Gaby Young's Mannequin Agency Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

By Mark McConville


STUNNING retro pictures have offered a behind-the-scenes look at the famous Gaby Young Agency during the 1950s and 60s.

The incredible images show a model learning the correct way to walk in 1965 with her tummy in and pelvis forward, young hopefuls being interviewed by Gaby Young herself in 1950 and Young and her secretary coping with busy telephone that don’t seem to stop ringing as one call a minute comes through to the West End office.

THIS MODEL BUSINESS. Scenes at the West end office of the Gaby Young Mannequin Agency. She has nearly 90 girls on the files and there is a constant demand for their services. Elizabeth Chantler has come in to check with Miss Young about her engagement. It can all be done in a moment by consulting one of the charts on which all models and all their dates are noted. 1950. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Other striking shots show Gaby Young modelling a Reveille coat in 1951, one of Gaby Young’s models walking along Regent Street on her way to work and a model pupil practicing the sitting position she learnt the previous week, with hands clasped neatly on her knee and legs on the opposite side.

Gaby Young and her secretary Jean Turner, cope with a battery of busy telephones. A successful model agency is conducted very much by phone call. The Gaby Young office is at present on a top floor (good for the figure) off Haymarket, but she is keeping an eye open for something rather bigger. 1950. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

The remarkable photographs reveal the inner workings of one of the UK’s top modelling agencies during the 1950s and 60s.

The Gaby Young Agency was originally known as the Gaby Young Mannequin Agency as models were known as mannequins in those days.

Members of the Mantle and Costume Manufacturers Export Group of Great Britain today presented a parade of English tailored coats and suits at the Grosvenor Hotel Ballroom, Park Lane, London, England. Seen here: Gaby Young wears a Reveille Model at today’s parade. It is a bottle green velvet classic suit with large flap pockets trimmed with bronze jet buttons. 29 May 1951. Mediadrumimages / TopFoto

Gaby Young-MacKinnon started off as one of Christian Dior’s muse and house models and later started her own atelier in Mallorca, Spain.