Profession: Booker

Portrait: Tomás Monteiro

She is one of today’s most respected Portuguese bookers. It was at Da Banda, “a boutique modelling agency founded in Luanda and focused on scouting, guiding and incentivising the careers of exceptional models,” that Sandra Teixeira found a space to make history and launch the careers of some of today’s most sought-after models.

Her first steps in the world of fashion were as a model. “They were the best years of my life before I became a mother,” she says. “The modelling career,” she adds, “allowed me to travel the world, discover new cultures and meet extraordinary people.”

“Because I love the profession, I miss the entire experience, especially those past times and the memories created with the people I worked with.” As a model, she worked all over Asia, in Australia and many European countries. She learned important lessons that she now shares with the models at Da Banda.

In 2000 Sandra decided to change direction without forgetting her passion for fashion. “I made this radical change when I reached 30. I was invited by a Portuguese commercial agency to open a fashion department. I spent thirteen years at that agency: when I left it was considered one of the best in the country, representing the best Portuguese fashion models at that time.”

A booker is often anonymous, but it is still a demanding role. While they are often behind the scenes on the big stages, bookers are particularly responsible for finding young talent, to ensure they are properly trained and provide constant monitoring: aspects that, when combined, can make the biggest difference to the international recognition of a model. Sandra Teixeira has not forgotten all the steps she has taken to get her where she is today. “I have been lucky to have the best mentors, who have all done a fantastic job with me. I have learned a lot. They helped me understand the importance of the booker for a model’s career. I am looking to be more complete, to create the conditions necessary to ensure my models are successful.”

Discovering talent is often difficult. In addition to the basic requirements of height, body, skin and personality, Sandra relies “entirely on instinct.” It is an innate quality that has helped her launch the careers of Amilna Estevão, Alécia Morais and Blésnya Minher.

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