PRETTY GOOD GUIDANCE: The modeling industry has faced such a backlash from the number of toothpick-thin models on the runway that even Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour voiced her frustration in her April editor's letter, describing the models during the New York fall collections as "pale and thin, entirely lacking in the joyfulness and charm that once defined the supermodels." But Eleni Renton wants to ensure young pretties have a healthier sense of self on the runways. The longtime model booker oversees modeling agency Quintessentially Models, a division of luxury lifestyle group Quintessentially.
The agency, which launched last month, will give models access to a network of nutritionists, personal trainers and financial advisers. "I don't want to see unhealthy girls anymore," said Renton. "Even if it's just baby steps to making a difference, that's where I want to be."
The modeling agency will advise its stable of 120 girls on diet and health, personal finance and wealth management through partnerships with Barclays Wealth, organic food manufacturer Organic Pharmacy and Pilates firm Core Power Pilates. Bookers themselves also will have more time to focus on their girls, with each booker managing about 20 girls. Additionally, Quintessentially Models will not accept girls that are size zero, and will maintain an ethnically diverse cast of models. Renton will sign girls as young as age 16, but will organize them in a division called Next Generation. "We want them to have longevity," explained Renton. And Renton won't end contracts when a model gets her first gray hair. "At the moment our oldest model is 45. That's not an age cap. I have a woman who came to see me who's near 60." None of the models have booked campaigns or walked in any of the major shows this season (the firm hatched around the time of the fall collections), but the girls who have signed have worked for clients including Brazilian Vogue, Grazia, Oil of Olay and Lancôme. — S.D.S.