Breaking the sigma with Rebel Rebel
“Who’s representing the everyday girls?”
That was the thought that breathed the modelling agency empire, Rebel Rebel Talent, into existence. With a mission to break down unhealthy and negative, modelling standards, Rebel Rebel Talent has taken the fashion industry by a storm. Unafraid to dey and ‘rebel’ against the social and cultural standards, Rebel Rebel strives to create a healthier, all-inclusive, body-positive culture.
We got in touch with Caytlan Koljndrekaj, the agency’s founder and director to give us an insight into Rebel Rebel and how they’re changing the fashion world.
The Creative Issue: Tell us about yourself and your role at Rebel Rebel!
CK: I’m Caytlan! I’m the Agency Director at Rebel Rebel Talent. My role consists of running the agency, working with clients and a whole lot of meetings and emails haha! My role really is an all-rounder job as I work with each department of the agency, from creative direction and bookings to financials and social media.
TCI: How did you get into this line of work and what has surprised you most about working in the modelling and fashion industry?
CK: I always loved fashion, however, am quite a tomboy and really didn’t think the two could clash. As a kid, I used to help build cars and play in the mud, but every month I’d be staring at the shoots in a Vogue or Harper’s magazine. As I grew up I started to realise that I could be both that kid in overalls jumping through paddocks, and the girl in heels and a beautifully tailored suit. I first started out in fashion as a photographer, and it kind of led its way to start ‘Rebel Rebel Talent’ – a side hobby that formed its way into being my whole life haha.
TCI: How does Rebel Rebel stand out against other modelling agencies?
CK: Rebel Rebel Talent has a genuine team that cares about well being of models more than anything. I think that’s how we stand out – clients and models who walk through our doors can see that while we are passionate about the industry, we genuinely care about our models foremost.
TCI: There’s been a lot of backlash in the recent decade regarding the unhealthy standards within the modelling industry. But at Rebel Rebel mental health and safety takes absolute priority – why is this important for the agency?
CK: I think there have been a lot of steps that the industry has taken to try and move past unhealthy standards – however, it certainly has a long way to go.
CK: Mental health is so incredibly important when working with young adolescence. We have the wonderful Gabby, who is a counsellor, and she is always available to our models. Gabby has worked within the industry as a model and truly understands the pressures that can be placed upon you. I think the personal, family touch we have is important because the models feel as if they can talk to us about what they’re going through so we can assist them. I always say, happy models, happy agency, happy clients. There needs to be a balance for an agency to stand out in an industry that is quite saturated.
TCI: Rebel Rebel also offer counselling sessions for their models – How has encouraging models to open up about their struggles whether about modelling or personal been changing the sigma around unhealthy industry standards?
CK: I personally don’t sit in on and counselling sessions – this is simply because I feel models are more comfortable talking about their hardships on a confidential level with Gabby. I can’t answer too much on this as I really like to encourage confidentiality between model and Gabby when models are taking the courage to speak out on what is affecting them.
TCI: Rebel Rebel also run workshops and development courses tailored towards either giving girls and guys a confidence boost, advice or for those who simply want to immerse themselves in the whole modelling experience. Out of all of the workshops available which one would you most recommend for those wanting to get into modelling and why?
CK: I find the Fashion Courses the best – I am however quite biased because the Fashion Course is my little baby and I create and organise all the content of the course. I believe the full course is so amazing as you learn so much over a ten-week period. It’s a great immersion into the industry, and you develop networks from designers to photographers and stylists. Oh, one more haha, the models in the course genuinely make friendships, it’s incredible watching them go from strangers to forming close bonds with one another!
TCI: Are there any myths that you like to debunk about modelling?
CK: I think the biggest myth is that agencies look for traditionally beautiful/ perfect faces. I can assure you that the industry is saturated with ‘traditionally beautiful’ faces, the industry as of recently is seeking a point of difference. It’s not about looking the same anymore, it’s about what makes you stand out – which I find incredible!
TCI: How do Rebel Rebel find their models and what advice would you give to anyone wanting to start modelling?
CK: Rebel Rebel Talent have many ways that we scout models – from street scouting to popping on Instagram and checking the #ScoutmeRRT hashtag. Sometimes we even see models that have worked with a makeup artist etc that we’ve worked with and they’ve been scouted that way – there are endless ways our agency scouts. We are currently working on putting together an online casting, in an attempt to adapt to current situations yet still scout and develop fresh faces.
CK: The biggest advice I’d give to any model looking to start out is to be yourself! Clients want to work with authentic, true to themselves models. Be nice to everyone, because you never know where your impression and their recommendation could take you!