Guest: Tyron Barrington
iTunes: Stream Episode
The epitome of success in the fashion and production industries, Tyron Barrington, joins Jason Hartman as the guest for today’s Solomon Success Show. He details the way faith has marked and changed his career path and also discusses the reality of what expressing your beliefs is like in an industry that focuses on the physical and the aesthetic.
01.55 – Tyron Barrington explains the motivation for a life-changing move from a very successful career.
05.17 – When you get to the upper levels of the fashion industry, you’re rubbing shoulders with some very important people and brands.
07.04 – God is everywhere – our creative gifts come directly from Him.
11.16 – The fashion industry often seems to be very judgemental, but apparently not about faith.
13.20 – Whether you’ve grown up with faith or it’s relatively new, you can always learn from God.
15.50 – Rather than being ostracized, people of faith in the fashion industry are now given even more opportunity to voice their beliefs and act on them.
18.17 – For more information, head to www.TyronBarrington.com or www.BarringtonMGT.com
Mentioned in this episode
The Lord is My Agent And He Only Takes 10% by Tyron Barrington
Even Christians tend to put a limit on God, but God has no limits.
Humans get too comfortable. God encourages us to find different paths and reach new levels.
Sage advice: Always pray for wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company. For more information and links to all our great podcasts, visit www.HartmanMedia.com
Welcome to the Solomon Success Show, where we explore the timeless wisdom of King Solomon and the Bible as it relates to business and investing. False profits and get-rich-quick schemes are everywhere; let’s not be distracted by these. Instead, let’s go to the source – the eternal principles that create a life of peace, power and prosperity. Here’s our host, Jason Hartman.
It’s my pleasure to welcome Tyron Barrington to the Show. He is a former Top Model Agent who managed the careers of some of the world’s leading supermodels and celebrities. In 2003 at the height of his career, making six figures, he walked away from it all, based on his faith and trust in God. Now he’s a top casting director and producer. He’s cast and produced for clients such as Avon Cosmetics, Levi’s, Target, L’Oréal, Jennifer Lopez, Dolce & Gabbana, Elle and just a whole bunch of other names you would recognize, I don’t need to read the whole list. But Tyron, welcome, how are you?
I’m very well, thank you, and thank you for having me on your show.
Good. Are you coming to us from New York or Miami today?
I was in New York last week, today I’m in sunny, beautiful Miami.
There you go! Well good stuff. So tell us a little bit about your story, if you would.
Yes, your story is pretty interesting. I mean, you worked in an industry that probably isn’t very much into faith, I would assume?
Yeah. You know what, I was born on a beautiful little island called Jamaica and was blessed, because of my family I also lived in England, I’ve lived in Germany. I’ve also worked as an agent in England and in the United States, and as you said, at the height of my career in 2003, I just felt in my heart that God was saying ‘How much more Vogues, Guccis and Versaces can you do? It’s time to go to the next level.’
When you’ve become so comfortable doing all these things, you get to a point when you’re in high demand and when you’re booking all these models for all the biggest clients and the biggest brands, people tend to want you more and so they increase your earnings and the benefits they give to you. I just felt it was time to move on and didn’t know where I was going or what I was going to do next, but I stepped out in faith and just figured it’s the same God who gave me the blessings to become successful in that industry and it’s the same God that will lead me to the next chapter in my life. Basically, that’s what happened; I stepped out in faith, not sure what I was going to do and after I gave in my notice and completed the three weeks’ notice, I got on a flight and went straight to Brazil. I sat on the beach in Brazil and just kept giving God thanks.
I still didn’t know what I was going to do, and the rest is history. Today, I’ve been blessed by the same God, who blessed me to now become a – well, some people say a top casting director and producer in the fashion industry, and for me, my story is about how God works in mysterious ways and how he blesses us when we believe in him and trust him and step out in faith. That’s it, basically.
So explain the difference, if you would, between what you did then and what you do now. Not everybody who’s in the business understands the differences between your job then and now.
Before, I was managing the careers, so my job before was as a model agent. It was to find, develop and make a young girl or guy into a top model or a supermodel. I was managing their career, where they’re going – if they’re going to go and live in France, or Milan or England or Australia or in the United States – so that they have a very successful career.
Today, I’m on the other end where I’m the person and the liaison between the client and the model agent. Now I’m the middle man and the agents call me to see what I’m doing so that I can bless their models with work. Basically, my job today is to produce all these catalogs, commercials, documentaries, whatever it is, to make the clients’ brand look good, or sellable.
So who pays you? Who paid you then and who pays you now? I think that’s a helpful way to understand it.
Before, when I was an agent, the agency boss pays you to go out and get work. Today, it’s the client. When I say client, it’s a brand. When I was an agent, we would go after the brands like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Gucci, Vogue, whatever to get our models in with those clients.
Today, my job is that those clients, those same brands call me to make them look good. Before, it was my job to make the models look good, but today it’s my job to make the brands that I used to go after look good, or to create their campaigns for their catalogs, their magazines or their commercials, whatever it is.
