7700 Sunset Boulevard is nestled in a tranquil Hollywood neighborhood, lush with landscaped hedges and the twitter of songbirds. It is also the nexxus of the rapid-fire business buzzing in that sprawling market that is Los Angeles. LA Models, which is housed on the premises, became the anchoring force of the local modeling scene due to owner Heinz Holba‘s prescience in first venturing in that market 20 years ago as well as his very evident business prowess. With the shrewd ability to steer the company to the ever-shifting pulse of the client’s needs, Holba has literally branded LA Models onto its resident market. Whether those needs are aesthetic, or technological, they have been impeccably addressed.
As such the company with its Men’s, Women’s, Children, Film/Television (LA Talent), Hair, Make-up and Styling (Exclusive Artists Management) divisions is inarguably the largest West Coast agency in current operation. Add to that a state-of-the-art complex of casting studios complete with remote transmission capability and what you have is a megalith of an operation. Tune in as Heinz Holba, the mind behind this impressive enterprise shares with OTM his defining perspective on a business in which he looms as a powerhouse.
Wayne Sterling: Could you refresh our readers on the brief history of Heinz Holba in the modeling business?
Heinz Holba: I started in the business by buying a small Canadian Agency in Vancouver Canada called Booking One and soon thereafter bought a franchise from John Casablancas/Elite New York to open more agencies and schools in 1979. After opening 10 schools and agencies in Canada and California under the franchise I decided to sell them for personal reasons and open a new and independent agency, LA Models in Los Angeles in 1985 and New York Models in 1995. This has grown to sister companies as you can see on our websites. I was always interested in the commerce/business end of the industry as well as the creative and art side of it.
WS: It must have been pretty interesting to have first ventured into LA as modeling market 20 years ago.
Click on the thumbnails below for a few samples from the LA Models board: