Supermodels let loose: tales from the frontline of fashion

Naomi Campbell

Working as Naomi Campbell’s agent earned Carole White no shortage of tasty anecdotes for her memoir. Here are seven of the best

Carole White, Naomi Campbell’s model agent immortalised in Channel 4 show The Model Agency, has written a memoir. Published on 12 February, Have I Said Too Much? tells the story of her building up the agency, hanging out with the Who and booking private jets for supermodels. Despite the title, White is careful not to name all names, but it’s still packed full of anecdotes of life on the modelling frontline. Here are seven of our favourites.

Claudia gets greedy

At the height of supermodel fever in 1992, there’s an ad for a new Corsa called, appropriately, the Supermodel. All the “girls” line up – Linda, Christy and Naomi included. But Claudia’s agent demands twice as much money and she’s promptly dropped in favour of the marginally less super Tatjana Patiz, just as she relents and says she’ll do it for the original fee. Too late, Ms Schiffer. This modelling industry moves fast.

Sometimes only a private jet will do

Here’s a question ... how do you book a private jet? That’s something White had to find out when flying an unnamed supermodel to Denmark after she missed her flight. One phone call and said model was away. As White says, an £8,000 expense when the job is worth £170,000 isn’t too bad. It set a precedent, though – private jets became the modelling norm. Natch.

Susie Bick employs a bag holder

Bick, one of White’s first star faces, was a bit of a wild thing by all accounts. White details her climbing out of toilet windows on photo shoots. Our favourite detail is the story of a teenage Bick paying another aspiring model to hold her bag for her while out clubbing. A personal cloakroom assistant? Genius.

Models eat, too

Apparently, soft-boiled eggs are part of their diet – although they can still get a little hangry. White tells the story of a flight where a model was travelling with her brother and business partner, Chris. An egg was served a bit well-done; said model demanded to see the pilot of the plane to address this pressing problem. We’ll leave it with you to guess her identity.

All those parties you imagine did happen

There’s stories here of a designer party featuring a plate piled high with white powder, and all-nighters come as standard. One particularly funny anecdote sees an up-and-coming model arrive at the agency after going out with a much more famous name. A little worse for wear, said newbie is in possession of the kind of idea that works best at 5am: she wants to change her name to 1981.

Being a model’s PA is a thankless task

White relays a whole bunch of stuff that would make Lynn from Alan Partridge think her job was child’s play. See: staying in a hotel suite without the use of the bathroom because a model is scared of the dark; coming to the rescue of a beloved pet at a Hollywood party in the dead of the night; and arranging a model’s sex toys. Er, nice job if you can get it?

Even Karl Lagerfeld has to wait for supermodels

Two particularly tardy ones – who remain nameless here – apparently preferred to go to sleep on a bench in the middle of Paris after a big night out, rather than go and walk in a Chanel show. The image of supermodels having a restorative nap in the park, sacking off hair and makeup, is one we can all enjoy.

• This article was amended on 9 February 2015 to correct the publication date of Have I Said Too Much?

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Lauren Cochrane, for theguardian.com on Monday 9th February 2015 06.00 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010