I always had a passion for writing and creating stories and the thrive to develop something by myself. Before I had enough knowledge and experience to develop my own brand and website, it has been a long journey, a journey of learning and making mistakes, of studying, travelling, and trying out new things. One of the most important things on this journey was to overcome insecurities, step out of my comfort zone, become independent, and grow as a human being.
I was born in Germany in 1987. Since a very young age, I travelled the world with my family and was passionate about experiencing new cultures, habits, and international lifestyles. At the age of 18, I had learned five languages and started adventure travelling to remote destinations in the world.
It was spring time in 2010 when I graduated from university in Germany and decided to move to Mexico. With my degree in Economics & Communications, I started working in the office for a German government institution in Mexico City. Although I left Germany behind and started over in a new country, I had a very certain idea of how my future would look like working in the office for the next 30 years: waking up to the same monotonous routine every day.
Well, this future lasted for about three months until my life took quiet a different direction.
On a regular weekday during office hours, I walked into a Starbucks in Mexico City, where I met a photographer who gave me his business card and offered a free test photo shooting. Having taken this opportunity was something I would never regret because a few days later, I stopped working in the office and became a model. It was probably the most drastic change in my life, because that new job did not only come along with a change of surroundings, but it required a stronger personalty, a more susceptible character, and a high level of adaptability.
The next months were incredibly exciting because I encountered a challenging new lifestyle marked by fashion castings, daily workouts, runway shows, photo shootings, and traveling. I would lie if I told you that it was a purely positive experience, because hand in hand with all these new great things came also struggle and lots of rejection. It took a while until I got used to everything and until found stability and security in what I did.
In the end, my life became an adventure, more interesting, vivid, and more memorable than ever before.
Gottfried Heiss & GH Management
After being involved with the fashion business for a few months, I was introduced to Gottfried Heiss. Gottfried is Italian and also lives in Mexico City. He is a former supermodel who successfully worked internationally for more than over two decades. He knows the model business from two sides, working in front of the camera as a model, and from behind, doing booking and managing of models.
Three years ago, he started his model agency GH Management with a handful of models. Since then, with hard work, commitment, and dedication, his new agency based in Mexico City has evolved to an international business representing models in major fashion markets such as New York, London, Paris, Milan, and Berlin. Today, GH Management is Mexico’s leading boutique model agency representing national and international men & women for runways, editorials, campaigns, and catalogues.
If you think you have what it takes to become a model and if you are interested in travelling, in my following interview with Gottfried Heiss you can learn more about working as a model in Mexico, the fashion market in Mexico City, and the basic requirements for potential future models.
Interview with Gottfried Heiss
You have been working in many different countries. Why have you chosen Mexico as your base to live and work?
This goes back to the year of 1995. I was living in Paris and working as a model, when I got booked for an editorial at Vogue Mexico and Latin America. I flew to Mexico City for the first time in my life and immediately liked it. The cultural differences were immense, but since my first day here I felt very welcomed, people were incredibly hospitable and warm-hearted. Besides the shooting with Vogue Mexico, I had a few appointments in Mexico City to see magazines and photographers that would book me for jobs. I decided to sign a contract with a model agency in Mexico City. So for the following months, I flew back and forth working between Europe and Mexico, until I finally moved to Mexico City. The climate was also a major influence in my decision. As opposed to extremely hot summers and cold winters in Europe, Mexico has a constant mild weather throughout the year.
Why did you open your model agency in Mexico City?
For the first couple of years, I lived biannual between Mexico and Europe. Working actively as a model, I developed great professional relationships with clients (magazines, photographers, stylists, etc.) in both markets and started on the side to manage international model exchanges between agencies. I would help models from my agency in Mexico to find a placement with a European agency and then manage European models to get settled in Mexico. Using all my contacts in the worldwide fashion industry, I began working as an international model booker. The next step was to open my own modelling agency.
What potential did you see in the Mexican fashion market knowing you could successfully position your own agency?
Mexico has grown a strong fashion industry. There are many national and international fashion magazines present in Mexico City which means a lot of work for models. Magazines, designers, and photographers do castings on a daily basis. Even castings for international campaigns and commercials are held in Mexico City. Casting directors always look for new faces and with the models I brought and would bring from abroad, I saw a very strong potential in successfully position an exclusive boutique agency in Mexico.
How important is the Mexican fashion market on an international level?
Very important. Like I mentioned before, almost every major international fashion magazine has its own Mexican edition, e.g. Vogue, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and since 2015 also Vanity Fair. Having a country specific edition of Vogue raises the level of importance in the international fashion industry a lot. Mexico is not yet on the same level as London, Paris, Milan, or New York, but casting directors from those markets come to Mexico to scout new faces and to collaborate with our clients. Besides, there are lots of Mexican designers and models who have successfully crossed over to one or several of the above-mentioned markets.
Why would you recommend people to come to Mexico for modeling? What advantages do you see in Mexico City compared to New York or Paris?
Mexico offers a lot of work in fashion. If you are starting your career as a model, I would recommend to do it in Mexico because there is less competition than in other markets but still a great amount of castings and eventually paid work. Mexico is the ideal place to build up a strong portfolio and gain experience with clients and shootings. Unlike other markets that have high and low seasons, there is constant work opportunity in Mexico throughout the year. If you start modelling with GH management, you will be exclusively contracted with the agency and we prepare you for an international modelling career. We consistently collaborate with other agencies around the world and can find you placement in a country of your choice. It is also possible that an agency from abroad specifically request you for a certain job or a full season. Many models choose to go to New York, London, Berlin, Paris, or Milan, but we also work together with agencies in more exotic places such as India or China.
What are the requirements to become a model? What does a potential model need to be signed with GH Management, to become a GH model?
At GH Management we are always looking for new and different faces. Girls need to be at least 1.75 m tall, boys 1.85 m. Be healthy inside, eat and drink healthy food and get plenty of exercise. You must have a positive and open-minded attitude, be flexible, be disciplined, be professional. In order to work at an international level, you must have good education, cultural awareness, and speak languages. Being a model does not only mean to look good, you must be able to act, showing different angles of your face, different poses, you have to be adaptable.
If you think you can be a GH model, send us your pictures here, and we get back to you if you fulfil the requirements.