. She later cut her teeth in New York as a model scout and agent. From top photographers such as Richard Avedon and Craig McDean to designers like Donna Karan and Alexander Wang to magazines such as Vogue and Dazed & Confused, her clients have all relied on her talent for picking the next “It” model. Her 25 years in the business have honed Bitton’s eye. “I’ve come to recognize what Eileen Ford called the X factor,” she says. “Some girls and boys have a natural ease that is somewhat disarming. This is always a pleasant surprise.”
Barbara Nicoli’s influence reaches far beyond her native Italy. Among her clients, Nicoli counts Burberry, Gucci, Emilio Pucci and Versace, and she also frequently collaborates with cutting-edge magazines such as Amica, i-D and Dazed & Confused. With 15 years of experience, Nicoli is noticing what she terms “a rebellion in the system. The actual trend,” she says, “is now to go back and look at the Nineties to early 2000 supermodels. Less new faces and definitely more women.”