Behind The Scenes With Ibiza’s Ground-Breaking DC Models Agency

Posted on October 28, 2018

Words: Olivia Ebeling

Images: La Skimal

With its breath-taking natural beauty, glamorous locations, incredible light and a reputation for making the extraordinary possible, it’s no coincidence that Ibiza remains a firm favourite for photo shoots and high-end events. But, as a considerably small island, naturally there is a limit to the amount of beautiful models and hospitality workers that are based here year-round. But where others see a challenge, Ger Valkenburg and his partner Dyon Hagenaars spotted an opportunity to help supply Ibiza with an influx of fresh new faces while, at the same time, making many a model’s dream of working on the island come true!

Established as one of Holland’s top three agencies, DC Models specialises in putting on commercial, in-store and couture shows as well as providing talent for photo shoots, events and TV work. In 2015, they branched out to the White Isle, where they swiftly made a name for themselves by bringing new faces to the island in a bid to increase diversity and professionalism. We met Ger in the village of Santa Gertrudis to take a look behind the scenes…

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Can you tell us more about your history with Ibiza?
I have been coming to Ibiza for 20 years now and around ten years ago my business partner and I bought an apartment in Ibiza Town – basically to get away from the stress of our lives in Holland, where we worked seven days a week. We thought that if we’d come here once a month we’d get out of the Dutch stress; but around four years ago, we were asked to help supply hospitality girls through our company for a big Heineken event and that was when we realised that if we were going to do something here, that was the time to get involved in the Ibiza industry.

How did you come up with the idea to fly in models from abroad?
We started to do some research into what we could do differently and what we heard from clubs and people who organise shows out here was that it was mostly the same faces they could book. So we had the idea to bring our Dutch models over here to add to the diversity in the market. Now, if there is a fashion show, for example, we fly the models out from the Netherlands, Germany or Belgium, put them up in a house – with a lock on the door so they don’t go wild in Ibiza – and then fly them back out after the event. In the same way, we have met some amazing Spanish models out here, so we are trying to book work for them in Holland. Because it’s a similar situation over there; it’s a small country so you tend to see the same faces everywhere.

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What are the challenges of working in Ibiza as a model?
I don’t think there is enough work on the island to sustain yourself full-time with modelling jobs, so what I noticed is that many models have had to take on other work, for example as dancers, to make enough money. And of course that means that they can’t look after themselves as well as they should be. I have noticed that halfway through the season, some of them start to look very tired – which is of course not great for the job.

Apart from bringing in fresh talent, you have quite a refreshing approach towards diversity and unconventional looks at the agency…
Maybe this is a new approach for Ibiza, but in Holland not so much. My partner started the business 28 years ago, he used to be a model, and he wanted to make a difference by bringing short, tall, fat, black, white, yellow, old and young people to the catwalk and in front of the lense so people could relate more. Trying to sell a high-end kitchen by putting an 18-year-old in the advert is unrealistic, after all!

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What kind of events and brands have you worked with in Ibiza?
We have been working for the Atzaro Fashion Festival for three years – and a huge ‘thank you’ has to go to Rachel from Atzaro because they became our first customer and she helped to open a lot of doors for us in the industry here – as well as brands like Nikki Beach, Hard Rock Hotel and Ushuaia. But after our first season, we realised that our Dutch clients were really interested in coming over here, so we started to help them to shoot their brands over here.

If someone wants to join your agency, what are you looking for?
What is really important to us, is the team spirit. In this business it’s easy to develop an ‘ego’ but for us, if we don’t feel someone is going to fit in with the team it’s not going to work. So the most important thing is that they are professional and that they take the work seriously. You don’t have to be a size 36 or 1,80m tall, we are not that strict on that as long as they have a great attitude.

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Ibiza is notorious for things running a little late or just for the most random, crazy things to pop up that put a spanner in the works. Have you experienced this?
Yes, of course, and it took a while to get used to. There have been a lot of moments like that over the years; for instance, we did a bridal shoot once for an English magazine that was organised by an Ibicencan company. When we arrived at the location, it was in the middle of nowhere and people got lost so we had to go to look for them and try to get them to the right house. More recently, we had a shoot where we had already booked the flight and accommodation for the models and then the whole thing was pushed back by a week, so you really have to make a switch in your mind to not get too bothered by these things.

Can you share some of your favourite places in Ibiza with us?
A personal favourite of mine is Es Cubells, because it’s fairly quiet and not very touristic. When we first started to come out here, we partied a lot and we went to all the clubs; been there and done that. Now we much prefer the quieter places. There’s a tiny cove close to Nikki Beach that we like to go to, because we can bring our dog.

Further Information

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