Fashion Model

By TACP Staff on July 22, 2021

Contrary to popular belief, the world of fashion modeling offers nearly everyone a chance to participate. Not every person can become a fashion model, but the world of commercial fashion modeling needs a wide range of ages, body types and the like. Find out how to make your dream come true!

What Is Fashion Modeling?

Once a designer creates a garment or accessory, he will usually need some way to display the item to the public. This is where fashion modeling comes in.

Fashion modeling involves using people to show off a particular type of fashion. This allows the public to see how a particular fashion looks, which can help create public interest. Several different types of fashion items can be displayed using fashion modeling. Some items that can be modeled include garments, accessories, jewelry, and cosmetics.

In the fashion industry, fashion modeling is often used as a type of advertising. Models are often featured in magazines and catalogs, as well as on television and the Internet.

What Does a Fashion Model Do?

Although many individuals believe that fashion modeling just involves wearing different fashions and looking pretty, there is actually much more to it. While a fashion modeling career can be exciting and glamorous, it is also rather demanding and stressful.

Fashion models are required to look and act a certain way. Therefore, they must work very hard to maintain a certain image. This usually involves strict dieting and exercise to keep their bodies in top shape. Fashion models must also usually keep up to date on and wear the latest fashions.

A career in fashion modeling also usually requires models to work very long hours in several different types of settings and environments. Swimsuit models, for instance, will usually need to wear several different swimsuits on a beach. This type of work, which may seem inviting to some, often involves baking in the hot sun or smiling for the camera in chilly, windy weather for hours.

While they are modeling, fashion models also need to move or pose their bodies in certain ways, or they may need to rely on facial expressions to achieve a certain look.

Fashion models should also have an outgoing personality and superb people skills, since they will usually need to interact with a variety of different people while they are working. They may need to interact with stylists, makeup artists, designers, and photographers.

What Are the Different Types of Modeling?

There are several different types of fashion modeling.

Modeling for print is one of the most commonly recognized types of modeling. Models who model for print media, like magazines and catalogs, must be photographed wearing different fashions. Most of the time, they will be required to hold several different poses for long periods of time.

Live modeling is another popular type of fashion modeling. This type of modeling often refers to the type of modeling seen during runway shows. Live models are typically required to walk and turn in front of large audiences while wearing current fashions. Some live models may even be required to interact with certain props in their environment as well.

Some fashion models might only model with certain parts of their bodies, like their hands or feet. These models are often referred to as parts models.

When trying to market a fashion to a certain audience, fashion designers will often use fashion models that are built like or look like the intended audience. For instance, plus-sized models will usually model plus-sized clothing. African models might also be used in order to model certain fashions geared toward colored women.

Fashion Model Education & Training Requirements

There are no strict education requirements for becoming a fashion model, but some aspiring models may choose to attend modeling school or take modeling classes. While they can be helpful, modeling schools and classes don’t always guarantee that a model will get work.

In modeling school, aspiring models will often learn different skills that can be helpful for a career in fashion modeling. Most modeling schools will teach models how to dress and act, for instance. While attending modeling school, some individuals will find that they gain the confidence needed to be a successful model.

A modeling school can also help build an aspiring model’s portfolio as well.

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Fashion Model Salary & Job Outlook


Making money as a fashion model is not always easy since this is often a very competitive career. Some models may not even make enough money to live on, and they will often need to secure employment in other areas. Some of the more attractive and successful models, however, are often able to make a decent annual salary with just modeling alone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual modeling salary was around $22,900 in 2017. More successful models will often make much more, and they will also be rewarded with free fashion products, like clothes, jewelry, and makeup.

Job Outlook

The majority of fashion models usually sign on with modeling agencies. These types of agencies act as go-betweens for models and prospective clients. In fact, many fashion designers will not hire models unless they are represented by modeling agencies. Instead of working with a modeling agency, a model can also choose to work as a freelancer. Freelance models, however, will often have a much harder time getting a steady stream of modeling work.

Fashion Model FAQ

Fashion modeling is an often glamorized career that affords the opportunity to travel and also offer high-income potential. There is a certain amount of sacrifice required to become a fashion model, with models often being away from home for extended periods of time. A career in fashion models can provide an attractive income, but it also comes with risks and opportunities that not all people are willing to take.

The first step to becoming a fashion model is making a decision on what type of fashion model you want to be. In other words, you have to decide if you want to be a commercial fashion model or an editorial fashion model. From there you need to build your portfolio, and then go out and get yourself some representation through an agency. Many models move to cities like New York or Los Angeles as they are large modeling markets, but it is possible to get noticed in other cities as well.

Models need to be passionate about their career. The most successful models communicate well and can remain poised in stressful situations. Networking skills are essential for fashion models to find representation, build their portfolios, get exposure, and get booked for work. There is more to being a model than just having a pretty face, you also need to work hard.

Similar to other art careers, salaries vary drastically based on their reputation and the companies and brands they are representing. Some celebrity models like Kate Moss or Gisele Bündchen can make millions in one year with lesser-known models will make far less. Most models are compensated on an hourly basis. The BLS is $431,910 per year or $15.34 per hour which might give some people pause. The two top modeling careers are runway models and portrait models.

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