#LOVINGYOURWORK: ANNIE WILSHAW, PREMIER’S MODEL SCOUT

You may recognise her from Channel 4’s hilarious-and-amazing fly-on-the-wall show The Model Agency…it’s Annie! Model booker and scout extraordinaire for Premier Model Management. Now living the life of a nomad, scouring North and South America for new talent, she’s just got back from LA to Premier HQ in Covent Garden for LFW, where we grab her for a chat…

So, London Fashion Week…what’s it all about for model bookers?

London’s tricky because we’re squashed between New York and Milan and it’s all very rushed. The big girls arrive on the Friday and it’s bang bang bang! They touch down and immediately dive into 15 or 20 castings. Then it’s on to fittings. We’ll be working super late because of the all fittings we have through the night.

What do you love about LFW?

We have the best design talent in London.

Which models are you tipping this season?

We’ve got a lot of the top breakthrough girls – Alex H from Germany did Alexander Wang and Marc Jacobs in New York. Brit girl Phillipa Hemphrey also did Wang, Marc Jacobs and Proenza, which are the top shows in New York. Then I absolutely adore our new girl Joline. Her look is amazing – she’s from Curaco in the Caribbean.

Why LA?

I scout the West Coast – and the rest of the US and Latin America – for new faces. I’ve got a different eye to the American scouts – a European eye, so it works really well. I do miss playing mum to the new faces back in London though.

What do you look for in the girls?

So much of it is about personality. I discovered some really cool girls in Arizona recently – they all had really confident personalities.

Where are the best places for scouting?

The best places to find girls are the places where no one goes! Like rural Arhuf in Copenhagen where I discovered farmer’s girls. Same for Quebec in Canada – it’s freezing so nobody wants to go there. It’s extreme scouting!

Have you experienced any culture shock?

Model conventions are very very weird. You’re locked in the ballroom of a rubbish hotel three days marking girls out of ten as they run through different rounds from swimwear to runway and dancing! It feels like you’re in the ‘80s.

Photo by Zack Strubel. Words Alison Taylor.