Aidan Jean-marie, Director Of Elite London: Inside Elite Model Look

As part of our series with the people behind Elite Model Look, we sit down with Aidan Jean-Marie, Director of Elite London. Starting at Elite this year, 2017 is the first year Aidan will be part of the Elite Model Look World Final. We talk to him about what he'll be looking for in the Finalists, how he started in the industry and where he sees the competition going in the future.

This is your first Elite Model Look World Final since you started as Elite London Director. What are you expecting?

How do you know what to expect from something you have never experienced? On reputation alone Elite Model Look has always been the envy of every agency – it is access to the best talent around the globe. So, I think that’s what I am expecting – is to see the best.

Photo © Luc Braquet

Everyone wants to know the secret to discovering the next thing in modelling. What are you looking for in the Finalists of Elite Model Look?

I am old school, so my aesthetic is beautiful talent. However, now the landscape is also about a deeper narrative, so it’s that combination of unworldly beauty with an essence of a story.

How did you get started in the model industry yourself? What keeps you going?

I was always interested in aesthetics, art and architecture. I loved art history. My favourite period of history was the Renaissance and my obsession with Leonardo da Vinci in my early years – that mixture of artist and engineer. But it was my exposure at the independent publishers of The Face and Arena Homme Plus. Working with the fashion team at AHP+ in the early years focused my eye towards fashion and everything to do with the industry. The catalyst was art directing and branding for a new agency as my BA HONS final degree project, that was how it all started and from there I have never looked back. I came out with a first! I suspect the reason why I’m still here over 20 years later is my relentlessness to keep the story evolving on how we communicate beauty creatively through the talent and clients that we work with.

What do you believe is the biggest challenge to the model industry in 2017?

The challenges are authentic communication and keeping up with the advancements in technology. The consumer now has access to everything and everyone within a few clicks – so how do you work with that exponential equation of exposure? This will be the biggest challenge for all of us – navigating multiple dimensional levels with authentic communication.  

What’s the best career advice you ever received?

To listen and to learn everyone’s job – only then can you have true insight into what people are experiencing.

What can we expect from EML UK in 2018?

One product to expect from EML 2018 is a trailer film…

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