PARKTEN Interview - Kelly Streit
Kelly Streit is the founder and CEO of Mode Models International. He scouts, develops, manages and place models Internationally. He can’t make it through the day without his phone, dog Milo, and Goyard bag.
How did Mode Models come to be?
I began photographing my friends in High School and eventually met Eileen Ford. She hired me as a model scout at the height of the supermodel boom. Discovering Tricia Helfer and Kim Renneberg led me to open my own agency 30 years ago in Alberta. I was able to travel the world with Ford Models and knew immediately that this was the world I was meant to be in.
Who are some of the people who have influenced your path in life?
Definitely, Eileen Ford, Tricia Helfer, Heather Marks, and Hung Vanngo just to name a few, I’ve been blessed to work with so many amazing driven people in this business and continue to meet new ones daily.
What is one of the biggest hurdles you’ve experienced since starting your own company, and what are some of the biggest successes that make it all worth it?
One of the biggest hurdles is definitely finding the right staff to work with us. We’ve been lucky to have some amazing team members through the years, but it can be difficult to delegate things of such importance and find the right people to handle them.
We have had a lot of successes at Mode. Tricia Helfer winning Supermodel of the World, the number of campaigns and covers for our models…but the ultimate success is seeing so many young models grow up and benefit from the opportunities Mode as provided them, and how they continue to be loyal and active within the agency all these years later.
When did your relationship with PARK begin?
Mode has worked with PARK from the very beginning. We began collaborating at higher level two years ago, which culminated in us celebrating our 30th anniversary with PARK last year. They produce beautiful events and have a very engaged audience so of course, we would want to be involved!
How has PARK evolved and grown in the last 10 years, and how do you want to see PARK grown in the next 10 years?
I’ve only had the luxury of being involved for the last three years, but even in that short span of time the production and quality of their events has gone up dramatically. It’s always the highlight of the season.
I think they just have to keep doing what they’re doing! PARK’s grown so much over the last 10 and there is so much further they can go. With their team, I’m sure it will be no problem.
Why is an organization such as PARK important to our fashion industry on a provincial but also national level?
PARK provides great venues and events to showcase Canadian designers, emerging and established, which cultivates talent and keeps the kids going! PARK - Promoting Artists Redefining Culture. Period.
What are some of your favourite places in Calgary?
My top four are 10-foot Henry, Analog Coffee, Dade Lofts, and Holt Renfrew of course!
How would you describe your personal style and who are some of your favourite Canadian designers?
One word - Black. Some of my favourite Canadian designers are Paul Hardy, Urbanovitch, Rad Hourani, UNTTLD, and Greta Constantine.