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Northern Styles, Smex Native Talent Top Native Model / Ripoff -deceptive, shady, unethical businesses

1 444 Queen St West 3rd floor Toronto, Ontario, Canada Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 416-792-1853

A Toronto-Based Agency and subsidiary companies Lure Hundreds of Consumers with Exaggerated Promises of Lucrative Modeling/Acting Jobs

Toronto Ontario -Owner Charmaine Logan of Northern Styles, SMEX-Spirit Model Agency, Native Talent Agency & Top Native Model are deceptive, shady, unethical businesses with no integrity and does not pay their employees.

Scamming since 1995 -Charmaine Logan owner of Northern Styles and subsidiaries was found and ordered to pay unpaid wages and reprisal pursuant to section 102 of the Employment Standards Act 2000 . The Ontario Labour Board found in favour of her executive administrator and now ex employee.

These business scam operations ran by Ms Logan continue to conduct fraudulent and misleading business practices. These types of companies have no intention of delivering on what it promises. They make big promises and states “they employ” there models but usually ask for money up front. This is a fine example of a modeling scam. These companies and the owner Ms Logan and there reps claims to have work but really what they are doing is trying to sell photo shoots and modeling courses to aspiring models.

SMEX, Native Talent & Northern Styles and Top Native Model charges talent for the following:

ULTIMATE Models Guidebook for $20.00 which most of the information can be found on the internet
Comp Cards, All Prices include lay out and design. Delivery fees will be applicable.
4 X 6 500 cards - double sided full colour $ 199
4 X 6 1000 cards - double sided full colour $ 299
5 X 7 500 cards - double sided full colour $ 249
5 x 7 1000 cards - double sided full colour $ 299

A Photo shoot $100 this includes: One look with style and pose assistance (All photos on CD).

A 4-6 hour seminar at a cost of $175 per participant these seminars a ran in Calgary Edmonton Winnipeg and Toronto

Training to First Nations “FASHION FOCUS- Esteem & Employment Program” a two day workshop $ 3000.00

Top Native Model entrant fees: $125 junior $175 Adult

In the SMEX executive outline; it states the following: Applicable to all reps of NS, NT and SMEX- Seminar Commission- each person that refers a paid participant in any of the NS and NT summer seminars will receive $25 per paid participant. Be sure and instruct your participant to input your name as the promotional person for their registration. Failure to do so will result in loss of commission fee.
If you look at these businesses web sites it’s a pay online with no refund policies.

With promises of big breaks in their future, unknowingly these people who pay these fees to these companies see little in return. Would-be models and actors and employees are still being ripped off and young people desperate for fame are charged up-front fees but not found work.

These Toronto based company, and its affiliates, are misrepresenting and deceiving these young people to become models and actors, and misleading consumers to believe they “Create Employment”. In order to convince the consumer to pay for the training program, the owner and reps falsely represent that they are highly selective in their scouting, screening and review process; that acceptance into their training program is extremely limited.

The most common modeling agency scam is what is known as a "portfolio mill" or "photo mill". This company makes it money by sending models to photographers that are ON STAFF to shoot expensive photos to produce worthless portfolios and comp cards. Ms Logan has an in-house photographer and with herself, prints her photos on a basic Lexmark printer and buys printing paper from the dollar store. In return you are charged $100.00 per shoot.

This agency does not make much money by booking real work. Instead, they sign up anyone and everyone for low quality photo shoots and book very few jobs, if any.

DO NOT BE THE VICTIM-For all aspects of modeling try to learn as much as possible before investing your time or money.

A real agency will not ask you for money for photography services, enlargements or comp card printing. They may suggest a few places, but they will advise you go see them on your own.

A real agency will not ask you for money for photography services, enlargements or comp card printing. They may suggest a few places, but they will advise you go see them on your own.
Never pay an agency for the "privilege" of having them represent you or for "classes" or runway training or pictures.

In fact, NEVER buy anything from or through a model or talent agency. Under no circumstances should an agency require you to attend a particular class or to buy anything from them - not books, not photos, not classes, not workshops, not runway training, not tote bags, not "exposure" on web sites or on CDs.

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  • De
      30th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    I did some through research on this company, and discovered that they have actually gotten talent on Fashion File, FTV, APTN, numerous magazines, national commercials and countless ads. Better than most out there and the prices seem below fair market value. Also spoke with a couple people that have worked with them for years, they stated they love being a part of company and are dispapointed that the author has taken such a shameful attitude regarding their dismissal. They gave me a huge list of happy clients and others that have been associated with them for quite sometime.

    This post is no doubt from someone angry who probably couldnt suceed as a model.

  • Vi
      4th of Nov, 2008
    +1 Votes

    you say you did some through research on this company, and discovered that they have actually gotten talent on Fashion File, FTV, APTN, numerous magazines, national commercials and countless ads.
    Can you list the names of the magazines and national commercials and ads that this comapny did ?

