Model Sues Trump Models

Our least favourite President candidate (and that’s saying a lot…) is also under fire from one of his signings to Trump Models.

You can read all about the case here.

If you can’t be arsed, then basically: Alexia Palmer claims she was told, via her visa application, that she could earn $75 000 a year as a model in New York. That didn’t happen: in 3 years, she earned just over $3k.


Trump Models are confident that the case will be dismissed, that the £75k a year was a guess not a promise and that Palmer simply didn’t do very well or work for very long.

She says no: you lied about how much I’d earn to the federal government! If you told the feds I’d earn this much, it is a binding contract and I want that money. Not only this, but she was charged $4k in admin and all costs, from limos to mobile phones to catwalk lessons, all of which were deducted off her money.

Lastly, as a little sidenote – Mr Trump is currently stirring up hatred for immigrants, promising to build a wall between the US and Mexican border – yet his own agency is lying to fly in models who earned a paltry amount compared to what they promise?

Picking it apart, I know she has no hope of recovering those catwalk lessons. I always say to wannabe models: DON’T PAY FOR YOUR PORTFOLIO!ANY LEGIT AGENCY WON’T CHARGE YOU MONEY!

Well: you do and you don’t. You don’t actually fork out for things (beyond your travel) out of your current account, so, you don’t turn up to a shoot with a wad of cash, and you don’t pay your agency outright. But they invest in you. When you do start earning, the outlay on portfolios/paid tests/catwalk lessons etc WILL be deducted. I remember being about 2k in debt with Select, so it took a while to actually get paid once the money from jobs I was doing started rolling in. That’s how agencies work and I go into greater detail on the subject here.

In terms of being promised things by agencies…Well. I have to say, every agency I’ve been at has been very honest and realistic about how much money you can hope to earn. They always say some models make it, others don’t. They say you might buy two houses, you might flop. I also learned very early on to take what many bookers say with a pinch of salt. Many are big, flamboyant characters who envision you on the cover of Vogue, travelling the world and making big bucks – they’re excited for you but you can’t hold them to account over it.

What I WILL say is that Tokyo is an interesting one. You go out with a contract, signed by agency and model, saying how much you will earn. Other models, when I went out there, were getting 7/10/12k contracts, but there was a bit of hoohah about me and I got a 28k contract.

I was told that I was guaranteed that money. Wahey!

When I went out there, it transpired that a) I hadn’t read the small print and b) no one had taken the time to properly explain it to me (a teenager).

The agency immediately got 50% of the contract (which didn’t make sense to me, but who was I to question things?). So I was down to 14k.

They also deducted all living and travel (you are given a driver) from that.

Also, if I didn’t work three times in the first week, I would get none of that money.

I only worked twice in 8 weeks and went home with £800, ill and depressed from being so lonely out there (unlike all the other models I knew, who came back with enormous sums and put deposits on houses/supported themselves travelling for modelling.

I probably felt like Palmer, but unfortunately for me it was all above-board.

I doubt Palmer will get her money, but at least she’s highlighting Trump’s hypocrisy.

The lessons to learn here, for models, are:

  1. ALWAYS READ THE CONTRACT. Get legal advise.
  2. Take everything you hear in fashion with a pinch of salt. I remember one booker, in the early days, telling me that Russian Vogue loved me and were going to book me. I then said that on a casting, and he rang me up after and told me off, saying I was dreaming and nothing was definite. That was my punch in the face with reality and I never trust anything now unless it’s a booking/the money’s in my account. PS he’s not a booker anymore, as far as I know…
  3. You’re never guaranteed work as a model. Even Kate Moss might suddenly stop getting booked tomorrow. It’s irregular and unpredictable.
  4. Donald Trump is a hypocrite.

This job is a LOT tougher than people think, and I give credit to all the models who manage to survive it!

Rebecca x

Cover image/Instagram

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