FRM Spotlight

In the twenty four years since its launch F.R.M. Models has deservedly won a reputation as one of Australia's most vibrant, energetic and in-touch modelling agencies and fashion event co-ordinators. The truth lies in the company's name: Fashion Results Models - both for its many corporate clients and for its host of male and female models.

The company is headed by Stephen Bucknall, himself a local and international model of ten years standing.

The 'hands on' experience in the industry gave Stephen a unique understanding of the requirements of clients, agencies and the models themselves. After spending several years studying the structure of agencies around the world, he decided it was time to pool the best elements of what he had observed to form F.R.M.

F.R.M. CURRENTLY HAS MODELS ACTIVE IN THE AREAS OF PARADES, COMMERCIALS AND PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK. THEY ALSO REPRESENT CHOREOGRAPHERS, STYLISTS, MAKE-UP ARTISTS, HAIRDRESSERS, DANCERS AND A VAST TALENT BANK INCLUDING ACCESS TO SUPER MODELS - VENDELLA, NICCI TAYLOR AND STEPHANIE SEYMOUR.

The company is particularly active in the areas of staging parades and major events. In fact, F.R.M. have organinsed over 3000 fashion parades in the last eight years including: the launch of Hugo Boss Australia wide; the Victorian Bridal Fair for 6 years; the Chapel Street Festival; as well as showcasing the work of major designers including Covers, Mariana Hardwick, Teena Varigos, Peter Alexander Designs, Anthea Crawford, Paul Smith, Chevignon, Trussardi, Gaultier, Junior Gaultier, Katherine Hamnet, Valentino, Louis Feraud, Ungaro-Sidi and the Myer Miss Shop. Such parades have been skillfully adapted to shine in any location.

The experience and vision of Stephen Bucknall has seen F.R.M. achieve a great deal in a short period of time. Now with excellent relations with agencies in Tokyo, London, Hong Kong, Paris, Milan, New York and New Zealand, F.R.M. is looking forward to an outstanding future.

Is Australia's fashion industry racist?

STEPHEN BUCKNALL, FRM MODEL MANAGEMENT: There is work for non-Anglo models. I've proven it time and time again. In the last month I've had a Sudanese girl on two covers of magazines. I've had one Chinese girl who's just shot a worldwide campaign for Pioneer sound systems and if you look on TV you will see quite a few Asian girls are filtering in to TV commercials as such. It is changing but it's just taking a little bit longer to evolve here in Australia than it is the rest of the world. 

http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2013/s3877570.htm

A Model Business

The annual L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival is a chance for local designers, models, stylists and organisers to celebrate all things fashion. Report Holly McKay and photographer Steven Crabtree introduce you to two fashion-forward locals paving the way at this year's festival.

Ajak Deng

Ajak Deng

FRM Model Ajak Deng has been in Melbourne for the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival. Over the past week she has caught up with Director Stephen Bucknall and has had a special interview with SBS

http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/03/22/aussie-models-journey-south-sudan-global-catwalks

 

 

Ajak Deng Video

Ajak Deng has a spring in her step

AFTER a long break from catwalks in Australia, Ajak Deng is expected to return home to strut her stuff for retailer David Jones.

Deng, one of the rising stars of the international modelling scene, is set to be one of the major attractions at the retailer's spring/summer collection launch in Sydney in August -- her overseas schedule permitting.

David Jones yesterday confirmed they were hopeful of securing Deng for their high-profile show.

Melburnian Deng, who is listed at number 44 on the respected Models.com ranking of the world's top 50 models, appears in the new CK One fragrance campaign.

New mum Miranda Kerr will make her return to the Australian fashion market at the same event.

Meanwhile, a David Jones team jetted out of Sydney yesterday winging their way to Los Angeles to shoot the retailer's new spring/summer catalogue with Kerr.

Original article source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/confidential/ajak-deng-has-a-spring-in-her-step/story-e6frf96x-1226055636986

Ajak Deng in Herald Sun

Bucknall Management - FRM Supermodel Ajak Deng in Herald Sun. 24/01/2013

Ajak and Nikki

Ajak and deputy prime minister

Angelique - Pulp Magazine

Asians in modeling industry in Australia

Fashion and reality often part company on the subject of Asian beauty, but change may be in the air, writes Janice Breen Burns.

