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How To Become A Fashion Model

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You used to hate your height! You sprung up in sixth grade and were towering over everyone, including the teacher, causing you to slouch to compensate for the horror you felt from your gracefully long legs and your beautifully long torso.

Fast-forward ten years and you have grown into your own skin and the idea that your height is no longer a curse. In fact, coupled with your high cheek bones, your luscious locks and your precocious personality, you have become aware that you might be perfect for the exciting and lucrative career of fashion modeling.

However, you don’t know where to start. You know that the greats like Heidi Klum and Gisele Bündchen broke into the industry and took it by storm, so why can’t you? What did they do to get discovered? What are the steps that fashion models that grace the catwalk take to get where they are today?

Take inventory of your individual credentials

First and foremost, you have to be honest with yourself and realize that it takes certain measurements to become a fashion model. The nature of the business requires a certain body type in order to present designer’s ensembles in a way that exudes the style and artistry that is desired in fashion modeling. If you are 5’4 and have a stocky build, chances are, fashion modeling is not in the cards for you. This is not to say that you can’t become a model in a different area like commercial modeling or fitness modeling. You could be a complete success in another type of modeling that is perfect for your body type.

However, fashion modeling has a general height requirement for most agencies. For women, you must be at least 5’9 in height. You also must have a figure that fits the bill with a waist that is typically ten inches smaller than your chest and hips. For men, a height of at least 6 feet and a size of 40-42 on top and a 32 inch waistline is essential. Age can also be a factor. Most agencies are looking for men and women between the ages of 16-21. There is definitely a place in the industry of modeling for older models, however fashion modeling generally requires a young face and body. If you don’t possess these fundamental qualities, your success rate in the industry will be daunting.

How to become a fashion model

Appearances are everything

In the high stakes industry of fashion modeling, the essential tool to your success is your face and body. They must be in tip-top shape at all times. Going out and partying all night, dehydrating yourself and neglecting your rest will show. You must get plenty of rest, drink plenty of water, exercise everyday and treat you body as the instrument that it is. Remember, that this is an incredibly competitive line of work and only the most compliant, driven and resilient models will succeed and endure.

You also need to familiarize yourself with the high end designers and their clothing in which you will be modeling. Know what you like and strive to model for these designers. Study how they broke into the industry. Be able to talk the talk and make sure you are in on the cutting edge of what is hip, new and hot. Designers want to work with models that champion their success and are excited about their creativity.

Seek representation

There are models that work independently and have had great success, but this is not the norm. Working with an agency is one of the most important steps you can take in becoming a fashion model. The is the generally the first place that casting directors, agents and talent scouts will look when they have a specific need for a designer of brand.

Therefore, it is very important to do your research on which agencies you want to apply to in order to form a partnership for your success. Ensure that you understand what brands each agency prefers to work with. What are their requirements? What kind of commission split can you expect? Some of these questions can be answered by research and networking. However, other questions will be answered on your initial interview with the agency. So, how do you get that interview?

Construct the right type of portfolio

A portfolio is another important tool to your success. It isn’t necessary when you are first starting out to spend thousands of dollars on a portfolio with the best, most sought after fashion photographer. Presenting the right kind of photos, however, is crucial.

Ensure that you create digitals that present you in natural lighting and that your look is also as natural as possible. Wear tight fitting clothing that shows your figure and body type. You will need a profile shot of your face and body as well as a full body shot and close up of your face. Include shots without a smile as well as one of you smiling.

Agents want to see you in your natural state so that they can get a vision of what your potential is. If you are made up with heavy make up and clothed with ensembles that cover your body, it is tough for them to see this.

Include your measurements, hobbies and interest and some information about you. It’s important that they learn who you are as well as what you look like. Include a paragraph revealing your passions, your hopes for the future and what excites you in life. Revealing your personality coupled with your look will help agents remember you.

It takes time, don’t give up

One of the most common mistakes that every aspiring fashion model makes is giving up too soon. It can take months or even years to obtain representation from the agency that you most desire. You will probably be told “no” many times before you hear the most coveted, “yes”! You must be resilient, take the rejection in stride and develop a thick skin. Don’t take it personal. Agencies have specific needs at different times from designers and brands that must be filled. The need that you can fill may just take a matter of time. Be patient and persistent.

Aspiring to be a fashion model is an amazing and exhilarating endeavor. It takes just the right person and the right set of skills to become one of the many beautiful people on the coveted runway. With resilience, persistence and the willingness to stick it out, you can become as successful as some of your favorite idols.