Fashion model

NAME: Lucy Green AGE: 22 PERSONAL: Lucy has always been tall, slim and good looking, and her friends often told her she looked like a model. However, she never seriously considered it as a career until a modelling agency scout approached her while she wa

NAME: Lucy Green

AGE: 22

PERSONAL: Lucy has always been tall, slim and good looking, and her friends often told her she looked like a model. However, she never seriously considered it as a career until a modelling agency scout approached her while she was out shopping with her family one day.

Lucy was only 15 at the time, and although her parents were supportive they encouraged her to continue with her education. She took modelling assignments during the school holidays and on weekends, and did not become a full-time model until she had completed her A-levels.

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Since then, Lucy has worked regularly as a catwalk model, travelling all over the world. When her modelling days are over, she intends to resume her studies, and hopes one day to become a fashion journalist.


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Professional fashion models tend to fall into three main categories, although some may work in more than one field.

Fashion house 'live models' work with clothes designers to show how a finished garment will look and model the clothes for potential buyers.

Other 'live models' work at fashion shows, which involve walking down the catwalk, and being a bit of a quick-change artist. In some cases they might also be asked to perform a simple dance routine.

Photographic models pose for photographs in magazines, calendars, advertisements, posters and catalogues. This involves following the photographer's directions by striking and holding different positions. They usually need to attend castings, where they compete with other models for the assignment.

There are also other types of models, such as promotions models, who work at live events like the motor racing and car and bike shows, handing out brochures, greeting guests and posing with merchandise. Some people who have one particular feature that they see as an asset - such as good hands, teeth, legs or feet - may also be able to find work as 'parts' models.

Most types of modelling work involve long and irregular hours. It can also be a physically demanding job and may require travelling away from home for long periods. Female models in particular also need to keep strict control of their weight.


Models need to be well groomed and have natural poise, with a natural fashion sense. They also need to be very self-disciplined, patient and adaptable.

They should be ready to work at very short notice and be professional and friendly when dealing with designers, photographers and other models. Stamina and good health will be needed to cope with the demands of fashion shoots and catwalk shows.

Models usually have to deal with rejection during castings, so it is important to be resilient and able to deal with criticism.

Although they need to be flexible and prepared to work with photographers, there may be occasions when they are asked to do something they don't feel comfortable with, such as pose topless or nude. In these situations, models should have the confidence to say 'no'.


There are no minimum educational requirements for models, and looks and personality count far more than experience.

Most training is on the job, and while some companies do offer courses for aspiring models, these can be expensive and there is no guarantee that students will find work at the end.

Models need to be slim and attractive with good skin, hair and teeth. Male models usually need to be at least 6ft tall and women usually need to be 5ft 8ins, although some photographic models may be shorter. Most models generally enter the profession during their teens.

Some agencies do take on petite and plus size models, but competition is fierce and most models in these fields have to take a second job.

The first step to becoming a model is to be accepted on to the books of a reputable agency. A genuine firm will not ask for money up front.

Some people approach the agencies themselves by sending a few clear photos, including full length and head and shoulders shots, along with their age, height, measurements and contact details. There is no need to spend money on an expensive portfolio - good quality snapshots will usually be enough.

Agency scouts often spot other models. Safety is important, so if someone approaches you claiming to be a scout, don't give them your personal details. Ask for their card and arrange to meet them at an office, taking an adult with you.


Earnings can vary depending on the model's success and the type of work they do. Models can usually earn between £350 and £1,000 for a one-day job, but those starting out in the industry may be paid as little as £50 while top models can command thousands. Agents usually take 20 per cent of the earnings.

However, it's important to remember that when there is no work there is no pay. Being taken on by an agency doesn't guarantee bookings, and many models may have to take a second job. It is also a very short-lived career, so most models will have to take on a different career in later life.


"Modelling isn't nearly as glamorous as people think. It can be gruelling, and when you're starting out, the rejections can be very difficult to deal with."


"I do enjoy my work and it's given me the chance to travel to some amazing places and meet some really fascinating and creative people."


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