Interview with Jason Kanner, Soul Model Management
“Management with heart.” Simon Nessman, Chad White, Cory Bond, Tyson Beckford and Doug Pickett all know this philosophy extremely well. It is the motto that bonds these icons together and it was Jason Kanner’s mission statement when he founded and opened Soul Artist Management in New York.
Jason knew Channing Tatum was the next big star.
At 19 years old, an already fashion-crazed Jason, working at a nightclub in South Beach, met the director of Florida-based modeling agency, Irene Marie – best known for discovering Niki Taylor. Recognizing his eye for talent, Jason was offered a position as junior agent in their Miami office. From there, Jason joined Boss Models, where he worked with top talent such as Amber Valletta, Angie Harmon, Marcus Schenkenberg and Joel West, and procured contracts with luxury brands such as Calvin Klein, Chanel and Ralph Lauren. Kanner then made his way to Major Model Management where he became the director of the Men’s Division. After nine years at Major, Jason decided to transfer his passion and vast industry knowledge into an agency of his own.
In early 2010 Jason took his savings opened Soul Artist Management. Kanner had envisioned an agency where models’ best interests were the primary focus and where all represented talent felt as if they were part of a family. Jason credits the loyalty of these models and the support of his friends and family as the driving forces behind the successful founding of Soul.
Most exciting for Kanner was reviving the idea of the supermodel.
Most exciting for Kanner was reviving the idea of the supermodel. Jason dedicates his time to bringing back the era of the supermodel; a time when being a model went far beyond beauty and when models, rather than celebrities, appeared on the covers of elite magazines. Jason believes that to be a supermodel, models have to exude the kind of energy and presence that will be remembered. That, combined with a keen knowledge of both fashion and photography can change a model from a nameless face to an industry icon. It was these traits that Kanner saw when he first met and signed Channing Tatum. Booking Tatum’s first national commercial and immersing him into the world of modeling, Jason knew that Channing was the next big star.
Q:How did you get your start in the Industry? How did that evolve to where you are today?
I was at the right place at the right time. I was living in South Beach at the time and I was the new faces agent at Irene Marie when they discovered Niki Taylor. It was the golden age of the supermodel and all I wanted was to be a part of that world. Timing is everything and I believe it was just where I was supposed to be.
I was the new faces agent at Irene Marie when they discovered Niki Taylor. Timing is everything and I believe it was just where I was supposed to be.
Q:What inspired you to revive the era of the supermodel? Why did now feel like the right time to do so?
I think that the covers today are so flat and boring. The era of the supermodel was so beautiful and aspirational, I’d love nothing more than to see that come back.
I think that the covers today are so flat and boring. The era of the supermodel was so beautiful and aspirational.
Q: How do you define ‘success’?
There is no better success than feeling fulfilled in what you do. I have surrounded myself with world-class agents who have become family. That humbles me and I feel that being proud of where I am and how far I still have left to go makes me truly successful.
Q:What advice would you give to someone looking to become involved in the industry; as a model or otherwise?
Do what’s right for you. If your heart and soul isn’t in it, then it’s probably not for you. This is a hard industry and I think that having love for what you do either as a model or on the business end of things can help you overcome the hurdles and the bad days. Passion is a driving force.
This is a hard industry and I think that having love for what you do either as a model or on the business end of things can help you overcome the hurdles and the bad days.
Q:Who inspires you and why?
The people around me inspire me everyday. My friends, family and models inspire me for their never-ending loyalty and dedication to me. I also find Steven Misel and Bruce Weber inspiring for their sheer creativity and timeless beauty in their work..
Q:What qualities do you think separate a model from a ‘Supermodel’?
Anyone can be a ‘model’. But being a supermodel is more than just having great looks. Being a supermodel is being a source of endless inspiration and a muse. A true supermodel has a spirit, soul, and energy that never cease to astonish.
A true supermodel has a spirit that never ceases to astonish.
Q:What plans do you have for the future of Soul Artist Management?
Growth. I think that Soul has the ability to become something monumental. Ultimately, I want to build a bridge between my office and the film industry. I did that once with Channing Tatum and I’d love to do that on a much larger scale.
I want to build a bridge between my office and the film industry. I did that once with Channing and I’d love to do that on a much larger scale.