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modeling & talent ● modeling By Eve Matheson Cutting to the Chase The 2014 European Model Showcase stole the spotlight from some huge events in Paris, while featuring the next models to walk the international runways T he French Open, an influx of celebrities from the Cannes Film Festival, the glitzy pre-nuptial fes- tivities for Kim Kardashian, and a sighting of Lady Gaga at the Louvre Museum caused im- mense excitement in Paris in May. But none of it compared to the explosion of glamour and excitement at the Concorde Opera Hotel, where the European Model Showcase (EMS) was celebrating its ninth anniversary. The synchronicity of these events, although probably not in- tended, had an electrifying effect on the City of Light. The Showcase broke all records for model participation, international agent attendance and success stories. The event is the realization of a dream shared years ago by two American school directors—Kathy Longsderff, founder of the New England Models Group (NEMG) in Manchester, NH and Cindy Rosenberg Nelson, president of Caryn Model and Talent Management in Minneapolis, MN. Their dream was to present aspiring models from the Unit- ed States to top European and Asian agents in Paris, the fashion world’s epicenter. There would be no competitions, awards, or seminars. The focus would be on showcasing the models and launching careers. The format set them apart from other scouting events. Busy agents always on the lookout for new faces applauded the idea, school directors appreciated the opportunity to network within the industry, anxious parents embraced the opportunity to learn about their child’s chosen career, and aspiring models would discover their strengths and weak- 78 PAGEANTRY 2014 CARYN EMS GROUP MONTEMARTE nesses. The dream became the European Model Showcase, which, through masterful planning, has become more suc- cessful every year. Schools from Canada and Europe are now part of the ‘family.’ Models are prepared in advance, by approved independ- ent school directors and must meet the strict size, age, height and size requirements set by the fashion industry. This year 47 models were seen by agents from Japan, Eng- land, Germany, Finland, Italy, Spain, and, of course, Paris. There were pearls of wisdom on the morning of orienta- tion. Show director Caryl Sullivan, a former Mrs. New Hampshire pageant winner, told models, “Some models will be booked and will stay to work in Paris. Others will be told they are not quite ready. Pay attention to the feedback from agents during callbacks and take their advice.” Cindy had this to say: “The best agent for you is the one most excited about you, not necessarily the one you have heard the most about. Success doesn’t happen right away. It can take three months, six months, even longer. Feedback is a gift from an agent. If you are advised to go back home and work in your local market, or to lose five pounds or to lose one inch, go back and do it. Agents are always interested in follow-ups. Remember, you are not in competition with one another. Have fun and enjoy this incredible experience.” And that is exactly what everyone did. The planned sight-seeing trips and the brilliant wrap party—a dinner cruise on the Seine— were a huge success. The Showcase was not without personal drama. Strik-