Mother agent Bolajo Fawehinmi founded Few Models in Nigeria, Africa's most established agency, since its birth in 2015. With a hand selection of girls, they focus on nurturing and imparting knowledge on their talent at their specialised model academy before they unleash them into the Fashion industry. Bolajo believes that education is imperative, as a form of preparation and protection.
For how long are your running the agency? How the model industry has changed since your beginning?
Few Models was founded in December 2015, we will be 3years old in December. In Nigeria the modeling industry has since changed by introducing rare beauties and most importantly appreciating them, what’s more interesting is the stories behind each model we scout, now people understand that you can find models as suppose to them coming to you most of the time.
Olamide Ogundele for Marc Jacobs Box Bags Campaign Fall Winter 2018
What are the skills that you must have to run the agency?
Commitment to work and consistency is the major skill you need, understanding what your work is about and constantly seeking new ideas, there’s always something to get done running an agency, as tough as it might be here in Nigeria, with us at Few Models, we create a work pattern which is adapted by the team and extended to the models. To enforce skills, we sometimes create master classes for scouts, model agents and so on.
You usually work with models in their very early stages. How is all the process from the scout to introduce the models to Fashion Week / Editorials? What are the basics and requirements that you need to work with them before meet the important clients?
The first basics when we find the models has always been their parents first, we always seek their approval because it is important they understand what we do because most times when the girls are new they don’t understand modeling, when this is done we proceed to the development stage, during this period, we invite them to the agency for two weeks and generate classes on what they need to know about casting, polaroids, how to dress and communicate with client, basically it’s a class we provide before they start meeting local client here in Nigeria also before we propose them to agencies, editorials and fashion week.
Eniola Ebioro for Proenza Schouler Campaign Spring 2019
Mother Agencies have a closer relationship with their models. What kind of issues and situations do you need to solve when your models start working abroad and on a bigger scale?
With every models comes different issues due to our difference in character, but for us the issues our models deal with are understandable because we already spent an amount of time developing and getting to know them. So, we deal with situations of casting, relationships and communication once they start working on a bigger scale, we stand as the factor that comes in to fix in any issue when it’s needed.
How do you protect the girls when they go on set? Do you give them the confidence to say no?
Answer: We always get a sheet before a set and the models understand their work and what is expected of them. They are always obliged to say no and for those who can’t they speak to their manager to step in.
Ayobami walking for Givenchy Fall Winter 2018
There are many of them, but, what it would be your most remarkable success in the industry so far? Is there a case that you remember as the most special?
This is absolutely hard to choose because there’s actually so many, all the girls are literally on fire, Olamide, Ruth and Eniola has work for Calvin Klein, Ayobami and Elizabeth has worked for Zara, Bola Edun and Eniola has worked for Victoria Secrets, it’s just so many to begin to mention with the girls, they all make us so proud.
What do you consider is the best part of your work?
The best part of work is nurturing the girls before they leave. It’s always so interesting for us to see because they are our babies.
Read the full Mother Agencies feature at Spring Summer 2019 - Issue 2. Get your copy here.
Words by Charlie Newman.
Elizabeth Ayondele portrayed by Vladmir Martí for Harper's Bazaar
Ayobami for Saint Laurent Fall Winter 2018