Casting Director Paul Isaac tells Glass about what it takes to be a top model

WHILE the saying ‘fashion never sleeps’ finds itself true at times, for casting directors their job never seems to be done. On the constant hunt for the next big face or head-turning walk, this seems to be a never-ending job that has the ability to launch someone’s career, making them go from anonymous teenager to global sensation – quite literally sometimes overnight. Glass‘ casting director Paul Isaac sheds a light about this hidden side of the industry

How did your journey begin in casting?
I initially started working in shoot production. Casting is often included in this role, so
I got a taste for it then. As more time went on I realised that I love the specific area of
casting and wanted to focus on that.

What made you want to get involved?
From a young age I loved fashion and would obsess over the models. I come from a
small town in Wales and the fashion industry seemed a world away. I would buy
magazines endlessly as a teenager and always focused on who the teams were
behind the editorials never thinking I would one day be part of them.

Roogwy by Elliot James Kennedy for Glass Spring Issue 2023

What are the main differences between casting editorial, commercial, production
and shows?

The main difference is the level of creativity involved. Editorials & shows are an
opportunity to show my opinion and point of view as a casting director and there is
often more room to be playful. Commercially, this is different because I work to a
client’s brief. This is when I try to find models that represent a brand, whilst also
challenging them to expand on their thinking behind who that might be. Hopefully
resulting in strong and confident imagery that allows them to trust in the work I do.

What’s your favourite?
I don’t have a favourite model, what I love about the role is the fact that it is so
varied. I enjoy working with different teams collaboratively to achieve the chosen

Iris Carroll by Dan Smith for Glass Summer Issue 2022

Can you pinpoint any models of the moment?
Florence Hutchings, London Scully and Ornella Umutoni.

What advice do you have for anyone looking into becoming a model?
Do some research and apply to the industries key agencies. If you are young then
don’t rush, many models balance education and part time modelling in the beginning.
Always be on time for any go-see’s!

What makes a model, for example, Kate Moss, so iconic? How do you ensure a
long-lasting legacy?

I would say a combination of professionalism, creativity & personality. The top
models still remain for a reason. They work hard and are able to contribute creativity.
Its always exciting to see a model who cannot only move well but can also be

Youssouf Bamba by Su Mustecaplioglu for Glass Man Summer Issue 2022

What are the main struggles involved with casting?
As so much of the work of a casting director is subjective, it often takes time for the
team or client involved to fully trust your direction, this comes with time. I have found
that the most fulfilling part of the job is the close, ongoing relationships with

How did your work evolve when you founded Paul Isaac Casting & Production?
By getting the opportunity to focus on the projects I felt were interesting. When I
started the company, I was humbled by the support from lots of people I had worked
with in the past. I love to work as part of a team and cherish the relationships
whereby you have the opportunity to contribute your own specific experience to the
outcome of any given project.

Katinka Carleton-Smith by Maria Lax for Glass Spring Issue 2022

Is there anything in particular you look out for when casting for Glass Magazine?
Working at Glass is always a team effort. My approach is always to fulfil the creative
brief. But at the same time bring new & fresh ideas and expand the teams view of
who the right model is in terms of what they can achieve for that brief. The working
relationship is always collaborative and exciting as we all get to be creative inside of
the roles we each do.

by Alicia Tomkinson