My life as a Storm model

Anushka Chakravarti

Julia was scouted when she was 16

Between August 2014 and August 2015, Julia Glossop was part of one of the most exclusive modelling agencies in the entire world. 

Storm Models is renowned for finding, developing and managing the careers of some of the most exciting modelling talent worldwide.

They’re one of the most respected names in the business, representing huge names such as Cara Delevingne, Emma Watson and first lady of fashion Kate Moss.

Julia told us about the parties, the clothes and the diets in this glittering VIP environment.

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Julia

Could you give me a brief overview of what you’ve been doing for the last year?

I was living in a model house in Fulham, in London, just with a load of other girls and just going to castings everyday. So about one to five castings a day. Just seeing what jobs I got off that essentially. So that was kind of it. I can’t emphasise enough how amazing this year has been and how grateful I am to my agents for making it possible.

And you were with Storm?

Yeah. Storm, that was my management.

Cool, so how did you get into that?

I was scouted at Birmingham International train station when I was walking out of the Clothes Show, I was about 16 and I was with my mom.

You were scouted by Storm?

Yeah by Storm, the agents there. They just started kind of following me. I had to go in for a couple of interviews and test shoots and it took about a year really, and then I became accepted on to it.

 

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Julia with a cup cake

Do you think the sizes they ask models to be are realistic? Because essentially you’re kind of modelling for everyone, right?

Yeah, I do think it’s pretty realistic. The thing is, obviously I know it’s quite controversial and everything, but I found that a lot of the models I bumped into and everyone I met, they’re kind of naturally like that.

I mean I have met people who are really trying to lose weight and they’re obsessed with it and some girls have eating disorders, and that’s really awful. But then a lot of them are naturally skinny, and they’re not starving themselves.

Do you enjoy being made up and dressed up as part of the process?

Yeah, I really do actually! I didn’t think I would.

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Do you feel a bit like a little Barbie doll?

Yeah, I love having my make up done. Yeah, I really like having my make up done, but it does get to the point sometimes where they’ll take it on and off for a different look, and sometimes people don’t really care about what they’re doing to your skin, and like picking off your eyelashes and stuff. You’re just basically like a mannequin, and they just want to “get the look”. But then, saying that there are a lot of people who are really caring about what they do to your hair and they don’t wanna pull you around too much and stuff.

Is it quite damaging?

I’ve been fine with it, but I imagine the girls who go to like Fashion Week and stuff – I’ve heard some really awful stories about girls who have had about three shows a day, and they’ve had their hair burnt off and their eyelashes pulled out.

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Their skin comes out, it’s awful. At the end they have to have inches of their hair cut off at the end of the week. But no one really cares, just as long as they look good in the show.I’ve heard about so many girls having to have all their hair cut off at the end of Fashion Week.

I guess you’re not just paid for the modelling though, you’re paid for keeping your body and face the way they want it.

Yeah that is true, it is a complete lifestyle. You have to be able to pay for quite a lot of stuff, like you’re expected to have a gym membership and go to the gym and like eat really healthy food and be all organic and take supplements, and completely keep up your “look”. If you weren’t paid that much it would be impossible.

In the last year in this industry what was your best experience?

Um, I think the best was… When I worked, uh, I did a job for Chanel.

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That’s cool.

Yeah, and doing that job was just really surreal – I had make up put on me, like five times throughout the day. They had beauty seminar things. So like, all the editors of Vogue and Elle and other editors were there, taking tips for their newest collections from Chanel, and  they dressed you up in Chanel and everything.

They dressed me up in some leather Chanel trousers, and I knew they were too small from the beginning, and I had to squeeze into them. I tried to tell them, like “I’m not going to fit into these” and they were just like “no it’s fine, it’s fine”. And then half way through the day, I sat down and heard a massive rip, and I saw that I’d ripped all up the crotch of these trousers!

It was awful! I went and had a little adventure round headquarters, and found the trousers to try and find a price tag – and they were over £4000!

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What’s casting like?

I had a lot of problems being late. You have one casting on one side of London and one on the other side of London and you have to get the tube and public transport and everything, and you can’t make it.

And you have no idea where these places are. They’re in the weirdest places sometimes, in like dingy little rooms in a tower block somewhere in like Hackney. So weird. Or like in people’s conservatories I’ve had castings.

Really?!

Yeah, people’s houses… Just the weirdest places! Places you’d never expect. And everyone’s running around in trainers and you have to change into heels beforehand – it’s so much hassle.

When you lived with other girls in a model house, was there a lot of competition between you?

I never found it hugely competitive, but I think that’s because I wasn’t that much competition to anyone else. *Laughs* I was like never the skinniest or the tallest by any means, and there were some really really professional and successful girls living with me so they didn’t really see me as competition. So I got on really well with everyone.

But I’ve heard some really really awful stories as well about other model houses. Like about girls putting sleeping pills in other girls’ drinks so that they would miss castings. I’ve had clothes stolen from me and stuff…

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Oh really?

Yeah, but I don’t know if that’s competition or just people not being very nice! But generally I think…

Your experience was generally good?

Yeah. Mine was quite good. They were all really nice girls I think.

Is there anything else about the modelling industry or the fashion industry you think people don’t really get to find out?

Not really. Well I’m sure there is, I just can’t think of anything! I was just thinking it’s not particularly glamorous and how the model house is just really busy – a lot of us live in quite a small space.

I think just the fact that, what I found so unexpected is that it’s not just free stuff but you’re taken on holiday for free and stuff…

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So what are your plans for next year?

I’m going to uni at UCL and I’m going to try and carry on modelling on the side but only if I have time, like if I can fit it in around uni and stuff.

What are you studying?

French and Portuguese.

Oh that’s fun, so you get a year abroad and stuff?

Yeah! A year abroad in Brazil I’m hoping…

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