I was contacted by AbFab's assistant Stephanie to meet with the owner Jane Rooney for an interview. Thinking this was a reputable agency I went to the interview hopeful that I would get accepted and eventually would get work. Little did I know that she is willing to take ANYONE and EVERYONE who is willing to pay her ridiculous fees. I had to reschedule the interview several times because of school exams but eventually made it in to the interview. Jane came acrsoss as credible at first and then the letgthy sales pitch began. During the interview she asked me if I interviewed anywhere else. I told her that I was also going to BMG and another agency for interviews and that's when the hard sell came on. I model regularly for Neiman Marcus and have been in shows like Winter Park Fashion Week and a few other shows plus I did some print work before my interview with Jane so I know the business somewhat and I know how to recognize scams! She went on to tell me that my pictures were crap and that she couldn't secure work for me unless I paid her to hire photographers and makeup artists etc to take good quality pictures, also a very popular scam amongst shady agencies.
After talking to several people who have worked with her (a photographer, a makeup artist and a stylist as well as other models) they told me not to sign her contract and filled me in on the photography scam. Here is the scam for those of you who are not in the know: You pay her $400 to pay for the photographer and makeup artist and rent studio. When you show up there are other models (as amany as 5 - 10 people) who also paid for the shoot. For those who can't pay she agrees to take the shooting fees out of your checks until paid in full. Out of all of that money everyone pays her she pays the makeup artist $50-$100 and the photographer $200 or so. Plus she overcharges you for comp card you can get for $75 and SHE pockets the rest, plus the pictures are rarely good quality or rarely any better than ones you can take yourself. The shoots are all done in that Orange Studio where her office is located. So essentially you are not paying for the shoot or photographers you are lining her pockets with your hard earned money. Second part of the scam she charges you to be on her website and for some people I spoke to it took MONTHS to get their pictures on the site and she has the nerve to get aggravated if you call to ask where your photos are and why your pictures aren't on her website.
Here are some clues that made me really suspicious of her first the hard sell, secondly all of her claims to fame and experience (where's the proof?). Thirdly the fact that her office has moved all over Orlando in a very short period of time. Fourth, if you look through the window to her office its very messy and disorganized. Fifth, she talks about having an office in Miami and it isn't really her office it a temporary office. Sixth, most legitimate agencies won't ask you for money if they think you will work if not they won't sign you she asks for money immediately! Seventh she wants you to sign an exclusive contract, mother agency, so she can get paid off of work she doesn't secure for you. Seventh, I spoke to a model who works with her regularly and did a show for her down in Miami fo her and was told that it takes MONTHS to get paid for jobs that she (model friend) works and that for that show she saw the designer pay Jane for the models services but Jane said she didn't get paid and THEN when Jane admitted to being paid she said my firend owed her money for shoots and kept the check! Plus my firend pointed out that Jane keeps 20 percent PLUS she charges the clients an agency fee of 40% PLUS she figures out a way not to pay you what she owes you. So why does it take so long to get paid when she does pay you? Also a well known scam amongst disreputable agencies. They get paid for a job you worked, hold the money, pay people who worked jobs prior to the one you worked and then when they get paid for more recent jobs(after the one you worked ) they will eventually pay you but in the meantime they tell you they haven't been paid by the client. A simple phone call to the client will resolve that! Eighth, I found out that she used to partner with a well known scam artist and crook called Azwah Abdus Saddiq who is infamous for ripping people off. (He has several complaints on Ripp off Report) Also I know people who know her personally and they even confirmed her flakiness, intability, lack of ethics, near destitute personal life (the reason for all of the scams)and untrustworthiness. Additionally I was told she will charge you to attend these runway workshops she holds occasionally and will charge everyone and have one of her other models run the class and she keeps the money. If you want to be a model there are very reputable agencies out there and in Florida you don't need to sign an exclusivity agreement (mother agency agreement) to get work, you don't even need to be with an agency for that matter. A reputable ageny will not try to sell you photoshoots, and comp cards, classes etc. If they believe you will work they will sign you. AbFab is a rip off and a scam and Jane Rooney is a thief and should not be trusted. If they contact you tell them no way and to stop contacting you and what ever you do do not fill out the inquiry on their website. She wanted to sign me and I luckliy found all of this out before I signed her riculous contract and now she and her assistant are constantly bugging me to bring in the contract. BEWARE of Jane and AbFab, one day she is going to wind up in prison or soemone is going to shut her down!