Okay, so tell us, Tyron, about the faith angle. I’m not sure some people listening would understand the significance of that. Certainly, there are people in every industry who are believers and non-believers. You’re a believer; probably the industry you’re in isn’t a very faith-oriented industry, I would assume. What’s the angle there?
You know what? I think we tend to limit God, especially in the Church sometimes. We find that religion, I think, has put a limit on God through people and ministers and whatever. God is in everything, God is around, God created the world, He created people. I love what He said to Jeremiah: ‘Before you were even born, I knew you and I approve of you.’
In my thinking of God, God is in every aspect of our lives and He leads us through different paths. We, as Christians, sometimes say ‘Oh, God can’t be in fashion’, or ‘God can’t be in entertainment’. To me, that’s a lie from the pit of hell because who gives us creative gifts? God is the one who gives us creative gifts. There’s a chapter in the Bible in the Old Testament where it talks about the gifts that God gives to all, and one of the gifts he talks about is creativity. It talks about the designers, it talks about the jewelry makers, it talks about all of these things, even the artists.
Yet at the same time, we’ve basically put this thing on, saying that God can no way be in fashion or no way be in entertainment. God has His servants anywhere and everywhere in this world. He’s the respecter of man. He chooses whoever He pleases and allows them to spread His word and His name and His message.
So why did you have to change careers, though? I don’t know if it’s fair to say that you changed careers, I mean, you’re still in the same industry, but you’re doing a different thing. How was that part of it? What was wrong with the old career versus the new one?
There was something wrong with it. What I wanted to say is it shows that God takes through different steps in life. We, as man, become more comfortable where we are, and sometimes God just says ‘No, you’ve already done that, it’s time to go to another level’. He takes us from glory to glory to glory and He uses it as a way to get a message out to a certain group. For me in my heart, God was saying ‘Okay, I’ve already blessed you with so much, you’ve done everything that you always wanted in this part of the industry, now I need for you to go to another level. I need for you to go a different division.’
We don’t stay in High School the rest of our lives; we go to College or we go to work. We go from Grade 1 to Grade 2 and on to Grade 3. It’s the same way God works; He takes us through different steps in life. At that point in my life in 2003, I felt God was saying ‘Okay, you’ve done enough in this area, in this part as a manager, as an agent for models. Now I want you to go because I’ve got work for you to do.’
Now it’s different. Now I take the message in different parts – now I’m with the clients, before I was with the models. And now I’m able to reach different people in different parts of the world. As a producer and a casting director, I now spend more time traveling a lot more, even though I traveled a lot as a model agent. I now live between Miami, New York and Paris, and clients sometimes send us to different parts of the world. A client may decide that they want to do their fashion campaign, or whatever they want, on an island or in Europe or in the desert, or wherever. I’ve been blessed to go to so many different parts of the world as a producer and be able to talk to people about Christ or show Christ through my actions. That’s what I think.
God takes us from different levels, from different stages in life to others. He doesn’t make us just become comfortable. We become comfortable but what I love about Abraham is that He sent Abraham out. Abraham’s Father was, in my thinking, probably given the same message because he got content where he was. That’s why the Lord had to say to Abraham ‘Leave your family and go to a place that I show you’. That’s what I think the Lord has done with me. He’s taken me from one place to another to be able to share His word.
Do you find it difficult that maybe people in your industry exclude you or even discriminate against you because you’re a person of faith?
On the contrary, no! I actually find that people have a lot more respect for me when I share my faith. I’m not the kind of person that goes and beats people over the head saying ‘Oh, if you don’t do this, you’re going to hell’. I don’t think that’s the right way to reach people. I think by your actions, your actions speak far louder than your words at times. We’re very good at ‘rattatattattattata’ but I think our actions is what draws people to Christ. In the fashion industry, yeah, you get people sneer and stuff like that, but on the whole, I find that the majority of people are very respectful and embracing of my faith.
In fact, people still call me to pray for them. These are non-believers who ask me to pray for them. I remember once, there was a client and she was never a believer. At the end of my emails, I always say ‘Have a blessed day’ and I remember her saying a few years back, ‘You know what, I really loved that’. She would say that she’d get up and even if she’d been having a bad day, she would look forward to my email because my email would send out a blessing – ‘Have a blessed day’. This was someone who didn’t grow up in the Church, who didn’t know about Christ or anything, and she made it clear that she didn’t know anything about it. And this is just one.
There are many countless numbers of people who have actually thanked me for sharing my faith and speaking out about Christ. In the business, no, I’ve never felt bashed or anything like that. Not at all.
Fantastic, that’s good to hear. Did you become a person of faith right before you changed your part in the industry, or were you always a person of faith?
