When asked, ‘who are you?’ Victor Roseboro states that first and foremost he is a son, and a brother to four sisters.
“I am a friend to several people that have been great friends to me. I am a spiritual person. I am definitely a giver, a feeler; I am a lover for sure,” said Roseboro.
“And currently, I am a model agent.”
There’s more to the fashion industry than jobs in designing or styling. Like any other sector, fashion is a business so there’s a space and a job for everyone. That includes a person who loves math, a person who solely loves to shop or a business-minded individual.
The word “everyone” doesn’t just refer to those who have different interests or job titles, but also those of a different race or gender. We’ve decided to highlight how diverse the fashion industry is, could be, and should be with a series of stories on Black professionals with not-so-average fashion careers.
How did you get to work in fashion?
“Lots and lots of trial and error, and bumping my head and just being inspired that if so many people out here can do it then why can’t I?” said Roseboro.
Fashion was nowhere on Roseboro’s radar and neither was New York. He attended East Stroudsburg University and graduated with a Biology degree in 2012.
Roseboro had hopes of attending medical school, however, “I needed a break.”
“Undergrad kicked my butt and I also had this giant feeling in my stomach that being a doctor was not what I wanted. So I had to go home,” he said.
At the age of 25, Roseboro decided he wanted to move to New York, but he didn’t necessarily have a concrete plan.
After realizing he didn’t want to work retail and would have to start over as an intern, Roseboro found an internship on Cragslist.
“It didn’t have many details. I came in to find out it was the casting director of Christian Dior [who] was looking for an intern,” he explained. “I didn’t really know who she was, I gave her a quick Google search, we did a Skype session, and I lied.”
Roseboro told her he lived in New York even though he had not moved from Pennsylvania yet. Doing so resulted in the casting director inviting him to meet with her in person.
“I had to scrounge the money together to buy a Mega bus ticket. I did the interview and she hired me.”
According to Roseboro, working as an intern and working in fashion was very much “Devil Wears Prada. Very ice cold.”
He continued to say the experience of working in fashion broke him a little so he left the internship after a month. The next weekend while he was helping a friend work a show, he met Roger Inniss, owner of Boom Productions Inc. After a conversation, Inniss asked Roseboro to join his team.
“It felt good to have this Black man just see me, and be like ‘join my team,’” Roseboro said. “I got my first few paychecks from the fashion industry which was blowing my mind.”
Roseboro then went on to work for Maurilio Carnino’s casting agency, MTC, as a casting agent where he stayed for two-and-a-half years.
He said his path flowed from one thing to another, however he also had several different jobs in the midst of it. For instance, Roseboro worked as a waiter for four years to not only keep a constant flow of income but to also have fluidity when it came to scheduling.
“Because fashion does not pay until it starts paying,” explained Roseboro.
What’s your current fashion job?
After being an assistant at Next Model Management for two years, Roseboro became a manager and talent agent - which is the position he still holds today.
“I have about 12 models worldwide that I represent. I also source and navigate bookings for the entire Next Model Management worldwide board,” Roseboro said.He added that he loves finding new talent. “I do love seeing a girl from St. Louis, Missouri, come to New York - skinny and nervous, and 18 years old. And next thing you know she’s hired to do a catwalk show for Versace!”
What does an average work day look like?
“We come in, we all sit at a giant table,” Roseboro said. “It’s a giant rectangular table, and it’s about 12 seats, six on each side, we all have our computers and half [are] emailing and half [are] discussing across the table. It’s very much a boardroom.”
The conversations happening around the table include discussing what manager has a model that would fit a certain campaign or upcoming project.
“You got to make sure your voice is heard. You got to make sure you’re aggressive. You got to make sure you present to your clients in the best possible way,” Roseboro explained.
“We're competing with so many other agencies in New York [and] around the world too. So we have to make sure these clients know that our girls are simply the best. And we have to make sure our girls are the best. We have to make sure our girls are healthy. We have to make sure our girls show up on time. [We] have to make sure our girls feel open to come and talk to us.”
Outside of managing the models, the day to day is catching up on emails, and sharing updates and campaigns at the board table. There are also many days of leaving the office for business meetings with clients.
“We have to make sure that we are clienteling and make sure our clients have that face time with us,” Roseboro said. “So much of this industry is based on who you know, it’s about that bond.”
A word of career advice
“You just have to start from the bottom and you have to do the work, you just do,” Roseboro advised. “There is no way around it.”
He said it’s as simple as this: the people that sit at the table are hard workers, and the people that no longer sit at the table were not hard workers
According to Roseboro, life and great things always involve two components: “being prepared and opportunity.”
“You can have an opportunity happen for you but if you’re not prepared for it, it’s not going to work,” explained Roseboro. “And you can be prepared for something so precisely and so well, but you just need the opportunity. You have to have both.”
He continued to say that if it’s hard and if it’s new in regard to an opportunity, “give yourself a year” before giving up.
“Be the best version possible of yourself,” Roseboro added. “Be so perfect, be so undeniable with your work, especially as Black people, because when we walk into a room [people] already have an opinion of who they think you are.”
“It’s not your problem, but it is your duty to get the work done and to get your experience,” concluded Roseboro. “Your name is everything.”