How to become a Fashion Model

How to Become a Successful FASHION Model...

...A lot of people want to be a model because it's glamorous and lucrative. They may want to be recognized in the modeling world. Modeling is extremely competitive, and the industry is filled with rejection, but successful models spend their time doing something that they love. Knowing what to expect when entering the world of modeling can help prepare you to become a model...

Naomi Campbell

A - Mastering the Basics of Modeling

1. Be healthy inside

Eat and drink healthy foods and get plenty of exercise. Having a healthy body will help you look your best.

  • Fitness is important. Consider working with a trainer who works specifically with models. Tell him about your modeling goals and how you want to look, and ask for a tailored exercise regimen that will support those goals.
  • Eat right. Contrary to what some people tell you, you should eat healthy foods, as well as healthy amounts of food. Veggies, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins should make up the basics of your diet. Sugars, starches, empty carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats should be avoided as much as possible.
  • Be sure to drink a lot of water. Avoid sodas (even diet sodas) and minimize your alcohol intake

2. Maintain your appearance

Take care to make yourself look healthy and well-groomed. What you wear and how you carry yourself are important as well, but you should have a routine that supports the health of your skin and hair:

  • Focus on keeping your skin clear and glowing. Wash your face in the morning and at night, exfoliate once a week, and remember to wash your makeup off before you go to sleep.
  • Keep your hair shiny and healthy. Some agencies and managers prefer the "natural greasy look," so it may be okay if you prefer to minimally shower.

3. Match your modeling goals to your body type

Technically, anybody can be a model. However, if you don't meet certain requirements, the work available to you will be incredibly limited or you may have to compensate in other areas (reliability, technique, etc

  • A Plus-Sized Model: If your body is full and curvaceous, you may be able to be a plus size model.
  • A Runway Model: Most women on the catwalk are at least 5'8 and commonly small-breasted. Men are mostly between 5'11 and 6'2.
  • A Print Model: Most editorial female models are at least 5'7, but a beautiful face with great personality are the most important features for print models.
  • An Underwear Model: For women, this requires large breasts but small hips. For men, this requires broad shoulders but slim waists.
  • An Alternative Model: Some agencies hire alternative models: models who do not conform to the industry “standards” of beauty, height, and weight. Additionally, having a specific passion or cause that you're working towards can help open doors that may be closed due based on a body feature that does not “fit industry standards”.[3]
  • Other Types of Modeling: If you don't fit any of the face or body descriptions, perhaps you can be a foot, hair, or hand model

4. Consider situational modeling

If you do not think the runway or magazines are the place for you, look into other types of modeling. Companies use models for special events or to promote specific products. There are fewer restrictions on body type and more emphasis on personality for these modeling jobs.

  • A Promotional Model: Some companies want their customer base to interact directly with models who are generally attractive with likable personalities to promote their brand. You may see these models in grocery stores, events, or clubs promoting things like food, liquor, or new products.
  • A Spokesmodel: Spokesmodels are hired to be consistently associated with a specific brand. Contrary to popular thought, spokesmodels don't always have to verbally promote the brand.
  • A Trade Show Model: This type of model is hired by companies or brands to advertise to attendees at a trade show tent or booth. These models are typically not employed by the company but hired as "freelance" models for the event.

Gisele Bündchen

5. Consider your "look

The look that you communicate can be made up of both your body type and your style. There is more of a curvy California look, a svelte and sophisticated New York look, a waif-like European look, and a boy- or girl-next-door look. Know what you're equipped with, but also try to pull off other looks

6. Educate yourself about the industry

Learn as much as you can from reading books, blogs, and articles about modeling.[4]

Reading quality guides, articles, and books will help you improve important skills (like posing and posture) and better understand how the industry works (such as how to find an agent).

7. Be prepared for a difficult road

The modeling world is jam-packed with pretty faces. Being good looking does not equate to success as a model. The modeling business is not just about looking great; you have to fit the need of specific jobs just in order to get a chance. Modeling is only for serious people who carry unique looks and characteristics. Since there are so many people trying to become models in today's world, it's very challenging to get into the industry. Success will only come with patience and perseverance.

8. Do not be shy

You will have to promote yourself and look for opportunities to step up and prove your abilities. Standing back and being “polite” will not get you where you are going. Be yourself, let your personality shine, and have a confident attitude.[6]

If you don't feel confident, fake it; modeling often requires acting skill as well!

