COCAINE PRETTI

FRESH FACE: THE BUSINESS OF MODELING WITH TIA NAGARAJ

Written on 09/24/2019
SCARLETT SPADE


My greatest lesson was learning that I am my best asset, and that self-care is my greatest driving force in modelling and in general.


The first time I met Tia was on set for this editorial feature story.  What stood out to me the most was her energy. From the dance breaks inbetween shots to the way she received direction from her mother agent Victorya, she shined. In a curious state regarding her experience as a fresh face, I got the details on how she started as a model, why she chose to sign with Kevlar Rose, and her plans going into 2020.


 


Scarlett: How did you meet Victorya?
Tia: I actually met Victorya Downtown. I was walking to my apartment when I was stopped by a purple-haired beauty running across the street just to get my name.
 

Scarlett: Was modeling a creative interest before meeting her?
Tia: She wasn’t the first to put modelling in my head. It started with my mom and many other agents.

 

Scarlett: What was it about meeting Victorya and learning more about her agency that made you decide to sign with KR?
Tia: I guess it was her determination that got me. I model a little for school, but nothing like the actual industry. As an artist she sold me on the creative prospects of being a model, and the opportunities that may arise for me in my own original field of art. She also presented herself as a caring and ferocious mama bear to her cubs, so I guess that made me feel safer about the prospect in general.

Scarlett: How long have you been signed to Kevlar Rose?
Tia: I’ve been signed with Kevlar Rose for almost a year now.


Scarlett: In that time frame, what would you say has been your greatest learning lesson as a fresh face?
Tia: My greatest lesson was learning that I am my best asset, and that self-care is my greatest driving force in modeling and in general.

 

Scarlett: From test shoots to learning how to walk a runway, what has your development experience been like with KR?
Tia: I’ve yet to fully come out of my shell with shoots and such but I’ve enjoyed the process so far. I’ve always been told I have a great walk, but it's not that cute when you have to do it in six inch heels. Everything is a learning curve and I will get there. I feel like I have a lot more to learn and a lot more to be taught to me.



Scarlett: From a business perspective, there are a lot of fresh faces who are unaware of the costs of modeling. They’re unaware that while large agencies pay these costs upfront for their model roster, they expect each model to pay those costs back. Were you intimidated by the numbers once you understood the financial side of modeling?
Tia: Initially, yes. I understand that to run a business, its a group effort. It is intimidating as a college student, but I was told I would quickly make the amount back. Plus, Victorya was kind enough to explain things to me and make some allowances for me, which is something I really appreciate.

 

Scarlett: Do you feel it’s the model’s responsibility, the agency’s responsibility, or a shared responsibility for both sides to make sure the model understands the finances of modeling?
Tia: It is everyone’s responsibility to communicate honestly and thoroughly. Misunderstood feelings and technicalities should seldom get in the way of good creative content being made.
 

Scarlett: In a recent article by WWD, they discussed model payment in detail. Simone Aptekman expresseed how important it is for new models to have a mother agent because a mother agent will always have your best interest at heart. As you continue to grow within your modeling career, do you intend on keeping a mother agency?
Tia: I’ve enjoyed the prospect of a mother agency and would definitely rather stay under this kind of establishment than a huge one that doesn’t have the time to care about me. While I understand the desire to join big-time agencies, this remains closer to my personal interests.

 

Scarlett: Currently attending SCAD,  how do you balance being a new model with the pressures of a well respected art school? Do you feel it’s sometimes a compromise to choose school over model work or have you found a maintainable balance for both?
Tia: Well, I like to think of myself as uncompromising when it comes to college. SCAD is exceptionally demanding and I’m the kind of person that winces at B’s on my record. However, being an efficient worker, I know that if I want something bad enough, not a lot gets in my way. So in order to enjoy something outside of just college life, I’m happy to make the time and take the effort. It’s a very “Even My Eye-Bags are Prada” take on things from my end. 

 

Scarlett: What are you hoping to achieve with KR going into 2020?
Tia: In 2020, I hope KR leads me to more opportunities where I get to mesh with like-minded, broad-thinking individuals. I’ve already met so many, and it’s just not enough. There is a lot of untapped potential that I think this career could lead me to. I also want to better my skill set in this field in the hopes of returning the favour to my Mama Bear V.​




MUA: Tatiana Kazana
MODEL: Tia Nagaraj
AGENCY: Kevlar Rose
PHOTOGRAPHER: Ari Skin