Irina Shayk

The Lions Model Management, the three-year-old New York-based boutique modeling agency whose clients include Irina Shayk, Sara Sampaio, Stella Maxwell, Adwoa Aboah and Cameron Russell, has opened a new office in Los Angeles. The Lions L.A. is the second location in the United States for the upstart agency, which has seen rapid growth since its launch.

The new location marks a strategic expansion, tapping into Los Angeles’s suddenly buzzy fashion scene. “From the beginning, we’ve built The Lions on a non-traditional business model that looks beyond measurements to find clients who have unique qualities and we work to develop their profiles,” said Ali Kavoussi, one of the agency’s managing partners. “As the fashion industry continues to evolve, opening an outpost in L.A. is a natural next step as we continue to grow our business.”

Since its launch in 2014, The Lions has taken a different approach to organizing its roster with a fluid board, not segmenting models by gender, ethnicity, size or any other parameter. The agency also devotes time and resources to helping models find their voice and create their own personal brands, which, of course, leads to more lucrative jobs from companies seeking “authentic” and quirky personalities.

While mega-agencies like IMG seem to have a lock on celebrity sons and daughters of, most recently signing Delilah Belle Hamlin, daughter of Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin; Hailey Baldwin, daughter of Stephen Baldwin and wife Kennya Deodato, a former model, and Sailor Brinkley-Cook, daughter of Christie Brinkley and ex-husband Peter Cook, a model-turned-architect, other boutique outfits have been able to nurture true unknowns into potential household names.

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