Pandora Lennard (pictured left) is one of the inspirational women featured in our latest issue of Topshop magazine. On a mission to challenge the notions of beauty, she teamed up with BFF Lucy Greene last year to set up Anti-Agency – a model agency that puts originality, talent and personality first. We caught up with her to find out more…
How did Anti-Agency come about?
Lucy and I were both stylists for six years. I was fashion editor at Tank magazine and The Observer’s fashion supplement and Lucy was a celebrity stylist. We’d both been casting our friends in campaigns and putting them up for paid work whenever we could to help them out. We had so many hot, cool, and most importantly talented friends that needed the money and publicity to be able to promote their skills. So one day last year we got together and wrote a list of them all and started asking people to take a leap of faith and do something different with us!
What’s the ethos behind Anti-Agency?
The agency is for people who could’ve been models and decided not to, for people who are too cool to be models and people with real lives on the verge of exploding in music, fashion, art, illustration & creative industries, etc. We hand pick all of our models, most of them are friends. We don’t have any size, height or weight restrictions. We don’t care if you’re model proportions or not. We don’t ask you to change anything about the way you look. We pick people who are unique, hot, cool, opinionated, talented, outspoken and intelligent. We believe models should be booked for their personalities and talents not just the way that they look. Our models don’t do tests or unpaid work. We understand that modelling for them is secondary to their other careers and we support them fully in that. We try to promote their talents and skills just as much as get them paid jobs to be able to fund their passions.
What’s been the highlight so far?
When two of our girls were picked to be in the Marc by Marc Jacobs campaign. It was such a whirlwind experience for them, but so fun. We’ve had models in everything from Topshop to Versace campaigns. Every job is exciting for us and meeting new models still gets us excited.
Can you share some exciting projects that you’ve got coming up?
We’re definitely focusing more on publicising the models for their skills. Amy for example just won the Melita Hulme poetry prize and has a book coming out in 2015, Arvida’s work as a feminist artist continues to surprise and amaze us, James has an incredible new fine jewellery collection coming out in September, Izzy is just the most amazing illustrator! There’s so much that we’re proud of them for aside from their modelling! In terms of the agency itself we’ll be starting to introduce the models across different media platforms so everyone can get to know their personalities better. And expanding to the States by the end of the year!
Read more about the women inspiring us in Topshop magazine out tomorrow.