Everybody Does Go-Sees

The first model arrives at 10 a.m. sharp. Her name’s Geidre and she’s pale, has curly hair, and possesses the otherworldly, limby model beauty that’s vaguely praying-mantis-like. She appears to have no breasts or hips; her thigh is about the size of model casting director James Scully’s upper arm. Geidre takes off her flat winter boots, puts on heels, and without a word, walks the length of the room, stops, turns, and walks back. Scully has her stand against a white wall with a bit of pink tape stuck to it. He takes her picture with a Polaroid camera as she stares ahead, expressionless. Then she’s gone; the whole encounter took about three minutes. “The tape is the six-foot marker. I just need to make sure they clear that in heels,” Scully explains. Geidre did, but that’s not enough to make the cut. “I do think that Geidre’s a diamond in the rough, but she’s just not ready yet,” Scully says in a low voice. The next girl stands by.

Scully is a casting director, show producer, a 25-year industry veteran, and one of a handful of prominent model scouts whom high-profile designers trust to assemble the 25 or so girls who will set the clients’ clothes off to perfection. He estimates that he has seen more than 30,000 models in the course of his career. Today—the Wednesday before Fashion Week—he’s working out of Derek Lam’s showroom in Chelsea, putting the finishing touches on the casts of Lam, Jason Wu, Carolina Herrera, Zac Posen, and Bill Blass. A stream of young women go through the same walk-tape-Polaroid ritual every few minutes.

In between arrivals, Scully tries to describe what makes a model right for a show. “For Herrera, I look for girls with richness and poise. They should have a bit of the Park Avenue matron in them,” he says. Derek Lam’s girls are “lighter, sexier, and more sensual.” He likes a model who has confidence in her walk, and a sense of ownership in the room. To the untrained eye, the process may seem amorphous, but Scully makes his decisions in a split second.

“She has one of the best bodies in the business. I used her in Wu, Zac, and Blass.”
See Han’s model profile.

“She was exclusive to Calvin in America. I think she’s a great American beauty.”
See Ali’s model profile.

“I used her in Bill Blass. She’s very sweet, and surprised me with her confidence.”
See Emma’s model profile.

“I used her in Jason Wu. She’s totally cool and is going to be a major contender next year.”
See Abbey Lee’s model profile.

“She was in Herrera, Lam, Wu, and Zac. She looks like a young sixties actress. I love her!”
See Siri’s model profile.

“She’s the new cool girl. She walked in Wu, Lam, and Zac.”
See Kori’s model profile.

“She was in Zac. She looks like a little doll.”
See Anabela’s model profile.

“I didn’t use her in New York. She wasn’t ready, but I still think she looks like a young Milla Jovovich.”
See Anna G.’s model profile.

“I used her in all my shows but Wu. She’s so old-school exotic.”
See Magdalena’s model profile.

“I didn’t use her here, but she had a great season in Paris. She’s the comeback kid.”
See Anna J.’s model profile.

“She had Visa problems so couldn’t do New York. She’s a babe.”
See Edita’s model profile.

“I used her in Zac and Herrera. She’s super elegant.”
See Olga’s model profile.

“She was in all my shows. I think she has one of the best personalities out there.”
See Chanel’s model profile.

“She’s like a young Lauren Hutton. I used her in Blass, Lam, and Zac.”
See Cameron’s model profile.

“I’ve worked with her for years; she lights up a room. She was in Herrera, Lam, and Zac.”
See Behati’s model profile.

“I used her in Herrera, Lam, Zac, and Blass. Her cat eyes, her hair—they don’t make many girls like this!”
See Catherine’s model profile.

“She did Herrera, Lam, and Zac. She is so established already.”
See Lily’s model profile.

“She’s everywhere, and she’s so good at what she does.”
See Jessica’s model profile.

“She’s very chic. She was in Lam, Blass, and Zac.”
See Sheila’s model profile.

“I used her in Wu. She is super sexy.”
See Masha’s model profile.

“She was in Blass, Wu, Lam, and Zac. She’s like a young Julie Stegner.”
See Agnete’s model profile.

“I didn’t use her. I do think she’s chic, but she’s too edgy for my clients.”
See Hanne’s model profile.

“She was in Herrera, Blass, Lam, and Zac. I love her athleticism.”
See Caroline’s model profile.

“She was in Wu. She was very shy at first, but by the end of the week, her personality came out.”
See Hyoni’s model profile.

“I used her in Herrera, Lam, Zac, and Blass. She’s a total star.”
See Jourdan’s model profile.

“I used her in Herrera and Zac. She’s a baby Natalia Vodianova.”
See Alana K.’s model profile.

“She didn’t do anything in New York. To tell the truth, the trend is toward the white girl.”
See Lakshmi’s model profile.

“I used her in Herrera, Zac, and Lam. She’s the best walker.”
See Natasha’s model profile.

“She needs to grow out the bangs and lose the punk thing. Underneath, she’s a beauty.”
See Meghan’s model profile.

“She was just too raw, and the confidence and walk weren’t there.”
See Kate’s model profile.

“People didn’t really respond to her this season, and I’m not sure why.”
See Taryn’s model profile.

“She doesn’t have the best walk. She’s sparkly, though, and I think will get better.”
See Skye’s model profile.

“She was in Zac. She’s so mature and poised.”
See Egle’s model profile.

“She looks like Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde. I used her in Lam and Zac.”
See Heidi’s model profile.

“She was in Wu. She reminds me of a young Vanessa Paradis.”
See Karmen’s model profile.

“She has real star potential. She was in Herrera, Lam, and Zac.”
See Irina’s model profile.

“My absolute favorite; she’s like an old-school supermodel. She was in Blass, Zac, and Lam.”
See Anja’s model profile.

“What a pro. I used her in everything but Wu.”
See Du Juan’s model profile.


“She wasn’t ready yet, but I’m keeping my eye on her!”

“She was in Herrera, Wu, and Zac. She is so sweet and perky!”
See Karlie’s model profile.

Everybody Does Go-Sees