As the Director of Operations for the City of Dayton’s first International Fashion Week, I can’t tell you enough just how grateful we are for the overwhelming show of support that we have received from the entire Miami Valley area. Plans are really coming together and we have an exciting line up of designers who have come on board to be a part of this ground breaking event for our city including Marlene Haute Couture, Bothdol Fashions, House of Jola, and Dayton’s very own kids line Cupcake Couture just to name a few! Before I go any further there are some important dates to remember that are rapidly approaching; on Wednesday February 1 at 8:15 and 8:45 be sure to tune in to FOX 45 in the Morning, where the Dayton Fashion Week team will make its debut–there will be a mini fashion show featuring the designs of Marlene Haute Couture. On Saturday February 25 from 10am-3pm Dayton Fashion Week will hold its first casting call for models—all models must bring with them this signed release form. To be clear, there will be separate casting calls for the Children’s Runway Show and to become one of the hosts for Inside Couture Television, the dates and locations for these casting calls will be announced soon. Finally, the deadline for designers to apply to be a part of Dayton Fashion week is Thursday March 1 all submissions must be sent via our website at daytonfashionweek.com.
Since the announcement was made about Dayton Fashion Week members of the DFW team have been bombarded with question about the industry and the most common question is “How do I become a model?” So here are a few pointers on how to jump start your modeling career–The first thing you need to know is what genre you fit into. There are several genres of modeling; High Fashion, Plus-Sized, Lifestyles, and Promotional are the most common. High Fashion Modeling is probably the most popular and well known form of the modeling industry—these are the models that you see sashaying up and down the runways for some of the world’s top designers and they are also seen in magazines like Vogue. These models are typically very thin and tall, females must be at least 5’10 and males 5’9. Plus-Sized models also fall under the High Fashion Models height restrictions, the only difference is size–Plus-Sized Model typically wears a size 6-12. Lifestyle models are generally used in photos showing a common life activity—for example– an ad photo for Tide in a magazine of a mother joyfully doing laundry. Promotional Models are used at various conventions showcasing products. A models height and size tend to be a lot less restrictive for both Lifestyle and Promotional Models.
Once you have determined what genre you fit into, now it’s time to take some pictures! As mentioned in one of my previous columns–DO NOT GO OUT AND SPEND HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS ON PROFESSIONAL PICTURES!! There are cheaper ways to get the pictures that you need to start your modeling career. There are thousands of photographers looking to fine tune their skills on websites like modelmayhem.com which is a networking site for models, designers, makeup artist, and photographers. It’s free to join and what’s even better—there are a lot of photographers who are willing to work with you free of charge also known as TFP if you have the look that they are looking for to build their portfolio. If you book a job via Model Mayhem it is very important that you discuss concepts, compensation, locations, ask for references, and ask if escorts are welcomed prior to arranging any meetings or shoots. Another cheap way to get the pictures that you need is to have a friend or a family member take the pictures for you please reference the criteria for photos in this past article about the casting call for DFW.
So now you know which genre you’re in, you have your pictures, and now it’s time to get discovered. This is where it’s important for you to start doing research on the various fashion markets in the U.S. New York is known for more High Fashion work, Chicago and Los Angeles do more Editorial, Atlanta’s market is geared towards Promotional and Lifestyles, and Miami does a mix of all 4 markets–there are also off seasons for each of these cities. You should also research the various agencies because not all agencies cater to each genre. Once you’ve picked the agency that you think best suites you, find out when they hold their open calls, which is pretty much a casting call. If you can’t afford to travel ask for a mailing address, website, or email address where you can send your photos. Please understand that agencies handle hundreds of phone calls and receive thousands of pictures every day, if an agency is interested in you they will contact you.
Hopefully these tips will help you in your pursuit to breaking into the industry. If you haven’t done so yet please “LIKE” our Facebook page. Can you think of a better way to launch your career than at Dayton Fashion Week?