An Australian modelling agency has ditched the gender binary, allowing brands to search by pronoun instead

Words by Tori Mathison

Changing the game.

We’re living in an era where a fully inclusive fashion and beauty landscape is slowly (emphasis on slowly) becoming a reality. This means we’re also becoming more aware of the systemic issues that impact diversity in the media.

Where once almost all Australian models were booked via a handful of agencies, in the last few years, a slew of independent agencies have popped up, inviting those who don’t fit traditional beauty standards into the fold.

One such agency is Melbourne-based modelling agency Duval. Jon Duval, Duval’s founder, believes that it’s up to the agent to challenge these preconceived and problematic perceptions of beauty.

With the recent relaunch of Duval’s website, one of the major revisions to the site addresses inclusivity head-on. The directory is divided into three categories: creatives, representing photographers, stylists, hair and make-up artists and videographers, talent which houses all the models on Duval’s books, and emerging, listing up-and-coming talent.

The key difference is that every person, regardless of gender, race, age and size, falls under one of the above categories. The extended search feature then allows you to refine the search by the talent or creative’s pronoun. Not only does this create a stronger sense of belonging and recognition for Duval’s talent, but it encourages clients to think in a less binary way when it comes to beauty and gender. 

This commitment to tangible change within the industry extends to Duval’s move to become a social enterprise. The agency has committed to donating 15 per cent of each booking fee to one of four charities combating significant issues within the fashion industry, namely Seed Mob, The Ocean Cleanup, Canopy and Clean Clothes Campaign. Head to the Duval website to learn more and to try out the new search function for yourself.


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