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Shay Nielsen

Casting Director

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The BoF 500 is the definitive professional index of the people shaping the $2.4 trillion fashion industry, hand-selected by the editors of The Business of Fashion, based on hundreds of nominations received from current BoF 500 members, extensive data analysis and research.


The casting director has worked in the fashion and entertainment industry for twenty years, building up an extensive client list that includes Gucci, Calvin Klein , Levi’s and Louis Vuitton.

Since launching her own agency in Los Angeles in 2013, Nielsen has steadily sourced talent for advertising campaigns such as Calvin Klein’s fall 2016 photo series, which features a line-up of celebrities like Kate Moss , Kendall Jenner and Frank Ocean, alongside lesser known faces.

After graduating from the Academy of Art University in 2001, Nielsen’s career began as a casting agent for the prominent agency The Establishment, working for fashion shows, editorials and advertising campaigns such as DKNY, Rodarte and Apple.

She subsequently became the senior celebrity licensing agent at IMG-owned Art + Commerce, collaborating with photographers including Steven Meisel , Ellen Von Unwerth and Carter Smith on producing celebrity content. Her work was regularly featured in fashion publications such as Vanity Fair, Vogue, Glamour, GQ and i-D.

In 2013, Nielsen opened her own creative consulting agency specialising in fashion and entertainment. She has spearheaded fashion’s diversity movement, casting unknown or alternative faces for commercial and fashion campaigns. “My job is no longer just about finding a beautiful face. We now look for diversity and uniqueness as much as anything. Brands aren’t afraid to put their clothes on people of different sizes or backgrounds anymore,” she told Flair.


Art & Commerce

Art & Commerce

Senior Celebrity Licensing Agent

2008 - 2012

New York, United Staes

The Establishment

The Establishment

Casting Agent

New York, United States


Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University

San Francisco, California

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United States

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