Thursday, September 23, 2010

Local modeling agency controversy!

Local fashion insiders have no doubt heard of Vision Management Group and Ignite Models Inc., the two preeminent modeling agencies in the Twin Cities. Though the two agencies offer a very different roster of talent and have different specialties (Ignite is known for their fashion productions, while Vision focuses more of its energy on the national market), there's concern the two may share strikingly similar branding. (It doesn't help that the word "Envision" includes the word "Vision.")

Today on his personal Facebook page, Vision's owner Teqen Zéa Aida's posted this photo comparison of the Ignite-produced bi-annual "Envision: Artopia" show and Vision's logo. The fonts used in "Envision" and "Vision" are strikingly similar; Vision began using their logo in 1996, and the first Envision show was held in 1998.

The caption of the photo reads: "To this particular company - I say this, "Leave me, and my brand that I have given my life to for near 20 years alone. Find your own image/track record and brand identity - and work off of that."

What do you think - valid criticism or fluke?

UPDATE: Additional research shows that the Envision organizers began using this particular logo for their Spring 2010 show in April.

Submitted by @jahnapeloquin


  1. seriously?
    come on. it is a generic word and common type face.

    If you want to get upset over your brand then create something original to start with!

  2. Houseofduck needs to do better fact checking. Ignite has only been around since 2006 according to their own website! The brand that Vision uses (this particular brand) was developed around 2005 according to the owners posting. Vision's brand identity IS original, if there was already something like that, I doubt that the Vision team would have selected it.

  3. Non issue, a font does not a logo make.

    If ignite wanted to really steal brand equity they should use red text.

  4. I guess I understand Vision's point. Ignite should just be more independent and original.

  5. I would second that point. "Fashion" has a very distinct design esthetic. The fonts used in publications from Vogue to obscure fashion blogs have very high contrasted strokes resulting in the elegant look and feel of the industry "as a whole"

    Before one makes the argument that using a similar font is some how shamelessly capitalizing on another company's brand equity review the following:

    A case-n-point: (hint: It's all Hevletica)

  6. This was not a "controversy" (seriously?) until Vision turned it into one . Helvetica is NOT owned by vision and hello people, it is "EN-vision"! I happen to know for a fact and you can check this for yourself that the Envision logo changes from season to season (check the old ignite myspace page) and this year the citypages chose the font for the ad. Hard work and a good work ethic are what matters in the end. Vision develops beautiful successful models.They should stick to that, or better yet why not use your "healthy" competition concept and create a show for yourself- Call it Ignited!

  7. Treehuggerlover obviously doesn't know anything.
    Vision has a long history of producing shows - I saw my first one back in '97. From what I understand according to convo with Teqen is that they choose to support legitimate designers, media, and community organizations when it comes to shows and events.

    "hey should stick to that, or better yet why not use your "healthy" competition concept and create a show for yourself- Call it Ignited!"
    This comment is so ridiculous - that only someone that is an Ignite crony would post it...
    What are you talking about... this season it seems to me that Vision has done almost all the major shows in town... their girls are taller, skinnier, and better on the runways - which is why I choose to place my designs on Vision girls.

  8. I support both agencies. I think they are both important to the minneapolis scene. Way to encourage a healthy body image Anonymous. Remember, there are always three sides to a story...

  9. Bottom Line: (1) the typeface is one of the most commonly used in the industry, (2) the Envision logo consistently changes year to year, and (3) the original Envision event was not in any way associated with Ignite Models, nor did it have anything to do with local fashion.

    Thus, as Ignite Models had not yet been affiliated with the event at the time of the original production, the agency had absolutely no involvement in choosing the name for the event.

    The previous post said it best, both agencies support local fashion and are important to the Minneapolis scene. Rather than making hallow attempts to falsely discredit others, Vision’s energy should be spent doing what is most important - promoting local fashion.

  10. I think that the previous posting was very informative. However, when you refer to the "industry" are we talking in general, or (since you seem to be a staunch advocate of Local fashion) local. The owners of Vision are very good friends of mine - and I do understand their point of view. This type face/branding had not been used here locally prior to them doing it, and we all know that Vision has been around a much longer time. I can understand why they would be protective of their image etc.

    I wonder why Ignite didn't change the branding of an event when they "took" over ENVISION. I just don't see why they wouldn't want to establish something of their own. As per one of the posts, why didn't Ignite call the event, under their direction Ignited. Wouldn't that have promoted their agency better? Or did they want to ride of another more established entity? I also understand that at least one of the owners of Vision reached out in order to resolve the situation amicably.

    I think people need to understand that Vision has been a pioneer in Minnesota. They were the first agency to really do legitimate fashion shows in the mid 90's, and support Voltage and the local fashion scene. I think they even took some flack for supporting supposed local "underground" fashion events in Mpls St. Paul Magazine a year or two ago!

    I just think the people involved need to really think about what is right, as well as what incredible potential there may be to work together in the future!

  11. Once you've decided that you want to model, you should get organized. Although you may be resourceful and a good speaker, you still need assistance. Many models find a modeling agency to assist them with their careers.