Seniors land modeling contracts

After just two interviews, IMG signed Scott (left) and finalized his three-year contract in January.

Kamryn Harty

Senior Joseph Scott spent his high school days shooting hoops, but soon, he’ll be shooting magazine covers. 

Scott stumbled on a modeling contract with a major agency in November after his friend, model Tracy Maiga, sent his picture to her modeling mother agency, Kim Alley. The agency loved his look and signed Scott immediately. From there, IMG Models found Scott’s profile. After just two interviews, IMG signed Scott and finalized his three-year contract in January. 

Prior to his contract, Scott had no idea what IMG was. Representing celebrities like Cole Sprouse, Selena Gomez, Bella and Gigi Hadid, and most recently, Kobe Bryant’s daughter, Natalia Bryant, IMG is one of the top model management companies in the world. 

“I’m a hooper, so I looked at IMG as like IMG Academy in Florida,” Scott said. “Like I’m thinking, ‘I don’t know what this is, but I’m going to be out!’ But then I looked at IMG … and I saw how IMG was ranked the number one in the world … so I was like hey, get me signed!”

Scott sees modeling as a differentiator. It’s something that sets him apart. 

“Everybody and their momma plays basketball, and I know I can do more than just play basketball,” Scott said. “There’s more to me than that. So, I was like, this is a different opportunity; this is a way to get out and explore who I am as a person.”

Senior Peyton Clark was also signed to a modeling agency this year and finalized her contract with Zombie Model Management in February. Unlike Scott, however, Clark was exposed to the modeling industry at an early age, working small gigs for retailers like Neiman Marcus and Macy’s. 

“I got into it because a lot of my cousins are into fashion; a lot of my family is in the fashion industry, and my grandma really always wanted me to model, so I just took it on,” Clark said.

Her mother, Jasonia Clark, said she has always supported her daughter’s interest in fashion.

“She always loved dressing up as a little girl and always took pride in the way she cared for herself and her personal appearance,” Jasonia Clark said. 

Clark took a break from modeling in middle school as she explored sports and other extracurriculars. But, when she arrived at Grady, she fell back in love with fashion.

“It wasn’t really until I got to Grady, where they were doing the fashion show and stuff, where I got back into that area of interest,” Clark said. “I did the fashion show every year until we had to leave for Corona. I was in fashion club, and I was doing things outside of school.”

One of these after-school activities was working with “Holy Innocents,” an Atlanta-based creative collective started by senior Jaxon Stewart during his sophomore year.

“It’s just a platform where creators are able to interact and just expand off each other… in music, in art, in fashion,” Stewart said. “It’s kind of just an umbrella for multiple projects and multiple people to work under and ultimately succeed and come together.”

Clark assisted Stewart with booking concepts and graphic design for projects as the collective expanded to include other core members, like seniors Msemaji Anderson and Lola Powers.

“Peyton, I would really say… if not my right hand, [she’s my] left with how we organize and get our shoots together,” Stewart said. “She just helps with…the overall brain part of keeping everything cohesive.”

Scott also collaborates with Stewart to create content for Holy Innocents. Helping Stewart with music production and photography shoots, Scott says that the collective was one of his first exposures to modeling and fashion. Scott hopes to eventually present Holy Innocence to IMG.

“I think that Grady, especially the class of 2021, just has a lot of talented individuals,” Stewart said. “[Scott is] also really creative. He has a bright future ahead of him as well, whether it’s with basketball or modeling.”

Although Scott and Clark are excited to kick off their careers, they do have reservations about the fashion industry. 

“For girls and women, it’s an industry where you are easily taken advantage of, so that’s just something I’m going to have to be aware of, especially traveling by myself at 18,” Clark said. “I’m going to have to keep an eye out, be smart about what I choose to do and who I choose to do things with. Do my homework, I guess you could say.”

Clark’s mother says that she plans to select a “management team of professionals that are veterans in the industry and who will always have Peyton’s best interest at heart” to protect her daughter from exploitation.

Similarly, Scott says that he will be on the lookout for “devils in the industry.”

“There’s always going to be different people who are going to test your soul and test who you are as a person and test your decision making,” Scott said. “It’s all about the company I keep and how I move. It’s definitely going to be new to me, but I’m not new to shady people, so it’s just going to be an adjustment.”
Scott is not worried, though. He is confident that he’ll be able to stay “consistent with who I am as a person.”

“I’m not from money,” Scott said. “So for me to be in a position where I’m able to make a lot of money and be around a lot of money and still have that broke mindset, I know that I’ll be okay because that is what’s going to separate me.”

Although Scott and Clark are excited to kick off their modeling careers, both seniors have plans for careers beyond modeling.

In the future, Clark plans to major in international business at Howard University in the fall. She also plans to start her own business.

“As far as my major, I made it intertwined with what I want to take on as a career,” Clark said. “I kind of feel like as a model, you’re kind of branding yourself, and you’re going to be most likely working internationally. So I feel like I want to be articulate in that area, you know, run my own show, instead of having to depend on others and maybe be taken advantage of. “

Scott has similar aspirations. He plans to receive his real estate license after he graduates, hopes to eventually play basketball internationally and wants to start his own foundation called “It’s Cool to Care.”

“I want to start a foundation where people are able to talk to people and be able to talk to regular humans without being judged,” Scott said. “I wanted to be a psychologist before any of this happened…  So I really want to invest in that because that’s going to better people,” he said. 

Stewart says he looks forward to seeing what lies ahead for both Clark and Scott.

“I’m excited for Peyton and Joe to begin their endeavors in modeling and fashion and for them to make a presence on the scene overall,” Stewart said. “They’re both some beautiful, hard-working individuals who will obtain a lot within the next five years.”