Nole Marin, top New York agent and founder of AIM Model Management shares his thoughts with journalist Emily Rogers on where his career started, the highlights, and what motivates him today.
What were the greatest obstacles you faced on your rise in the fashion world?
The way I see it, any setback is two steps forward because that means you are learning something. Every time you fall down you must realize that this is actually a time to grow.
What advice do you have for an aspiring model?
Be completely honest with yourself. Look at the industry (such as magazines and websites) and how the measurements and body structures of models compare to your own. You do not need to have a generic look, but you do NEED certain qualifications.
I school all my models and teach them everything about the industry. If they are smart, they will soak it all in. For example, there is a time to work and a time to play. Do not party before a show and do not let your clients see you partying. Models must be careful of their image. No one is going to pay thousands of dollars for a Mercedes that they see driving through the dirt and mud.
It is your choice if you choose to take advantage of the tools to success and apply them to your life, or not. Modeling is all about being your own business. Your level of success is all up to you.
It is important to dream BIG. After all, who told you to dream so little? The world is full of negativity and doubts. If you allow that to override you, it will eat you up and spit you out. As soon as these types of thoughts enter your mind, you need to push DELETE. Every day when you wake up, there will be challenges, but the energy of the world will not give them to you if you cannot handle them. There is always lesson to be learned and you may not see if now, but months from now you will look back and think, “I made it through.”
You have to know what you want and see yourself achieving your end goal.
What was it like being a judge on America’s Next Top Model? What was it like working with Janice Dickinson?
I had a great time. I was working with great friends and making a difference. I was honored to be part of the show. Viewers got a kick out of the disputes between Janice and me, but Janice is an amazing woman and we knew what we were doing. We knew that it was good comedy for the show.
Who are your role models?
Life is about finding people that inspire you.
My biggest role model was my friend Claudia who I met when I was 15 years old. She was a model/actress and was actually one year younger than me. Meeting her was like water finding the beach. We knew we were soulmates within the first few days of knowing each other. To this day, I have not met someone that I felt such a connection to; it was unreal.
Claudia taught me that I was not crazy to dream. She believed in me and she helped me to believe in myself. Although she was tragically killed in a car accident a few years ago, she is still my mentor to this day.
Family and friends are amazing but they can often be afraid to support you because of their own fear of seeing you fail. By being afraid that we may experience pain, their fear can actually hurt us more. Because of this, there are only a few people in this world who actually allow themselves to dream and to reach their potential.
What has been your fondest career memory thus far?
I have a few great memories; to have one is so limiting!
Claudia Schiffer was the first person to help me with styling. She nurtured my styling skills and helped me find myself as a human in fashion. She took me to the VH1 Fashion Awards for my first red carpet event and I remember thinking how wild, interesting, and powerful this experience was.
Also my work with Tyra Banks for my television debut and working with Grazia Riverditi of Glow Artists were great memories. Both women taught me so much.
Another fond memory came after filming ANTM, when Jay Manual and I were visiting Japan. We were just standing on a street corner and a group of young school girls ran up to us asking for our autographs. We were both thinking, “What is happening? I guess we are famous?”
Lastly, there was a time when a 16 year old kid randomly came up to me and expressed how much he admires me, looks up to me, and listens to all my criticism. He said that he really respects who I am and his statement brought a tear to my eye. I was not aware how much I was changing young kids’ lives.