  • Je
      15th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have worked in the fashion industry for nearly 5 years as model. I have seen the pictures from the photographers that have worked with this company and they are very impressive. I have invested thousands of dollars into my career and $100 for a shoot of their quality is an amazing price and very affordable. Anyone that hs any experiense will know this price is great, most shooters charge at least double that per hour. i agree that the author sound like someone who has nothing better to do than try and make themself look good by making others look bad. He or she probably has no life and sits at computer all day plotting revenge.

  • Ac
      19th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    As a concerned mother and what bad things go among with the modeling industry I think we as parents should be concerned with companies that take advantage of girls who are lied too saying that a girl who is 5 foot and a little chubby has a chance to be a fashion model. We as parents have to inform kids do not know and give up money; if you look at it at minimum wage they save thats alot of money. As the author states this com[any was taking to the labour board which causes a great concern. I think the author also is warning people not to be duped by companies that take your money

  • Sh
      24th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have 3 daughters, two of which have taken the NS courses. Both of them have grown in their mini career, and now help with other workshops for the company. I got to sit and watch the workshops and they dont promise anyone to be a model. Seemed like it was 'the catch' to get the kids interested while they drilled them on other personal stuff liek peer issues and self esteem. The owner DID NOT sugar coat the world of modeling. She informed her class about the realities of a 'model' career and states that its a fun way to learn about confidence and they teach about all types of other fashion jobs, like designing, photography, media. Their presentation and staff were AWESOME!

    Just because your daughter might be a little on the chubby side, doesnt mean they cant work in the fashion industry, and I love that this company teaches that. And yes, the courses are very affordable, I phoned every other agency in my city before I made the decision to spend, and it was a wise choice, just ask my kids. plus Im always happy spending my money on Native products and services.

    This post is kind of silly, and I would bet anything that its just someone that was mad at the owner, sadly, he or she is probably native too. We have too many ugly saboteur type people in our native community, so thats why i took the time to write here and let others know that theres many of us who love Northern Styles and the good things they all do for our kids.


  • Ra
      28th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    well i think that if your running an agency and sometimes the agency needs to make money as well to run the agency sometimes things get slow and then agency needs to pay office rental, utilities and the owners need to be paid. Well i see nothing wrong with taking photos, courses, workshops, etc.

    Training is training and you want to train your clients to become professionals thats how they land jobs.

    so if you think that talent agencies are rip offs because they charge to take courses and shoots, that is not true.

    Yeah maybe if they are promising everyone that walks in the door that they will be guarentee a job, well thats different.

    I hope that all native business' run good, and hope the best for all native run business' because it is hard you have jealous people from all over the place wanting to shoot you down.

    God bless all our business'


  • Na
      7th of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    The Ontario Labour Board found Ms Logan and owner of Northern Styles in violation of wage, vacation and termination provisions of the Ontario Employment Standards Act.

    An ORDER had been issued to Ms Logan. To date, the employer, has neither complied with the Order, nor requested a review.

    Ms Logan owes her former employee $2865.86
    FILE #70034832-4- Charmaine Logan Operating as Northern Styles

  • Bi
      3rd of Dec, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I knew Charmaine many years ago, and I can say from reading the intial complaint she has not changed one bit. She might not reach into your pocket and take your last $20, but she will distract you enought to get you to take your wallet out and have you drop it on the ground. When you walk away, not realizing you dropped it, she will pick it up and gleefully and skip away. She is a scammer, always has been, always will be. She knows the way to the wallets is through the kids and putting on a show for the parents so they will keep giving her their money. I have to LOL at her printing off the photos on her lexmark with paper from the dollar store. That is totally typical Charmaine. Nice.

  • Ha
      9th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Typical hataz, bet all these posts bout some ### that gone done pissed off by Charm. I been workin with her crew for nearly 4 years. She gives me and my brothers work with our peoples and we love it. Juz cuz someone gonna make money doin' sometin peeps want dont mean... ya gotta be hatin'. Nativez gotta rise up and support eachother foolz! Stop acting white and act right!

  • Ca
      13th of Nov, 2011
    0 Votes

    does anyone have info on the "sister shoot session" held here in Edmonton in Sept.2011. Anyone get a reciept or the pics in the mail?

  • Lm
      5th of Dec, 2011
    0 Votes

    I am happy, but also sad to hear about Charmaine Logan. To see her not follow through with her promises she made to her clients and to have a whole company based around reaching young native girls across Canada is taking it too far. Even if you are "native" or " white"! If Charmaine Logan was " white" this would be the biggest story in the news!

  • Su
      1st of Apr, 2013
    +1 Votes

    Charm Logan is a convicted prostitute, she is NOT a role model for women. She struggles with alcohol and cocaine while leaching off of the success of others. She still isn't paying her employees to date.

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