Words: Victoria Taylor
Embarking on a mission to revolutionise the fashion world, John Bruce, one of the forces driving PRM, a pioneering model agency celebrated for its unmatched cultural diversity, is redefining the norms of identifying tomorrow’s fashion icons while championing inclusivity. In the following article, we delve deep into John Bruce’s extraordinary journey and his steadfast commitment to challenging conventions through the Africa refugee sponsorship programme.
A Unique Journey
John Bruce’s story is a testament to the power of seizing opportunities and following one’s passion. Born in London, he moved to South Africa at a young age with his family. It was in South Africa that he discovered his fascination with the world of modelling. At 17, he joined a modelling agency in Johannesburg, kickstarting his own modelling career. Although he found initial success in front of the camera, Bruce soon realised that his true passion lay in the behind-the-scenes operations of the modelling world.
Transitioning from being a model to a model agent, Bruce honed his skills and knowledge in the industry. His journey led him to London, where he worked for NEBS for several years before eventually running the men’s division. In 2012, together with his partner Paolo, he founded PRM, a boutique model agency that would soon make waves in the fashion industry.
Championing Diversity and Inclusion
PRM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is at the heart of its mission. One of the agency’s most significant initiatives is the Africa refugee sponsorship program. Bruce’s partner Paolo, who hails from Brazil, played a pivotal role in its inception. They recognised the immense potential of models from diverse backgrounds, including African refugees.
PRM holds a premium sponsor account with the Home Office, allowing them to bring foreign models into the UK legally. The agency began by sponsoring models from Brazil and the United States but soon expanded their horizons to include African refugees from the Kakuma refugee camp in South Sudan, Kenya.
What sets PRM apart is their dedication to these models’ well-being. As their sole sponsors in the UK, the agency takes on immense responsibilities, from providing housing in London to covering their everyday essentials. For many of these models, transitioning to life in a bustling metropolis like London is a transformative experience, and PRM ensures they receive the support and guidance needed to thrive.
The success stories of models supported by PRM are nothing short of inspiring. Notable models like Nyarach Ayuel have graced the covers of prestigious magazines and walked for renowned fashion brands. These models, who came from challenging backgrounds, are now making a mark in the fashion world, proving that talent knows no boundaries.
PRM’s impact goes beyond the runway and the glossy pages of magazines. They are changing lives by offering opportunities that were once deemed impossible. Many models have used their earnings to support their families, build homes, and secure brighter futures for themselves and their loved ones.
Challenging Beauty Standards
John Bruce firmly believes that the fashion industry should constantly challenge traditional beauty standards. He emphasises that PRM does not classify models based on rigid categories; instead, they embrace diversity within their women’s division. Trans models, models of all body types, and those with unique looks all find their place at PRM, highlighting the agency’s commitment to inclusivity.
As PRM celebrates a decade of success, John Bruce envisions a future where the agency “maintains its boutique feel while expanding its international presence”. He recognises the need to continue promoting diversity and inclusivity in the fashion industry while staying true to the agency’s core values.
John Bruce and PRM are changing the face of fashion by promoting diversity, inclusivity, and a profound commitment to the well-being of their models. With the continued support of PRM, aspiring models from all backgrounds can dream of a brighter and more inclusive future in the world of fashion.