Runway modeling is an incredibly glamorous job. Between the designer clothes, glamorous makeup, exotic work destinations, and celebrity meetups, it's easy to see why you want to pursue a career in runway modeling.
The job can be taxing at times, but for those who are up for the task, runway modeling can be an incredibly fulfilling career. In this article, we've laid out a step-by-step guide on becoming a runway model.
There's a way to fast track your runway modeling career (join a modeling agency that specializes in runway modeling).
We recommend John Casablancas Modeling Centers - they have a proven track record of helping aspiring runway models.
Fill out the form below to see how they can help you:
How Much Do Runway Models Make?
For runway models, salary can vary greatly. Top earners like Kendall Jenner and Adriana Lima made $40 million and $30 million in 2021. However, these amounts also include endorsements and business partnerships and don't include fees to their agencies and managers.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average model makes almost $60,000 annually in the United States. Most runway models can expect a salary between $11,000 and $104,500 annually.
Compensation for a single show can also vary greatly. While some runway shows will pay even unknown models up to $20,000, others will offer $0 in compensation with perks like free food, clothing, or merchandise and exposure.
How To Become a Runway Model
The following tips should help you break into the glamorous runway modeling industry.
Study Everything You Can About the Industry
Pursuing a career and modeling is a big decision. It's vital to research the industry and your roles and responsibilities as a runway model so you can make a thoughtful and informed decision.
In your research, ensure to include the history of fashion biographies by previous and contemporary supermodels and instruction books. YouTube has tons of videos from current and aspiring models about their day-to-day life and experiences. It's also a great resource to learn casting calls and tips to help you stand out and get hired.
You should also educate yourself on physical and mental wellness, makeup and hair techniques, and how to dress to impress as a model.
Take a look at the dark side of the modeling industry as well. For some people, modeling can be incredibly physically, emotionally, and mentally damaging. Learning about what can go wrong in your modeling career can help you decide if this is your career. It can also help you build strategies to prevent a bad situation from worsening.
Invest in Self Care
Self-care is not selfish. It's an investment. As a model, you're required to ensure that every aspect of your outward self is always in tip-top shape so you can show how unique your garments are. This means that your hair, skin, body, nails, and teeth always have to look exceptional.
It's common for casting calls to require you to arrive with no makeup and clean hair slicked back into a bun. Moisturiser and sunscreen can only go so far.
As a model, you must prioritize professional treatments such as regular facials, manicures, and hair treatments to highlight your natural beauty.
Taking care of your body by exercising and eating a nutritious diet will help you look amazing on the runway and give you the energy to take on the many responsibilities of being a model. Greens, lean proteins, and gym memberships might be expensive, but they're well worth the benefits.
There's a lot of rejection that comes with being a model and a lot of pressure to look and act perfect. Investing in mental self-care, like attending mindfulness meditation or yoga classes or hiring a wellness coach, can go a long way in ensuring that you're always mentally ready for any task as a model.
Practice Your Runway Walk
Having a commanding walk is vital to being a runway model. A good runway walk complements the tone or genre of the clothes you're modeling.
Small movements like swinging your hips or slightly swinging your arms allow the fabric and details to catch different lights and highlight the quality and artistry of the garment.
On the other hand, a lousy runway walk will make you look stiff, rigid, and awkward and make the garments appear dull and lackluster.
Practice Taking Poses In Front of a Camera
Being in front of a camera can be nerve-wracking. You don't want your nervousness to show during a shoot, so it's best to get well acquainted with the camera beforehand.
Standing straight looks awkward. Learn to position your arms, legs, and torso to create movements and dimensions.
If your body looks fantastic, but your face looks nervous and awkward, the overall picture becomes useless. Learn to identify your good and bad sides and how your smiles and pouts look at different camera angles.
Prepare a Portfolio With the Right Pictures
For models, your portfolio is your resume. Like on a resume, you want to highlight what matters to the agency.
Avoid adding too many glam shots. The heavy makeup, hair, and glamorous dress world distracts your modeling ability.
Instead, opt for pictures with little to no makeup, hair slicked back, wearing a black tank top, and skinny jeans. Taking a minimal approach makes it easier for an agency to determine whether or not they can work with you.
Research Reputable Modeling Agencies
A quick Google search will probably lead you to many modeling agencies you can apply to. But, before sending your portfolio to an agency, you should always do a thorough investigation of the agency's culture and trustworthiness.
When starting as a model, you are at your most vulnerable. Not only can you be scammed by illegitimate agencies, but you can also end up being signed at a legitimate modeling agency with an unfair contract.
Only send your modeling portfolio to agencies you know are legitimate and with a work culture that you can fit into.
Don't Lose Hope
There's a lot of rejection that goes along with being a model. It's easy to take that rejection to heart, but you shouldn't.
Every rejection is an opportunity to improve yourself. If you've been rejected at a casting call, there's no reason why you can't ask for feedback and apply again.
You being rejected might be arbitrary, such as the agency already representing a model that looks like you. In this case, there's nothing to feel bad about. Just move on to the next agency.
Breaking into the runway world is all about preparation and persistence. If you want to become a runway model get to know everything you can about the history and strategies of models who have already made it, learn what makes you a valuable candidate for the job, and keep applying to agencies. Eventually, you’ll be strutting your stuff up on the catwalk.