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If you have ever watched the show America’s Next Top Model, you may have gotten the impression that being a runway model is all about looking pretty and walking down runways in gorgeous clothing. But if you think about it, there’s more to this line of work than meets the eye. In fact, modeling, in general, can be quite rewarding or not, depending on your particular field of specialization, skills, and experience level. Here are some things to know about Runway Modeling before deciding whether or not it’s right for you.
History of runway modeling
It all started back in Paris in 1948 when Eileen Ford and her husband opened up a new modeling agency. Before, models weren’t taken seriously. They weren’t seen as attractive, glamorous, or high-class. Which was only for actresses and celebrities. But with Mrs. Ford’s agency, brought modeling to a whole new level of notoriety; no longer would models be looked down upon! Soon after she started her business, some of her models were discovered by fashion photographers who worked for Vogue Paris Magazine one of their top clients.
Getting started in the industry
Many models begin their careers as early as elementary school, though most don’t actually make it onto a runway until they’re in their late teens. Many high schools hold model contests that can provide great exposure and experience to aspiring models. High school students can also take part in well-known national competitions like America’s Model search and Elite Look of The Year. Depending on your age, you may have several options for entering the professional modeling world.
Although there are many types of modeling, runways are one of the most prestigious ways to break into the industry. Runways often use only professionally trained models with years of experience, so if you hope to walk them one day, get ready to start studying! In addition to walking or strutting down runways at fashion shows or catwalks, runway models must possess the ability to carry themselves gracefully while being closely scrutinized by hundreds or even thousands of people who will be critiquing every aspect from hairstyle to posture.
Pros and Cons of being a runway model
Yes, being a runway model comes with prestige and certain high-profile career opportunities. But there are also downsides to consider. You will have little to no personal life, for one thing. If your goal is to have an enviable social circle and an active dating life, you might want to consider a different line of work. Plus, while living in New York or Los Angeles will require traveling almost constantly when working as a model, runway models don’t make very much money the average rate is $35 per hour for print shoots and about $200 for runway shows (including walking fee). According to Elite Models, top models can make between $800-$20K per day and more in certain markets, but that kind of money comes very rarely.
The application process for runway modeling
Most casting directors are so busy that they prefer to deal with a smaller number of applicants by doing open calls and in-person auditions. This gives them a chance to see as many applicants as possible quickly. If you do well at an open call, expect to be contacted for an in-person audition. It’s also common for modeling agencies to host their own open calls, particularly in high school and college towns where runway models are easy to find. If all goes well at your first audition, plan on being called back for another round of interviews with potential clients or managers.
A Day in the life of a runway model
I’m pretty lucky as I live in a city where my work schedule isn’t all that bad. My typical day starts off at 10 am and ends around 6 pm. By 10 am, my agent, booker, or manager calls to tell me about any upcoming casting calls for upcoming shows, and what I need to bring with me (my portfolio, comp cards). Most of these calls are at random times so I keep my phone close by whenever I’m not working. As soon as one call is over, another will come right in. On average there are 2-3 castings per day and during New York Fashion Week (in February) that number goes up to 4-5 castings per day!
If you are a runway model, then modeling takes up a large portion of your life. You will have to be on top of your game and keep in mind that if something goes wrong and someone catches it on camera, it will go viral faster than any other thing in today’s technological world. This can be hard on models as they tend to receive more harsh critiques than other professions because people see these women as flawless creatures. That said, don’t let negativity get you down! Remember, every model started somewhere, so don’t give up or give in too easily! If anyone is looking for a career in modeling or wants to put their curves on display for an upcoming fashion show or photoshoot consider trying out runway modeling!