In This Photo: Dionne Warwick, Sandi Bass, Pat Cleveland, Sessilee Lopez,
Nykhor Paul, Maria McDonald, Hilda Lee, Tamecca Tillard, Richard E. Pelzer,
Drielle Valaretto, Camille Evans and Mike ruiz (Photographed in New York)
To be a model scout is always a honour because you get to travel the world, meet a host of brilliant people and you could say live the life. Sandi Bass is a legendary model/muse who now runs her own modelling placement establishment called Sandi Bass International from her base in America. She combines her role as an international scout with being a creative director to a host of very successful projects. In this interview, Sandi talks to Zen about her journey through the modelling industry, what she looks for in a model and why the Cover Girls for Change project is something she loves too dearly.
ZEN: Who is Sandi Bass?
SB: I am a lover of the Arts… all things beautiful and inspiring which includes people with beautiful hearts, fashion, music and dance.
ZEN: How did you become an international model scout?
SB: Before I became a scout, I was discovered as a model by Hubert de Givenchy in Los Angeles and taken to Paris as his muse living seventeen years in Paris, Rome and Tokyo, working for all of the top designers. After hanging up my runway pumps on my last stop living in Tokyo, I became a scout for the agency that represented me. It was an easy transition as I had many agency contacts from living in Europe and the USA.
ZEN: What’s it like being an international modelling scout? Tell us your daily regime.
SB: Because of the Internet and social media sites today, I don’t travel as much as I used to, which I am very OK with. I live in New York, so I hold castings at the agencies for models that I want to see. I photograph them and send their profiles off to Asia or European modelling agencies. Because of the time zone differences I find myself working on the computer late evenings in NY, as Asia is just waking up getting in their offices to start their day.
ZEN: How has recruiting models been over the years?
SB: Over the years, I have recruited several models from America’s Next Top Model when I was a guest judge on the show. Asia is a great market for the beginner market it is difficult to get a top model to commit for a two month stay.
ZEN: What do you look for in a model?
SB: Personality is very important. Yes, the standard 34-24-34..5’8”-5’11” age, 16-20 for females and 5’11” to 6’2” age 17-23 for males is also important, but if you have the look and cannot move in front of the camera you are not a good model and will not be booked over and over. I look for a spark, something different but at the same time normal to appeal to the massive public.
ZEN: Can we talk about style? How would you describe your style?
SB: I have worn clothes from the best designers in the world. I understand fashion. Style is a “State of Mind.” My style is comfort, and what makes me feel great. I like the simple classic lines, clothes that like me as much as I like them.
ZEN: Do you follow African fashion?
SB: Yes, I had the opportunity to travel to South Africa on several scouting trips and fell in love with the colors, the country and the people. I think designers like David Tlale as well as others are becoming mainstream worldwide.
ZEN: How did it feel to be honoured at UCOF’s annual Benefit Gala as the best “Casting Director of The Year?
SB: It was an honour that I will always cherish, the show was star studded with “Love”, here in NY, founders, Ciano Clerjuste and Veronica Rovegno are two amazing people that I like to now call family. They are both caring and hard-working in the fight to help the people of South Africa.
ZEN: What’s next for Sandi?
SB: I will continue to live with great intentions, spreading love, hope and giving back…”All in the name of Fashion” and I am also Creative Director of Cover Girls for Change – please take a look at our site www.covergirlsforchange.com
Photographer: Mike Ruiz
Creative Director: Camille Evans
Ancestral Beads by Larry Brown, Civi-li’za-tion by Tunu, John Guanlao (makeup), Antwon Johnson (Hair), Torrence Forde (hair & Makeup), Angelina Scantlebury (Fashion Stylist), Alyn Martin (Hair and Makeup), Sadia Seymour for Halley Resources (Fashion Stylist), Harriet Zafonni for Harkiss Designs, Photographer Assistant: Enrico De Conti, Nia Johnson (Hair), Sandra Marshall-Haye & Stedman Young of Tafari Tribe