An innovative Manchester modelling agency that is shattering the image.
VauHaus has earned a name for itself as a pioneer for forward-thinking aesthetics and immaculate business ethics here in Manchester.
The creative collective is a collaboration of models, photographers, stylists and everything else you would need to create an eye-catching campaign.
It may appear as a seamless trip going from strength to strength, but the journey has not been one without challenges.
CEO Toria Brightside hails from a highly academic background and was initially discouraged from pursuing anything creative as a career option. “It simply wasn’t taken seriously in my family. Creative subjects are referred to as ‘Mickey Mouse’, and I was always told that pursuing these professions would shut doors for me.”
Everything about this organisation rose from the ashes of the most significant trials in Toria’s childhood.
She has seemingly become the hero that is required in times when power and resources are sparse.
“A creative mind must have its needs catered to;
otherwise, it’s going to be disruptive.
There was absolutely no way around the authority in my life,
but total rebellion; this must be why I’m drawn to the
idea of supporting rebels, underdogs, creating a
family-like environment that’s encouraging
of self-expression and creativity.”
First opening its books in September 2013, the agency was forged in a different era. Toria recalls; “Models had to be at least 5’8” and at most a size 8, and you weren’t allowed to be older than 25. Natural hair colours only. No tattoos. No scars. The very diversity that makes people so visually interesting was being limited; only one sector was is being showcased. At the time I was working as a freelance photographer, I knew I was a potential client for these unsigned people, and I knew I wouldn’t be alone.”
Toria met up with her first handpicked team in the Northern Quarter one sunny Sunday and discussed in length how prevalent the issues were in the industry. “I heard first hand about signing scams, delayed and missing payments, models wasting their time at obviously unsuitable castings, unexpected nudity on shoots without prior warning and at worst, insecurity provoking criticism.
Still to this day when we open our books, we hear from models whose confidence has been knocked by incredibly sharp critique.
From day one, we wanted to offer a safe, reliable and encouraging working relationship with our models.
When you’re putting your image out there to be judged, I can only imagine how acute the experience of self-doubt must be.”
It isn’t just appearances that are we rework at VauHaus. Toria and her team’s morale principles extend throughout the business model. “I still don’t see a business reason to pay models quarterly. I believe it would be detrimental to deprive models of funds for long periods. At the end of the day, we as agents need them to be able to travel to castings and assignments.”
Toria has purchased a four-storey Edwardian property on the outskirts of Media City. New faces and Manchester creatives such as wardrobe stylists, and makeup artists. She is teamed up with some of the long-term team members for an editorial shoot and celebration throughout the building.
We get a visual insight into VauHaus at home; palace-like furniture, outrageous candy pink walls and a surplus of whiskey tumblers. Shot by photographer Sally Sparrow, the images are sharp, bold, eye-catching and in quintessential VauHaus style – reminiscent of an exclusive, alluring party.
VauHaus is an agency whose primary marketing is via word of mouth. To get this far while defying industry boundaries, VauHaus has had to operate with lasting quality and integrity. When it comes to advertising, the market needs to see things it can relate to and draw inspiration from.
Not only are the models the trailblazers in atypically diverse aesthetics, but ones that are thriving as a result of much deeper personal merits; a contemporary and valuable source of inspiration for Manchester, and beyond.
VAUHAUS IS A MODEL AND CREATIVE AGENCY BASED IN MANCHESTER & LONDON.
We strive for forward-thinking in high fashion aesthetics and innovation in agency ethics.
THE TEAM’S WORK HAS BEEN PUBLISHED INTERNATIONALLY IN MAGAZINES
INCLUDING VOGUE UK, VOGUE ITALIA, C-HEADS AND NOCTIS MAGAZINE.
VauHaus www.vauhaus.co.uk @vauhausagency
Sally Sparrow @sallysparrow_photography
Styling Kayley Coppin @kcoppinstylist
Makeup Krystle Clayton @soxymulholland and
Karolina Wojcik @karolinawojcikmua
Models Aaron @aloeverawang,
Kam @kamkaltinaite, Lois @loiswaite_,