Eleni Renton is the Founder of LENI’S MODEL MANAGEMENT, a boutique model agency which was launched in 2009, following her takeover of Quintessentially Models where she was a partner.
With over 17 years experience as a model booker both in the UK and abroad, Eleni has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry such as Naomi Campbell. And since establishing Leni’s Model Management, Eleni has also launched the careers of girls who have gone on to become the faces of Asos, L’Agent by Agent Provocateur, Topshop and even Sky Sports News to name a few.
Eleni’s founding principles for the agency reflect her own personal upbringing and beliefs. Raised by a Greek entrepreneur father and British mother together with her two siblings, Eleni grew up surrounded by family who she credits with providing her with the guidance from which she was able to pursue her desire for success. And so Eleni has now implemented this same supportive and nurturing ethos upon her team of experienced bookers:
“At the core of Leni’s Model Management, we are an agency that focuses first and foremost on the bigger picture, the long term goals. My team and I very much see it as a family with our job being to develop and encourage each girl to their peak. We ensure everything from their daily physical and emotional wellbeing to providing them with the right guidance, whether that be the best nutritionist or personal trainer to introducing them to a leading financial advisor to handle their affairs. We are all too aware of the pitfalls of the industry, however with the right guidance, I want each girl to be able to enjoy a rewarding and long lasting career with us should they wish.”
With her years of experience at the forefront of the fashion and beauty industries, Eleni is also regularly invited to contribute as an expert opinion on the modelling industry overall for press and at events. Highlights have included the ICA debate “Can Real People Do The Catwalk?” alongside Hilary Alexander OBE. And a roundtable discussion with Jodie Kidd on ‘The pros and cons of Retouching’ as featured in The Daily Telegraph.
Eleni is based in Clerkenwell, her offices and apartment are on either side of Clerkenwell Road. And she spends her weekends in her new home in The Cotswolds.
We caught up with Eleni for the latest in our ‘My London’ interview series.
Clerkenwell because it is close to EVERYTHING and I’ve mainly lived here for the last 20 years and I never tire of it.
Favourite place for brunch:
I am rarely in London at the weekend, but if I am – then The Electric, so I can walk down Portobello after.
Best coffee in London:
Sampa on Leather Lane in London, it is new and they serve really yummy coffee.
Favourite gallery or museum:
I love the Tate Modern externally and it’s location, but internally – hands down – The National, I could get lost in there.
Tell us a secret:
Although not religious, I like to go and sit in churches around the city. A certain peace washes over you, that I am not sure can be achieved elsewhere.
Favourite place to shop:
Selfridges, it is just the ultimate convenience, in a rainy city. I can get all I need in a one stop shop.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
A walk across Waterloo Bridge. The river gives me an energy, where I believe everything I want to achieve is possible. I hope we get the Garden Bridge….I’m a big fan of the proposal.
Best London destination for a date:
The National. Perfect to start upstairs with a drink and a gorgeous view (including of your date), of course then watch a great play. Hopefully followed by a nice walk by the river (if going well) I love the concrete jungle mixed with the arts and lights twinkling.
St George’s Gardens, a tiny little gardens near Kings Cross that was a burial ground. It keeps me focused on trying to do something purposeful everyday when I think of all the generations before us who have shaped London.
Favourite food market:
Leather Lane, has got better and better recently. And it’s also great at lunch time, week days.
Your sanctuary in the city:
The Wallace Collection in Manchester Sq. It is decadent but small enough to not feel obscene, it reminds me of the Frick in NYC – which I always visit when in town.
What inspires you?
My team at work. We all bounce off each other and even if I walk into the office with a sad face, I am soon cheered up!
This season I’m loving:
Rose wine on the new terrace at Soho House (obviously only in the sunshine).