When it comes to the modeling industry, it takes a hard-working team to sort through the beautiful to find the perfect face, attitude, walk, and total package to represent your agency. 303 Magazine holds its own casting calls for Denver Fashion Weekend, but we also get help from the pros when it comes to finding the most talented models to walk the City Hall Amphitheater runway.
For years, 303 has enlisted the help of the Donna Baldwin Agency, Colorado’s largest talent agency that represents the best in the biz. To teach us a little about the agency, Donna Baldwin’s Fashion Runway and Print Director, Diana Gormley gave the scoop on the future of Denver fashion, what it takes to survive in the industry, and how DFW has benefited their bombshell models.
Kevin Alexander was the genesis behind the photos posted below, and frequently works with Donna Baldwin models to create these beautiful pieces of art. Most recently, he produced UNLEASHED, a project featuring Donna Baldwin models and DFW standout designer Oscar Utierré. The video is an absolute must-see showcasing Denver’s very own talent!
303 Magazine: What inspired you to get involved in this specific aspect of the fashion industry?
Diana Gormley: When I was 20 years old I was “The” Donna Baldwin’s assistant. I was attending the Art Institutes of Denver at the time and assisted Donna for two years and really found a love and knack for the modeling business. I was really good at developing new talent! I later moved to New York City and worked for two of the biggest modeling agencies in the world, NEXT Model Management and New York Models. After 12 successful years in New York I decided to move back to Colorado and took the position in the Fashion and Print Department here at Donna Baldwin. In addition, I co-own a scouting and model placement company called Revolution Management with my partner Marc Tuscher. We collaborate with Donna to place local fashion models who have the potential to work outside this market. We have 60 girls worldwide in New York City, Milan, Paris, London, and within the Asian territories. We are killin’ it over here! My extensive worldwide experience is unmatched in this market, so my girls have connections that no other agency can give them here.
303 Magazine: Did you have any models at New York Fashion Week this spring or any in the London, Paris, Milan shows?
Diana Gormley: We did! I had three girls at New York Fashion Week that are from Denver. I had six girls total. I have a very special Colorado model, McKenna Bird, who did some really amazing high-end shows in New York City, London, Milan, and Paris.
303 Magazine: With all your experience in the industry, what is your advice for aspiring models?
Diana Gormley: The fashion business is not for the faint of heart. That is the TRUTH. It is super cutthroat; it is largely if not all based on superficial qualities. There is ton of disappointment and rejection, so it is important to have a thick skin first and foremost. Secondly, the determination a person has to have to be successful in the industry is paramount. A model has to be determined, patient and confident that you will get there. Patience is key because careers are not built overnight it takes years and years to do well in the modeling industry.
303 Magazine: What is your advice for someone who would be interested in the reverse, your job for example?
Diana Gormley: I think it’s the most amazing job in the world! My advice to anyone on the local level is to get into the big markets. You need to go to New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Chicago. You need to go and you need to get that experience because that’s what creates a really good agent.
303 Magazine: Have you traveled the Fashion Week Network (New York, London, Milan, Paris)?
Diana Gormley: I have! When I worked in New York City for those many years that was my job. I would go to Europe and Eastern Europe several times per year as a scout. I have been all over and it has been a very rewarding career for me!
303 Magazine: What do the Stylists contribute to Donna Baldwin?
Diana Gormley: Stylists are typically booked for a commercial market like Colorado. For example, I book for King Soopers and Wells Fargo. It’s not usually fashion jobs that stylists tend to book here. Stylists do wardrobe for popular catalogs or similar business. Most of the popular fashion stylists in Denver are pretty well connected and are usually together working on a ton of projects. I absolutely applaud them all!
303 Magazine: What are your thoughts on the future of Denver fashion?
Diana Gormley: I think Denver has an amazing amount of talent here. I love how creative and forward thinking people are in the area. I think there are a few people who are exceptional and our market is lucky to have them, people like Charlie Price, Matthew Morris, and and Ron Lopez as well as many others in town who have brought so much good work to what we do. I have definitely seen changes in the past 6 years. We are all in it together to try and build build build!
Check out Diana’s DFW interview in 303’s Spring 2014 issue!