I submitted my photos to this ‘mother agency’ without first checking to see if it was legit. Most agencies take at least a week to respond, but these people responded not even 12 hours later with an email saying they would like to meet me. I found it a little suspect that it was that fast, but I really didn’t think anything of it. Their social media pages, although lacking substantial recognition or following, seemed pretty legit and their website did as well.
However, my dad did some searching and it didn’t take him long to find two previous reports on this site about SOCIAL NY. We figured it was a different place, because the address listed was different. I scheduled my appointment with them earlier this month without really giving a second thought.
The appointment was last week, and what an experience it was. We arrived on the floor of the building that SOCIAl is located on and were immediately greeted by a young man at a desk who took my name and told us to sit in the small waiting room they had a few feet away. Now, when you attend a modeling agency, you would probably expect a professional environment. SOCIAL was far from it, to be frank.
My appointment was for 2 PM. We arrived prompty at 2, and were sitting in those chairs waiting for almost 45 minutes. As we were sitting and watching the clock, two girls in their 20-somethings grouped up at the front desk and were having a rather loud conversation with the man who greeted us before, cursing and all.
At around 2:45, a man came out of a long hallway, saw me AND another girl with a later appointment sitting there, and stopped at the front desk to join the banter before greeting me and my parents. He introduced himself as Derrick and brought us all into a small office with what seemed like a roster of the girls already signed with SOCIAL. He immediately measured my hips and height only, then we all sat down and he started gabbing.
He was friendly enough, but all we did was sit and listen to him brag about his kids’ “success” and his knowledge about the industry. He barely let me or my parents get a word in. It was almost like he studied a script to deliver for us as soon as we got through that office door. We sat there for a little over an hour, just listening to him banter on and on about the company and his kids, but MADE SURE TO NOT SKIP OVER THE WORKSHOPS. This was an immediate red flag. I have never heard of a modeling agency requiring all of their clients to go through a 3-5 week workshop program that you would have to pay out-of-pocket for. Not to mention that there would be NO GUARANTEES that you would even have success in the agency after dishing out the time and money for these classes to “groom you” for the industry.
We left with our heads spinning with so much information that none of us thought we needed, trying to figure out where to start with it all. My mom, my dad, and I went down the elevator and out the door onto the streets of New York with a bad taste in our mouths.
Here’s where it gets interesting. I am in contact with another agency in Los Angeles, who wanted to know how this meeting went. I emailed them immediately after my appointment, and got the fastest response, telling me in the first line of the message that “workshops are sketchy” and that it definitely was a red flag. He even went on to include that paid modeling workshops in California are actually illegal, and that I should not go on with SOCIAL due to their fear for my safety and my finances.
Needless to say that your success with SOCIAL NY will have a direct relationship to how much money you have in your wallet. I’m sure they will get you to where you want to be, as long as you are willing to dish out X amount of money for their workshops and classes. Don’t let the friendliness of Derrick or whoever else represents the company fool you. They just want your cash.
There are plenty of other modeling agencies that you will likely find success with without having to pay all this money just to be “groomed” for the fashion industry. Avoid SOCIAL NY at all costs.