KlarSkin x Fraser Olender
Men’s Agent at Premier Model Management
People always ask me what agents look for in models - in fact, if I received a pound for every time someone asked, I would have retired and moved to the South of France by now.
A model to me looks like a model, you can’t put it in to words. What I can put into words is that personality, manners, punctuality and charm really do shine through – it separates working models, those who will continue to work, and those who have short lived careers. To add to this, the basics are important and clean, clear skin definitely helps. I truly believe that quality in product is very important, regardless of the price. If it works for you, stick with it but everyone is different so trail and error is the only way to succeed on this one. Regarding makeup, less is always more - never underestimate minimalism when it comes to beauty as you really don’t need much on your face to stand out. This all said, the most crucial part to looking and feeling good is diet!
Looking at models all day, you can see a difference in those who look after themselves and those who don’t, or at least those who don’t consistently. Yes, many people are just born with great genetics, but even they need to eat what’s right for their bodies, get some exercise in, and ultimately feel good within themselves as it really does show. For me, routine and skin care are very important contributors to 'feeling good' - whether that may be in the office, whilst out with friends, or doing what you love - which for me is getting out of London and escaping to the countryside. I feel like that's where I'm truly my happiest - in the depths of the British Countryside (preferably lounging by a pool with a very pale glass of rose)!
Personally, I only really started to care about my skin and diet over the last 3 years and I wish I’d started sooner as it’s everything to me now. My daily routine begins by getting up at around 5:30am, having a quick breaky and heading to the gym. I do cardio three times a week and weights twice - a balance that works for me, I’ve found. I shower and get ready at the gym (which I feel is my second home AND offers a free ironing service whilst you work out which I am eternally grateful for!). Again, quality is very important to me so I recommend splashing out on a good moisturiser. I use Rodial Snake Moisturiser O2 or Rodial Dragon’s Blood Hyaluronic Moisturiser – both act as a sunscreen (SPF 15, I believe) and use Weleda skin food on my body if I’m fresh off a holiday. I also use an Aesop face mask once a week to unblock my pores which works a treat too. Depending on my skin, I will dab some L'Oreal infallible matte foundation on my imperfections (as well as my faint rosacea on my cheeks) and blend in with Hoola matte bronzer.
For client dinners or drinks, I am usually found at 10 Cases in Covent Garden. The staff are always great, the food is mainly sharing dishes (so you never over indulge) and the wine list is delightful. My two other top spots are Koji (Japanese) and my best friend’s new restaurant ‘Tell Your Friends’, for all things vegan - both in Parsons Green. And yes, I’m always scouting, but it’s not something I have to think about as us agents are always subconsciously keeping an eye out.
Weirdly enough, I always knew I wanted to be a model booker. I had a very international childhood and we moved around a lot, which exposed me to many interesting people. A family friend of ours lived a very luxurious life as a top international model – I was fascinated. Her beauty, charisma, her entire aura was just ‘cool’ and I wanted her lifestyle. Her day-to-day was built on discipline, luxury hotels, fabulous shoot locations, befriending household names at all kinds of events and partying with her agent. I very quickly knew what industry I wanted to be in – I just had no idea how to get my foot in the door.
I studied Psychology with French at university on the very basic assumption that I wanted to work with people and needed the course to be relatively easy - so I chose French as I already spoke it (I was educated at French schools from the age of 10). Long story short, I left university and threw myself straight in to the big smoke. I asked a model friend of mine if she could get me work experience with her agency at the time, which was Models 1, and she did. I worked my ass off over 2 years from work experience, to intern, to receptionist, to assistant and finally to booker on the men’s division. So despite what people say, it really isn’t about what you know… It’s a little about who, but mainly how hard you’re willing to work.
In my first year working at Models 1, I met Erin O’Connor at a V&A event through my colleague who had been her booker for many years – she was amazing. She surprised me with how humble and real she was, despite all her enormous success. The same feelings go towards Yasmin Le Bon and her gorgeous family!
I moved from Models 1 to Premier Model Management in January 2017. Moving to Premier has completely opened my eyes to a whole new world of booking and enabled me to grow in to the booker I am today. The agency is wildly fun, we are able to work at our own pace but in return we must deliver. I also love how Premier is a family run business making us all an extended family – the fights are brutal but buried in a heartbeat.
Finally, you asked me about people who have been my mentors - this may sound cringe but my Dad. He is entirely self-made and made well. He’s motivated, hardworking, professional and hilarious. He’s strict but reasonable and that’s all I could ask for in myself and in a boss.
Someone not in the family would be the last Director of the men’s division at Premier, Elizabeth, who taught me most of my booking and management skills – I am forever indebted to her for that. This is an awkward one but my ex’s Dad is also a successful business man and I would be lying if I did not say he taught me a lot. One very significant quote of his that I now live my life by is, ‘preparation is the separation between winning and losing’ – apply that to whatever you like – it’s true and it works!