Photo Courtesy of Paul Fisher
Recently we had the good fortune to speak one-on-one with supermodel agent Paul Fisher. He used to have a show on CW called Remodeled, which followed him as he put together The Network, a coalition of modeling agencies worldwide that have banded together under one umbrella to create a new voice in the fashion industry. Paul and The Network are tired of the way models have been treated all these years and are trying to do something about it.
He told us, "At The Network I have this dream of creating a safe environment for young people around the world. I wanted agencies in secondary markets, to take care of these incredible faces that they're mining, that haven't been [taken care of] for so many years. That have been disrespected by the bigger agencies for so many years. And so I'm trying to do something different. I'm trying to change the industry. I'm trying to create a shift in paradigm of how the kids are treated in the industry."
Paul said that having had Remodeled on the air was a double-edged sword. "On one hand the show has really helped me because kids all over the world now know me. It's easier for me to get into certain doors, it opens certain doors to speak with certain people… and agencies from all over the world want to join the Network. But the stronger we become, the more challenges that we face."
He continued, "My spiritual teachers tell me all the time, 'If you're on a road that has no challenges, get off that road. If you're on a road that has a tremendous amount of challenges, you're on the right path.'"
Paul is clearly on the right path to helping change the way the fashion industry works, but it's a long road with a lot of speed bumps. He stated, "I work at it every day, but I'm never happy… Will I ever be satisfied? We're getting there. It's step by step."
But Paul won't rest until one big change takes place. He said he can't stop "until I'm sitting front row at a Karl Lagerfeld show and I don't see a girl that's 5' 10", 115 lbs. The day that I can walk in and see a beautiful, young, sexy woman that can actually represent America and the world, and what a young, beautiful kid should look like instead of anorexic skinny s#*t that's going on. Until I see that I won't sleep at night."
He explained where the issue stems from, "The problem is that these magazines and the advertisers around the world are not taking social responsibility for the images they're putting out their into the world. They don't give a shit if these young, beautiful women are sticking their fingers down their throat as long as they're selling clothes. And I just believe that when anybody does something and they don't think about others, sooner or later that is going to catch up."
And so Paul has taken to Social Media to fight the fight. "I'm showing the modeling industry that Social Media is the leverage." Of the 10,000 models in his Network, he has over 1,00 that have agreed to let him be an admin oh their Social Media sites and so added up together they have over one million followers.
"I'm aggregating all of my 10,000 model's social media — Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram — onto one social media platform. We grow by 25,000-20,000 new followers a week. And my goal is within 24 months I will have 100 million followers. And then if Mr. Lagerfeld and all these big designers continue to use women that are too skinny, people that are not representative of our communities around the country, I'm going to close them down. I'm going to tell my 100 million people to stop buying their clothes. So my whole social media program right now is the most important thing in my life right now because it gives me the power and the influence and the leverage to turn a bunch of whispers… into one very, very, very loud voice."
Paul added, "I've never been married, I've never had any children of my own. The kids I take care of are the most important thing to me and I believe that if we reach 100 million followers one day, we could truly create a shift in the fashion industry. And I think the fashion industry creates consciousness out their in the world and how people look at themselves, and how people think about themselves. To me the thing that I am most passionate about is getting my social media platform to 100 million followers so I can demand in force the biggest brands in the world to take social responsibility for the images they are putting out there in the world."
Learn more about Paul and The Network at their website.
For related stories check out:
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.