Kirby Roseina and Nas Connie have spent their careers working in creative fields like casting, fashion photography and advertising. While they loved working in the industries, they were tired of seeing the same type of actors and models – tall, white, and blue-eyed – getting hired over and over again.
So they decided to do something about it.
The 1st of Aprilstthe couple launched London-based INC.MGMT, an inclusive modeling agency focused on LGBTQIA and POC representation.
“Being queer and people of color,” Roseina says, “we just wanted to create something for us and by us.”
The couple is not trying to establish INC as a niche business. Their goal is for INC, which stands for Inclusive, to gain mainstream attention and get their role models hired for mainstream jobs.
“We just want to see more inclusiveness at all levels,” Roseina says.
As a brand new business, the couple are focused on building relationships and gaining notoriety for their role models. “I think some of our biggest challenges right now are just getting our name out there and making people see the longevity of it,” Connie says. Many brands, she explains, are “jumping a bit on a wave of inclusivity right now.” While she says that’s not bad in itself, she also hopes the INC can help ensure that inclusion isn’t a passing trend.
“Ultimately, we want INC to speak for itself,” Connie continues, “and in the future, that it’s not unusual to look to INC for a role model. We want brands and casting agencies look to us every day, to know we’re not just there for the times when they need specific people to fill a specific role.
“We need brands to be brave,” Roseina adds, “and take that step and be like, ‘You know what, this is really necessary. Let’s use some of their models.'” She thinks that’s not only the right thing to do, but that it’s also good for business.Brands, she says, need to start reaching more demographics if they want to appeal to everyone.
Roseina and Connie are also dedicated to providing mental health support to their role models, which is why INC also has a built-in mentorship program that helps teach positive mental health and self-care habits.
They also want to support the other activities of their models. Most of the models they currently represent are also musicians, visual artists, videographers, Youtubers, and other creatives. Connie and Roseina hope to create a space where they can show off those talents as well. This will begin at the company’s Pride Month launch party, where models will be welcome to display their other work.
Connie and Roseina started INC without outside funding, and while they’re still fledglings and still learning every day, they also know they’re onto something. They received applications from models all over the world, from Belgium to Nigeria. While for now they are focusing on the UK, they are so excited about the global interest and think it indicates a genuine need for what they are doing.
As such, they are proud to have taken on the challenges to bring INC to life. “We were two people on a sofa,” Roseina says, “With just an improvised idea, and we ran with it.”