Friday, April 11, 2008

Model Certification?

In RL, there are dozens of companies out there that prey on the young and inexperienced. This is particularly rampant in the Modeling Industry, where so called 'Schools' charge exorbitant prices to take portfolio shots, train girls and guys how to walk, and teach them so-called "Tricks of the Trade". Many a young girl with the dream of becoming a model has found out the hard way, through the wallet, that you cannot by a dream, you have to work for it. The fashion industry may need models, but there are so many other roles that people can play if they don't have the "look".

Apparently, there are individuals in our virtual world that similarly wish to prey upon the young and inexperienced members. And what girl who loves her avatar has not wanted to be a model? Just a warning... this was passed on to me this morning, and I personally think it is a total crock. I have not spoken to the individual involved, but I would warn anyone that someone who asks for $350LaLas and a further $100LaLas a month for the privilege of being a so-called 'Certified SL Model' is out for cash, pure and simple. This individual has no ties to the fashion industry that I am aware of, nor do they promise work. Here is the contents of the note card in question, and a photo of the proprietor of this 'Group'. Use your heads, beware! The $350LaLa Price may seem like small potatoes for a potential career, but if just 200 people join, this individual stands to benefit to the tune of $70,000LaLas!

Fia Bonetto
From Her Profile:
Hi! The girl you´re looking at is Fia! I´m a 25 years old girl in RL and in Second Life i run a business called Certified Model SL. The idea of that business is to secure quality and high standards in the modeloccupation in SL. If your´e interested in becoming a certified model IM me for further information! Check the ad in my classified for teleport and some other details!

Direct Cut & Paste From the No-Edit Notecard:

Welcome to an information about being
acknowledged as a

Certified Model SL

My name is Fia Bonetto. I´m the owner of the group Certified Models SL.
As You problaby know the fashionbusiness in Second Life has developed under the recent years with increasing quality and quantity. However there is also a fact that the qualityissues is more and more in focus because of higher demands from the business. In Second Life there are lots of modelagencys with different way of hiring models. The standards of the models are very different and with this initative we give the business a new way to assure good quality. The agencys can make less effort in checking up applicances and the employers can get a quick confirmation by the certifying that the models have certain standards making them more suitable for the job.

Becoming a Certified Model SL demands the following basic level. The group can also help out those who hasn´t reached the basiclevel with support in customizing etc.

1. A welldeveloped avatar, female or male, with exclusive quality in shape, skin, hair and so on.

2. Basic knowledge about the modellingbusiness, how to act on stage and under photosessions etc.

3. A nice and sophisticated way of being and good english languageknowledge. Additional competence in language is most positive!

If You pass the qualificationprocedure You will get a membership in our group and the cost for the procedure and ackreditation is 350 linden.
The reason for charging is also the goal to keep this certifying exclusive to a low number (200 members max and then a waitinglist) of really highquality models. As long as youre a member in the group you should provide a weekly tip of minimum 100 linden. This way we can for example arrange our own beautycontests with greater chances of winning greater amounts of pricemoney. And we know these contests isn´t rigged....:)

If You find this information interesting Your most welcome to IM Fia Bonetto for the next step of becoming a Certified Model SL.

Kind Regards


From Her Classified Ad:
We are dedicated to secure the quality of the modeloccupation in Second Life.
The fashionindustry in Second Life has experienced an explosion in both quantity and quality. As this business has developed there has also been an increase in demands for a higher quality in the modellingbusiness. The most ambitious actors in fashion demands the highest quality among their models. We provide an exclusive certifying by interviews and visual control.
IM Fia Bonetto for more information!
Keywords: model,topmodel,exclusive,quality,certified,best,

Spelling and grammatical errors in the note card aside, the only fashion groups this member belongs to are the FREE TO JOIN, OPEN ENROLLMENT: Business Women of Second Life, Fashion Consolidated, Fashion Consolidated Cafe, Models Inc., and SL Models. She also belongs to Instyle Fashion Agency (While a Respected Agency, this is a Free To Join Public Open Enrollment Group).

Ladies and Gentlemen, Please, Please... If you want to find out how to be a model in our Virtual Megaverse, speak to those that work for the most well known and respected agencies, be they models or owners. They can give you tips and insights that will actually lead to your success. Just like in RL, if you have to pay to get in the door with no promise of returns of any kind... BEWARE!


Vivianne Draper said...

Well known and respected agencies? How do you think these well known and respected agencies got started? They were no names when they came into SL -- I know, I was there, I saw them do it. I wondered the exact same thing you are wondering here -- where do these people get off claiming to be able to train models and get work etc etc when they have no ties to the fashion industry and no one has ever heard of them before?

But these companies were given a chance and went out there and did the work and now they are 'well-known' and 'respected.' Which is great! Too bad new entries into the market today are not given the same chance.


Joonie Jatho said...

eeek! Looks like a man in offense...hope that was the look you were going for.


one look and I would be out of there! srsly!

Jhuzen Ketsugo said...

I agree that what are currently well known and respected agencies did start somewhere, I was only suggesting that individuals who are trying to get into the business speak to individuals that have in fact had some success in this arena, before jumping in on something that seems a bit to rediculous to be true.

I am all for start-ups, all for the "underdog". I was directly involved with the start up of a club in SL and it was over a year of working 6-9 hour days, every single day to get it done. It was not paid work, nor did it bring revenue, it is a hobby. I just think that if you want to start an agency and be reputable, you start small, welcome people who are willing to create a brand with you, not expect payment, and start small.

