image by Krystal Neuvill
A new modelling agency is opening its doors this April specifically to represent people of colour and LGBTQI+ identifying people.
INC.MGMT is set to address the lack of diversity in the fashion world by championing the intersection of people with varied skin tones, heights, body shapes and experiences and proving that diversity can and should be the norm throughout creative industries.
Set up by queer couple Kirby
“I was frustrated of working on major campaigns that only requested the tall, white and skinny models,” Kirby told gal-dem. “There was a lack of diversity and I watched beautiful people get turned down because they didn’t conform to what you see on the billboards everyday. We started INC.MGMT with the hope that brands, agencies and platforms start to pay more attention to inclusivity.”
These thoughts were reiterated by Nas, “There’s been so much talk around ‘representation’ and ‘inclusivity’ that they’ve almost become buzzwords that don’t hold much weight beyond the commodification of diversity. We just wanted to create an agency that focused and championed people from our communities – the diverse and gorgeous people we know in our everyday [lives] but who aren’t represented, at least not in a big way commercially.”
“You don’t need to be a size 0 and 5’11, they’ve signed people of all shapes and sizes”
The models they represent are already in the creative industries and INC are aiming to build a safe space that enables their models to continue exploring their own creative fields. This will be done through a mentoring programme that will nurture their model’s interests along with their mental health and self-care practices – something that places INC.MGMT within a growing trend of alternative agencies and events championing diversity, like Anti-Agency and London Queer Fashion Show.
“I was asked to join and I thought an LGBT company was a great idea because I hadn’t heard of one before, and Kirby and Nas who run it are so lovely and great. I really didn’t have any reason to say no,” said Heather Barrett, the operations manager for Black Girl Festival and former opinions editor at gal-dem. “You don’t need to be a size zero and 5’11, they’ve signed people of all shapes and sizes. It’s actually quite beautiful, their books look so colourful and amazing.”
Alongside Heather, the agency represents London artist Lois Majek, American content creator Ari Fitz, gal-dem illustrator Catherine Morton-Abuah and many more talented creatives.
Through agitating the often unchanging face of the fashion industry, INC.MGMT is demonstrating that diversifying the fashion world and creative industries is not just a trend, but a part of a much bigger and needed societal shift. Inclusivity in fashion is here to stay and this agency is demonstrating that LGBTQI+ models and people of colour need accurate representation in the creative industries.