The word Lumpen refers to the dispossessed, the unskilled, the uneducated... But it is also the name of a Model Agency located in Moscow. It was founded by Avdotja Alexandrova, a filmmaker.
Lumpen provides models that are exclusive Russian faces from all over the world, so they are all connected to Russia. Some were born there, some have Russian mothers... But they aren't necessarily ethnically Russian. Alexandrova says that for her films she prefers faces that can tell a story, and no matter what the face looks like. She doesn't matter about the typical standards of beauty and she prefers originality
It was the distinctive Russian faces that the agency provides and the contrast to its names, what made the biggest names in fashion start turning to this exactly modeling agency. And less than two years after launching, they have already cast models in major fashion shows like Vetements, Kanye West, Lanvin and Comme des Garçons. Also Kayne West used Serva, a Lumpen model, and Alexandrova's boyfriend, as a fit model for his clothing brand Yeezus. And eight of the twelve men that walked in Comme des Garçons' Autumn-Winter 2017 Homme Plus show, were provided by Lumpen.
The diversity of models provided by Lumpen may make them avoid the criticism against some ot its clients, like Vetements and Balenciaga that have been criticized for their casting choices, because the latter's Fall-Winter '16 show featured no black models. But in Lumpen the color doesn't matter, and they have half-African guys, European-type looks...
I really like the ideology of this modeling agency. I think that Alexandrova had a great idea choosing special faces and forgetting about the typical standards of beauty. It made Lumpen succeed because of its originality.
I think that this is a start of the change of beauty standards in our society and it could open the eyes of people and show them other types of beauty.