Latoya Scott wants to help aspiring models put their best feet forward.
Scott is the CEO of Final Touch Models, a model management agency that offers instruction in runway technique, makeup application, styling and camera etiquette.
“My vision was to inspire confidence and self-esteem while developing individual creative skills within the fashion industry,” says Scott, a native of Philadelphia.
Scott is a former Miss Philadelphia contestant who began honing her skills during her childhood years at the John Casablanca Agency in Langhorne. She has appeared in feature films including “Annapolis” directed by Justin Lin, as well as a various music videos and commercial shoots for major department stores.
Scott and her team of professionals help prepare models for the high-paced, competitive industry.
“We try to give them all the fundamentals that they will need — and the main one is marketing. What we do is get them in front of the people that they need to market to,” says Scott, who just opened a new office in the city’s Fishtown section.
While learning the fundamentals of runway techniques is important for models, Scott says marketing is an important aspect of being successful.
“In this industry it’s all about marketing. The bottom line is marketing, and that’s what you really need to learn how to do.”
Scott says that tapping into a modeling career is not all about having the right look, shape, size and height. A big key is having the dedication and patience to tap into the industry.
“It’s really all about dedication. How much effort and how much dedication are you going to put into your career? A lot of people misjudge that. A lot of people think that modeling or getting into acting is easy. It’s dedication. It’s a process — and if you’re not ready for that, then you’re not going to make it far in this industry,” says Scott, who is a former instructor at the Barbizon School of Modeling.
Scott often finds that she has to debunk various myths that people have about becoming a model.
“Everything about modeling is about marketing and a lot of models don’t know that. That’s one of the things that models misinterpret. They think it’s all about them. That’s a big misconception that a lot of people have — and the fact that it’s harder than it looks,” says Scott.
It’s not about the model says Scott, it’s about how they market the clothing or item they are wearing or carrying.
Final Touch is currently managing about 10 models. The agency hosts open model calls on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. at its office at 2424 Studios at York and Gaul streets. During the model calls, prospective models have the opportunity to interact with Final Touch staff and share their aspirations for entering the industry.
Even though Final Touch is geared toward grooming new talent, the agency offers workshops for the everyday person who wants to learn runway or fashion techniques.
In addition to classes for adults, Final Touch features workshop packages for children. Scott says the classes are offered with the dual purpose of building children’s confidence and self-esteem and giving them extracurricular activities.
Through the financial support of some non-profit agencies and the Philadelphia Police Department’s 25th District, Final Touch Models is able to offer classes to some students who otherwise would not be able to afford them.