Types of Modeling: Industry Genres and CategoriesFinding The Right Fit Means More Modeling Opportunities.
|There are many types of modeling you will find in the industry. Some models only fit into one category, while another model may fit into multiple. Size, fit and beauty requirements vary according to type of model. Some modeling segments are agency represented, others find work as a freelance model. With that in mind, here are the modeling categories at a glance:
EDITORIAL FASHION MODEL
FASHION CATALOG MODEL
FASHION MODEL: When you see the incredibly tall and lean figures that grace the runways and editorials for the leading fashion houses and designers; these are the High Fashion models. This category is the most exclusive and most difficult of all categories for a model to get into. As a whole, a fashion model MUST be tall, young, and thin. In addition, there are fashion model “size requirements”. While there is no universally-agreed upon, OFFICIAL “fashion-industry size-standard”, the size requirements in fashion modeling are TYPICALLY as follows:
Female Fashion Models
§ Height Requirement: 5’9” to 6’1” international / 5’8” to 6” regional & national
Male Fashion Models
§ Height Requirement: 5’11” to 6’2” / 5’10” to 6’2” regional & national
EDITORIAL FASHION MODEL: This is modeling for magazine editorials and covers such as Vogue, Elle etc. The standard requirements for these models are similar to those in High Fashion and you must be very photogenic. Quite often the same models will work in both Editorial Print and High Fashion. These editorials provide great exposure for models even though the fees earned are sometimes relatively low. This is normal and it can take a few years to gain the experience needed to get the bigger paying jobs. Modeling fit requirements are the same as “Fashion Model” (listed above) in order to be considered for this category. Almost all editorial fashion agencies in the US are based in New York, but agencies/jobs can be found in other major cities (LA, Chicago) and overseas.
FASHION CATALOG MODEL: Here you will find many great opportunities for different model types, as the model is chosen to represent the target audience of the different companies. With the increasing number of websites that require models to promote their goods online, this is very lucrative for many models.
This segment of modeling is slightly less restrictive than fashion modeling in terms of requirements. Typically, only female models between 5’8” and 6’1” will find work here. Male models should be between 5’10” and 6’2”.
RUNWAY MODEL: Models that walk the catwalk or runway; a “live model.” Runway models are hired to use their bodies as a mechanism to display the fashion garments of a specific clothing designer. They MUST be tall (5’9” and up for females, 5’11” and up for males), slender, have measurements that fit the standard clothing size, and know how to walk the runway. The ‘walk’ and expression is key. If you can’t walk in heels with confidence, this will be very difficult for you to break into.
COMMERCIAL MODEL: Most agency models work in this category. Commercial models work MANY different jobs, including: print advertisements, catalogs, campaigns, television shows, magazines, trade shows, and much more. There are no height or size requirements to be a commercial model. So even if you are DYING to be a fashion model, but find the fit & size requirements for mainstream “fashion modeling” hard to break into, you can still find great modeling jobs as a “COMMERCIAL fashion model”, doing fashion print and things of that nature. This category of modeling accommodates MANY types of looks: from the girl-next-door, fashionable & sophisticated, to middle-aged men, to those with very “unique/interesting” faces.
The benefit of working in Commercial Print as a model is that the target audience of the advertisers varies considerably.
PRINT MODEL: Print models are used for many different types of publications, such as: magazines, print advertisements, billboards, posters, calendars, campaigns, booklets, flyers, banners. Print models must have an attractive face, good skin, a nice body, and a pretty smile. Print models can find modeling work in one of two ways: through a modeling agency, or by freelance modeling.
GLAMOUR MODEL: Glamour modeling focuses much more on the model’s appeal, beauty, and body with an emphasis on a models sexuality. Models in this category are considered very pretty; able to book work simply by being attractive, a nice body, and having a sort of “sex appeal”. While there are no height or size requirements, glamour models are typically at least 18 years old. Glamour models can work as non-nude models, or as nude models.
Height restrictions tend not to apply, which is the great attraction to many models. If you are considering this area of modeling, take care as there are many dishonest people that take advantage of young models who are eager to get into modeling. If you are interested in Glamour Modeling it’s advisable to have a reputable agency looking out for your best interests.
§ Non-nude glamour models are typically hired to appear in swimsuit, bikini, lingerie, and form-fitting attire. Often times they will find work in magazines, music videos, calendars, etc. They can find work as a freelance model, and they can also find other work through modeling agencies as a print model, commercial model, or promo model.
§ Nude glamour models are almost never represented by a mainstream modeling agency, and most always they will find modeling work through their own means (internet, friends, referrals, casting calls, networking, etc.).
PINUP MODEL: Pin-up models first gained notoriety in the 1940’s and 50’s, with the term “pin-up” referring to a physical photo of an attractive model, which could be “pinned up” on the wall. In the past, pinup models were more risqué than their current era.
Today, modern pinup models (posing in the same manner and outfits of the 40’s and 50’s), seem to be less risqué than their current era, as times have changed and so have social standards. To explain: modern pinup models can be seen wearing classic 1-piece swimsuits, while modern glamour models can be seen wearing barely-there string bikinis.
ALT MODEL, or ALTERNATIVE MODEL: This genre of modeling does not conform to “typical” modeling standards. The models used in this genre are not the mainstream, cookie-cutter models. Many of them have tattoos, piercings, unusual hairstyles, etc. They can work in this industry with the help of internet websites, networking, and niche magazines.
FETISH MODEL: A fetish model will be hired to model/display various fetishes. For example, latex clothing, bondage, foot photoshoots, etc. Almost always, these models are self-represented.
TV COMMERCIALS: Modeling in TV commercials does not have any overall criteria for height, size and age, as each commercial requires someone different and specific to that job. It is usually necessary to have some acting ability, but this can be natural ability or learned. There are many different types of TV commercials, ranging from the highly stylized photographic, to the performance led reality style. The great advantage in TV commercials for a model is that brands are continuously seeking models, which the general public can easily identify with. This opens up the doors to almost everyone, who feels that they have what it takes to work in this sector. Typically those represented by a model or actors agency have a better chance of appearing in TV commercials.
REAL LIFE MODELS (People Models) and TV/Film Extras: If you like the idea of modeling, but do not fit into the above categories, then this could be for you. Real life models are used in advertising or corporate campaigns, when companies are looking to represent the everyday person.
As a TV/Film Extra you will generally be non-featured (no speaking parts) and in the background of a scene. This can be fun and interesting to be part of, but it can also be long hours with lots of waiting around. The benefits are that if you are flexible with your days, it can be a good way to supplement your income.
FREELANCE MODEL: A freelance model is one that is self-represented: they are not signed exclusively to any one modeling agency, they do not have an agent or a manager, and they are responsible for finding their own work. In addition, they are responsible for their own marketing, promoting, networking, and branding. This might all sound overwhelming, but in this day and age, freelance models have many avenues to get a career started. The internet is their main weapon/source; if properly harnessed, freelance models can still make a name for themselves without an agency.
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