Talking to: Pierre Wardini

Pierre Wardini, owner of ‘Metropolitan Modeling’ has recently announced the opening of his modelling agency in Beirut, Lebanon following its success in Paris, France.
Born in Paris in 1975 to a Lebanese father and French mother, Wardini holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the prestigious HEC, and a Masters in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art in London, UK.
What inspired you to open a modelling agency?
Growing up in Paris, I always found myself surrounded by the world of entrepreneurship and fashion. My father came here when he was still a student and hasn’t left since. He met my mother, who was a model at the time, and it was love at first sight. Seeing them together was always an inspiration, and I was drawn both to the world of entrepreneurship and beauty. This is why I felt it was only natural to run an agency which specializes in finding perfect imperfections.
When it comes to signing a new model, what are your main requirements?
At ‘Metropolitan Modeling’, we see beauties in imperfections. You can get any model, photoshop him/her, and you have perfection. But then, you can’t find a connection. It’s as if the person you are looking at lacks soul. Instead, we try to find models with unusual features, and work on flattering them through our wide portfolio of clients. Sometimes, it can be a simple gap in the teeth, think Georgia May Jagger, or even a not-so-perfect nose, like Giselle Bundchen for example. They aren’t what you would call ‘conventional beauties’ yet it would be close to impossible to deny their charisma and charm. This is exactly what we seek.
And why have you decided to open an agency in Lebanon?
(Giggles) You know what they say about Lebanese beauty. It makes me sad when rumors circulate about women being plastic. I want to show the world what our real beauty looks like. I was here last summer, and even though I’ve never lived in Lebanon, I still feel that this land is where I am rooted. Unfortunately, over here, models don’t always get the chance to benefit from international exposure. Given that we are headquartered in Paris, and given the nature of our clients, I’m also hoping to give Lebanese models this opportunity.
How do you see your agency expanding in the coming 5 years?
The plan is to first set up an office in Beirut, hopefully, it’ll be up and running in the next 6 months. Our opening is set for December 15. After that, we’ll be scouting for newcomers all around the region, be it in the Levant or the Gulf.
Any words of wisdom to young entrepreneurs today?
Go after what you love, follow your passion, and never take no for an answer. That’s the recipe for success. If the whole world discourages you, but your gut tells you to go for it, then you should. When I first opened ‘Model Inc.’ everyone around me kept on repeating that the competition was too fierce and that I would never be able to stand out of the crowd. I started when I was just 23, and today, at 39, I’ve managed to establish a name for myself, and I’m nowhere near stopping.
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