Saturday, July 9, 2011

Diamonds In the Rough

The process involved in finding the right face for a global campaign is something that Andrew Weir, the founder and creative director of ACW Worldwide has down pat. Weir's magic touch has guided the brand marketing for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss, Zac Posen and Viktor & Rolf. In the modelling industry, Weir's approval can make or break a model's career, landing her on the pages of  American, British and Italia Vogue, V Magazine, Arena Homme +, and W Magazine, all of whom are on Weir's client list.

In an interview with, Weir gives his perspective on the evolution of the modelling industry. "Almost everything is different now. The girls are younger, smaller and interchangeable. When I was first doing shows at CK, we used major, beautiful, top models who had been working a while and moved up through the ranks. The power and strength of the girls from a few years ago has been traded for the brand-new-face-of-the-second. There are usually trends in the demand for new faces every season. Lately there seems to be a lot of clients wanting talent from Holland and Scandinavia. There is a great group of new girls from this region who are impacting the industry at the moment."

Joan Smalls & Andrew Weir
Photographer - Unknown
Source -

Candice Swanepoel & Joan Smalls
Photographer - Andrew Weir
Source -

When quizzed by as to which new model of 2010 made the most indelible impression on him, Weir replies unequivocally "Joan Smalls. She is not a new face. We have been working with her for years. I feel like she is the one 'new' girl who has the most potential long-term for 'off the charts' success. She is that rare face that is all things. She will have fragrance and beauty campaigns. I feel strongly that she will do all the Vogues and many major campaigns and editorials." In an interview with Weir also lists Candice Swanepoel as a potential contender, "Candice is a beautiful girl who sends a hush over the room when she floats in. She reminds me of what the girls were like when I first started in this business."

ACW's annual casting call at the Hudson Hotel in New York attracts hundreds of models hoping to impress Weir and his team. Weir's advice to models attending castings is "I like to see the kids as they are, so if that means they come in with a dirty t-shirt and chewing gum, so be it. I would rather see them come in unprepared and 'real' than the kid who has been over-styled and over-coached by an agency. I am looking for individuals with personality, not a polished version of what someone thinks they should be." The following casting shots taken by Weir aptly illustrate the beauty of models in their natural, unpolished state.

Arizona Muse

Liisa Winkler

Eliza Cummings

Madelene de la Motte


Bambi Northwood-Blyth

Iselin Steiro

Julia Nobis
Photographer - Andrew Weir
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