Milk Model Management was launched by Anna Shillinglaw in 2010. The company has now evolved to employ 16 staff members and 250 models. Among its clients are Marks & Spencer, New Look, Evans, Asos, and River Island.
Anna lives in Surrey with her husband, Edward, and her six-year-old son, Oscar. At the age of 17, she was scouted and joined Storm model agency. She was a straight-size model. During that time of her life, she did a lot of underwear campaigns. At one point, she was the Wonderbra girl.
For the first few months of her career in the early nineties, there was no size restriction. It was okay to be size 10 or size 12 and have curves. Then Kate Moss took the modeling world by storm and hers was the new look. All the companies wanted waifs and stick-thin models gracing their runway. Anna would be sent home from jobs when they would tell her she was just too big.
In her twenties, she moved for work to New York. It was not good for her career. The agents were very direct and told her to lose weight. Her agency suggested she try the plus-size industry, but that would mean Anna would have to gain weight.
Then she had what she calls her light-bulb moment. When she moved back home to the UK, she realized the country did not have a plus-size agency. One day, when she was in a modeling job, she asked the other models if they wanted to join her agency. The six models agreed. So there was Anna, in her thirties, pregnant, and running a modeling agency.
She worked hard to make her agency grow. She signed bigger clients and more successful models. She knew she made it when one of her models, Robyn Lawley, was booked to be on the cover of Italian Vogue. The cover was shot by photographer Steven Meisel. After that, Anna knew that Milk did not have anything to worry about, it was going to be a successful agency.
Now Milk also hired straight-size models. Their offices are now in the Soho area of London. Anna has found a way to evolve as she grew in the modeling world. She started out as a model and now she is running her own agency.