A maturing Lai Allison did eventually ditch the dye and contacts and, testament to her swelling pride in those striking Timorese/Chinese features, she even signed up with model agency Giant. But new troubles have plagued her working life for the past eight years. "The main campaigns seemed to go to all the Western looking models and, if I was chosen, it would be of a supporting nature," she says. "In fashion parades, I would usually be the only Asian; it was rare to have more than one." At a photo session for this article, Lai Allison and three other Melbourne models — Jia-Li Woo, Jiin Kim and Danny Vuan — joked ruefully about their patchy professional careers. "I couldn't make a living," says Vuan, who makes more as a personal trainer than a model. He and the young women aren't angry or harbouring a grudge. "It's just always been like that," says Lai Allison.

Like most Asian-Australian and other ethnic models, Vuan, Lai Allison, Kim and Woo can neatly plug a casting director's whim for "exotic" or "off beat" elements in a fashion show or editorial, but pale, Anglo-Saxon chic is still the overriding ideal and it is those models who tend to dominate and get most work. "They'll sometimes use the odd token Asian and African models for shows," says Stephen Bucknall of FRM model management. (He says David Jones runs particularly open-minded castings which result in a salting of multicultural models in their shows.) "But, cross over to advertising; catalogues and campaigns, and a lot of people just are not bold enough to use them." Bucknall makes a point of signing ethnic models to FRM but is constantly frustrated, he says, and even shocked at some reactions. "On numerous occasions when I'm sending a group of models in for castings I've been told, "We don't use blacks or Asians, so don't send them."

Despite the prevalence of Asian features among our tourist, international student and general populations, despite Chinese-Australians comprising Australia's largest non-Anglo community, despite John So's historic term as lord mayor of Melbourne and even despite Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman's confident prediction that an Asian will be elected prime minister before 2050, the absence of Asian faces in popular culture, and notably fashion, continues. Though avante garde media such as Yen magazine, whose current covergirl is Sydney-based Asian model Rachel Rutt, do carry an exotic torch of sorts for diversity, widespread change may only come with a dollar sign attached, according to Lauren Rosewarne, a political scientist and cultural studies lecturer at Melbourne University.

"Change usually only happens when there's an economic imperative," she says. For her book Sex in Public — Women and outdoor advertising", Rosewarne photographed billboards for a year without encountering a single Asian face. But she is cynically confident this will change if market forces ensure it. Last week, for example, Chinese supermodel Lui Wen was introduced by Estee Lauder as its first ever Asian "face", representing a Pure Colour cosmetics collection. Other Estee Lauder faces include Liz Hurley, Carolyn Murphy and Constance Jablonski. Recently, Liu Wen and other Chinese models including Fei Fei and Ming Xi, appear to have banged the first cracks into fashion's "bamboo ceiling" with bookings by risk-taker brands and fashion houses including Calvin Klein, Jean Paul Gaultier, Benneton and DKNY jeans. "Liu Wen represents the new face of global beauty," said Aerin Lauder, the company's senior vice-president and creative director, at Wen's introduction in Beijing. She also pointed out that China is Estee Lauder's fastest growing market, a fact that is true for every luxury brand in the world and which will fuel Rosewarne's theory about the nature of cultural change. "I know it's cynical, but there's got to be a reason to change and that's the reason; when it's going to hit someone's hip pocket."

Barbara - The Age

Catwalk star Ajak's coming back

MELBOURNE'S latest fashion star Ajak Deng will be back in town in December after a hectic few months on the international modelling circuit.

Sudanese-born Deng, who came to Australia with her family in 2005, has walked the catwalk during New York and Paris fashion weeks recently. She also appears in the latest CK One fragrance campaign. Read more.

DOLCE AND GABBANA

Daniel Schepisi for Studio Italia in GQ

Director Stephen Bucknall and the Sudanese aussie models

Dunja - Harpers Bazaar

Dunja - The Sunday Telegraph

Elizabeth Manyuon for Fashion Trend

Elizabeth, ‘Lizzie” has just come out with multiple pages in Remix Magazine along side of one of our other Sudanese stars Nikki Thot, shot by Ed Purnomo, Fashion Editor Andrew Zumbo. She is out in the current Fashion Trend (see images) with 12 pages and Cover shot by Cameron Grayson. Lizzy has returned to South Sudan for a visit with Family but she will be returning to Australia for the beginning of the runway season in 2013. Elizabeth will be travelling to the Northern Hemisphere in the second half of ’13 to try her hand at the European and US show season. Elizabeth is originating from the same agency as Ajak Deng (IMG) and Nikki Thot (IMG), FRM Model Management in Melbourne, Australia.

