Before you start your big modeling career, it helps to have a little perspective about the modeling industry. No, we will not give you a tedious history lesson here. But it helps you to see how trends originate, and how you can ride these trends to your advantage.
The sad fact of the modeling industry is that trends originate within a small group of fashion industry designers who decide what the next tread will be. Even though it seems that many of these trends originate from the things that people like to do and where, it is often the opposite case where styles are decided on by the insiders and are then imposed on others through relentless marketing.
For instance, if Prada designs a new type of shoe and displays its in Milan, instantly millions of people may be asking for that type of shoe.
But you are interested in becoming an insider yourself! So, as an aspiring model, you are not a trend-follower but someday will be within the group of trend-setters.
You may have heard of the Powers modeling agency. Even though the Powers Agencyís reputation has declined severely in the last few years, Powers was among one of the first modeling agencies. It was formed in New York in the 1930s, and models made about $5.00 per hour. Now, if you think that $5.00 an hour doesnít sound like much, you need to realize that this was during that Great Depression and that $5.00 an hour was a fortune!
For the next couple of decades, models did not command much money. But then in the late 1950s modeling shot off like a skyrocket. Models could command as much as $5000 per week. This is when the Ford Agency became the top modeling agency. A super skinny supermodel named Twiggy became a model in the 1960s, and we might call her the first fashion model that became a supermodel. We call her a ìsupermodelî because everyone, including people well outside the fashion industry, knew about her. She was a famous celebrity.
In the 1970s, the world of modeling shifted. The Ford Agencyís reputation declined, while John Casablancas and the Elite Model agency ushered in a new type of model. This is when models began to start enjoying higher and higher incomes, become more famous, and traveling all over the world.
The first person described as a fashion model in Paris was Marie Vernet Worth. She was a house model in 1852, to her fashion designer husband, Charles Frederick Worth. Even after fashion photography became important, fashion models generally remained fairly anonymous and relatively poorly paid until the late 1950s, though often marrying well. The first model widely considered to have paved the way for what would become the supermodel was Lisa Fonssagrives, from the 1930s onwards, in America. The relationship between her image on over 200 Vogue covers and her name recognition led to the importance of Vogue in shaping future supermodels. Her image appeared on the cover of fashion magazines during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s from Town & Country, Life and Vogue to the original Vanity Fair. Dorian Leigh was also very well-known after World War II. The rise of model as consistent media personalities perhaps began in the Swinging Sixties with figures like Jean Shrimpton, Twiggy, and Penelope Tree, and has continued ever since.
Runway models showcase clothes from fashion designers, fashion media, and consumers. They are also called "live models" and are self employed. Runway models work in different locations, constantly traveling between those cities where fashion is well known - London, Milan, New York City, and Paris. Second-tier international fashion center cities includes Rome, Florence, Venice, Brescia, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Moscow, Saint Petersburg, et cetera. Cities where catalog work comprises the bulk of fashion packaging, merchandising and marketing work includes Miami, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Toronto, Mexico City, Tokyo, Hamburg, London, Beijing et cetera.
The demands for runway models include certain height and weight requirements. During runway shows, models have to constantly change clothes and makeup. The models turn and stand to demonstrate the garment's key features. Models also go to interviews (called "go and sees") and must keep a portfolio of their work. They go to modelling interviews to find more work. The more experience a model has, the more likely she is to be hired for a fashion show. A runway model can work in other areas, such as department store fashion shows, creating product lines, acting etc.
The British Association of Model Agents (AMA) says that female models should be around 34-24-34 in and at least 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) tall.
The average model is slender and in shape. Those who do not meet the weight requirement often try for becoming a Plus-size model. According to the New York Better Business Career Services website, the preferred dimensions for a male model are a height of 5 ft 11 in (180 cm) to 6 ft 2 in (188 cm), a waist of 30ñ35 in (76.20ñ88.90 cm) and a chest measurement of 36ñ40 in (91.44ñ101.60 cm). Male runway models have been noted as being skinny and well toned.
