Hailey Clauson is on a mission to change the modeling industry. After first entering the business at age 13 and landing the cover of SI Swimsuit in 2016, the Thousand Oaks, California native is now using her clout to make a difference for other models. How? She recently became a partner of a boutique modeling agency in LA, which she feels is an amazing opportunity to make those changes and help build up an agency in a modern way.
“I want to change a lot within the modeling industry,” she said. “Compared to when I first started in 2008, it has come very far. But, I truly feel we have a long way to create a better working environment. Modeling agencies have played a huge role in many issues anywhere from body image, to models not getting paid, and not properly protecting their talent.”
She added, “I want models to know that they are more than just a ‘model. And should be utilizing this beautiful opportunity as a stepping stone towards many more amazing ventures in their lives and careers.”
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Clauson is also hoping to make difference by getting behind the camera as well. She is now creative directing photoshoots while her boyfriend handles the photography, a new path created as a result of the pandemic.
“During COVID, we had so much extra time on our hands, searching for a creative outlet,” said Clauson. “We quickly fell in love with creating images with amazing people. After being in the fashion industry as a model for almost 14 years, I have always wanted to transition to the other side of the camera. Through my personal experiences in the industry, I have learned so much from the good, the bad, and the ugly while being on set. I want to create a fun, safe, and creative environment for our collaborators.”
What’s the model’s favorite part of being behind the camera? “Having a voice towards the creative process of the shoot and curating my own style,” she said. “It feels good to be able to express my ideas and bring them to life through our photos.”
And while the model is focusing a lot of her efforts behind the scenes of the industry, she is excited to appear in the new issue of SI Swimsuit after taking a break for several years.
“I have grown so much since my first shoot with SI,” said Clauson. “I was 18 when I first shot for the magazine, and now I’m almost 27. The older I get, the more I have grown as a woman because I truly understand who I am as an individual and stand strong behind my core values. I’m a lot more confident in who I am as a person, and it feels amazing.”
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