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
Pictures courtesy of FAME Management Indonesia
For more information on FAME Management visit www.fame-model.com