Male and female models must also possess clear skin, healthy hair, and attractive facial features. Stringent weight and body proportion guidelines form a selective criteria by which established and would-be models are judged for their placement suitability, on an ongoing basisówith some variation regionally and market tier-level dependent, subject, too, to current prevailing trends at any point, in any eraóby agents, agencies and end-clients.
The former requirement measurements for models used to be 35.5-23.5-35.5 in (90-60-90 cm), which were the alleged measurements of Marilyn Monroe. Today's fashion models tend to have measurements closer to the AMA recommended shape. Although in some fashion centers [regionally speaking, of course], a size 00 is more ideal than a size 0.
The often thin shape of many fashion models has been criticized for warping girls' body image and encouraging eating disorders. Organizers of a fashion show in Madrid in September 2006 turned away models who were judged to be underweight by medical personnel who were on hand. In February 2007, six months after her sister, Luisel Ramos - also a model - died, Uruguayan model Eliana Ramos became the third fashion model to die of malnutrition in six months. The second victim was Ana Carolina Reston. Luisel Ramos died of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa just after stepping off the catwalk.
In the early 21st century, runway walks became less flamboyant compared to the late 20th century, when Naomi Campbell and other supermodels were known for their distinct struts. Instead, most designers preferred a natural stroll.
Supermodels are highly paid, high profile fashion models. These (usually female) celebrities appear on top fashion magazine covers and in fashion shows. Much more importantly, in financial terms, their appearance in advertising can amount to an endorsement, attracting far greater rewards, especially when they conclude deals to advertise a brand exclusively, as "the face" of that brand. Contract supermodels for larger cosmetic brands are generally paid $300,000 to $2 million a year, depending on exclusivity and the amount of days the model is expected to work. A multiyear, multimillion dollar contract as a Victoria's Secret "angel" is considered the most prestigious in the industry. The most established and famous print models can make hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, not only from modeling but also from personal appearances and merchandise, such as calenders or exercise videos. A decade ago, a top model could make $100,000 from a single campaign.
Bikini models are also usually required to be physically fit and with an appealing body shape. Bikini models can usually be shorter, around 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) to 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m).
Glamour photography emphasizes the model and the model's sexuality rather than products, fashion or the environment. Glamour modelling focuses on sexuality and its ability to enhance a product's attractiveness. Glamour models are used for mass-produced calendars, pinup and for men's magazines, such as Playboy magazine. Famous glamour models include Pamela Anderson, Jordan, Jodie Marsh, Lucy Pinder, and Louise Glover.
Despite the stereotype of modelling as a lucrative and glamorous profession, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the median wage for commercial and print models was only $11.22 per hour in 2006. MarketWatch listed modelling as one of the ten worst jobs in America. Print models earn little or nothing working for low-budget clients such as manufacturers or stores. Experienced print models make $200 to $500 per hour. Print models who work with an agent give 15% to 20% of earnings to the agent.
Beginner female runway models make less money than models that have experience. The average wage for a female runway model can range from $ 250 -$1,000 an hour per runway walk. A decade ago a runway model could earn $10,000 for a show. Today a typical, hardworking model can make $200,000 per season, but often the model will not continue finding work once the season is over. Runway has become viewed as an internship process for younger, aspiring models. Costs of travel, agency fees, transportation, food, hotels, etc. are deducted from the model's pay.
Beginner male models can earn up to $150 per shoot. Most successful male models balance runways shows, contracts, advertising campaigns and editorial opportunities. Fragrance and exclusive designer advertising campaigns are the most lucrative. High-end catalog photo shoots pay an average of $8,000-$15,000 per day and typically last one day. For models rising up the ranks, most work pays in prestige and non-monetary perks.
An editorial shoot may earn a model up to $150, but working with a prominent photographer, padding a portfolio and exposure in a well-respected magazine is valuable beyond the pay. The most famous male models earn from $200,000 to $500,000 per year. Most make a less glamorous living from catalog work. The highest-paid male models have made up to $1 million per year. Fragrance and exclusive designer advertising campaigns are the most lucrative. A male model can earn from $8,000-$15,000 for high-end catalog photo shoots, which last one day
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