This month we spent 5 minutes catching up with Farid Haddad, who runs BMA Models along with his brother Alex Haddad, mother Lynn Campbell-Walter and founder David Charman. BMA are well known for their diversity and range of talent, so we thought who better to give us the insider scoop on the modelling industry!
Can you tell us a bit about BMA Models?
BMA Models is one of London’s leading commercial and fashion agencies. BMA began life in 1982 in a tiny house just outside London with just 5 models. David Charman (founder) was the maverick model agent with an eye for diversity. David’s initiative was to launch the first UK modeling agency to represent a wide diversity of models and characters from child models to grandparents. BMA was the first UK agency to book and market models of all nationalities, ethnicities and ages directly to clients & soon became the UK’s leading modeling agency.
As the leading model agency in London, BMA’s models continue to grace the covers of magazines, advertising campaigns, TV commercials, and fashion shows in the UK and around the world. BMA Models head office is based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire and now has offices around the world including South Kensington, London & Beirut, Lebanon.
You’re known as a ‘one-stop modelling agency’, can you tell us a little bit about your divisions?
The diversity and range of models includes over 1000 models within the following divisions – Female Models, Male Models, Classic Models (over 35’s models), Character Models (Real People), Youngstars (Babies, Toddlers & Teenage Models), Parts Models (Hands, Legs & Foot Models), Curve Models, Mum’s to be Models (Pregnant Models), Sports Models (Lingerie & Swimwear Models), Family Models, Twins & Triplets, Stylists and Hair & Makeup Artists.
© Suzie Howell / Some of the BMA team and models at our LPA Futures launch party
How did you get into the modelling industry?
Myself & my brother (Alex Haddad) started working at BMA Models in 2008 after studying and working in many different industries all over the world from New York and Dubai to Beirut.
Inspired by our mother a former FM Model and company Director we decided to join the agency. We literally stormed on to the scene and revolutionized the agency developing BMA to be one of the largest agencies in the UK. As a result, 2013 saw the launch of BMA Artists which was set up to run alongside the model agency to source & market the UK’s top actors, actresses and performing artists. This year we launched our Influencer department & our DJ departments. We also not have a roster of celebrities & provide personal management services.
Together we have diversified the business over the years to become one of the most prestigious agencies in the world.
If you weren’t running a modelling agency, what would you be doing?
Running another family business in Beirut; a 24,000 sqm country club & leisure centre.
What would a typical day as a model agent involve?
Too much. We are constantly surprised every day with new things. It’s an ever changing & evolving job. Always too much to do.
What are the best and worst things about running a modelling agency?
The best thing would be helping people achieve their dream & goals. The worst is seeing people fail & not being able to do anything about it.
What advice would you have for any aspiring models wanting to get signed with BMA?
Understand how the industry works & do your research. Make sure this is truly what you want to do.
You represent both commercial and fashion models – how would you describe the difference between the two looks?
Commercial models generally don’t have height or size restrictions, whereas the fashion industry is very particular about height, size & look.
What does it take to be a successful model, aside from the right look?
Professionalism, perseverance, personality & faith in one’s self.
Some agencies have a bad reputation when it comes to promoting a negative body image. What’s your stance on this?
We promote models of all shapes, size, colors & looks. We are all different in this world but we are all equal.
What’s the most unusual thing a BMA model has been asked to do on a shoot?
A model had to put a rat on his privates!