B. Understanding Portfolios and Agencies

1. Take photographs for your portfolio

You should include professional-looking headshots: shots of you up close without a lot of makeup and on a plain background. You should shoot them in nice natural light (but not direct sunlight) without a lot of distraction in the photos. These are meant for agencies to get a look at you in a raw state. Consider a head shot, a body shot, and profile shots.

  • The most important thing to communicate in a portfolio is that you are able to present a range of “characters” and looks.

Gigi Hadid

2.Consider getting some professional photos taken

Though professional photography can be expensive, it can make the difference between being passed over and getting an interview. Think of professional photography as a worthwhile investment in your career![7]

  • Get your favorite professional shots printed into 8x10s. Save these in case you are asked to leave a photograph before or after an interview.
  • If you've got enough good professional photos, consider compiling them into a portfolio. Bring this portfolio with you to castings or agencies.

3. Take your measurements and know your stats

This information can help modeling agencies place you.[8] Knowing the information off the top of your head will help you seem professional when you are speaking with an agency or potential client.

  • The most basic measurements to know are your height, weight, and shoe size.
  • You should also know your clothing measurements such as dress size, hip, waist, chest/bust, etc.
  • Your personal stats include information such as hair color, eye color, and skin tone

Kendall Jenner

4. Visit a modeling agency

Almost every major city has multiple modeling agencies, and almost every agency has "open-calls" where they look for new talent.[9]

  • Bring your photographs and/or portfolio. Be sure to have your (accurate) measurements as well.
  • You may be asked to walk or pose for a headshot or other photos during an open call interview.
  • If an agency rejects you, don't get disheartened; often an agency is looking for a diverse set of models, so you may just not fit their model lineup right now.

5. Be wary of scams

Try to research the reputation of a modeling agency prior to an open call or interview. Too many people don't know about the business and end up getting conned. [10]

  • No agency should be asking you for more than $20 when meeting you. The agency will charge you a commission when you model, but shouldn't get much up front. If they ask for hundreds of dollars from you before you do any work, walk away

C. Navigating a Modeling Career

1. Do not sign consent forms without consulting your agent

A client may ask you to sign paperwork or consent forms. Before you sign, be sure to ask for a copy to share with your agent. You do not want to sign a form that gives a photographer or client more power over your actions or images than they should have.

  • Similarly, do not sign a contract with an agency unless the agency and the contract both seem legitimate. If you are not sure whether the contract is good, have an attorney or an experienced model read over it for you.[11]
  • A good agent should have your best interests in mind. She should help you navigate the legal issues in any given contract. [12]

Linda Evangelista

2. Be truthful about your measurements

Don't say you're skinnier than you are just to get a shoot. Once there, the stylist will have problems fitting you and the truth will come out. You could potentially lose future jobs due to word of mouth, and you could find yourself without a career!

3. Be professional, polite, and courteous

Remember that, even though you're not working in an office, you need to be professional.[13]

Treat the people you work with respectfully. You never know who they know or what sort of a recommendation they might give of you. Never look down on anyone. You may be a model, but that doesn't give you the right to be snooty, affected, or pompous.

- Always show up on time to any appointment or shoot. If you're late or rude, your reputation may precede you and nobody will want to work with you.

- Be organized. Models often get called to places at the last minute and have very busy days. You need to be on top of things if you want to succeed. Buying a day-to-day planner can really help.

- Develop professional relationships with photographers. You help the photographer look great, and they will help you look great. It's a win-win situation, so be sure to treat photographers with respect.

Cara Delevingne

4. Treat modeling like a real job

Individuals who don't take it seriously have small chances of succeeding in their modeling career. Realize that it is harder than it appears and there's a lot of work behind all the glitz and glamour you see at fashion shows. Modeling is a full time occupation that requires constant attention. One week away from it and your career can be over.

  • Understand that modeling has only a small window of opportunity, and even if you take a short break, you may never be able to return. Models usually only work in the business for a limited amount of time. If you become famous inside of the business, you may be able to extend your career.

5. Confirm whether or not there will be a make-up artist (MUA) on site

Sometimes you are expected to bring certain things with you (such as base foundation) and if they don't have a makeup artist booked, you need to prepare accordingly. You may want to keep an emergency makeup kit with you so that you can do your own makeup if necessary, even if a MUA is supposed to be present.