The Essence of Every Kind of Beautiful: The SPECTRUM Model Management Story


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Designs by Korina Emmerich | EmmerichNY.com | @KorinaEmmerich     ✿     Modeled by Nikki Wardlaw, Maya Lechat | @57Flows, & Dani Wright | @Danii_alexiss


SPECTRUM Model Management was founded six months ago, after Ariel Rogers left a boutique agency in New York when the “chocolate, Latin, Indian models” which Ariel tried to introduce to the agency were immediately rejected for thin bodied, white women. SPECTRUMmm now represents, as Ariel puts it, “a roster of beautiful, strong, graceful women” of different races, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes in New York and Los Angeles. That roster currently has models who are Puerto Rican, Greek, Hawaiian, Katikstanian, Sudanese, Jamaician, Indian, Swedish, Nigerian, Egyptian, Belizian, Chinese, Phillipino, Spanish, and German from size 0 to size 12. As a woman of color herself, Ariel says she "could never recall seeing a woman on TV in a magazine, or advertised who could accurately represent me in a positive way. In this society its very important for young people to see the kinds of things that are possible."


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Designs by Zara | @Zara     ✿     Modeled by LingMei Ting | @izzyTing, Keilahri Anioroso | @Keilahri, Shifa, & Nina


Ariel has built this company, starting with two models she had scouted for the boutique agency, alongside Alisia Robinson, an intern at the boutique agency who left to join Ariel. Alisia said that Ariel had a “bigger vision that didn’t mesh too well with the agency we were with already.” After "Seeing her passion for diversity and change within this industry resonated with my own," Ariel left her old company and “went along for the ride.” Together they have been working towards changing the meaning of beauty in the modeling industry. According to Mirembe Fischer, a model who signed onto SPECTRUMmm 4 or 5 months ago, “Ariel really pushes all of her models, some who are maybe lighter skinned and some who are darker skinned. She shows artists that we are a spectrum. It’s been a very positive experience so far.”


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Inspired by Tyra Banks | @ANTM     ✿     Modeled by Ariel, Keilahri Anioroso | @Keilahri, Shelli Acevedo | @BigbagofShelliBeans, & Taiwo Aloba | @modelvoss


SPECTRUMmm is a tribe, a community, for the models and the management, and Ariel is its heart. Videographer Cortland Tate has been working with SPECTRUMmm the last few weeks and both filmed and edited videos featuring SPECTRUMmm models and pieces from Indigenous designer Korina Emmerich's "FAME" collection by EMME, inspired by the glam era. Cortland noted how “different they are in the way they want to be” from other agencies. They are “open and respectful.” In-house photographer Dell George similarly described SPECTRUMmm as an agency which treats the models like people, rather than asking them to fit a prepackaged look. Ariel “really cares about the models. There’s a lot of consideration about what they want to do and what they’re comfortable with.” Mirembe goes so far as to say that SPECTRUMmm is “more like a family that a modeling agency.” One of many great testaments to Ariel’s abilities and dedication comes from Ebonique Wool, who herself has spent a decade in the modeling industry, has known Ariel since High School, and happily joined SPECTRUMmm out of her respect for Ariel’s intellect and work ethic. When Ebonique joined SPECTRUMmm, she noticed a difference from other modeling agencies. “The tone is different and unique. Other modeling agencies are very strict on either weight or measurements, everything very to a T, to be a size 0 through 4. Ariel sees beauty in all forms.” With all their differences, including race, ethnicity, size, gender, and what part of SPECTRUMmm they work in, Ariel’s colleagues all share one thing: an appreciation and respect for Ariel and her work to represent beauty in all forms.


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Designs by Terrell Skinner     ✿     Modeled by Keilahri Anioroso | @Keilahri, LingMei Ting | @izzyTing, & Sarah Otte | @thisonegirll_


SPECTRUMmm matters because every person and every look in the spectrum of people matter, and representation in the media people consume changes the way they conceive of themselves and perceive others. Tierra Nicole, a model who has been published both domestically and internationally over the last two years and started working with SPECTRUMmm after last year’s LA fashion week, described the importance of role models of color growing up. She felt that “any model of color, I could look up to. I’d always seen them in television commercials, and print ads, and magazines. I knew that I had to be one of them. They are on the cusp of what a black model should be.”


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Designs by Korina Emmerich | EmmerichNY.com | @KorinaEmmerich     ✿    Modeled by Maya Lechat | @57Flows & Nikki Wardlaw


Keilahri Anioroso, who has modeled for the last six years and has worked with SPECTRUMmm since she moved to New York last year, explained her experience of marginalization from the modeling side. “I’ve already encountered places that say you’re too big, you’re too curvy, and it makes you think, ‘Am I supposed to change the way I am, the way I was born?’ It’s very discouraging at times. It’s very important to speak positively and bring that normal image. It’s great that some people are born super tall, super thin, but most people aren’t born that way. You don’t have to look like a Kardashian, you don’t have to be 5’11’, European, with blue eyes.”


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Designs by Terrell Skinner     ✿     Modeled by Keilahri Anioroso | @Keilahri, LingMei Ting | @izzyTing, & Sarah Otte | @thisonegirll_


Sheila Acevado, the Head of Marketing, forms SPECTRUMmm’s social media presence around their message by trying to make sure that “I’m picking content that accurately portrays [the model] in the best possible light.” She believes that each post can create a “unique spotlight” so that when people look at the content they “know what we’re doing and what kind of talent we radiate, and want to work with our girls.” She also wants consumers of the content to “see themselves represented in the media, because that basically says that we are part of this world and we are welcome.” Dell George has watched a shift from the “ideal” skinny, European model, in life and through the lense of his camera, and notes that while the modeling at large industry “still has a way to go, it’s going in the right direction.”


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Inspired by Tyra Banks | @ANTM     ✿     Modeled by Ariel, Keilahri Anioroso | @Keilahri, Shelli Acevedo | @BigbagofShelliBeans, & Taiwo Aloba | @modelvoss


Critics may wonder how SPECTRUMmm gages “beauty,” if not through measurements and how a model sizes up against the classic beauty standards. Ariel knows what makes a model, more than their size, the color of their skin, their scars, or the language they speak. Ariel looks for “beautiful souls” who can deliver, both in the images they create and their professional and accountable attitude. “It’s an essence, it’s an aura, it’s a feeling, it’s a sensibility of self-love without it being conceited or arrogant. It’s a fine line. It’s very divine. When you approach it, you can tell. It’s a concoction of confidence and being grounded. It is a true form: I love the body I’m in. I am art.”


Image by Dell George of Evangel Photo    ✿     Designs by Kaer Brooklyn | @KaerBrooklyn     ✿    Modeled by LingMei Ting | @izzyTing, Keilahri Anioroso | @Keilahri, & Sarah Otte | @thisonegirll_

To see more of SPECTRUM’s body of work, check out their Instagram at @spectrummodelmgmt, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SPECTRUMmodelmanagement/?hc_ref=ARRmvoVRveg0xJl..., or http://www.spectrummm.com. For booking inquiries about any of their gorgeous/fierce models, email [email protected].