A Strong Man: Scott Lipps

June 07, 2012 3:20 PM

As CEO and founder of one of the world’s most prestigious modeling agencies, the orchestrator behind a premier fashion blog, the star of an E reality TV show, and the drummer in a rock 'n' roll band, one would assume that model mogul Scott Lipps would be a difficult ego to work with. But contrary to expectations, and as many have observed about the man, Lipps is different: down-to-earth, laid-back; Lipps possesses the sangfroid of a man who is far too busy to think about what a successful, well-rounded individual he is. 

Why are you so successful?

A lot of hard work. It’s no secret that a lot of hard work, networking, and being out all the time, being a good person and having good karma, hopefully, have had a lot to do with it. But I work my ass off too. I’m sure there are always these other factors. There’s luck. There’s timing. There’s whom you know. But a lot of it has to do with how hard I’ve worked. There are a lot of talented people, but there are a lot of lazy people in this world too. I never took anything for granted. I was definitely a broke musician for a lot of years and ate Top Ramen with my other bandmates, living in a one-bedroom. I think you never take things for granted once you do that. It humbles you, and I think that’s a good thing. 

Where do you see One Management going?

I think that the possibilities are endless. We’ve always thought a little bit outside of the box. We are really into branding and taking models to really nurture them to become brands. So girls that were maybe not necessarily brands when they came here are developing brands around them, are developing clothing lines and fragrances. Obviously the media side of things is something I really believe in. Content is a huge part of this business, and it’s about cultivating that content and what you do with it, whether it’s creating TV shows for clients, creating viral things, Twitter and Facebook. That’s why I created this blog, Pop Lipps, because ultimately, it’s promoting the girls, it’s getting the name of the company out there, and it’s a new way to market people.

How has digital media affected your business? 

I think you just have to think outside of the box—if someone comes in and wants to do a viral video for Nowness or for Style.com, or a music video that has amazing directors attached to it. I do a video series now for the Huffington Post that I just started, based on my blog. The first one was Courtney Love. The second was Charlotte Ronson and Dani Stahl. The third one, that I’m arranging right now, is with a big actor. It’s all about that: viral videos, thinking outside of the box, promoting your talents in a different way than you’re used to. Ten years ago I used to pick up the phone. Now people almost think it’s weird when you call them. People almost get thrown off when you call them. And I actually like a personal touch. Clearly, I Twitter, I Facebook, I text, I BBM, but there’s nothing like getting together with clients for lunch or dinner and seeing people in person. It’s something I think that’s slowly dying in our business, and I think we need to have a little bit more of that too. 

What was the transition like from music to fashion?

My heart’s still very much in music. I never gave it up. But I think that they’re both very complementary. If you look at our businesses, if you look at every top model, they want to go into acting, into film. You have a lot of actors doing endorsements, and you have a lot of musicians doing endorsements, and you have a lot of musicians who know a lot of models. There’s not even a one-degree separation. It’s like a 0.0005 degree separation. Our businesses, they’re so connected. It’s very rare I meet someone in these related businesses and we either don’t know each other or we don’t know someone that knows us or have a common ground. 

We know you do a lot to give back. What are your greatest causes?

It’s a lot about the clients here and whom they’re associated with. Solita Ebanks is associated with Sierra Leone. Jessica White has her Angel Wings charity foundation. Eva has done viral videos for kids who needed medical care. A lot of them have different charities that they’re associated with, and I always get behind them because ultimately there’s not a particular one that I’m associated with. But I always try to have events with them, and I do whatever I can to help promote them. Ultimately, if there are ten charities that we can lend a hand to with our talents, then I’m super happy to do it. 

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