I grew up in the Church. We basically went to an Anglican Church, it’s called Church Of England, I think. My grandfather was a mentor or – I’m trying to find the word. He set an example and he was always showing us. One of the things he told me as a child – he studied the Book of Prophets – and something he always told me as a young man was ‘Always pray for wisdom, understanding and knowledge. Always ask God to be first.’
Even when I would just say ‘Yeah yeah yeah’, I went to Church but as a teenager you do whatever. I never lost sight of my faith and I believe God. I sincerely believe God and to this point, I still believe God and I still trust God. Along the way, my faith got stronger and stronger over the years, and finding other believers in the fashion industry was incredible. When you find other believers who love the Lord and who were in this creative field – some would share their faith, but some would come up and say ‘Oh, I can see that you’re a man of God’ and I would always say ‘Well, I love the Lord, I love Christ’. None of us are perfect.
Along the way, my faith kept growing, and the more my faith grew, the more I see God in everything.
So I’ve got to just ask you a little bit more, Tyron, about the industry. Really, I don’t think anybody listening would consider the fashion industry to be an industry where faith would be accepted or where it would even be popular at all. I think most people would consider it more of an industry of party-ers and that type of thing. Can you speak to any percentages or information or background on that? That’s why I asked if you were ostracized at all. It wouldn’t surprise me if you were, but I’m glad to hear you weren’t.
Right now, I can think of one moment of someone being very disrespectful, and it was an agent from Spain. In fact, at the last model agency I was working at, even though my boss wasn’t a Christian, he allowed me to play Christian music in the agency, so I would put on my Christian tapes and listen. The other agents were fine about it, nobody complained. I remember one day, and I think this was a year before I left the business – an agent came in from Spain and we were playing some Christian music and she went to my boss and said ‘Please have them turn that thing off, we’re not at some Cathedral, this is not Ave Maria!’ or something like that.
I was actually a bit taken aback and my boss told me she didn’t want to hear it in there. Mind you, over all these years, he didn’t care, but it troubled her. That was the only time I can actually think of. I’m sure people said things behind my back, but I didn’t hear it and nobody said it to my face. On the contrary, people would ask me to pray for them. In the fashion industry, there are many people who are Christians, it’s just that a lot of them don’t say it. We even have an organization called Models for Christ, and this organization has all these top supermodels who are Christians. Some of them say ‘Okay, we won’t do certain jobs’. Some of the girls won’t do lingerie or won’t advertise cigarettes or alcohol, and some just basically won’t do certain things on a photoshoot, but others just say ‘Okay, this is what my faith says and this what I will and won’t do’.
There are models out there, there are creative people out there who are Christians, and there are certain churches in New York that a lot of them attend and you see them all the time. There are many Christians out there in the fashion industry.
Tyron, give out your website, if you would.
It’s www.TyronBarrington.com, and I also have another website, and that’s www.BarringtonMGT.com
For management? Barrington Management, okay. Good. Tyron, just out of curiosity, what’s going on in the world of fashion nowadays? That’s a huge question, obviously, but just a quick answer to that.
What’s going on in the world of fashion today? So much! If you follow fashion, you’ll stay behind because fashion changes every day, it changes every season, and that could cause shackles in someone’s life. I think just being focused on your faith and your trust in God, and keep doing what you know in your heart is right. Don’t let fashion dictate your life, I guess that’s what I want to say. Because fashion changes every day, like one changes their underwear, or whatever, and that’s what fashion does. You can become a slave to it, so the whole thing is to not let it become such a priority in your life, but keep God as a priority. Follow where God leads you.
Good stuff. Tyron Barrington, thank you so much for joining us today.
No problem, and don’t forget to pick up my book!
And where can people get that?
The book is called The Lord is My Agent And He Only Takes 10%.
[Laughs]. I love that, I always thought if God can live on 10%, why is it that the Government needs almost 50%?
In the fashion industry, they take 20% from the models and they take 20% from the client, but the wonderful thing about the Lord is that He only asks us to give back a tenth of what He’s blessed us with. If we only understand by giving back a tenth – usually the Lord tests us to see if we’re really doing it, and sometimes we wonder why we’re in such a state of lack, and it’s because we tend to take the 100% and not give back at least the 10%. Whether it’s to a church or whether it’s to an organization that’s sending out missionaries or helping your neighbors or people in need, but that’s basically what the reasons are for the book. It’s tongue in cheek, it’s called The Lord is My Agent And He Only Takes 10% and it can be purchased on Amazon.com or on my website, www.TyronBarrington.com. It’s an interesting read!
Good stuff. Yeah, well thank you so much. Tyron Barrington, thanks for joining us.
Thank you so much for having me, I wish you God’s blessings for this year and many years to come.
This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, all rights reserved. For distribution or publication rights and media interviews, please visit www.HartmanMedia.com or email [email protected] Nothing on this show should be considered specific personal or professional advice. Please consult an appropriate tax, legal, real estate or business professional for individualized advice. Opinions of guests are their own and the host is acting on behalf of Platinum Properties Investor Network Inc. exclusively.