This article looks at the everyday life of models who are trying to make it big. The public’s perception of the life of a model is much like its perception of the life of an actor because we are only exposed to the success stories – the models and actors we see in magazines, on billboards and on our TV screens – and we don’t see the masses of people struggling to succeed as models.
So let us take a minute to consider the life of a model – not of Kate Moss or Tyra Banks, but of a run-of-the-mill model who wants to make it big on the runway.
Most models will be sent to castings by their agencies. Castings are like job interviews for photo shoots, fashion shows or other modelling work. A model’s portfolio is her CV and her looks answer all the questions for her at a casting call. Modelling is by nature a physical profession and models need to have the right look to get the job. Building a Portfolio Fresh faces in modelling – that is, new models – usually try to build up their portfolio and experience by doing the best work they can get, even if the job is badly paid or not paid at all. The exposure could be worth it in the long run. The prestige of a shoot is not necessarily linked to the pay and showroom models, the playthings of designers who never get seen by the public, usually get great pay but very little exposure.
Editorial or Commercial
Models can take one of two routes: they can go into editorial modelling or commercial modelling.
Editorial modelling includes catwalk work, photo shoots for high end magazines like Vogue and other prestigious work, whereas commercial modelling (catalogue work, less well-known magazines etc.) might be less glamorous but it’s more certain work and easier to break into.
Every editorial model’s goal is to have a big name in the fashion world take a liking to her or him. A contract with Armani, Calvin Klein or another designer label is the dream, but what does it take to get noticed by these fashion giants? Edginess. Timing. Luck. All of these things are factors in a model’s success. Nothing is certain. You may have an edgy look, but your timing may never be right. You may be in the right place at the right time, but the designer may not think you’re edgy enough.
The allure of modelling is not difficult to see, but one should not enter into the world of modelling blindly. It is a tough industry and you need to be patient to make it. You also need to be able to take criticism and plenty of it. If you do make it as a model, you’ll find yourself cannonballed into a world of celebrities, fabulous clothing, parties and a very big bank balance and perhaps it will all have been worth it!
This article was written by Miranda West who has worked with several modelling agencies in Ireland.
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