To Become Fashion Model before thinks you need to know
From the outside, we see modelling as a very glamorous career. However, this is not true. If you are serious and want to become a model in your life, then you need to know the insides of modelling.
You have to learn everything about the fashion industry and where you fit in the industry as a model. He or she has to know his/her place in the fashion industry otherwise they are going to lose in the crowd.
Therefore, this article is an attempt to guide young wannabe models to choose their careers wisely. After going through this article you will get an idea of how to steer your modelling career. So keep on reading.
Usually, a modelling career does not require any special qualifications. If you like, then you can start your career right after 10+2 or high school. In other words, you don’t require any college degree to kick start your modelling career.
In the USA, female models start their modelling careers as young as 16. They are just out of high school and start working with a modelling agency. So educational qualification is not an issue.
In countries like India, you can become a model after the age of 18.
However, you do need to meet certain criteria based on your physique and personality. As you read this article you will come to realize modelling is all about physical attributes and attitude.
Why do You want to Become a Model?
Before you embark on to your new modelling career you need to ask a few questions to yourself. Like why do you want to be a fashion model?
What Are You Going for?
Do you want to be a model just for fun or considering it a serious career option? Many young aspirants want to enter this field for a short period of time, make some quick bucks and leave this industry permanently.
On the other hand, there are aspirants who want to take modelling as a serious career option. They are up for a long haul. They even had a dream of acting in movies or television. So you have to decide what you are going for.
How Long Does it Take to Become Successful?
The short answer is, “yes, it takes time”. It takes a few years before you break the ice. As I said earlier in this article, from the outside modelling looks glamorous and attractive however from the inside you have to slog it out.
In modelling, you have to keep on improving your portfolio. You always add something new to it once you have completed a project. You have to build your portfolio great enough so that you start getting big projects. It takes time before you achieve that.
The reality Of the Modeling Industry
The fashion industry may look glamorous from the outside but being a model you have to face the realities of this industry.
Where do You Fit in?
To be honest in the fashion industry a model is placed at the bottom of the pyramid.
Here is the hierarchy.
- Creative Director
- Art Director
- Fashion Editor
- Hair and Make-Up Artist
At the top of the pyramid, there is a Creative Director than an editor and so on. The model works under the stylist and make-up artists. So you do not have any contact with the creative director and others in the fashion industry.
Being a model is very normal in the fashion industry. You have to work very hard.
What Should a Model Look Like?
The standards are very high so you must possess the necessary physical attributes and personality traits. Height and weight are the two most important factors.
Competition is so tough that if you don’t have perfect looks then you will fail to make it in this industry.
How to Become a Fashion Model?
In order to become a successful model, you can divide the entire phase into 3 different stages.
Stage 1: Filtering Process
The first stage is the filtering process. You have to be realistic here. Not every one of you can be a model. Hence those of you who don’t have the required attributes need to filter out themselves. Modelling is purely an image-based industry.
Basic Physical Attributes
Height: Female it must be 5.5” and above.
Weight: Female must look skinny.
However, height and weight are very basic. You also need to have an attractive face. It must be photogenic. Some people have a great face but they are too short.
While others have great height but their face is not good enough. You need to have both of them. You must know your clothing measurements like dress size, hip, waist, chest/bust and even shoe size.
Moreover, hair colour, eye colour and skin tone also matter. You have to jot down all your physical measurements. If you don’t have the required stats mentioned above, then you may not apply or even think of becoming a model.
Physical appearance is very important, modeling is all about having a great body and personality. Your top to bottom will be analyzed. So be realistic and ask yourself, do you really possess the above-mentioned attributes.
Match Your Modelling Goals with Your Body Type
You have to match your modelling goals with the type of body you have. Usually, there are two types of models, editorial and commercial. Although these two types can be interchangeable they have a big difference.
Editorial models have really high standards. Models that you see inside the pages of a magazine. They are the most beautiful girls with a perfect bodies and are at least 5.9’’ (female) tall with a pretty face.
These models are specifically for high fashion. Editorial models absolutely don’t look like an average person. You can call them supermodels like Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen, Tyra Banks etc.
On other hand, commercial models are the Girl Next Door type. They may look like the average person and have lower physical standards compared to editorial models.
You can see these models in advertisements like diet coke or Walgreen etc. So you have to choose between these two types according to your body.
As a matter of fact, in the industry only 10% to 20% of models are editorial models, the rest of them are commercial models. Those models who can’t become editorials models end up becoming commercial models.
Different Categories of Modelling
Editorial and Commercial models can be further divided into different types of modellings.
Fashion models come under editorials models. These high fashion models can be seen in advertisements and magazine covers for most popular brands like Channel, Prada, Armani, Dolce and Gabbana etc.
Runaway or Ramp Model
They are also editorial models but they will walk down the ramp. Ramp models of runaway models must have perfect bodies and attitudes.
They are also editorial models, Promotional models are like a brand ambassadors for a product. They are going to communicate between the product and the people. They can be seen in events or functions organized by their companies.