FRM celebrates 12 month anniversary of their Ethnic Division!

FRM male body models

From a refugee camp to the catwalk

FROM humble beginnings in the Sudan, Ajak Deng is poised to become our next international superstar.

In little more than a year, Deng, 19, has become a favourite of fashion bible Vogue, been the face of Benetton, walked catwalks in Paris, New York and London for luxury labels including Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Armani, and is soon to be seen as the face of the CK One fragrance.

She has also become a role model for young women in Melbourne's Sudanese community.

It is an extraordinary journey for the statuesque beauty, who migrated to Australia in 2005 with her family, settling in Melton, near Melbourne.

The family had spent two years in a refugee camp in Kenya waiting to move to Australia, after her father decided to leave Sudan to seek a better life for his children.

"I thank God every day for helping us come to Australia," Deng said yesterday.



Deng said modelling was not her initial career choice.

"To be honest, like every girl, I just wanted to be famous," she said.

"My dream was to be an actor.

"I applied for a job at McDonald's (when she was in Year 10) and the manager said to me when I came for the interview, 'Why don't you be a model?'," Deng said.

"I was like, 'That is sweet of you, but I need a part-time job'.

"I applied at Coles, Big W, Target - and all of them said the same thing."

Deng has celebrated Christmas and the New Year in Melbourne and heads back to the US today for New York Fashion Week.

HERALD/SUN WEEKEND AUGUST 20TH 2005

HOT new faces rockin' the FRM boards!

Heidy Anthea Crawford

Isis

Jessica Hall Sullivan - The Age Good Weekend

Kim Abba

Lauren Fisher in Eleven Campaign

Lauren Fisher has been shooting regularly for Australia’s top photographers. She is now seen in hair salons and on billboards nationwide in Eleven Australia’s' current campaign. Lauren will be heading to Shanghai in November to represent Australia in the Elite Look of the Year 2012 competition. Lauren is part of the newly formed Bucknall Management agency.

 

Loreal Fashion Week Melbourne - Herald Sun - March 17 2005

Loreal Fashion Week Melbourne - Herald Sun - March 18 2005

Loreal Fashion Week Melbourne - Herald Sun - March 22 2005

Melbourne Cup Lavazza Marquee

Mercedes Fashion Week October 2005

Natasha

New York Fashion Week Fall '13

Congratulations Ajak Deng for having a great New York Fashion Week Fall 2013

Nikki Thot and Elizabeth Manyuon for Remix magazine

Nikki Thot does French Elle

Nikki Thot recently returned form New York where she has been placed with IMG. Her first trip has proven most successful having done many shoots including this one for French Elle.

Nikki takes Big Apple in her stride

MELBOURNE student Nikki Thot is the latest Sudanese-born Aussie model to make it in the US and is about to join Ajak Deng at prestigious New York agency IMG Models.

A scout from the agency recently met her Melbourne agent, Stephen Bucknall of FRM Management, and signed her up.

She will head to New York in October.

Thot, 21, was discovered by FRM two years ago while shopping in Chadstone.

"Everyone used to say I would be a good model, but I sort of just brushed it off," she said. "I was kind of concentrating on schoolwork, but I took the chance when I was approached and I guess haven't looked back."

Since then, Thot has become a regular on Aussie catwalks and appeared alongside some of modelling's biggest names for the David Jones parades in Sydney in February.

Thot came to Australia aged four from Sudan and grew up in Clayton.

She is studying nursing in the city, but will give that up now that an international career awaits.

Original article source: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/confidential/nikki-thot-takes-big-apple-in-her-stride/story-e6frf96x-1226060289377

Refegee Camp To Catwalk

Ajak Deng has barely been in New York for five days when I meet her at Australian-born designer Michael Angel’s apartment in Manhattan’s trendy Murray Hill. In less than 17 hours, the designer’s show is to open New York Fashion Week for spring/summer 2010. The show will also be the Sudanese-Australian schoolgirl-turned-model’s international runway debut.

