What do you get when two young, ambitious, experienced and driven individuals come together? A whole host of fresh and unique ideas just waiting to be probed, explored and presented to the world. The discovery of a niche in the market and a business venture that is set to take the creative industry by storm and see an end to the exploitation of naive and inexperienced creative’s who, more often than not are made to pay extortionate prices for services that produce less than average results.

Having only met two years ago whilst on set of a photo shoot, international model Nina Malone and fashion stylist Reemé Idris instantly hit it off. Together they combined their past experiences to embark on the business venture of 2009. Allow me to introduce you to Reemé Idris and Nina Malone’s enterprise The Collective.

What exactly is The Collective?
Reemé: We like to think of ourselves as a production team meets style agency! The basic idea is that we’ve compiled the best freelancing creative’s we know so that we can approach the best suited for any fashion/entertainment related project.

Nina: Exactly. We platform freelance creative’s and provide an unrivalled service for businesses and consumers.

What services do you offer?
Reemé: For businesses we can project manage from beginning to end once we understand our client’s brief and budget; recommending the right photographers, make up artists, hair stylists, choreographers as well as models and other creative’s that we feel would make for the best team.

Nina: There is a gap in the market for creative services at fair prices for consumers, we’ve done the research, heard the horror stories and been in a couple of them ourselves! We’ve found the best deals for tools such as; Z cards, online portfolios designed by professionals, studio hire, model workshops and portfolio shoots.

Why do you think The Collective is a good business venture?
Because we hope to fill the gaps in the market that we currently see by offering services such as online portfolios to models and creative’s. We have taken services that already are available but tweaked them to benefit the consumer in ways we understand a model or creative may appreciate.

How can you guarantee that you source the best people for the job at hand?
Well we vet everyone very carefully and the creative’s we have on our database are people we have worked with on a number of occasions in the past, so we know and trust in their standard of work.

Reemé: Yeah, I would quite simply put it down to experience! It’s not simply a case of knowing great talent, it helps to understand in what capacity that person works best and usually we do through our combined experience.

What separate qualities do you both bring to the Collective?
I affectionately call Nina the fashion Yellow Pages! She has such a great amount of experience. She embodies the core of our business, which is to access a contemporary, in-the-know opinion on who you as a creative should or could be working with in the fashion and entertainment industry.

Nina: Aside from being a great stylist, Reemé is super organised, extremely visionary and amazingly passionate about everything she does! I’m not sure what I bring. But it seems to work somehow!

What do you hope to achieve in the coming year?
We’re in the early stages right now, but I hope that we can have an amazing launch and that all the projects we have on the go are achieved successfully. I want the business to continue to grow and I don’t doubt that it will.

Reemé: We’ve definitely planted a few seeds and now we’re growing them. It’s great to have new ideas but unless you get your head down and put the hard work in then nothing will come of them. So we’ve chosen a couple of streams to concentrate on for the rest of the year and looking forward to seeing the outcomes.

Who do you think will benefit from your business?
Hopefully everyone from the young up and coming model who attends one of our workshops, to the actor who takes headshots using our studio space, to the designers who use our recommended teams for their look books and the events organisers who we produce fashion shows for!

Nina: In a nutshell, everybody! From those who are already a part of the industry to those that are striving to be a part of it.

The Collective website is set to launch in late summer 2009.


Words by Susanne Singh