Swimsuit and Lingerie Model
These models are only for posing for swimsuits and lingerie products. They must have the perfect body.
A Plus-Size Model
If your body is full and curvaceous then you can become A Plus-size model. To put it bluntly, women who are a bit plump come under this category. There are other types also like child models, mature models, fitness models etc.
Still Model – Show Room or Trade Show Model
Still, models can be considered commercial models that can be seen in showrooms, trade shows etc. They can be hired by textile companies or retailers, posing for their garments and other products.
TV models can be seen in TV commercials for different categories like clothing, grocery items, medicine, health and fitness etc.
Print models can be considered commercial models that can be seen inside magazines, newspapers, calendars and other forms of still photography.
Stage 2: Building Your Portfolio
Once you know your modelling niche, you need to start building a killer portfolio. Your portfolio is everything.
What is a Portfolio?
The portfolio is just like a resume for which candidates apply for a job. Your modelling career will much depend upon how well you build your portfolio. So your first and foremost step should be creating a Portfolio.
You are going to show your portfolio to various modelling agencies, fashion designers and advertising firms. They are going to select you as a model only after looking through your portfolio.
A portfolio contains professionally clicked photographs of yours. These photos must bring out the best in you. All the photos must reflect your best features like eyes, jaw, face, and smile.
Include stats and all other salient features of your body. If you have already done some projects, then include all your work in the portfolio. You must know what you have to put in your portfolio.
All your photos in the portfolio must be professionally taken. Always be honest while putting photos in your portfolio. Building a killer portfolio is the first step in your modelling career.
Few Things to Consider Before Submitting Portfolio
Before you build your final portfolio for submission you must be mindful of a few things.
- Take very natural-looking pictures with very minimal make-up. You must come off very natural and raw in your photos. No Photoshop.
- There should be no weird poses. Stick to three poses, headshot, body shot and profile shot.
- All photographs must be recent and taken within one month.
- You will be going to so many casting so keep on developing your portfolio.
- Be honest with your body measurements.
- Finally, the most important thing about a portfolio is honesty. It is not going to work if you look so different in person from what you look in your photos. A modelling agency will really get angry when they find out you absolutely look different from what you are in your portfolio while meeting them.
Stage 3: Applying and Getting Signed On
Once you are done creating a great portfolio now you need to start applying.
Choosing a Modeling Career
Before you apply for a modelling job you need to know some basic facts about the industry. Here networks and connections with people matter.
You have to stay in touch with all the relevant people like photographers, agents, agencies etc. I want to give a piece of advice, treat modelling as a serious job.
You have to be professional and polite. It is a full-time occupation and demands your attention. Otherwise, you are not going to survive in this industry.
If you have a great body, face and personality then you might get discovered by an agent/recruiter.
What Are Agents/ Recruiters Looking for?
Physical Attributes: If you have great physical attributes like body, height, face, eyes, and jaws then you might get noticed while you are in college or school.
Attitude and Personality: Just physical attributes are not enough if they are not complemented by attitude. If you can move your body and walk confidently then an agent will pick you up.
However, let us face the reality not every one of you will get discovered by an agent/ recruiter unless you have a great body and face. So you have to explore other avenues.
What Do You Have to Pay For?
Before you start making money being a model you need to invest something. Usually, a model has to spend on the following three things.
For creating a professional portfolio or model book you have to pay for your first set of photographs. Your first shoot is called a test shoot. Agency will choose a photographer for you.
Agents/Recruiter will have a package deal with the photographer and makeup artist so that you pay less for the shoots. Usually, test shoots can cost anything between $400 and $1600.
Although it is going to depend upon the agencies on average it will be $1000 (including paying photographers and makeup artists).
Total Test Shoot Cost
$800 – $1000 for a Photographer
$150 – $300 for Hair and Makeup
$200 – $300 for the Stylist
Total Cost = $400 – $1600 for a test shoot.
Model book is usually given by the agency and it can cost over $100.
Printing your photos can cost you $10 per photo. So adding up all, you have to spend anything between $1000 and $2000 for starting your modelling career.
Cost may vary from country to country.
Here few things to keep in mind whenever you visit an agency for an interview or casting.
What to Wear?
1. For casting you can wear a white T-Shirt, hair brush and light makeup like mascara, lipstick etc. Just a basic make-up kit is enough.
2. Make sure you do not wear baggy clothes because agents would like to see your body shape. So wear tight clothes.
3. Wear matching lingerie or swimwear under your clothes. Agents may ask you to strip down to see your inner body.
- Confirm whether you want to bring your own makeup artist to the site or not.
- Always be truthful about your body measurements to the agency.
- You can also make a video by yourself and submit it to the agencies.
- After the interview, you need to ask them how long you have to wait to hear back from them.
- Ask them for feedback.
I hope you’ve got sufficient information on how to become a model from this article and you will start your modelling career soon.
Mrs Vicky m Bournel has made this magazine proud. She is not only an Author from America for Lakkars Magazine she is the Chief Editor of Lakkars Magazine for the articles.