The atmosphere in the crowded space is one of controlled chaos as Michael and his assistants undertake the process of meticulously pinning garments to models and scrutinising their walk down the makeshift runway leading from the living room to the kitchen. It is an extraordinary place to find a young woman who arrived in Australia as a refugee a mere five years ago, after a harrowing and transient childhood in her war-ravaged homeland.

Many international models have already come and gone from the apartment but Ajak – all glowing ebony skin and rangy limbs – causes an immediate stir. The 19-year-old is extremely willowy, even by model standards. At over six feet tall in bare feet, she towers over everyone else in the room.
The designer is buoyant as he fits an abbreviated bejewelled emerald-green dress on Ajak. “Wow, you’re just hot to dress, aren’t you?” Michael enthuses as he adjusts the neckline. “Fantastic… in fact, you’re Ajak-tastic!”

On the matter of footwear, however, a small drama is brewing. The largest pair of the especially-commissioned digital print Manolo Blahnik peep-toe booties appear to be too small for Ajak’s size 41 feet. “Are you sure you can walk in them?” asks Michael with the slightest inflection of hysteria as she perilously wobbles across the room. Ajak is unperturbed;  an unsurprising reaction from a girl who, prior to entering the rarefied world of high fashion, spent two and a half years in a Kenyan refugee camp.
Later, over lunch at a neighbouring Italian bistro, she confides, “I always looked at models and wished I could do that. One day I asked my step-mum whether I could, and she agreed to let me go to modelling school.”

She was signed by model agent Stephen Bucknall after he spotted her at the Miss South Sudan Australia competition two years ago. He hopes that his protégé will follow in the footsteps of other successful African models. “Models like Alek Wek and Naomi Campbell have really paved the way for Ajak, and I think she can become a supermodel like them,” he says.

Perhaps due to the unusual breadth of her life experience to date, the elements that make up Ajak’s character are compelling and often contradictory. She is at times exuberant and giddy, befitting a teenager who has just been flown to New York for the first time – with less than a day’s notice. When our coffees arrive, she asks the waiter for extra sugar. “I love sugar,” she proclaims. “I take seven sugars in my coffee and sometimes, if I’m bored, I’ll just eat the stuff.”

In other moments, there are flashes of the quiet sombreness and resolute seriousness of a young woman with the weight of great responsibility on her slender shoulders. Ajak does not dwell long on hardship and tragedy, but her experiences of those years are indelibly imprinted. “The refugee camp was the worst part of my life. It was horrible,” she recalls. “I couldn’t stand it.”

Having escaped the constant threat of military attacks on her family’s village in southern Sudan, Ajak’s temporary home in the Kenyan refugee camp posed new dangers. Violence and sexual assault were rife, sanitation poor, health services and supplies scarce. She was 12 years old when her mother died from a malarial infection, leaving behind a six-month-old infant sister in Ajak’s care. Sitting in this leafy, sunshine-dappled courtyard in mid-town Manhattan, it is difficult to fathom her childhood loss, compounded by such undue responsibility.

Australia represented a new beginning for Ajak, her father, stepmother and seven siblings, but it was not an easy decision to leave Africa. “My parents didn’t want to leave Sudan, but they wanted us kids to have a good life, to finish school and do something with our lives.” Her knowledge of their new home was limited. “It was only when we were having our medical checks that they told us we were coming to Melbourne. We were like, ‘Oh, okay.’”

Although far from the dusty huts and distressing memories of those African years, Ajak’s life in Melbourne is far from gilded. For the past few years, she has juggled modelling commitments with high school study and caring for her seven siblings. Unable to find employment, her father returned to Sudan three years ago. Her stepmother soon left to join him, leaving Ajak with the sole responsibility of financially providing for her brothers and sisters, as well dealing with the domestic tasks at their house in the sprawl of Melton, on Melbourne’s rural-urban fringe.

“It is difficult at times, trying to model and doing homework and also cooking for the kids,” she concedes. “It makes for very long days.”  Nevertheless, she intends to combine her burgeoning modelling career with studying family law. “People said that I could leave school and just
do modelling, and I thought, ‘And then what?’” she reflects. “I can do some modelling, but it’s not for a long time. If it doesn’t work out, I’ve got nothing to fall back on. That’s why I wanted to finish year 12.”

