Fashion Factory: FAME Management

Dendy Oktariady can often be found surrounded by a swarm of beautiful people, but it’s not all play – he is behind a Kemang model agency that is helping to put Jakarta on the global fashion map.

It’s not unusual to spot foreign models in a Kemang café or fitness center. Photo shoots and casting calls are held every day throughout the district. Models and aspiring actors line up regularly at production houses for auditions, dressed in their trendiest clothes, chasing that next big gig. Meanwhile, at the studios, cameras are clicking away to capture the latest looks soon to grace Jakarta billboards, fashion spreads and commercials.
Working behind the scenes is Dendy Oktariady, the young and ambitious owner of Fame Management. Since he opened the Kemang agency four years ago, Dendy has launched the careers of numerous models from around the world, bringing them to the pages of Indonesian fashion magazines. A trailblazer in the industry, Dendy is working to put Jakarta on the map as the world’s next fashion capital. Models from Fame are featured regularly in international and local fashion magazines, commercials and television shows.

Since his earliest days in the industry, Dendy has trained his eyes to recruiting fashion talent. At the age of 18, he worked as an event coordinator at Fashion Cafe with Indonesian actress Debby Sahertian. He went on to become a fashion columnist and stylist, before heading to Milan in 2004 to study under Luca Boccelli as a stylist and personal shopper. During his two years in Milan, Dendy also began working as a talent scout for a model agency.

On his return to Indonesia in 2006, he got to work setting up his own agency. Fame Management soon began to shake up the industry as Dendy started inviting foreign models to work in Jakarta. “When I was in Milan I cast hundreds of people every day who came from everywhere. I thought why can’t we do the same in Jakarta?” Dendy says.

Today, Fame Management represents 30 local and foreign models. Fame’s international talent hails from a host of countries, including Brazil, Russia, Holland and Germany. “Our agency is becoming so well recognized internationally that models from abroad now contact us,” Dendy says.

Fame actively recruits talent from around the world and especially welcomes models with work experience in other Asian
countries. But it’s the Caucasian models who are especially in high demand, according to Dendy.

“The image of white skin and blond hair is still the ideal picture for magazines and commercials to represent the international
look,” he says. “Just walk around a department store and you’ll see that for every ten models representing a product, there’s only one dark-skinned model.”

The industry has grown quickly in the last four years since Fame was founded. Jakarta has increasingly attracted models from around the world, and they are playing a vital role in jump-starting the fashion industry. “Our local models have to step up, learn and accept the challenge to be better,” Dendy says.

Dendy himself is ready to step out of his comfort zone to set a new trend. “This agency is like my baby. Now that it’s established it has paved the way for me to start other fashion-related projects,” he said. “There are now many competitors providing international models as well, so we’re going back to basics to dig for local talent. We always have to think like fashion, create something new and exciting.”

In June, Dendy established the De Mode Career Center, a sister company to Fame that aims to develop new local talent and provide training in modeling, acting, make-up and public speaking. De Mode also encourages those who are already models to develop their talents in acting, singing or other areas that will give them another career to fall back on after modeling. “Anyone can join to expand their career; you don’t have to be skinny and tall like a model to have a future in the entertainment industry,” he said.

The center plans to hold its first Talent Hunt competition at the end of October to search for local talent. The competition is open to any aspiring model in Indonesia and will offer the winner a scholarship to train at De Mode.

“My goal is to have an Indonesian supermodel on the international stage,” Dendy said.

Iwan Putuhena Reports

Original article was published in Kemang Buzz

Fashion Factory: FAME Management

Pictures courtesy of FAME Management Indonesia

For more information on FAME Management visit www.fame-model.com

My Kemang: Erita, Public Relation Coordinator

When rain pours in Kemang, puddles form everywhere in no time. Erita Santosa is a Kemang resident who works for IHE Indonesia, a flood management consulting firm. As a public relations coordinator, Erita helps raise public awareness about flooding. Here she shares her views on a subject close to the hearts of Kemang residents.

How did you end up in Kemang?
I have worked at IHE Indonesia since 2008, and their office is here in Kemang.

What kind of company is IHE?
It’s a consulting firm that focuses on everything related to water. We have workshops, seminars and training programs on water and the environment.

What do you do there?
As a communications and public relations coordinator my job is to maintain networks with the media and stakeholders. I write press releases and organize press conferences to raise public awareness about flooding,

So what’s the best way to solve the flooding problem around Kemang?
I would suggest not building any more high-rises in the area. The investors in Kemang have to gather and find a solution to solve this problem before they start another construction, because the main streets that get flooded are the only access. They cannot rely on the government to do something about it.

The traffic and flooding puts many people off. So why do you think it’s still the “hip” place to be in Jakarta?
I heard about Kemang even when I was living in Jogjakarta. There is a history to this area and people talk about it. It’s an entertainment center.

What do you think about the new high-rise buildings in the area?
Personally I don’t think it’s a good idea. I think their impact has not been carefully considered. Like I said, Kemang is an entertainment center and it is an asset for tourism. I don’t think there should be any high-rise buildings in the area. The roads do not accommodate this.

What other activities are you involved in?
I enjoy doing volunteer work and being involved with social organization activities. I’ve been volunteering at Flowgi Foundation (www.flowgi.org) since 2006 as a coordinator for public relations, and I conduct social activities to enhance the education of poor children who live on the streets and in orphanages. We fundraise by doing several small projects.

Where are you from originally?
I’m from Jogjakarta. I moved to Jakarta in 2006 after the earthquake and after my father passed away.

What do you like about living in Kemang?
It’s near my office and I can walk or ride my bike anywhere. Everything is near — boutiques, spas, bars and restaurants. Everything is here. I enjoy the festivals when the streets are blocked. I also believe that Kemang is a safe neighborhood.

What don’t you like?
The wide gap between the rich and the poor. Just around the corner in the Bangka area you can still spot poverty, while on the other side is luxury. At Bangka you can still find food that costs less than Rp 10,000.

How do you get to work?
I ride my bike to work. Since we have such small streets in the area, and too much traffic, it is convenient for me to ride my bike. Unfortunately, there aren’t any proper places for me to park my bike.

Where are you on Saturday night?
I have a favorite place for Saturdays. It’s called Birdie. It’s an affordable drinking place where you can still find a cup of coffee for Rp 5,000. Or I go to Bremer to have a few beers with journalists.

And Sunday morning?
You can find me at church or at The Wall Street Institute where I study English.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Kemang?
My favorite place is a street stall in Bangka Raya that sells chap chay (mixed vegetables). I’ve been eating there since the owner had only one stall; now he has three in the area.

Erita Santosa was talking to Iwan Putuhena

Original interview was published in Kemang Buzz

My Kemang: Erita, Public Relation Coordinator

Picture by Iwan Putuhena

For more information on IHE, go to www.iheindonesia.com