Crimes of Persuasion

Schemes, scams, frauds.

Barbizon School Of Modeling aka Barbizon Modeling Agency of San Francisco aka International Performing Arts Academy (Larry Lionetti, Lena Lionetti)

The BBB file ( has contradictory information. First it says one of its dba names is "Barbizon Modeling Agency of San Francisco"; then it says, "The school is not, nor does it hold itself forth as, a licensed talent agency or modeling agency."

See also: Barbizon Modeling School (aka Barbizon School of Modeling)



Hi, My name is Larry Lionetti and along with my wife Lena own and manage the Barbizon school of San Francisco.

Some ten years ago, California law changed and would not allow Barbizon to have a placement service to assist graduates secure work. Since 1939 Barbizon operated a placement service for graduates.When we learned of the new law from the BBB we eliminated all placement and agency services.

To comply with the new law we make it possible for our graduates to interview 50-70 agents and managers at one time in Hollywood.

We worked very hard with the president of the talent and managers association Mr. Steven Nash to ensure that our students only met registered and licensed Industry professionals. This change to comply with California law took much time and work.

At this time the documented outcomes have increased substantially and we now serve our graduates in a ethical and affective manner while complying to s[t]ate law. Our student body has grown by 100% while having no unresolved complaints allowing us to fall into a BB rating at the BBB.

Now that we have fully implemented this new system we are members of the BBB in other states and will seek membership in California this year. Times have changed and so has Barbizon.

We offer a community service with lectures and over $500,000 college scholarships to promote education along with performing arts. and

BBB along with other school watch groups have played a instrumental role in these new changes. We would request that ratings would accurately reflect these new changes and that we not be lumped in with schools and agents that have not and will not ever make needed changes? If I can supply additional information please do not hesitate to contact me Larry Lionetti.


Changes may be helpful, but fundamentally, is Barbizon San Francisco still leading its potential clients to believe attendance at your school is likely to lead to substantial paid modeling jobs or significantly increase their chances or being picked up by (licensed) model or talent agents? Even if you made structural changes for legal compliance, but maintained the same type of advertising, it would only be a cosmetic change, and not address the most important reason why people sign up and pay Barbizon.


I'm delighted to have the opportunity to discuss some facts about Barbizon.

The majority of our new clients come from our community lecture program, where the real-life benefits of Barbizon training are paramount. But I believe you'll also be interested to know that none of our current advertising contains any offer of modeling work.

Moreover, there is no language pertaining to "searches" or "auditions." Our ads offer a trial modeling class, which underscores to prospective students and parents that what we offer is training. We discuss the possibility of introductions to industry professionals only upon a student's graduation from Barbizon.

California's Department of Labor has implemented- and Barbizon has embraced- fundamental changes that have enabled already great schools to become greater still.

It is a matter of record that Barbizon has an 85% retention rate and absolutely no unresolved student concerns.The positive changes mentioned above have substantially increased our student body.

The separation of training and placement was fundamental, allowing Barbizon to create a new word-of-mouth enrollment program and to offer a trial class prior to enrollment. For information about our community outreach program, please visit or

Our new approach attracts parents with realistic expectations of training. It is noteworthy that in the same group of parents, 50% are interested in realistic benefits - and this is reflected in our new group of enrollments.

The way we present our school attracts students with the ability to benefit from our training. Since the implementation of these changes, we have had thousands of happy graduates across the country.

These fine graduates and their parents are proud of what they have accomplished. Performing arts, fine art and culinary schools have become viable and respected choices for the American public, as evidenced by some of the highest-rated TV shows in history.

Public schools in some California communities, meanwhile, have a 50% dropout rate. Many of these schools have been forced to remove or drastically cut most performance, art, cooking, sports and other non-academic programs. Yet teen students require such activities for healthy emotional, mental and physical development; these programs foster self-confidence in young people and help them make good choices.

I take great pride in the proactive role Barbizon plays in families' lives. Policy researchers, politicians and educators regularly identify the challenges posed by teen sex, pregnancy, drugs and violence, but few are offering substantive solutions.

Yet the positive influence of Barbizon in the midst of such challenges is tangible. I've taken the liberty of attaching several letters from our students. If these are posted online - along with my comments representing the overwhelming majority of student and parents from my schools - I feel certain you will see a decisively positive response.

Our Company has been training students for over 35 years; we are in compliance with all licensing requirements and are members of the BBB in Oregon, Washington and several other states. But most importantly, we are attuned to the needs and wishes of our constituency.

If you have any other concerns, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you very much.

Larry Lionetti 12/06