Why did I create Elytiz?

Posted on:6 May 2020


Category:Non classé

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Dash Luce by Guennadi Ivanov Kuhn

As a model, I felt something was missing in the picture. 

I started modeling a little bit by accident about 10 years ago.

Knowing no one back then, I realised it’s actually really hard to navigate the industry. 

First, because being a model is really not what people think it is: it’s not as easy as it seems.

Secondly, there’s a gap between the information you’ll find on the internet and the actual market practices. 

Why is the barrier to entry so high? The industry is highly competitive. In addition to that, when it comes to working worldwide, its blurry legal landscape favors monopolies: it is misfitted both to the current market needs and to the protection of the model’s interests. 

Last and more importantly, the fashion and modeling industries cannot keep on being advocates to unsustainable consumption habits and to unreachable and narrow body ideals. 

We need to take action and our goal is to build a platform that empowers creatives to do so.

Being a model is not as easy as it seems

Keeping an updated and efficient portfolio is tough

When you become a professional model, you constantly need to update your portfolio and to send new pictures to agencies. It’s a real struggle to find good and reliable people to work with for collaborations. This is also true for photographers.

In fact, our studies show that 85% of the surveyed models have a hard time getting their pictures after a photoshoot. Yet you need a high quality and ever updated portfolio to work. Knowing that a photoshoot lasts on average from 3h to one day, it’s a real opportunity cost for models.

Managing and building your own brand in a challenging environment

Being a model is like being an entrepreneur and it involves both artistic and business skills. You take risks, build your own brand. You need to understand current market trends to find your market fit. You have to grow a strong network and to build your reputation. 

You go to castings and wait in line with 50 other applicants that all look a little bit like yourself. No wonder why 85% of the models we surveyed wished they could save more time going to castings. Then you get less than 30 seconds to pitch, perform and make a good impression. Models face rejection way more often than the average salesperson. Yet you have to keep on striving because you have no regular income and a very fragile work protection.

Of course that’s also what the agencies are for. But unfortunately, the quality of the relationship with their agencies was scored a very low 5/10 by the models of our study group. 

Luckily, it’s not the case of all model agencies, but we can’t ignore the fact that we need to create innovatives ways for talents to work more efficiently with brands and agencies.

Being paid late and having no power

It’s no secret that models and photographers’ time and work are not always respected. They are “at the end of the value chain” which means they are systematically paid late, if ever. As they are “independents” in a competitive landscape, they are generally more pressured to accept lower rates and working conditions. That’s wrong and unacceptable. Yet not many people seem to care about it, mainly because their job seems very glamorous on the surface. We need to fight and help talents regain power and independence.

Overall, no wonder why the creatives you come across in that industry have so much grit and passion. Getting to meet and create beautiful images with them makes it all worth it. 

We just need more solutions to smooth out the creative process and the transactions. That’s exactly what we are about!

The industry needs to change

The general atmosphere leading to low self-esteem

I can’t stand the fact that photography and fashion have become tools to make people unhappy and frustrated about themselves. 

Fashion and photography are supposed to be ways to express yourself. But instead, the old fashion industry has created fast paced trends that makes people buy more than they need. 

Overall, fashion is currently cultivating a sense of insecurity more than it’s allowing people to really express themselves.

Models are particularly exposed to the pressure of wearing the latest trends and of owning tons of clothes they’d wear just once for a photoshoot.

Yet, there are sustainable ways to be passionate about fashion trends and styles: supporting sustainable brands, buying/selling second hand or even living with a capsule wardrobe. We need to encourage quality over quantity. 

Long story short, fast fashion is a plague. It represents 8% of the gas emissions in France. It’s one of the most destructive industries for the environment AND for the well-being of our society.

I believe that models need to become role models and to contribute to the virtuous renewal of the fashion and advertising industry. 

I created Elytiz to empower creative talents and to help them only work with mindful brands. 

Towards more diversity and broader beauty standards

The high fashion industry has set narrow and unreachable beauty standards. Because we are exposed to these images everyday, specific ideals have spread across cultures. 

It makes us feel wrong about ourselves: “too short”, “too old”, “too fat”,… like if our bodies were all supposed to be made out of the same mold.

It makes us feel like having scars, stretch marks and cellulites is unacceptable.

It makes us hate the very precious features that make us unique.

This has to change.

And it’s not even like if models had a chance to escape that feeling of low self esteem. In fact, they are even more exposed to it than people think. 

The industry needs to be more representative and inclusive and it’s also up to us to walk away from the people who won’t let us be ourselves.

Fortunately, things are moving, slowly but safely. 

Taking action to have a global impact

We are stakeholders of the Image and Digital industry and this gives us a huge responsibility.

Images shape the way we see the World. They influence cultures by conveying values and messages that directly impact the way people consume and behave. 

More than a mission, it’s our duty to take action to make a global change.

We need to pay more attention to the choices we make, both as professionals and consumers.

It’s not going to be easy, that’s for sure. 

There’s no magic solution that will allow everyone to work everyday with brands that are perfect in every way. It’s still a very competitive market. 

But the goal is to constantly improve the way we do things and to help others do so. 

We can’t ignore the pressing environmental, economical and social issues we have to address.

In a nutshell…

We are focused on working with brands and individuals that promote ethical values and behaviors.

I believe that technology is a powerful way to automate low value added tasks, so humans can focus on being more creative and on connecting deeper with one another. 

We are building a platform with the will to make the industry better. 

I want to build a company that makes people proud of who they are and that enables them to leverage on differentiation to build strength.

We need to build tighter relationships between the different actors of the industry. 

The market is huge, there’s room for everyone. Let’s build something big together and get in touch!

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