Finesse Model Management

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm trying to find out info on a modeling agency in Sausalito, California, called Finesse Model Management.

My daughter went on a model search and was picked to return for an interview, and they advised us they wanted her for their teen model program.

The problem is they are asking for $1,295 for Portfolio Program which includes on-location shoot, 6 9x12 prints, makeup artist, studio shoot, European model's book, and hair stylist.

Plus $489 for Fashion Marketing Program, which includes 3 images, and 50 zed cards, professional makeup artist/stylist.

If you have any advice, please email me.



There is not enough information to spend $1,784.

Finesse Model Management... Their website is "under construction." The domain was registered over two years ago ("Record created on 01-Apr-2000"), and they still have nothing except their contact info.

Did they tell you anything about their company? Do they have an agency license? It is required in California. Do they have any clients? Who are their clients? How many models have they represented? How many get work? What type of work?

What's the point of paying for a Fashion Marketing Program if they have no success placing models in fashion modeling jobs? Maybe they have, but don't assume they have if they can't prove it. Tear sheets can prove it.

Many of the complaints against modeling firms in the past have been about model searches seeking to sell unsuspecting models or their parents expensive model photos. You described a similar scenario, so you need to be careful.

Where is Sausalito, California? Is this a modeling market? Is it near LA? Please see the Questions to Ask Modeling Agencies, and send any more information you can get.

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To Whom It May Concern:

I saw the previous letter submitted regarding Finesse Model Management. I also am interested in hearing any additional information on this model agency as I spoke with a representative there and was given a similar price schedule regarding the Portfolio Program and Fashion Marketing Program, as well as their "training" sessions, which run at about $150 each.

The price for their Fashion Marketing Program sounds about average for the industry as I was quoted something similar by another agency.

Yet, I am new to this industry and still seeking to obtain as much information about typical costs and expenses I should face and the amount of money I should expect to invest for an agency to then be able to market me to clients.

I was told by the agency that they are eager to have me join them and that they were sure they could market me to their clients.

I was provided with detailed information about their organization, which was impressive, yet I am still hesitant because of the amount of money involved and the fact that I haven't heard of them before when I was researching Bay Area modeling agencies.

I also consulted the agency's website and found it to be still "under construction."

I would be most appreciative of any information or advice.




You said their "training sessions" cost about $150 each. How many do they offer? Ask them, "Why aren't they free?" The BBB does not list any complaints against Finesse at the time of writing, but the BBB also says elsewhere most agencies do NOT charge models for training.

Two of the most common modeling scams are expensive photos and expensive classes. You suggested the prices given for photos are average, but you only cited one other agency. Perhaps you should research further, because leaders have already said those kind of prices (listed in the previous letter) are high.

You didn't say what their success rate is and who their clients are. There are bogus agencies which push fashion marketing for new models, but none of their models get fashion modeling jobs. Instead they get very minor jobs which are not fashion, editorial, etc., and the earnings never come close to the marketing expense.

So you need to find our their typical and recent fashion modeling success stories to find out if they are legit. New models can throw a lot of money at advertising when they start out making false assumptions about the record of the agency regarding exactly what type and how much modeling work they will get.

For instance, there is this one modeling agency, which pushes fashion modeling in their presentations to aspiring models, and says they need to get their photos done by a fashion photographer. But none of their models get fashion modeling jobs. They get $120 jobs in promotions. Unsurprisingly, the "agency" makes money from the photos.

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To Whom It May Concern:

April, 2005

Beware -   


1.  Finesse Model Management has been operating in Sausalito, California, located across the GG Bridge from San Francisco for several years.  They have no business license to operate in Sausalito according the office of the City Attorney of Sausalito.    Mr. Jeremy Holt, Sausalito Business License Dept. says, "My records show that Finesse Model Management does not have a business license, past or present, with the City of Sausalito."  (415) 289-4148

2.  Better Business Bureau has 8 registered complaints.  Finesse is not a member & has an unsatisfactory record with the BBB.    (510) 238-1000

3.  Owner of Finesse Model Management, Penelope Lippincott, has been fined by the State Labor Commission of the State of California in the past when she operated her business under her maiden name, Penny Clymer Modeling.  The Labor Commissioner ruled against her in a complaint and she was ordered to refund all costs of modeling course fees "reimbursement of unlawfully collected fees, and penalties pursuant to Labor Code 1700.40".

4.  Finesse is currently under investigation again by the California Labor Dept. and she is operating without properly licensing as required by the Labor Code.

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