Agencies are often unnecessary middle man in the fashion supply chain
Big budget ad agencies and fashion designers don't have time to reach out to and micromanage young teenagers so they spend money outsourcing it. This is the primary reason the top modeling agencies exist. The problem is the majority of opportunities for models are with smaller brands and startups who are willing to pay but have more modest budgets. The startups that thrive in modern times are the ones that learn to use technology to eliminate unnecessary middle men. Car sharing apps disrupted the transportation industry by matching riders directly with drivers. These companies use tech to bypass professional drivers and that brings prices down for riders. Similarly startups can use social media to directly connect with brand ambassadors. It’s more affordable for the brand and more money for the model when there is not an agency taking a cut.
They collect more models then they can pay. For a modeling agency every model is a marketable product.They want models for every potential client. Since each model is considered an independent contractor. The agency has no incentive to provide all them with steady work or benefits. I think it's wrong for an agency to collect more models than they can handle. I personally experienced a petty agenc go through my instagram and recruit the models i regularly work with so that i would have to go through them! These kinda sleazy agencies are playing a numbers game. Instead of working to find paid work for their models they are passively waiting for a photographer to reachout to one of their girls then try to take a cut like a pimp!
When most models think about getting signed to model agencies what they are imaging being booked for high fashion editorials. In reality it's more common for agents to have promotional modeling jobs like being a booth babe at a trade show at best.
Models need to make the best of their 15 mins of fame. Being a model gives you tons of attention in a short amount of time. There is no shortage of popular yet broke micro influencers on social media. The real trick is converting that attention into money.The most successful models are the ones that learn to capture that attention and redirect it into a business venture that they own like when models transition into becoming designers or marketing firms. If models outsource networking and contract negotiation to a modeling agency they have little chance of them learning those valuable skills.
The point is if you're young and beautiful and want to capitalize on it, don't outsource that!