What It’s Really Like At A Fashion Week Model Casting

Casting for New York Fashion Week is well under way, a fact made obvious by the packs of long-limbed pretty people we spotted roaming around the city this weekend. On Saturday, we stopped by the offices of BCBG Mx Azria and Hervé Léger by Max Azria to take a peek behind the scenes and see what goes in to casting two of the week’s hottest runways.

Since last season, that responsibility has fallen on powerhouse casting director Jess Hallett, who also counts Alexander McQueen, Rag & Bone, and Mary Katrantzou as clients (and, as it happens, Kate Moss as a best friend). She explained to us that this weekend was just the start of a grueling month of shows, but that it was also the first opportunity to really get a sense of all of the faces we’ll be seeing on the catwalk from New York all the way to Paris.

More than 300 girls passed through the office-turned-casting central on Saturday alone, including Ruby Aldridge and model-of-the-moment Kate Kondas, which meant that maneuvering around all of the gangly limbs, piles of coats, and bags filled with high heels, portfolios, and subway maps was a feat unto itself. Seeing as many girls as possible is essential though, Hallett said, because Hervé Leger by Max Azria and BCBG Max Azria casting “very, very different looks. You have to think about not only ‘How’s this going to look on the runway?’, but also how it will look in pictures and how it will translate for everyone who watches online.”

One other major difference that has come with the rise of tracking shows online is that close attention is being paid to the diversity seen on NYFW runways. Back in 2010, the brands were amongst those called out by Jezebel for uniform casting. Last season, however, things definitely seemed to be looking up, with both labels presenting their collections on more racially diverse groups of girls than ever before.

As for fall 2013, we’ll have to wait until Thursday (for BCBG) and Saturday (for Hervé) to see who made the cut this time around.

Check out some photos from the casting below:

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