Modeling agencies may be in the business of selling glamour, but behind the scenes, it's a tough job. Just ask Xavier Rucker, lead booking agent for Minneapolis-based Vision Management Group.
"I think that many people have the misconception that working for a modeling agency is all glam," he says. "You're on call 24/7, there are deadlines to be met and sometimes it can get a little crazy. But I feel that that's part of the fun."
His responsibilities include setting up castings and bookings for talent as well as fittings and photo shoots; making sure clients' needs are met; and assisting with the day-to-day operations of the agency.
The Chicago native works with Vision co-owner Teqen Zéa-Aida on talent scouting and new model development, which requires an eye for what clients want and the ability to see a model's potential. He says he discovers more models on the street and out at the clubs than anywhere else.
On what he looks for when scouting for models, Rucker said it's all intuition. "If you can't keep your eyes from looking at their face and features because they are so interesting, then it's a good thing!" he explains.
A lifelong fashion lover, Rucker first discovered his passion for the modeling industry after spending six months in New York and being "surrounded every day by art and fashion." He decided to make his dream a reality when he moved back to Minneapolis and started interning for Vision in spring of 2010. He went on to work in "new faces development" before being hired full-time as lead booking agent last September.
Rucker first approached Vision out of admiration for the agency -- something he still carries with him. "I feel we have the best and most professional talent in town," he says when asked what sets the agency apart from others. "It's something that we pride ourselves on. We haven't been a successful business for 16 years for nothing, and we are only getting better."
Despite a 40-hour work schedule, Rucker continues to take classes in fashion and retail management. He plans to stay with Vision post-graduation. But the ambitious 26-year-old isn't stopping there: "It's also my dream to become a fashion stylist and also start my own styling consulting firm," he says.
- Age: 26. Job: Lead booking agent for Vision Management Group
- Hire date: Spring 2010
- Education: Fashion and retail management student at the Art Institutes International Minnesota