This inbdividual was not attempting to start an Agency as far as I can tell, the information suggestd that she was simply going to "Certify" avatars as SL Models for posessing an atractive avatar, a grasp of the english language, and proper decorum in photo-shoot or runway situations. It did not suggest that there was training involved, and simply mentioned the possibility of participant funded future "NON-FIXED" beauty contests.

I agree each new Modelling Agency starts small, but you can be less known and still garner respect if you attempt to create something on a foundation of hard work, experience, and research. If I were starting an agency, I would find individuals willing to work with me to build something they believed in and not ask them to give me a dime. I may not be able to re-imburse them at the get-go, but they would reap benefits monetarily and in kind (clothes, etc.) as our collective work established a foot-hold in the industry. At which point salaries and expenses could be adressed.

Respectability and Name Recognition are not necesarrily Mutually Exclusive terms.

Jhuzen Ketsugo said...

@ Joonie

That thought occured to me as well, and usually an individual avatars looks are the last thing I even acknowledge. But if you are sending the picture out in your notecard to suggest that you are "Tha Face of A Certified Model" in SL you might want to appear a bit more put together.

Does anyone else find it odd that this is an apparently 25 year-old RL woman? I am 10 years her senior, and I don't thinK I would ever want to look so matronly, ever! Never mind 10 years ago. Ah well, to each avatar their own look I suppose.

Genna Gray said...

Talk about your get rich quick kind of schemes. If she has 200 people enroll @ 350L each and 100L dues every week, that's 150,000L in a month. That will convert to about $568.49. Pretty nice amount of money for just having a group people join and doing nothing else.

Anessa Stine said...

I visited the 'Model Certification' Office personally this morning with a few of my fellow Runway Kidz - suffice to say this does not appear to be someone intending to offer training or any concrete means that would actually benefit an aspiring model. She does however, seem to be interested in selling shapes... and from the looks of them they are not particularily attractive (in my opinion).

This just screams of a scam to me. I don't claim to be a top model - but I have been working steadily for more than 6 months now, and I have never paid for a single modelling class or professional photo - not that those things aren't useful - but I have been lucky, and I simply do not see how any certification that would cost hard earned $$ could improve the career of a model.

...not to mention, I have worked with loads of agencies, amazing and talented people in the industry, I have never heard this persons name, nor seen her at a fashion show, pageant or event - so I am baffled by what she considers the cred to offer anyone advice or certification or any kind.

Sumpin' isn't adding up here folks!

Stephanie Misfit said...

I've seen a few girls in world wearing the tag for this group. They looked like they were still waiting to go through the "ackreditation" procedure, unless this agency actually recommends that breast sliders should be at 100 and body oil and bling be used liberally.

I think this statement from the notecard really sums it all up "As long as youre a member in the group you should provide a weekly tip of minimum 100 linden. This way we can for example arrange our own beautycontests with greater chances of winning greater amounts of pricemoney. And we know these contests isn´t rigged....:)"

Nope, nothing shady going on here....

Erana Destiny said...

Honestly. I'm saddened by this entire blog and how close minded these comments have been.

I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical of it too when I first went to interview with them. But I can also tell you this. In the months since I started SL I've found few if any group owners who work with its members as hard as Fia does in developing them into their best selves.

Could the notecard have been more professional? Yes. Does Fia lack connections in MODA and some of the other large agencies that charge 8000+ Lindens for 'their' courses? I think that's pretty obvious. She does NOT however sit there collecting fees without compensating the members well above and beyond what she is charging for her time.

I'm sure there will be people who look at my work and call me a noob for thinking this, but personally I feel that Fia's aid goes far beyond what she asks in return. The hours of her time I and many of the others in the group have been given isn't something you'll hear me complaining about anytime soon.

And in case anyone wants to see first hand the before and after my flickr profile is located at this URL (Fairy1 being the first shot I've had time to upload since joining but more will be coming soon):

I can understand the reasons some of the critics have had for picking Fia's work apart. All I ask though is next time you start throwing stones, why don't you try actually talking to a girl IN the group.

--Erana Destiny
P.S. And yes my own grammar leaves something to be desired. But this is a blog, not an English Thesus so sue me.

Jhuzen Ketsugo said...

@ Erana

Saddened By The Entire Blog? Wow, that's a pretty heafty statement considering 99.9% of this blog is merely a display of my wardrobe. I do not write a political blog, nor do I like to create or engage in controversy, but this was an issue I felt strongly enough about to highlight.

I did not throw 'stones' at anyone. I reported what information was available to all who recieved the notecard and anyone who could open search to look at profiles and group descriptions. I never claimed to have spoken to Fia Bonetto, and my sole purpose of the post was to alert individuals that new members in-world are easy prey to scams of all sorts, and that girls and guys looking to have modelling careers are perhaps the easiest prey of all. I did not suggest that Fia was a Scam artist, I only higlighted the potential income that she would see if her suggested maximum number of members was reached.

I know many models who have successful careers in-world, and I can assure you that there is very little money to be made in this line of work, and very few reach the status of Top Models working for the Top Brands. Most Designer labels use their own Avatars for their own vendors or ad work, and well organised agencies who do Runway shows do not generally have more then 10 models per show (if that).

I wish you all the success in your modelling career. I am glad you are very satisfied with your avatar's looks, and if Fia Bonetto was responsible for your contentment, then that is a wonderful thing indeed.

My sole purpose in the ONE post, was to suggest that the scams that have been prolific in the real world, are easily transported into a virtual world, and that individuals should always be educated consumers.

~ Kets