Ford Models may have pioneered the traditional modeling agency format since 1946, but these days, all eyes are on Gen Z audiences—and the social media stars they’re obsessed with. Thus, it makes sense that Ford is branching out by creating Ford Digital; an influencer and creative talent division. The Daily caught up with agent Georgia Makely, who is tasked with leading the new venture, to talk talent, TikTok, and how aspiring influencers stand out from the crowd.
How did you find yourself working in the agency world, what’s your background?
I’ve always had an itch to work in fashion. I began very young working as an assistant to a celebrity stylist and then became one of the first ever employees at The RealReal. Shortly after, I jumped into the world of talent management, representing TV personalities and experts. This combined experience of talent representation and fashion ultimately led me to Ford Models where I have been for over three year. My first role was as a booker for traditional models, and then I delved into the digital space to manage our influencer and creative talent.
What was the impetus for Ford Digital?
Ford is known to have revolutionized model management in the 1940s, launching some of the most notable names in fashion. The new Ford Digital division was designed to evolve this legacy by offering representation to digital creators, fashion innovators and social change-makers in the new media landscape. Our clients have always looked to us to offer talent that makes waves and Ford Digital is our answer to providing brands with online personalities who do just that.
What will your new role involve?
My primary focus is connecting our talent with partnership opportunities in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle verticals and beyond. I also guide our talent in strategic development to help grow their personal brands.
What are your hopes for Ford Digital?
Our goal has always been to create a roster of talent that not only supports our client’s needs, but also inspires the next generation of creators, stimulates important conversations, and promotes positive change.
Will this change the way that Ford scout new talent?
Inclusivity is and has been the highest priority for Ford when scouting talent in the traditional modeling space and beyond. Now with the introduction of digital talent and creatives to our wheelhouse, we are truly limitless in the range of talent we are able to work with.
How has the influencer industry changed the role of a traditional model?
Influencer Marketing has impacted the industry in many ways, from how designers reach their audiences to who sits front row at Fashion Week. Though models and influencers can absolutely intersect (and there are many who are both), I would say that the main distinction is that creators produce and market their own content as brand ambassadors, while models fit into and enhance a brand’s existing creative concept.
Is this something that Ford now consciously thinks of when signing new talent—that they have social clout too?
When it comes to the traditional modeling space, a social following is not a necessity when being scouted. The Digital division does keep audience size in mind, however our primary focus is finding and developing online personalities who create high-quality content and are great story-tellers.
How can aspiring models stand out on platforms like TikTok and Instagram?
My advice to aspiring digital creatives is to share what feels most authentic. Followers become loyal to those who feel distinctive and who feel they know personally. Creating an engaging feed that feels interactive is a “must” when building an online brand.
Lastly! What existing Ford models should we keep our eyes on on social media and why?
This question is like picking a favorite child! Instead, I’ll ask everyone to check out fordmodels.com/digital to view our roster. Each talent is an innovator in the vertical they occupy!