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Model agency portfolios become outdated faster than a peroxide job, which is one of the reasons why about three dozen major fashion retailers have embraced Instant Exposure, a new online service that can update a model's files in minutes rather than the usual six-month time frame. Available since late last year at monthly rates ranging from $170 for corporations to $19 for photographers, the service offers a selection of more than 1,500 models from places like Ford Models and Tribe Model Management in New York.

Instant Exposure is easy to maneuver around in with categories for height, weight, hair color and other casting information, such as a model's sports interests and fluency in foreign languages. Thumbnail shots of talent allow users an overview of many faces at once. One of the online service's strongest features, though, is its download time of about 10 seconds, one of the fastest on the market, according to founder Bob Olejar. Clients like New York's Industria Superstudios, which is often pressed to find talent under tight deadlines, says Olejar, "now can do the equivalent of two days work in 20 minutes."

Bill Ford, licensing division president at Ford Models, says he'd shopped around for an online service for a few years, but that Instant Exposure is the first that was fast enough for his needs. "If anything is going to work," he adds, "it's got to be better and faster than a book."

While the search process is digi-quick, Olejar points out that all deals are still negotiated traditionally through modeling agencies. And while in-house ad agencies at J. Crew, Anne Klein and Bloomingdale's already have the system up and running, mainstream agencies have been slower to get wired, with Welles Rich

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