Agency Spotlight - True Model Management NYC
True Model Management's Founder and CEO Dale Noelle was one of the fashion industry’s most successful and sought after fitting models for nearly two decades before she founded True Model Management in New York City. During her career as a professional fit model, she worked for almost every mass retailer and major fashion company, as well as designers: Ralph Rucci for Chado, the late Oleg Cassini, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Ralph Lauren and many more.
Her love of the industry began in childhood while spending time at her father’s clothing factories. There she learned to create and tailor her own designs as well as run a business. After obtaining degrees in business and marketing, she worked as a clothing production manager, sales representative, designer and owner of one of the Generra licenses before finding her calling as a fitting model.
Dale originally created True Model Management to manage her own career as a fit model, but clients repeatedly requested her referrals for additional models. She now manages the entire team at True while overseeing the many details that go into making True the success it is for talent and clients.
To find out more about True Model Management and the business of fitting models ModelScouts asked Dale Noelle some questions about her modeling career and her agency.
Most people have never heard of fit modeling. Can you please explain what fit modeling is?
Wikipedia sums it up well…. “A fitting model (sometimes fit model) is a person who is used by a fashion designer or clothing manufacturer to check the fit, drape and visual appearance of a design on a ‘real’ human being, effectively acting as a live mannequin. A person is selected to work as a fitting model primarily on criteria matching the desired measurement specifications of the designer or manufacturer. These specifications generally consist of height, bust-waist-hip circumference, arm and leg length, shoulder width, and a myriad of other measurements as indicated by the garment type. This is the case whether the garments are for women or men of any size; the grading of construction patterns is often tested on a variety of fitting models to be sure that increases in size are translated accurately and evenly across the range. Beyond merely wearing the garment for inspection, a fitting model can become an integral role in the design process; commenting on garments and materials with regards to fit, movement and feel on flesh, and objective feedback on the ‘fit’ and design of the garment in the stead of the consumer. Ultimately, a fitting model aids in confirming that the sizing, design and cut of the garment to be produced meets the designer’s specifications and intentions.”
What are the types/categories for fit modeling?
Men, Women & Children…. Standard, Contemporary, Misses, Maternity, Athletic, Full-Figured, Petite, Petite Plus, Swim, Intimates, Urban, Junior, Junior Plus, Tall, Big & Tall, Asian… New categories are always being added.
What qualities do clients look for when choosing fit models?
Balanced, well-proportioned and symmetrical bodies with standard measurements. Attractive models who represent the client’s typical customers and can clearly verbalize the fit issues they feel in garments are integral to creating proper fitting clothing. Models who give accurate and helpful feedback to the designers and technical teams can help companies increase sales and decrease return rates.
How does personality play a role in fit modeling?
In addition to having the requested proportions and stable weight, personality is very important because the clients must enjoy spending time with their models. Most fit models are naturally optimistic, resilient, cheerful and think quickly on their feet. I have also noticed that the busiest fit models smile often. Smiling is contagious.
How did you get started in fit modeling?
While working as a salesperson for a famous fashion designer, several clients/manufacturers asked me to be their fit model. Shortly after turning down their offers, I called the two most prestigious model managers in New York City to inquire about a fit modeling career. At the first manager’s interview, I was offered an exclusive fit modeling contract and I accepted it. On my first day of go-sees, I landed four major accounts: Calvin Klein, Gap, Pepe Jeans and Et Vous. The week after, I became J.Crew’s production fit model too. I continued to gain clients and experience and my career continued to flourish non-stop for many years.
Who are some of the clients you have worked with?
Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Ralph Rucci for Chado, Oscar de la Renta, Oleg Cassini, Magaschoni, The Gap, Banana Republic, J.Crew, Lela Rose, Ann Taylor, David’s Bridal, Laundry, Nicole Miller, Victoria’s Secret, Donna Karan/DKNY, The Limited, Tommy Hilfiger, Girbaud, Express, Badgley Mischka and many others.
How does being a former fit model, fashion salesperson, production manager and daughter of a factory owner help you run True Model Management?
I have first hand experience in almost all aspects of the business so I understand models’ and clients’ needs. Since I share my knowledge with others and introduce fashion professionals to each other, the synergy created results in teams who work more effectively and efficiently.
How did you come up with the name “TRUE”?
I wanted one word that was simple and has multiple meanings. Fit models are "true" to size, "true" is a patternmaking term and "true" representatives are honest.
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Author - Vanessa Helmer
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