Top modelling agent says male models 'suffer big pay gap' compared to women

By Mikey Aveline
BBC World

image source, Getty Images

Male models are being paid up to 75% less than women, according to a top modelling agent.

Elizabeth Rose manages male models at Premier, which has helped build the careers of Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.

"I think it's the only industry where men get paid less than women. It's unfair for men [and] I wouldn't say it's female empowerment at all."

She says a woman could be paid up to £40,000 for walking in a top show.

image source, Getty Images
image captionThe British model David Gandy is one of the best known worldwide

A male model would only get £10,000 on average.

With London Fashion Week over, Elizabeth's models are getting ready for Milan and Paris.

She says the situation is slowly changing because advertisers are increasingly looking for male, as well as female, models.

"[One] reason why women get paid more is that [advertisers] say women spend more money on female products, but I think it's one of those things that's changing.

image captionRoger Frampton is calling for equal pay for male and female models

"More and more, male models are being used for grooming products.

"Men are taking a lot more care of themselves generally in the 2000s. It's fine to take a long time doing your hair. It's fine to use moisturiser. It's encouraged to wear make-up."

image source, Getty Images
image captionMale models in the Armani Summer 2017 show at Milan Fashion Week

The world's highest paid female model, Gisele Bundchen, made $44m (around £34m) last year, according to Forbes.

When the company last compiled data on male models in 2013, it found the highest paid was Sean O'Pry, who made $1.5m (£1.15m).

"The top 10 female models all make millions. Only the top three male models make over a million," says Elizabeth.

She says she'll re-negotiate a model's fee if she feels they are being discriminated against.

image source, Getty Images
image captionGisele earned more than any other model last year

"The first thing is I'll go, 'Can you bring up the budget to more like the women's?' and the client will probably say, 'Yes, we can give you this much for the men,' but it'll never be quite as much.

"I had a brief today that came in and it was 'male model, [pay] £1,500', and the female model was £5,000, for the same usage."

But she acknowledges that women are discriminated against more because of their age.

"Men have a longer career path, definitely. The male models that make the most are probably in their 30s."

image source, Elizabeth Rose
image captionModelling agent Elizabeth Rose

She says her models never complain, but she has asked clients to split the rate - taking some out of the budget for women.

"The more models are made aware of it, the more you can try and help change it, because the more agents that say, 'No, we're not accepting this,' that's the only way it'll ever change.

"And models standing up and saying, 'I'm not going to do this unless I'm paid the same as the woman.'"

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