Interview with ALEXANDER DAVID KERN of SMC Model Management
Alexander David Kern began his career in the modeling industry as a model and soon after, along with his mother Véronique Kern, he started his own agency – SMC Model Management, which grew to become one of the leading German agencies specialised in discovering and developing new faces. Since being established in 2009, SMC has proved its worth by placing their models with the world’s most prestigious agencies such as Wilhelmina Models, Women Management, Storm Models, etc… and having worked for the likes of Prada, Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel, to name a few.
In the run – up to the excitement of the upcoming Fashion Week FW 17/ 18, Alexander talks about his experiences, discoveries, and advice for new faces.
How did you start working in modeling industry, and what are your responsibilities at SMC Model Management ?
Born as the son of model parents Véronique and Peter Kern, who was the first face of Dior
Fahrenheit, I grew up with fashion and everything around it. But it was me, after 3 years of full time modeling who built SMC and wanted to find, develop and build the next generation of Supers.
With all the support by my wonderful mum, who always trusted my ideas, we started building our boutique agency called SMC where we stand for 100% mother management. In addition to the careful development of so – called new faces, our goal is both to implement long – lasting careers for our models and to guide them through their model lives in all conceivable aspects. I scout, find, develop, create an image, build and manage my girls.
Being a former model yourself, how did it shape your current position within the modeling industry?
I have to say that my girls are very lucky, cause we find it helpful that I was a model myself, I can advise, teach them from walking to pose to dress and give all my experience through the years to the girls. Great fact is also that I know all the casting directors personally such as Ashley Brokaw, the lovely Maida & Rami, Piergiorgio Del Moro and Samuel [Ellis Scheinman] …
How do you scout for models?
We don’t do special scouting trips, BUT wherever we are, we have an open eye… If it’s in my free time at the club where I found Jana Julius, or my mum getting croissants and bread at the bakery where she recently found our outstanding beauty Melissa Anderson, who is really in demand right now!
Who are your „big discoveries“?
Julia Zimmer who we booked on Prada Campaign with Steven Meisel after 2 weeks being signed with us back in 2009, and our nowadays discoveries are Nicole Atieno who has since her debut as an exclusive walked 7 Gucci shows already, as well as her 5th campaign now. There is also my little Claudia Schiffer, Jana Julius who is one of my best friends as well, and is just fresh off the runway of her first season where she walked for the likes of Karl Lagerfeld for Fendi, Rochas, Paco Rabanne, No21…
What advice would you give to a young model, just starting out?
To really properly choose where to send your application, depending on what career you are planning to achieve. Another thing is to really give your best if you wanna make it to champions league, meaning to be on time, dressed fabulous, have a killer walk and try to have fun at every show and job, to make people want to work with you again. Don’t feel you’re in a rush, you really need to learn to be patient especially in the beginning, as well as not to get sad if one option is not working out right away. One door closes, another maybe bigger opens!
Where do you see modeling industry heading in the years to come?
To be honest, it really got crazy outside there in modeling industry, with all this instagram and social media generation, which I don’t mind, but I think it got a bit too much recently… Models should be booked because of talent and not because of the number of followers. Also it’s sad somehow to see some breakthrough girls after one season to disappear, I wish people would try to create a longer career, but also the model really has to give her best to stay for long. Our goal is to always create a long – lasting career where you go bigger and bigger, step by step, but safe.