Amarante is the latest addition to the few modeling agencies in Rwanda. Modeling being a field that is unexploited in Rwanda, The New Times’ Bryan Kimenyi met Amarante’s Managing Director, Robert Blair to get an insight into the Agency’s plans and how it is coping so far.
Who is Robert Blair?
I’m a 28-year-old Rwandan, who admires the fashion industry. I am the coordinator of Amarante modeling agency.
What is Amarante?
(Amarante) is Japanese for a flower that never fades—so I don’t think we shall fade anytime soon (laughs).
What difference does Amarante bring to the modeling industry?
Our agency is interested in searching and improving modeling talent because we believe there is talent in Rwanda. We also come with expertise and innovation.
Do you have experienced models?
They’re not many, but we have some models that have been in the industry for quite some time. However like I said earlier, we believe there is a lot to exploit in the Rwandan youth due to the fact that we think Rwandans have potential to make it to the big stage in modeling.
Does Amarante have any particular dreams?
There are a number of dreams but we particularly want to expand and spread Rwandan culture to the outside world. So far we have contacts with two international companies operating outside Rwanda willing to work with us in the area of publicity and promotions. Our dream is to sell Rwanda’s talent to the rest of the world while we expand our operations.
How many times has your agency exhibited its talent?
So far we haven’t done any show in Rwanda, but we are organising a big event where we shall showcase the best of our local talent, this is when our operations will be officially unveiled to the public.
As a modeling agency, do you have a particular designer?
Yes, we have got two designers; one is a proffesional designer who has been in the business for years. However he’s not the only person we intend to use because our eyes are set on much bigger things.
What would is the importance of modeling?
Modeling is one great way of improving international relations because it promotes cultural exchanges between nations. Again Rwanda as a country can collect revenue through taxation because modeling is a business like any other.
To the model traveling, he/she gets a good chance to see beautiful countries of the whole world. So it is being considered as a good experience of modeling if you one makes it to the international scene and that’s the destiny of Amarante.
Modeling also promotes tourism more especially when there are big organized events to showcase different works and designs, it really attracts people
What problems have you encountered so far?
Problems exist in every industry so we are not immune from them especially due to the fact that we (modeling agencies) are just in our young stage. But I think getting potential sponsors and partners are the most outstanding problems.
How do you see the modeling industry?
It is promising industry which is set to explode and the whole world will definitely be surprised. What matters always is for us to believe that we can make it. Once that choice has been made, then success is definite.
Your agency has both female and male models, what is the difference between the two?
I think there isn’t a difference. The problem is that male models aren’t a common trend in most countries in the developing world, because we still think that only women are supposed to be smart and fashionable.
However male models have taken center stage in the developed world. It will be the same thing when developing nations especially in Africa embrace male modeling.
Is there a modeling agency that you admire?
As a young person, I ought to have something that pushed me into the industry. FORD, NEXT and IMG are modeling agencies that I highly appreciate, though I’m a strong admirer of ELITE!