The FINANCIAL — Ia Kitsmarishvili, President of Model Agency Image Centre says that the company is currently facing a lack of sponsorship.
During the newly launched competition New Face, the first male model search in the country, Kitsmarishvili did not manage to attract a sponsor for the air ticket to Korea, for the contestant to attend the world male model’s competition.
“I would like to exclude political motivation as a reason for a lack of any forthcoming finances from potential sponsors. None of my projects are of political implication. I myself have never felt any pressure because of my husband’s political views,” Kitsmarishvili told The FINANCIAL.
“But I can’t exclude anything,” she said.
Ia Kitsmarishvili is the wife of a well know businessman who managed TV company Rustavi 2 over several years. 2 years ago Erosi Kitsmarishvili joined the opposition movement in the country.
“Despite this current obstacle I am ready to continue fighting for my projects and I will appeal to sponsors every time it is required. I think that my projects are devoted to our country’s interests. This is not a ‘Kitsmarishvili’ project. Miss Georgia, Mr. Georgia, Elite Model Look, all these projects include the popularization of Georgia and Georgians abroad, their introduction to the whole world,” she says.
Kitsmarishvili says that as New Face was the first project of its kind to be launched in Georgia they did not expect to receive a huge amount of finances. They only managed to attract companies to award prizes to the participants.
“We have no official sponsors. Unfortunately Image Centre does not have enough resources to fully finance its projects on its own. Luckily I have a lot of friends who understand the difficulties and importance of these projects and are willing to support them financially. The sum needed for arranging New Face I mostly get with the help of barter deals. The largest sum out of the total expenses includes the flight to Korea for the Mr. World competition. I appealed to leading airline companies to supply the winner of New Face with an air ticket but they refused,” she says.
As it is still a month until the final competition of Mr. World in Korea, Kitsmarishvili still hopes to get sponsor for the air ticket.
I hope that in the future more companies will be interested in promoting and advertising themselves with the help of our project. I wish to attract more sponsors not only for this project but also for Miss Georgia and Elite Model Look,” Kitsmarishvili declares.
“Considering the results of our projects I can conclude that the total volume of sponsorship from businesses has sharply decreased. Companies are less motivated to finance our projects, due to the global and local recession. In the past construction companies were very active in financing our projects. However we are currently seeing that this sector is continuing to developing at a much slower rate. And not only construction, but other sectors also have started to reduce their sponsorship budgets,” she states.
As the main direction of Image Center is fashion business, the New Face jury preferred participants that would be able to cooperate with international fashion agencies.
“Departure to Korea for the international competition Mr. World is just a gift to the winner. We are not focused on getting the highest prizes at the Mr. World competition. Although in the future we may aim to get superior results at such a competition. For this first year we are focused on developing the male’s fashion industry in Georgia. We desire our male starters to cooperate with and receive benefit from international agencies, like our females do,” Kitsmarishvili notes.
Kitsmarishvili says that in the fashion industry females are far more in demand than males. “This industry is in the minority of business fields where females dominate over males. Still we can find lots of successful top male models but they are less famous than their female counterparts. A top male model’s career can be started from moving from other similar jobs, like artists, dancers or singers. So Georgia should not be an exception. Over the course of one week we received about 300 applications. I would like to say that all the participants that did not make it to the top 15, also have big potential and I sincerely hope that they will continue in their career paths,” she notes.
David Talakmadze, 20, was one of the winners that got into the 15 semi finalists. He is a graduate of the Academy of Arts and is an architect by profession.
“I am working as a manager of model agency Déjà Vu. I was also working as a model in my agency. After hearing about the new competition of Image Centre, I decided to participate. I wanted to be the winner, but getting into the top 5 would also have been ok,” Talakmadze says.
Talakmadze hopes that with the help of Image Center he will manage to travel abroad to work. “Participating in New Face was a kind of advertising campaign for me,” he says.