Taking Initiative: Supermodel Julie Anderson

Julie AndersonJulie Anderson is now the President and Editor-in-Chief of the Feminine Collective

Julie was “chosen” at an Elite Model Search. She has been globetrotting, wearing and sharing, mingling and mixing with the crème de la crème of the FASHION, ARTS, and FILM industries for 25 years now. She graced the pages of editorial spreads in Elle magazine (every international edition), Vogue magazine (British, Italian, French, Spanish, German, and American) and the covers of Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Esquire, GQ and Elle. She was the La Perla “girl” for almost a decade, and Estée Lauder had her under contract. Dolce and Gabbana chose her to walk the runway, as well as Chanel, Chloe, and Valentino.

Here is part of an interview I did with her:

Q: What were your biggest accomplishments as a model?

Julie: There are two that really stand out in my mind. I feel I had control on both of their outcomes. I was up for an Estee Lauder campaign. My agency at the time was really good and knew the importance of presentation. They gave me the ‘heads up’ about the casting and the look they were after.

I took the initiative and went out and bought a Ralph Lauren all white suit. It was the most expensive outfit I ever purchased. I went to the casting in my immaculate white suit and did get the contract. I believe the way I presented myself had a lot to do with my success.

Q: How would you translate that into advice for those in modeling or going into modeling?

Julie: Everything is easier with cash in hand, when you can afford designer clothes, but being able to afford nice clothes does not give you good taste. If I had decided to spend the same money and gone to Betsey Johnson and got some wacky outfit, I would not have fit the look of Estee Lauder. I wouldn’t have presented myself properly to get that contract. So my advice would be to get as much information about the client as possible. Ask your agent and do your own homework online. With the Internet and twoclicks of a mouse you have access to a wealth of information.
So if you are going for a casting to Avon, search online and get a look and feel of their brand. Remember, the casting people have an idea of what they are looking for, at least a rough idea. They may start off looking for a girl who is 5’11” with brown hair and green eyes. But if a girl who is 5’8” with red hair and blue eyes walks in ‘packaged’ with the look of Avon’s brand, then the casting director may say, “The heck with brown hair and green eyes. Let’s go with the red head.” In a way, clients don’t know exactly what they are looking for till they see it.

Q: Going back to the question of your biggest accomplishments, can you tell us the other one?

Julie: Yes, I had a wildly successful career in Paris with one agent. I moved to Australia and had not been in contact with him for many years. I had the idea to E-mail him and see what was happening in the French market. I know him and knew the first thing he was going to think was, “I wonder how she looks?”

So instead of E-mailing and going back and forth with him that way, I made a video composite and sent that along with the E-mail. Advice I would give is to remember people and have an idea of what they like or will be looking for and provide it for them without asking.

Video composites are brilliant. The models share a bit about themselves as well as showcasing how they look on video. For example, “Hi, my name is Julie Anderson and I like to read and garden.” Then I moved around a little, smiled and told the name of my agency.

They should be about a minute. Video is much more dynamic than a two- dimensional photograph.

So I sent a video of myself along with the E-mail and heard back from the agent within a half an hour. He said, “Wow. I am surprised to hear from you. You know we do have a client that has been looking for a spokesmodel for over a year. You may be right for them.” The next thing I knew I was being flown around the world fulfilling a contract for Playtex Lingerie.

I am proud of the Estee Lauder and Playtex because I took initiative and had a direct influence on the outcome of getting those contracts. Again the advice I would give is to get information and take action. I now think that everyone should have a video composite. This way, clients can see your personality and not just a flat image.

This information can be applied to all aspects of our business and personal lives! Take the initiative. Take action. Do your research. Dress the part.

Much love and encouragement, Susan

About Susan Miner