A Hong Kong modeling agency has been accused of defaulting on payments to its fashion models, with the company’s boss said to be evading the aggrieved workers.
At least 20 models who worked for HKGenesis Model Management have complained that they have not been paid their fees, according to Apple Daily.
One person is reported to have not received her fees for more than a year.
“We didn’t receive any payment and cannot find the person in charge. It is a fraud,” a model was quoted as saying.
Ten of the models went to Mong Kok Police station on Wednesday and filed cases against the agency. They are said to be owed more than HK$200,000.
When an Apple Daily reporter visited the agency’s premises, the office was no longer there. A security person at the building said the company had moved out in December.
The reporter then tried to contact Frankie Tam, the person in charge of the modeling agency, but failed to reach him. The reporter then went in search of the apartment where Tam had lived.
A woman answered the door but there was no sign of Tam. It was indicated to the reporter that the company went into arrears as it was suffering losses.
According to models, HKGenesis Model Management firm never signs long-term contracts with its workers.
A fashion boutique owner, who bears the surname Wong, was quoted as saying that she became a part-time model with HKGenesis after her friend referred her to the firm. She participated in two assignments — a campaign video for the Fire Department and a jewelry roadshow.
She was supposed to receive HK$11,000 as fee for the two jobs. But the agency failed to meet its obligations to make the payment within 60 days.
Tam is reported to have told Wong that the agency has to take care of its contracted models first, and that her fee will be paid later.
When Wong made some follow-up calls, Tam would not answer the phone.
“The industry normally pays models after a month or two. Clients say they have already paid the agency, but we have not received the fee,” said Wong, describing it as a case of cheating.
The agency is said to have faced lawsuits from some models, but the matter is not resolved yet, according to the report.
– Contact us at [email protected]