Hey Love Squad! We’re just days out from our first Love Squad Series of 2018 and the line-up is incredible! I want to introduce to all of you (if you don’t know already) Gilleon Smith, a casting director based in New York City.

LS: Can you briefly summarize what your job entails?

GS: I run a full service casting agency based out of NYC, however we have worked on projects world wide.  We cast in mediums A-Z, from extras to high fashion runway, editorial, print, commercial, and beyond.  My casting methods focus on re-defining traditional norms of the typical standards of beauty and introducing new and eclectic faces to the entertainment and fashion industry.

LS: Are you looking for specific things when casting for roles/shoots?

GS: Most of the times when I am casting a project, I generally tend to gravitate to those who made me feel something, in additional to making me see something.  It’s more of a package deal rather than what is just on the surface.

LS: Wow, that’s what we’re talking about! I guess that leads us to ask, how would you define beauty?

GS: Beauty is inclusive, diverse, and individual.  I generally find beauty when I see strength, power and confidence in people.

LS: That’s perfect. Tell us, has the industry become more diversified? What are the biggest challenges?

GS: In NYC, we are seeing a lot of strides towards diversity of all ethnicities, shapes, sizes, and types in the fashion industry.  Its gotten a lot of media attention which is helping things really progress.  The one key element that I feel contributes to that success is when it is done authentically and genuinely rather than a gimmick for attention.  That said, I believe a huge challenge is somehow taking this movement further than NYC, where we see the same type of diversity on the runways in Milan, London, Paris, and beyond.  It will be amazing when diversity in the fashion industry becomes a global norm.

LS:  What is the most unusual place you have casted an individual?

GS: Taking my casting work to the streets, for instance in Jackson Heights in the dead of winter, in 8 degree weather is always unusual.  In my profession, I do a lot of street scouting, and typically it doesn’t matter your location, you just have to get out there and find the people!

LS: Right on. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment thus far?

GS: Being featured in Vogue has been a pretty big accomplishment career wise, but I just ran the NYC marathon, and that by far is the coolest thing I have ever done in my entire life.

LS: We imagine you travel a lot for work, what are some rituals you have to stay centered?

I do travel quite a bit, and I am a very active person.  I usually travel with my workout clothes and weather permitting, I always take a run in the morning wherever I am at.  Not only is it a great way to explore the city, and appreciate it’s beauty, but a good run at the start of the day sets the tone for healthy habits throughout the day, and helps get your energy motivated, and in the right place.

We are looking forward to having Gilleon on our panel. She defines what #BeautyLikeYou means, everyday through her work-making waves in the fashion industry and taking strides for {women}humankind. #LoveSquad