Fashion Modeling Job Description


Fashion models are defined by their looks. Almost always tall and lanky, they are known for their outgoing personalities. Well-organized, business-savvy women who are mostly under age 30, these fashion creatures are "blank slates" whom designers style and recreate to fit the mood of an outfit. Hair, makeup and clothing changes often render them unrecognizable. Movement also defines a fashion model. She is an artist on the ramp, walking with skill and precision. Also expert at taking and remembering directions, punctual and dependable, the fashion model is perceived as an elite breed.

Physical Requirements

  • Most fashion modeling assignments are still determined by size and market segment. Plus size and petite models, along with male models, do exist. These models, however, compose a small percentage of the industry. Roughly 80 percent of fashion models are females wearing size 8 or less and standing somewhere between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 11 inches. Most fashion models lack curves and possess endless legs. Huge eyes and perfect lips are another part of the package.


  • Fashion models stick with fashion. They are not usually cast for specialty body parts, product campaigns, or commercial print. However, if the fashion show is for a swimsuit line, a voluptuous figure may be part of the casting requirement. Trade shows are not usually within this model's turf, but on occasion, a fashion show may highlight a convention or trade show. The fashion model does not work booths on a regular basis, but a sportswear designer may opt to have a fashion model wear an outfit, sitting upon a boat, at a boating show. Fashion modeling is not strictly limited to runway or print, but it is limited to the promotion and showing of fashion.


  • Modeling jobs are not plentiful and many models possessing the height and weight requirements specified by the designer, compete for them. Big name models seem to get 90 percent of the public's attention, but a small army of other fashion models perform the shows and shoots necessary to market the nation's fashion crops. Modeling assignments for fashion models include fit modeling, ramp or runway shows, informal modeling and print assignments.

Behind the Scenes

  • Fit modeling is about sizing the garment to fit a true size. Fit models possess exact measurements for the size they try on. These models work in the realm of fashion with none of the glam or glory. They stand for endless hours, being measured and pinned, while tailors alter and adjust sizing for the sample garments. The majority of fit modeling occurs within the Fashion Marts where designers have offices and showrooms.

Gigs and Rates

  • Ramp, runway and catwalk are the same beast, in which models walk the ramp creating an orchestrated fashion presentation. Print models wear clothing for catalogues, editorial fashion and clothing ads often appearing in circulars for local newspapers. Most fashion models, with the exception of fit models, double for all types of fashion assignments. Many venture out into commercial or beauty assignments to keep their plate full. Rates range between $75 and $150 per hour for print and runway models. Fit models earn between $16 and $35 per hour on an average. Each mart usually has a roughly established rate.


  • Designer's models sometimes receive free outfits known as "gratis." Another perk for the print model is "tear sheets." Published print work featuring a model's image ups her rank from amateur to professional. Fashion models often post at no charge to collect valuable tear sheets. When a model is truly seasoned, her book is filled with published work and her rate goes to the high end of the scale.

Getting Started

  • The right agent puts a model's image out there. Agents get faces in front of prestige clients, send models on auditions, and act as their legal representative in the business. Professionalism, persistence, the "right look," and luck factor into getting a top agent. A referral from another model is often a shortcut in this process.

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