Garibaldi Models Agency
Garibaldi Models Agency is an agency created last year in the city of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. After its short period of activity, it has strongly entered into the fashion world and has published several editorials in many different magazines all around the world.
Its manager and founders, Jessica Garibaldi, receives us today in order to explain how this success has been possible, as well as all the difficulties they have lived along the year.
Good afternoon Jessica. You run a fashion business in the Canary Islands created ten months ago here, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The first thing we would like to know is what is the reason that made you start with this project?
Good afternoon. Well, Im a designer and stylist, it is my work and I have always worked in fashion since I finished my studies. After ten years working in many different cities, I arrived here and noticed there was a huge potential export. I had always had the idea of starting my own agency, and as I saw that here I had an opportunity of business I didnÕt let it go.
Actually, which is the job of a models agency?
The job is to try to give its models work in the fashion world, both in publicity or fashion shows. The way of presenting the model is different in each of them, so we prepare a personal book in where we add some professional photos of the model that our team has taken and which, we think, can show the best of what the model can offer. Because of that, the agency has been divided into two different variants, Garibaldi Models and Right Models. Garibaldi is the one that concentrates the publicity part, while Right handles all of our fashion show models.
Garibaldi Models Agency is a company that has had a really good reception both in a regional and an international way. How do you justify this success, so unusual in the fashion world?
Well, I think that the difference of Garibaldis success unlike other companies is maybe that here we work with our hearts. For me, it is so important that the time our boys and girls spend here makes them have an education not only in a professional way, but also in a personal one. We try to show them that with enthusiasm we can do many big and good things in this frivolous world, without hurting any other person. We are a big family formed of professional people who give a 100% to the agency as if it were theirs. And all of us, together, try to make our dreams come true and to improve our art capacities. These are the reasons of our success.
The Canary Islands is also a region devoid of this kind of market, Have you found many important difficulties to develop your company here? Has the factor of location been a problem?
I really love the island, in fact I chose to live here. I didnÕt end up here by accident. After having lived many years in Madrid performing an excellent career as a stylist I came once to Gran Canaria and fell in love with its people, its landscapes So I decided to continue my career here. But yes, it was difficult and I found some problems. Not because of the location, but because I have found much opposition from other agencies that have been working here in the fashion industry and saw us as an enemy, some kind of threat. It is something we cannot understand, theres a lot of potential and we could do a lot of fantastic things together. However, as we say in my country, <em>pueblo chico, infierno grande (small town, big hell).
Which factors have helped the agency with its incredible rapid growth?
What I told you before, the human factor, which is so important for us. Here we do not work just for money, but also for satisfaction. Besides we have a large variety of models, many different profiles. There are agencies that consider a model needs a specific profile, when beauty is something very subjective. We give an opportunity to people who do not have that specific profile, and this then allows us to do really good works. Garibaldi kids, plus 30 or curvy (larger size) let us afford the challenge of making an art not so common in this sector. And the artist, the good artist, the real one, is able to do wonderful things in any situation.
Inside the company, you fulfil the function, besides of owner and foundress, of Directora Estilista What is this job about?
Well, here, inside the business, we all fulfil many functions. I love to have young people working here, and I learn from them and they give me strength from their youth. I even try to forget about the word Directora, as sometimes Ive spent eight hours helping in a photo-shoot by holding the lights for the photographer. We work in a very familiar way and whenever someone calls me boss for example I start laughing, we all have a voice.
And as stylist I prepare the wardrobe for all the photo-shoots or editorials, as well as giving some fashion classes that we think are important for our models.
Has fashion always been your passion? Have you ever taken part in any kind of studies about it?
I have liked fashion since I was very young with my grandma in Lima. She was seamstress; it was what she did for a living after her husband death. She had the talent, she knew how to sew, and thanks to her I discovered the fashion world. I used to go with her to the fabric market in Lima, and choose the fabrics with which then she made me dresses. I never repeated the same dress for any party (laughs).
About my studies, I started odontology. My father is odontologist, and I went to Germany in order to begin the second year of my undergraduate when I noticed that I couldnÕt do it. My heart was yearning firthe fashion so I changed and studied stylism. Two years in Germany and other two in Madrid, where I finished the undergraduate in Goymar, School of Fashion.
Jessica, you were born in Lima, Peru. What made you come to Spain and try to develop your work activity here?
I never bet for Spain, I couldnÕt imagine me living here. I was studying in Germany and once I visited Madrid with some friends I quickly fell in love with the city. Mine are loves at first sight (laughs). And I wondered -why not? I like this place much more than Germany- So I applied for a school and ended my studies there.
After my studies, I had to have go back to Peru, but I got work while I was working one Saturday in LeviÕs store to earn some money. Felipe Valera, the one who dresses Princess Letizia, came in and asked me for some trousers he wanted. I knew who he was and, as Ive always been so extrovert, I flattered one of his collections. We started talking and then he told me he needed an assistant. One week later I was working for him, and I worked there for almost two years.
Carlos Teixeira, professional Portuguese photographer, has become one of the most important reasons that helped you in the development of the agency. How did this relation start? What is it about?
Carlos is and has been a blessing for us. He arrived in a chaotic moment of the agency, and I think it was destiny that gave to us the opportunity of working with one of the greatest photographers in Europe. He was here on holiday and wanted to do an editorial, so he contacted certain agencies in Las Palmas, but nobody answered him. And we thought it was a good idea to work on it, accepted the job and started looking for the wardrobe. I remember being nervous because we didnÕt have money to buy new clothes and we had to use what we already had. It wasnÕt so modern, but he let us use it, we did the editorial and it was published in an American magazine.
We were all so pleased with what we had done, so I offered him to come here periodically. And from that moment he comes once a month and makes books and editorials with our models.
With him, you have published several editorials in different magazines all around the world, projecting some of your models to the international fashion world. What do you think has caught the attention of these international journals?
We all know that an editorial is something made by a team, but it is the photographer the responsible of making our work shine. The model, the makeup, the stylists our work needs somebody to take it and transmit something with a photo. And this somebody is difficult to find, we are lucky to have Carlos. He is incredible in what he does he has a touch. And we are also so good in what we do (laughs) but we needed that kind of touch to make a perfect work. And our talent mixed with his exceptional gift is what has caught that attention.
How does the future of the agency seem? Which projects do you have?
The future of the agency seems brilliant it could not be better. We have worked a lot and I think we are now collecting the result of not only these ten months, but also of the seventeen years I have been working in fashion. And it is thanks to our team, we are all professionals who life has wanted to put together and because of that it is being incredible. It is like popcorns, once youÕve started them everything gets hot and pop, and then nobody can stop it.
Finally, after this first year of work and growth in the company, are you satisfied with the way it has followed and seems to continue following these years coming?
Very satisfied, it is the evidence that let me see how to explain it, Im a believer, I believe that God has a plan for us and this thrills me (cries). I think it is the correct moment when He has decided to open the sky in order to let us receive everything what weÕve been working for a long time to achieve. And I just can be grateful because of all the things that are happening right now, things that I used to see far, far away for coming. And I thought why? why doesnÕt this plan work? Or why cannot I achieve that?, maybe because it was not my future. We all have a predicted plan and I think this is mine. Because, now in the agency every little thing fits perfectly.
And I just want to say thank you to all these people that have been always there, helping us, believing in us, and who are the reason that let me be here right now: Jose Tandem, JosŽ María Santana, Carlos of course and all of our collaborators. Without them, nothing would be the same.
Alejandro Martin (17)
Student at CET Services