On the heels of the Marc Jacobs/KCD bribery scandal comes a report that a Prada's longtime casting director, Russell Marsh, accepted bribes from two modeling agencies to land their "girls" spots in Prada and Miu Miu castings. What's interesting is that many industry insiders have intimated that when Prada first started sending pale, blonde, European models down the runway, other labels followed suit, leading to a lack of diversity — and specifically black models — on the catwalk. Was Mr. Marsh part of the problem? We'll have to see. [Fashionista]
If Russell Marsh was taking bribes from IMG and Women, that wouldn't surprise me in the slightest.
I've heard lots of (smaller) agencies complain about IMG, since it has such a powerful women's board they can boost new faces' careers by withholding access to their biggest girls. (Of course, the complaints are disingenuous, since all agencies do this in direct proportion to their stocks of top models.)
On the other hand, being with a big agency in hopes of a tailriding career boost is not always the answer. I know a girl who used to be with IMG (they dropped her), and when Steven Meisel himself requested her for a go-see, her booker refused to send her over some silly bull about her needing a haircut first or something. Girl was livid when she found out, months later, after he'd thoroughly forgotten her. Getting past Meisel's hideous untrammeled bitch of an assistant is roughly equivalent in difficulty to making the Golden Fleece into a cozy sweater.
I'm sure if these allegations are true, IMG and Women weren't handing out trips to Milan like candy — just guaranteeing some of their favorites a good show season. Still. Since I'm not with IMG or Women, I'm gonna hate on this minor corruption. And simultaneously revel in a convenient explanation for Marsh's curious failure to fawn over me on the numerous occasions when he's glimpsed my loveliness in person. May the scales fall from the eyes of their next casting agent.