Iris Minier, International Scout: Inside Elite Model Look

In our series with the Elite Model Look team, we sit down with Iris Minier. As International Scout, she leads the team in finding the next generation of talent. Based in Elite Paris, Iris started her fashion career in New York. Find out what an International Scout does below.

Tell us about Elite Model Look – how would you describe your role in the competition and in the World Final in your own words?

I'm one of the people who travels globally to attend and chooses the winners of each country, who will then participate at the international worldwide final. At the final event I contribute to narrowing the list down to the girls with the best potential.

Photo © Luc Braquet

You started in the fashion industry in New York, where you went to parties at Studio 54, and met Eileen Ford. Did you work in any other area of fashion before the model industry?

I started wanting to be a make-up artist but quickly realised that I needed to make a living, so I went to work in the office of a NYC hair and make-up agency. Before that I attended F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) to study fashion merchandising, but I never finished and preferred going directly to work. It was through this agent that I was introduced to the Ford’s agency.

What attracted you to the role of scout?

Since I was very young I’ve been an aesthetically inclined person. I’m attracted to beauty in all its forms, be it art, dance, music, photography, literature, architecture, and nature. I started at Ford Models as assistant to Bill Ford who did the scouting, and with time Eileen Ford noticed my passion for the industry and my eye which I had developed in my previous activities and she took me under her wing. I started to travel with Eileen and Gerry Ford when they went scouting, so I learned and grew into it naturally. 

Scouting involves lots of travel. What cities are you most excited about going to right now?

I love travelling to far off exotic places but mostly to Latin America. I love the diversity which exists in South America. The energy, colours, geography, since I’m originally from there, it feels like going home for me.

What’s your best tip for travelling a lot?

Exercise, eat right and get your proper sleep. You’ll need your energy to stay positive, and to get through gruelling schedules and to perform at your top level.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?

Always put your best foot forward and don’t take yourself too seriously. 

If someone wants to get into what you do, what is the first thing you’d advise them to do?

You have to have a "good eye". If not, best you do something else!

Finally, what’s your advice for the Finalists in the competition?

Come looking your best! But don’t focus on winning because many girls and boys who didn't win are big models today. But mostly enjoy the moment!

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