To Fashion Model or Not to Fashion Model? That is the Question Part 1

Coco Rocha for John Galliano


The Basics 101 

I won’t go in to how often I have been asked “Can I, Can She, Can my So and So Model?” If I were paid for the time I have spent explaining what I think are the criteria for breaking in to this business, I could buy a little Villa in St. Raphael on the Mediterranean. Thus the reason for this short, but to the point explanation.

I am more than certain that this blog posting will ruffle several feathers.  Thus this caveat…If you are not at least 5′-9″ Tall i.e. 1,75m, no older than 18 years old and I mean just turned 18 Maximum and that is stretching it and can fit in to a size 2-3 dress take a pass on reading this article.  But if you are between 15 and 18 have something unique in your appearance and feel that you might have that special something, read on.

You will notice in the title I state Fashion Model and NOT just Model.  There is a huge difference between a Glam, Lingerie, Beauty (perhaps), Large size, Odd size and Consumer Product model.

A Fashion model, model’s clothing, accessories, shoes etc. for designers, department stores, manufacturers, etc. She may also act as the representative of a specific Fashion brand.  Thus the reason you see so many sponsorships.

In all cases (in my opinion) a Fashion model will be signed to a credible Model Agency like, Elite, Ford, Next, IMG, Women, One Model Management, Viva, Marilyn Agency, etc.  Those are some of the agencies that represent some of the most regarded and highly paid models in the world.

A model is taken on very young for many reasons one of which is the time it takes to develop and promote them.  Like any talent, it takes time to put together a great portfolio, do a massive amount of Go & Sees (castings) before they get their first chance at being hired by the magazine that will aid in catapulting their career.  Until that happens, it is a slow and exhausting process.

A Fashion model has to be willing to wait in line for hours at least 5 to 8 times per day, with sometimes over 50 other models.  They have to be prepared to accept constant rejection in the hopes that one of those castings comes through. To hear the answer “YES” sounds so Sweet indeed.

Oh almost forgot…Just want to share one more little bit of thought juice with you. There will always be the Next Big Thing and that Super Model may be the girl serving you your Chocolate Donut and Coffee with double cream at the Tim Hortons Donut Shop in Sudbury, Ontario.  You do remember Jessica Stam? Donuts and Models, Donuts and Models…

To Be Continued…

About Benjamin Kanarek
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Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…
  • I did not know that, so there goes my career! Seriously though, I just wish(and here it comes) there were MORE diverse models. We are here in the world and you just do not see us on the catwalk except maybe Chanel Iman. I like her,but why isn’t there more diversity?

    I was in South Beach at Mercedes Benz fashion week and I felt soo uncomfortable as show after show,girl after girl came out and it might have been one if not any black girls. Why do they do that? I know plenty of skinny,tall beautiful models here in Atlanta and other places but they all say they can’t find any work. Its sad. I thought of plus size modeling but they told me I was not tall enough. Thats the end of that too lol.

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