Now this is the million dollar question that every young model wants the answer to. Runway fashion is no easy job, despite looking that way. Most people actually think that the models have an extraordinary life: nice clothes, just getting to walk in front of an audience, looking good and then going back home. Sadly, that’s just what you get to see. The amount of work is excruciating and you have to deal with some variables that are not necessarily under your control. We are going to take it step by step and show you exactly how you get to make it in this industry. We are going to be honest from the very beginning: this is not easy. This is not at all easy.
There are thousands of girls who attempt to walk the walk and leave as soon as they start. Why? Exactly because they think that it’s as easy as it looks. They come in with huge expectations, also have huge demands, want people to treat them like divas and they do not have a single clue about what they are doing or what needs to be done. If you are this kind of person or if you believe that it’s all going to be nice and easy for you, you can stop reading now. If you are still here, it’s time to get down to business. There are three variables that we need to talk about if you want to make it big in runway: genetics, hard work and being a sociable person. Each and every one of these has its own subdivisions, but we are going to explain those details along the way. If you are aware of the three major variables you know exactly what you need to work on in order to obtain success.
This is the subject that most people freak out on. Genetics is perhaps the only variable that you do not have under control. You are born with some features, so you have to make the best of them. Now the problem with the way you look is that there are some standards that (usually) have to be met. Height is a key factor that everyone will look at, for example. If you’re a 5’9” or 6’0, you’re good to go, but anyone who is shorter or higher than that can have some issues. They mostly occur for the shorter models since… being higher than 6’0 is quite rare. Height is also age-dependent. You obviously do not need to be 6’0 when you are 14, but if you are 5’7 you can consider yourself lucky. Now here is the major challenge with the genetics thing: people can simply say yes or no to you and you just have to deal with it. The world of fashion is so vast that it is literally impossible for you not to make it somewhere, somehow. A lot of models give up after a no or two, but the majority of the ladies and gentlemen you see walking at every show are the ones who can literally take a no to the face. It hurts your ego very much. It’s exactly like a regular no that you take every day, only that you feel it differently when you are in fashion because of objectification. Wait, what does objectification have to do with it? Let’s put it this way: everybody is selling something every day. Just as you sell your mind or your expertise for work, models sell their bodies for fashion. That’s how you have to think about it. Imagine that taking a no practically means that your body is not worth it, right? While most models take this personally and decide to walk away, the ones who make it know that this is a character builder. Another concept that you should really think about is delayed gratification. The more no’s you are able to take, the better. But we are going to talk about delayed gratification a little bit more in the following chapter.
Just as we stressed in the beginning of this guide, you cannot make it in runway fashion without hard work. But “hard work” is a little bit abstract, isn’t it? What exactly are you supposed to do? Well, first of all, you need to take your life into your own hands. Even if you consider that your genetics are not top notch, you can always work on improving them, thus improving your body. Many models start sports such as swimming, volley, handball or basketball in order to grow a little bit in height and maintain their perfect body shape. Some start boxing in order to properly train their core and do not forget that being a model practically implies that you have to go to the gym every day. What? Nobody ever told you that? Welcome to the real world. Gym and fashion go hand in hand. Unless you can train yourself to work from home and buy all the equipment you need, you pretty much have to be a gym regular. Then there is finding your agency. Sadly, the odds of being contacted by a legitimate agency are close to none. There are very few people in the world who get this chance and that is what you can really call luck. But if you want to land a job you have to be both smart and perseverant. First of all, don’t fall for the “give us some money and we’ll give you a job” agencies. Those are scams. You want to send your pictures to a few serious agencies and see the results that you are getting. Remember: if they are no’s, take them as character builders. Do not stop sending pictures. Welcome to the era of the internet. You can send your pictures to anyone, anywhere. If you see that you are not getting any results back you have to pick up the phone and start making calls. You are just one in another million models who wants to make it big. So you need to keep pushing. Now let’s get back to delayed gratification. You will see that, if you get a couple of no’s, people will start telling you to back off. You will also recognize the “it’s not for you”, “nobody will pick you” and “maybe it’s not your thing” lines. Do not listen to them. Delayed gratification means that you are very aware that rewards are going to come at a later date. You do not know when. Nobody does. That’s why it is so important to keep pushing. What usually happens is that people give up right before miracles start happening. Do you want to be one of those people? We think not.
It is very important that, in all stages of your fashion career, you are sociable. There are two very logical reasons as to why you want to do this. First of all, being sociable is good for you. You don’t like being a loner, do you? Well, even if you do, which probably means that you are introverted, you should still learn to go out from time to time. The thing is that this industry is very social by default. You will always be out with people, working with people, talking to people and partying with people. There is literally no way for you to escape the social part. But that is not a bad thing. Being a sociable introvert can get you very far. Sometimes, being sociable is the only difference between being successful and unsuccessful. And that’s not just in fashion. It happens everywhere. Imagine if every celebrity you know would be people who had absolutely no visible friendships, would hide from the paparazzi 24/7 and whom you would know nothing about. It just seems awkward. Secondly, you want to be sociable because it can get you places. Imagine that you randomly talk to someone one day about a common passion that you both have and you decide to start a business together.
What if all the agencies that you sent your pictures to refused you and you bump into someone who can help you out with a recommendation? The world is moving quickly and you have to keep up the pace! Being social is all about keeping the pace up. As long as you do it, you’re in the ride. As long as you are not… well, someone else is going to get “lucky”. These are the three things that you always need to keep in mind if you want to make it big in runway fashion. There are plenty of other details that you will want to look into, but as long as you started your journey you should know that these things will keep coming back to you. Keep studying, keep working hard, be perseverant and do not give up. If this is your dream, you have to keep moving forward. Do not listen to others’ opinions and do not let them drag you down. You know what you want. They don’t.