Representing the first Nigerian model to walk for YSL; then signing six new models to YSL; representing models that walked for major brands at New York, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks for brands like Miu-Miu, Prada, Victoria’s Secret and YSL; having one of the most active modelling agencies in Africa, are just a few (see what we did there?) of the many accomplishments that elusive CEO and Founder, BOLAJO FAWEHINMI, has under her belt. But these are mere marks in her tireless efforts to build an ethical and long-lasting agency. In our brief chat with the model and model scout, we find out just a little bit more about Few Models, her expectations for her agency and the industry, and her work to ensure that her models remain safe and healthy in such an unrelenting industry.
Being a model yourself, what was the main goal for you in creating Few Models Agency?
To bridge the gap that existed at that time, between the international modelling market and local modelling market in Nigeria. It was a way for me to create a strong awareness of the appreciation that should be had for the uniqueness of African beauties, which at that time, I felt was being undersold.
As a model who has experienced the highs and lows of the industry – home and away – how important is it for you to be an ethical agency that prioritises the safety and health of its models?
It is extremely important. We are not only prioritising safety and health, but we also prioritise our models as a whole. Under the Few management chain, the models are seen as the top of the hierarchy. We are obliged to serve and manage them to the best of our capacity.
How have you navigated the murkier waters of the world’s fashion industries to ensure that your models are not exploited as many tend to be?
By micro-managing all their activities in all territories and ensuring that we work only with agencies with huge magnitude of reputation and track records. Since its inception, Few Models has seen perhaps the most consistent rise on the local and international scene.
What is it about your agency and your models that has made this so?
I would say consistent hard work and also never letting any praiseful conversation mark an end of such hard work. We are always striving to be the best as a scouting agent and to keep shaping the narrative of the modeling industry in Africa. We try to watch the industry closely, understand what the definition of beauty is at a certain time, redefine it if needed to make sure this accommodates Africa’s definition of beauty, equip all Few team with adequate knowledge and skills and I would say that is pretty much our work formula.
What was your biggest fear in starting your own agency?
That it wouldn’t work out and I would have to go back, crying to one of the long list of job offers that I had at that time.
For you, as a scout, what is that thing that strikes you about a potential signee that convinces you of their potential?
I get to hear this question everyday but unfortunately don’t have a precise answer. I look out for unique quality, which varies in every girl. Of course, there are some initial checks that needs to be ticked off, which are the height, the beauty and cleanliness of the skin, the personality, etc.
Looking back on your career, many years from now, what is the one thing that you feel will solidify Few Model Management and your work, as a success?
The growing diversity and inclusion niche that we are currently channelling a lot of our resources into building.