Ajak is no ingénue with regard to the perceived glamour associated with modelling, an industry which has come under renewed scrutiny after the deaths of five models in the past 18 months, the latest being the shocking suicide of Korean model Daul Kim in Paris in November 2009. “It can be lonely. You go to castings knowing you probably won’t get it anyway, you don’t go thinking you’ll get the job,” she says candidly. “It’s hard – the industry is so messed up, you know. People say to me ‘Do you even fit into any clothes? You’re too skinny!’ And others say, ‘You’re not too skinny.’ What do they want us to be?”

“It makes me upset when they tell other girls to lose weight,” she confesses. “If they told me that, I’d probably be miserable.” Yet her runway-perfect proportions do not provide immunity to wistfulness. “I actually wish I was blonde – theose girls get the jobs all the time. Maybe if I was blonde, I’d be working a lot,” she ponders.

Some months later, Ajak has had little opportunity to catch her breath and reflect on the developments in her life and career. Since returning from her first New York season – where she walked eight shows with aplomb – she has completed year 12, and still wants to be “a supermodel and a lawyer”. That may prove challenging, at least in the short term. Since New York, Ajak has shot numerous high-profile campaigns, including United Colours of Benetton and Mimco back in Australia. She will do the fashion week circuit in 2010, traversing New York, London, Paris and Milan, and will return to New York to vie for the most lucrative jewel in every top model’s crown – landing a campaign for a leading fashion house. From all aspects, it appears that Ajak Deng’s life is being propelled on an unstoppable trajectory, towards bright lights and supernova success. Yet she retains a connection to the land of her birth and ancestors, a bond that is clearly deeply complex. “My family is still back there. My grandma, my uncle – we don’t have any family here. I will go back one day.”

Haidi Lun is a lawyer, writer and style blogger, Dave Tacon is a photographer and writer. Both are based in Melbourne.

SPRING FASHION WEEK 2005

Stephen Bucknall does Melbourne Cup 2012

FRM Director Stephen Bucknall hit the Birdcage at the Melbourne Cup carnival this year. Many famous Melbourne faces were there to experience the carnival atmosphere and enjoy the race that stops the nation.

Stephen and Ajak

Managing Director of Bucknall Management - FRM Models, Stephen  Bucknall and Supermodel Ajak Deng. Spending time in the office at FRM. 17/01/2013

Sudanese Aussies storm fashion world

A group of young Sudanese women are emerging as both models and role-models - excelling on catwalks and providing direction for their people.

The trio are taking the spotlight after a recent spate of violence attributed to Melbourne's Sudanese refugees forced some to criticise the African community for a void of leadership.

Flora Blaic and Nikki Thot are following the footsteps of trailblazer Ajak Deng, who's now a top international model based in New York.

All three began with a Melbourne modelling agency, and have a strong bond with their adopted country.

"Actually coming to Australia gave me the chance to study what I want and to actually help others to get the chance that I didn't have," Ms Blaic told SBS.

Ms Blaic fled violence in Sudan aged 13, and is now studying international development. She has been granted a United Nations scholarship, and will return to visit her village later this year.

Recruitment agent Steve Bucknall says the women are perfectly-suited to the catwalk.

"They've got long limbs long legs long arms beautiful skin. They're a palate for colour," he says.

However, more than their natural beauty, is the hope their success gives others who have fled Sudan's long and bloody conflict.

"Me and the other girls see ourselves as role models for the younger Sudanese girls - just seeing us and seeing that we're actually going places with our modelling can give them hope," Ms Thot says.

Article source: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1551591/Sudanese-Aussies-storm-fashion-world

Supermodel Ajak Deng in her latest editorial for Flaunt Magazine - ft. Bruno Mars

The Age - Fashion Metro - Friday March 18 2005

Trent Magazine Feb. 2013

Art direction: Stephen Bucknall FRM MODEL MANAGEMENT

www.frm.com.au

Photographer:Ed Purnomo @ www.unsignedmanagement.com.au
Hair and makeup: Erin O' Brien @ www.erinobrienmakeup.com
Clothing: LUI HON @ www.luihon.com.au