Fashion models promote clothing and accessory brands at fashion events and in magazines and digital media.
Salary range: Variable
How to become a fashion model
You can get into this job through:
- applying directly
Volunteering and experience
You could develop your skills as a model by helping out with charity fashion shows.
You’ll usually start your career by going to a model agency in person or sending photographs and details of your measurements to them.
You’ll need a good appearance and the right ‘look’ for the area of modelling you want to go into.
You should usually be well-proportioned for fashion modelling, with regular features and healthy skin, teeth and hair. For other types of modelling you would need to fit in with the look that modelling agencies want.
You don’t need to do a modelling course or have an expensive portfolio of pictures. The British Fashion Model Agents Association has advice on what to expect from reputable agencies and how to avoid rogue ones.
There’s a lot of competition for modelling jobs. You’ll improve your chances of finding work if you build up a good portfolio and get experience and contacts.
Model agencies are not allowed to charge an up-front fee for you to join them.
Professional and industry bodies
You can join Equity for professional advice and to make industry contacts.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- the ability to work well with others
- active listening skills
- to be flexible and open to change
- excellent verbal communication skills
- patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
- the ability to organise your time and workload
- concentration skills
- physical fitness and endurance
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need a license from your local council, if you start modelling before the legal school leaving age.
What you’ll do
You’ll often have to go to casting sessions with potential clients or agencies. You’ll also spend a lot of time looking after your appearance.
You could specialise in different types of modelling, like:
- high fashion and catwalk
- photographic editorials for magazines
- advertising for magazines, billboards, websites, and social media
- TV commercials
- promotional modelling like music videos, personal appearances, leaflets and brochures
- in-house live modelling for designers and clothing wholesalers
In fashion show modelling you’ll walk along a catwalk, turning to display clothes in front of an audience. You’ll work closely with stylists, hair and make-up artists, producers and directors.
In photographic, advertising and promotional modelling you’ll:
- take directions from photographers
- pose for photographers in a studio or on location
- act or deliver lines in TV commercials
You could work at a TV studio, at a film studio, in a photographic studio or at a store.
Your working environment may be physically and emotionally demanding and you’ll travel often.
Career path and progression
With experience, you could become a booker for a model agency or set up your own agency. You could also move into other areas of the fashion industry like styling or fashion journalism.
You might also find opportunities in areas like TV presenting or acting.