We’re pounding the pavement of Times Square in search of the world’s next top model…at McDonald’s.
Who knew the fast food chain would also be a place where model scouts like Lanny Zenga from One Management regularly scout for fresh faces?
It sounds counterproductive but Zenga explains that it’s these types of chain locations located in New York’s most touristy locations (Times Square, Herald Square) that a scout can find a foreign or midwestern beauty.
Other prime locations: H&M in Herald Square, the Zara next to Bryant Park.
“Seriously, if you want to be discovered as a model, just go to these places, it’s where model scouts go,” he quips.
It’s summertime in the city and a prime time for scouts like Zenga to find fresh faces to add to their model boards.
“In the winter you can’t really make out the body of a girl who’s bundled up,” he says. “In the summer girls really can’t hide their bodies and we get to see what they really look like.”
Zenga has been working as a scout at various agencies for a little under a decade. His current employer, One Management, represents some of the world’s top models including Karolina Kurkova, Selita Ebanks, and Poppy Delevingne, to name a few.
And though we’re scouring the city streets for those rare over 5’10″ size 0 birds, Zenga admits that the Big Apple isn’t exactly a hotspot for finding fresh faces. “Most of the girls you see on the streets are already models,” he says.
Agel Gaya, a modeling scout at New York Model Management agrees.
“Everyone who has that potential is signed so what I do is instead of scouting here I’ll go to music festivals, concerts, a lot of place you’ll see young, good looking people,” he says.
“Typically I’ll go to Europe to street scout,” Zenga says. “The country right now that’s hot is Denmark and the Scandinavian countries. When I went there a couple of months ago every girl on the street was scoutable. I swear, I walked around and everyone was fucking gorgeous!”
On a recent weekday afternoon I tagged along with Zenga to get a glimpse inside the model scouting world and to find out how exactly he goes about approaching potential models, what he looks for, and if it’s at all possible to be scouted as a model in one of the biggest fashion capitals of the world.