At New York’s Fashion Week, you’ll be treated to quite a show. Beautiful models walk down the runway wearing the clothes of the world’s most prestigious designers. The music pounds, and hundreds of cameras flash. Celebrities sit in chair after chair. It is the epitome of every model’s dream. They didn’t get here alone, however. Behind many successful models in New York and elsewhere is Icon Model Management Inc, the top modeling agency in Toronto. It has guided many models to the top of the fashion world.
“I love seeing our models succeed,” says Riz Asghar, ICON’s model agent. “It is the culmination of sometimes years of hard work, and it’s immensely satisfying. It is a long process however, one that starts with recruitment.”
ICON’s agents are experts at spotting potential, and they recruit from all over the world. “We have grown into one of the biggest names in international fashion in part because we know how to discover talent and then manage the career of the model. We are simply good at it, to be honest,” says Riz.
Once the model signs, the development process begins. “This is unique to each individual. You can’t develop the career of a model if you don’t understand them first, so that’s what we focus on. We truly get to know them. Once we do that, once we understand the individual, then we can manage their careers and help them reach their goals. This is part of what I do, and I love it. It’s so satisfying to see someone I’ve been working hard to help succeed actually land her first contract. We all celebrate when that happens.
“I don’t do it alone, of course. There’s a team of professionals at ICON who have made us one of the top modeling agencies in Toronto. We are committed to providing the highest quality of representation to its models and talents. The results speak for themselves. Pick up Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Elle, and Flare, for example, and you may see our models in it. ICON’s talents have also appeared in music videos with Drake, Alicia Keys, and Sean Paul.”
ICON’s clients value the talents that ICON recruit, and they know they can trust them. “That’s why we are asked for time and time again. You don’t work with Gucci, for example, without first building up a lot of credibility.”
Over the years, ICON’s models have worked with the world’s top brands and designers, including Zara and Ralph Lauren, just to name a few. “Our clients know that when they contract with us, they will get high-quality models,” says Riz. “Our models are distinguished for having more than just ‘the look.’ Yes, that ‘look’ is important, but more importantly, the models must have drive and ambition. They must be motivated professionals that thrive in the competitive modeling and entertainment industries. Professionalism is highly valued in this industry, and our models embody that. That’s why ICON is so trusted.”
Modeling is a dynamic industry, and the world’s themes and trending topics often figure into it. “We have a big stage that a lot of people pay attention to, so we use it to advocate for many causes, like spreading awareness of conflict diamonds in Africa or being a voice against domestic violence,” explains Riz. “Such projects get to be featured in magazines, in social media, on television, at fashion walks, and in many other proliferating campaigns. And, of course, it means we can use our platform to do a lot of good for many people.”
Riz loves where the fashion world is headed. “The fashion world’s future is only limited by our creativity and imagination. When I look around, I see incredibly talented people taking us into the frontier. Absolutely ICON will be the leader of that charge. There are designers who envision things that will blow you away, and ICON has the models to bring those ideas to life.”
Riz knows the fashion world is not always easy, and he would like to share some ideas that have been crucial to his own success. “Never give up. It can’t be an option. Keep going no matter what happens. When the problems come, you need to be creative and innovative to overcome them. If you persevere, you’re going to see big things happen. It’s just a matter of being tenacious.”
“The fashion world is like nothing you’ve experienced,” says Riz. “Every day is a new adventure. I work with people who are dreaming of making it big, and I help them do that. I help people reach their goals. I can’t imagine anything more rewarding. I help make dreams happen at ICON.”
The Fashion District / 477 Richmond Street W., Suite 310 / Toronto, ON M5V 3E7 /
t: 416.504.ICON (4266) /
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