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Manchester model agency aims to make a difference

MODEL BOSS: Melissa Drummond

UNLIKE ITS name, Cliche’ Model Management is aiming to bring a fresh and unconventional spin to the highly competitive modelling world.

Based in Manchester, the new company is determined to make a big impact on the world of fashion by raising the profile and prominence of black models in an industry dominated by Caucasians.

Cliché Model Management, which represents commercial, fashion and promotional models from predominantly Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) backgrounds, was created earlier this year by former model Melissa Drummond.

The agency specialises in helping BME models to compete with those from mainstream agencies who invariably follow the ‘ultra-thin’ Western concept of beauty.

In 2007, she took part in the Miss Black Britain modelling competition where she came fourth.

However, despite her potential as a model, Drummond said she had to regularly deal with modelling agents who usually select a maximum of only four or five black models at auditions. They were often tell her “we already have someone that looks like you.”

It’s an issue that was recently highlighted by supermodel Naomi Campbell.

FRUSTRATION

In 2010, she branded the fashion industry as “racist” and urged designers to use more black models. She told the Evening Standard: “The fact we can count on two hands the number of successful black models is a clear indication of how far we still have to go.”

Frustrated by the lack of opportunities for BME models outside London, Drummond decided that she wanted to do something about it and create a platform for models of colour.

AUTHENTIC

Cliché Model Management was born out of this growing concern that portrayals of female beauty in popular culture were helping to perpetuate an idea of beauty that was neither authentic nor attainable.

Drummond told The Voice: “I am extremely grateful for my experiences as a model but modelling for me was more of a hobby. Modelling is about your looks and for me I always felt I had more to give in terms of what I had to say and issues that were important to me.”

CHALLENGES

Drummond is well equipped for the challenges of running a successful business.

She has a degree in Journalism and English Literature, a Professional Certificate in Marketing and is currently studying photography and design skills.

In addition to her experience as a successful model, she has worked for a range of media companies such as the BBC and is an in demand freelance journalist.

She said: “I believe that I can prepare girls for the real and harsh realties they will have to face in this fashion industry. I also want to encourage and motivate my models to recognise and enjoy beauty in themselves and others.”

www.clichemodelmanagement.co.uk

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