SCOTT LIPPS & LINDA VOJTOVA

SCOTT LIPPS & LINDA VOJTOVA

FADE IN:

EXT. THE SMILE, BOND STREET, NEW YORK CITY — EARLY AFTERNOON

The Smile’s front courtyard is lush, with potted plants and window boxes in full bloom. SCOTT LIPPS and LINDA VOJTOVA meet at the top of an iron staircase. They embrace, and SCOTT plants a kiss on LINDA’s cheek before the pair descends and sits on a shaded wooden bench.

CUT TO:

SCOTT orders an iced cappuccino with Splenda; LINDA orders an iced tea. SCOTT moves closer to Linda and pulls out a BlackBerry and an iPhone. LINDA sips her drink, watching SCOTT scroll through his Instagram feed.

SCOTT
I love technology, and I love that the models like where it’s going. If you go to a casting now, every girl — besides you — is on their phone instagramming, facebooking, tweeting, whatever the hell they’re doing. I have a bunch of girls that have done covers lately, digital-only covers. Different editions of Vogue do that now. If I said that you were shooting for a magazine that was only digital, but it was a cool publication —

LINDA
I would do it. These days, online is much more important. You get to share your work and there’s social media; people re-tweet it, and all that stuff.

SCOTT
It could go viral.

LINDA
Yeah, it can go viral. I love spreadsheets, but —

SCOTT
Tear sheets.

LINDA
Tear sheets! Spreadsheets I don’t love. I like them when they have good numbers [laughs]. So, in the future, you think there will be no magazines?

SCOTT
I don’t think there will be no magazines, but these days it’s so hard to make money with magazines. It’s a changing environment and you don’t want to get left behind, you want to be part of the future. One Management recently launched a division called One.1k that signs girls with very big followings for deals based on social media. They’re not all amazing high fashion models, but there are girls out there with two, three, four million followers.

LINDA
So what’s the minimum number of followers a girl has to have?

SCOTT
Something like 50,000. I’m not really able to monetize it until it’s a number like that.

LINDA
That’s insane.

SCOTT
It used to be a trivial thing and now it’s something different. The business is changing completely. We used to have to pick up the phone and say, “Linda’s in town.” Now, everything is done through the computer. If you pick up the phone, it’s weird. People are like: Why are you calling me?

LINDA
When I first came to New York — I wasn’t with you then — the agency would get ready for two months, calling everyone. Now, a girl comes and an agency tweets about it. No one puts as much work into developing the new faces.

SCOTT
In all fairness, there were around 500 models in New York when you started. Now, there are around 2,000. It’s flooded. When campaigns hire people they’re like: We have a girl who has a million followers and a girl who has 300,000; we like them both, but we’d rather hire the girl who has a million. 

LINDA
I don’t think that jobs are only based on girls’ followers. There are still a lot of clients —

SCOTT
It’s engagement and it’s measurable advertising. Advertisers are not in the dark about whether something is resonating. It’s like a study of what people respond to. I don’t really take selfies because people don’t respond as much to mine. But Linda, a beautiful girl, takes a selfie and people love it. Of course the weird creepy guys are there; I don’t get too many creeps —

LINDA
Really? They’re not asking you to introduce them to girls [laughs]? We had a meeting and you told girls that we have to work on our social media. I’ve been here for 12 years, so at this point it’s not up to you to push me to see people, because I’ve seen everyone that there is to see in New York. But getting great pictures out there, and getting pictures with celebrities, will help me get that following.

SCOTT
You love taking pictures with celebrities [laughs].

LINDA
I love doing that. No, but how else do you grow your following? So many girls build their careers on social media. Kate Upton did a lot of work on Facebook and Twitter and now she’s one of the biggest models around. The opportunity for girls is much greater. Personally, I’m not that kind of self-promoter. It doesn’t come as naturally to me as to you, for example [laughs]. It’s hard, but I’m learning. I love Instagram and I’m always on it.

SCOTT
You’re not shy, but you don’t love self-promotion. Whereas certain girls really feed off of that. If you can generate traction on your own and your agent knows how to run with it, you have a home run. A lot of models have increased their popularity two, three, four, five, tenfold now because of things going viral. You can reach a hundred thousand people in a matter of seconds. You couldn’t do that before. What, are you going to call a hundred thousand people?

LINDA
You would definitely do that.

SCOTT
Everything is about convenience and immediacy. I’m talking about potentially paying girls in Bitcoin because digital currency is really interesting to me. I spoke to the Winkelvoss twins about it recently.

LINDA
Can I pay my mortgage with digital currency [laughs]?

SCOTT
I don’t know about your mortgage, per se, but you can probably do anything you want with it.

LINDA
I think I’m pretty old school with my money [laughs]. But I guess that’s the future.

SCOTT
I tried an experiment two days ago — I put the phones in the living room.
And I still woke up at 5:30 in the morning to go check them [LINDA laughs].

LINDA
When I first went to Paris as a model, every day at 1:00 in the afternoon we had to call the agency from a phone booth. I’m not that old [laughs]; I didn’t have a cell phone then. If you didn’t want to do any more castings that day, you just wouldn’t call. There was no way for them to find you. That’s something you cannot do today. Everything is getting much more stressful, not just in business. Everything is immediate.

SCOTT collects his phones. The pair walks up the iron staircase to Bond Street. LINDA rests her hand on SCOTT’s shoulder, then the two turn their backs to the restaurant and walk down the street.

SCOTT
The traditional career trajectory is different. It’s an interesting world we live in; Kendall Jenner is doing incredibly well. She didn’t start working for Gucci or Prada, she started on reality TV and now she’s on the cover of Love. The norm is changing.

LINDA
Do you think that these types of people are not as creative?

SCOTT
Talent may not be as much of a factor these days. It’s half marketing, half talent. But you know what, marketing is a talent, too.

 CREDITS 

 Photography by Chris Bernabeo

Conversation moderated by  Anthony Rotunno

Scott Lipps is the New York City-based CEO of One Management.
Linda Vojtova is a model based in New York City.

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THE END