Lauren Maguire is more than an agent for models. Through her work, she’s looking to make a change in the industry, serving as an advocate and developing a strong relationship with models to produce beautiful, meaningful content. Schön! spoke with Maguire for an insight into her work.
Hi Lauren! What’s your history as an agent? As in, how did you get into this business
Hello! I’ve wanted to be an agent ever since I was around 16 years old. I absolutely loved the fashion world and was introduced to it at a young age. For some reason the modelling industry always stood out to me, and I’d always try to predict which models would become successful. A lot of the time I’d be right, and my parents were like, you know there’s a career in this? Ever since then I dreamed of working as an agent and did my best to work towards that. I went to university for Fashion Promotion and did an internship at a modelling agency. After I graduated I started working in the same agency right away as the receptionist. I taught myself how to book while I had free time on the front desk and got familiar with the industry lingo. At the same time I was doing a remote internship for another agency. So, I’d work 9-6 at the first agency and then 7-midnight at the second one. I did that for just under a year and then became an agent, and I’ve been in the industry ever since! It’s been about 4 years now and I’ve been able to work with models and clients all over the world! I consider myself super lucky for my success in the industry so far.
In your time in this industry, what have been some of your favourite projects/experiences?
A project I really loved was one that was taken during COVID when the world was under strict quarantine. It was for Vogue Italia and the photographer, Emily Soto, was doing a quarantine series. I booked four models on that job; they shot over FaceTime with Emily and it really opened up a new way of doing photoshoots from home. I thought it was really cool and the pictures turned out beautifully.
Another one of my favourite projects was booking one of the first models I met for an Urban Decay campaign. It was global and I would see the campaign everywhere. One special moment was seeing the ad in a mall I would go to as a kid. I’d look at all the models at the beauty counters back then and wish to book campaigns like that and then as an adult I was seeing work that I had booked there. It felt surreal! I immediately texted her when I saw it [laughs]. I was so proud of the model and also myself.
On the other side of the coin, what are some issues you’ve found with the industry?
Some models I’ve met have some awful stories about their experience in the industry. A big one is things like body issues and models being told to lose weight to the point where it’s unhealthy. There are a lot of models out there that don’t trust their agent or agency, and I want to be someone they can trust and we can work as a team. There’s so much that needs to change and I really want to be able to be someone that can change the industry for the better and be known as a good agent that has the models best interest in mind.
How do you try to resolve those issues in your work?
I make sure that every model I work with knows that I’m here for them and I’m on their side. I like to be super transparent about everything and to make sure they know how the industry works and what it is exactly that I do. I also make sure that they know that they don’t have to do anything that makes them uncomfortable. Having open and honest communication with one another has really been working well.
What do you look for in a model?
I always look for someone that has an interesting look and personality. I love hearing about their stories and learning who they are as a person. I get super excited about people, and always trust my gut when looking for models. If I’m excited about them, I know I want to work with them. I think it’s become instinctual at this point. There’s so many interesting people out there with incredible stories that deserve to be shared.
Why is having a good relationship with models important for producing quality work?
If you’re happy in your job then you’re going to perform better. If I can make sure they’re having a positive experience and working towards their personal goals then it keeps it exciting for them and I think it’s nice to remind them that I’m here for them and I want them to succeed. It’s really important to me to have a good relationship with them to understand their feelings about certain things and make sure they’re comfortable and to have their input on different matters so we can work together to shape their career in a way they envision.
What are some of your other interests outside of the industry?
I absolutely love gaming! The game I play the most is League of Legends, and over quarantine I made it to Diamond Rank as a Jungler and I was soooo proud of myself! [laughs]. I also do magic tricks sometimes. I used to practice a lot when I was younger and would do magic at events, but now I mostly use it at parties or bars. It’s very handy to get free drinks!
What are you up to next?
World domination, of course. Just kidding! I’m definitely going to continue my work as an agent and keep growing my relationships. But I really want to be someone that can change the industry for models and make it a safe place for them. It would be great to have that be my legacy and be known as someone who really made a difference. Maybe my own agency is somewhere in the future. We’ll see!
Follow Lauren Maguire on Instagram.