Interview with the Founders
January 10, 2020
By Yvonne Dewerne
If you follow Spectacle on Instagram and have an eye on our stories, you’ll see, that we often post when dancers have a feature in (fashion) magazines. Starting this year, there is a bubble on our profile, where you can see these features even after the story as been deleted.
While working on our advent calender last December, we also gave away two tickets to the The Dutch National Ballet and while we tagged the dancers, many bios had a link to @thefashioncomposersagency. What kind of agency is this, we wondered?
Let’s find out.
The Fashion Composers Agency is a model agency for professional dancer, that also provides choreography and production, if needed. The agency, which seems to be the first of its kind, was founded in February 2019 by Pascalle Paerel and Hannah de Klein in Amsterdam. A mecca for creativity, design, fashion, the arts and beautiful people! These two ladies are more than savvy business women, with a creative idea. Not only are they close friends, ever since they met twelve years ago, Pascalle (who is blonde) and Hannah (who is brunette) are also ballet dancers with The Dutch National Ballet.
This puts them in an unique position - as dancers, they know about the demanding schedule and how the dance world works. Often times brands can’t just approach dancers, the management is quite protective of them. On the other hand, these two have the trust and the access to some of the best dancers around. The Dutch National Ballet is one of the top ballets in the world and the Nederlands Danstheater, close by in The Hague, is also known as one of the top contemporary dance companies.
Dancers bring everything that is needed to model with them - they are in enviable shape with model measurements, they know how to move (duh!), they are disciplined, they exude confidence and they can work the camera.
It was time that someone connected the dots and represents this unused potential. Pascalle Paerel and Hannah de Klein did just that and they hit a nerve. They approached some of their dance colleagues and went to work. In the first year they wanted to concentrate on building the portfolio of the dancers, before approaching brands and media. But word travelled quickly and without marketing, they already have worked with the likes of Vogue, Hermès, Elle, Scotch & Soda, Aïshti, Iris van Herpen, to name a few.
Making sure to start off on the right foot, Pascalle and Hannah met with the financial director, the artistic director and the marketing department of the Dutch National Ballet. Again, it was an advantage that they are dancers with the company. They knew the right people there and (more importantly) these people know them. In the meeting they presented their idea to become the missing link between dancers and potential clients. Promising to work with photographers, who can deliver high quality photos only. This is especially important to the ballet company. Bad photography can easily tarnish the image of the company, also a reason why companies protect their dancers.
Now their services include, but is not limited to, planing and coordinating bookings. Hannah and Pascalle plan to pitch their own ideas to clients soon. It is important to them to put the main focus on artistry. They don’t want to be like all the other model agencies and therefore have created their own standards. One of these standards is that the model has to be a professionally trained dancer. However they don’t stick to the classic height conception, even though most of their models fit the bill. There are also some former dancers in their database, but for now, this as an exception.
“Slowly, you see more brands using dancers instead of models for campaigns, but because there wasn’t an agency yet representing these dancers on a high level they didn’t know where to search for great dancers. ”
— Pascalle Paerel, co-founder of The Fashion Composer Agency and professional ballet dancer
With all the exposure The Fashion Composer Agency is already getting, it isn’t a surprise that dancers from other countries have approached Hannah and Pascalle already, wanting to be added to their database. Plans to expand into other cities are well underway. If you have been professionally trained and think you got what it takes, head over to their website and send in your photos.
From now on, we will read the small print next to fashion spreads much closer and we are sure to read the name The Fashion Composer Agency more often.