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When people think of modeling, they usually think of runway shows or models represented in glossy fashion magazines. The fashion industry employs the highest number of models. Modeling as an occupation began in the year 1853. The credit goes to French designer, Charles Frederick Worth, known as the father of Haute couture, who asked his wife, Marie Augustine Vernet to model for the clothes he designed. Before that, clothes were showcased on mannequins.
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With the boom in the fashion industry and the advent of fashion photography, the scope for modeling increased. Lisa Fonssagrives is said to be the first model who gained popularity appearing in more than 200 editions of Vogue. Vogue became a top player in the fashion industry, creating opportunities for many upcoming models. However, it was not until the 1960s that modeling found the right gear. Modeling agencies sprung up, and agents became the middlemen. As of 2010, the USA modeling and talent industry is worth a whopping 5 billion dollars.
As a model, you can be ingenious and explore the different areas of the fashion industry. Some models experiment with one specialized category, while others try out multiple types of modeling to find the genre that best suits them. If you are looking to pursue a career in modeling, you need to be sure about the area, which is the best fit for you.
Fashion models are also called editorial models. Editorial or 'print' modeling refers to storytelling through pictures. It includes showcasing designers, current fashion or beauty trends, the latest in makeup, hair, skin-care, etc. that are illustrated through a pictorial story. These editorials are highly coveted as they set the current trends in the industry. Fashion models usually grace the covers of international fashion magazines like Elle, Glamour, and Vogue, and are employed by major fashion houses. The standard height requirement for a female fashion model is 5 feet and 9 inches to 6 feet. For men, the required height is 5 feet and 11 inches to 6 feet and 3 inches. You might have heard of top fashion models, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Karlie Kloss. To add to this list, some of the other famous fashion models are Chrissy Teigen, Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, and Miranda Kerr. These type of models need to follow a rather strict lifestyle regime. Diet and fitness are two areas that demand specific attention. Along with that, professionalism and an ambitious outlook are necessary.
Commercial models can don different hats according to the demands of the clients. They can be of any age, size, shape, and height as their work vary from advertising for a particular product to marketing for a particular service, or promotional events for housewares, food, travel, cosmetics, etc. Commercial models work in the print, digital, retail and television industry. Their job is to fit into retail clothing or to successfully be able to endorse a product or service. Accordingly, to the industry's standard sample size, commercial models are hired if they are between 5'6" to 5'11" in the case of females and males are required to be between 5'9" to 6'2". The type of model requirements and preferences change according to the clients.
It is never too late to start working as a professional mature model. More than experience, it is important that you are comfortable behind the frame, exude grace and a warm personality and have a professional attitude. A mature model is generally above 35- 40 years of age and is healthy and physically fit. Greys, wrinkles or age spots are not a concern for a mature model. Several high-end fashion magazines, major fashion houses, and high streetwear brands are opening up to the idea of using models of different ages for their campaigns and catalogs. There are also assignments in the health, pharmaceutical, and editorial areas. Daphne Selfe, Frances Dunscombe, Charles Schumann have proved age is just a number and it is never too late to make it big in the fashion world.