Until the late 1800s, “modeling” was primarily a term (from the Middle French word ‘modelle’) used to describe people posing for a portrait. Upon the invention of the camera, people would pose for more than painted portraits, and soon, ads featuring pictures of men and women were added to newspapers. Before this, Charles Frederick Worth, who is considered by most to be the “father of haute couture,” had his wife model his designs in the early 1850s.
Until then, mannequins were used to “model” clothing. Worth’s wife, Marie Augustine Vernet, was his “live mannequin,” and is considered the first ever fashion model. Not only was Worth the first designer to use live models, but he was also the first designer to sew his label onto clothing.
After Worth had begun using live models, modeling as a profession was established, and others began to follow suit. After the invention of photography (including fashion photography), the industry boomed. In 1946, Ford Models was created by Eileen and Gerard Ford. Ford Models is one of the first and most prestigious modeling agencies in the world, and it opened many doors for models looking to build a career out of what was once just a hobby.
While there were very successful models in the 1950s, being a successful model meant being known within the fashion community, rather than in pop-culture as a whole the way models are now known.
The 1970s and 1980s brought better wages and working conditions for models, as well as models landing cosmetic and hair endorsements. Modeling competitions were popular ways to find new models in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1980, the first Ford Supermodel of the World Competition was held to discover fresh faces from around the globe. The 1970s also meant marking significant milestones in the fashion and modeling industry. In 1974, Beverly Johnson became the first African-American model to grace the cover of American Vogue, and model Margaux Hemingway signed an astounding million-dollar contract in 1975. Her contract led to her covering Time magazine, which further solidified the legitimacy of modeling as a profession.
A model is a person with a role either to promote, display or advertise commercial products (notably fashion clothing in fashion shows), or to serve as a visual aid for people who are creating works of art or to pose for photography.
Types of modelling include: fashion, glamour, fitness, bikini, fine art, body-part, promotional and commercial print models. Models are featured in a variety of media formats including: books, magazines, films, newspapers, internet and television
The 1990s is known as the decade of the “supermodel,” and their famous faces were everywhere. Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour were, and remain, some of the most recognizable supermodels of the time. When Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated rose in popularity, so too did the demand for sexier and curvier models like Heidi Klum, Claudia Schiffer, and Tyra Banks.
The 2000s brought a whole new aspect to the modeling world: social media. Now, models are more involved than ever with their fans as they share parts of their lives no one got to see before. Models like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Cara Delevingne have millions of followers on their social media accounts, and this is often a big factor in a brand’s decision to hire them. The 2000s also brought a new and improved market for models who look different than “traditional” models.
The criteria for runway models include certain height and weight requirements. During runway shows, models have to constantly change clothes and makeup. Models walk, turn, and stand in order to demonstrate a garment's key features. Models also go to interviews (called "go and sees") to present their portfolios. The more experience a model has, the more likely she/he is to be hired for a fashion show. A runway model can also work in other areas, such as department store fashion shows, and the most successful models sometimes create their own product lines or go into acting.
Runway Fashion models showcase clothes from fashion designers, fashion media, and consumers. They are also called "live models" and are self-employed. They are wanted to be over the height of 5 ft 8 inches for men and 5 ft 6 inches for women. Runway models work in different locations, constantly travelling between those cities where fashion is well known—London, Milan, New York City, and Paris. Second-tier international fashion center cities include: Rome, Florence, Venice, Brescia, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Tokyo, and Moscow.
Glamour modelling focuses on sexuality and thus general requirements are often unclear, being dependent more on each individual case. Glamour models can be any size or shape. There is no industry standard for glamour modelling and it varies greatly by country. For the most part, glamour models are limited to modelling in calendars, men's magazines, such as Playboy, bikini modelling, lingerie modelling, fetish modelling, music videos, and extra work in films. However, some extremely popular glamour models transition into commercial print modelling, appearing in swimwear, bikini and lingerie campaigns.
Trade show models work a trade show floorspace or booth, and represent a company to attendees. Trade show models are typically not regular employees of the company, but are freelancers hired by the company renting the booth space. They are hired for several reasons: trade show models can make a company's booth more visibly distinguishable from the hundreds of other booths with which it competes for attention.
Commercial print models generally appear in print ads for non-fashion products, and in television commercials. Commercial print models can earn up to $250 an hour. Commercial print models are usually non-exclusive, and primarily work in one location.
There are several large fashion agencies that have commercial print divisions, including Ford Models in the United States.
Male and female models who work in print must also possess clear skin, healthy hair, and attractive facial features. Stringent weight and body proportion guidelines form the selection criteria by which established, and would‑be, models are judged for their placement suitability. There can be some variation regionally, and by market tier, subject to current prevailing trends at any point, in any era, by agents, agencies and end-clients.
Fitness modelling focuses on displaying a healthy, toned physique. Fitness models usually have defined muscle groups. The model's body weight is greater due to muscle weighing more than fat; however, they have a lower body fat percentage because the muscles are toned and sculpted. Fitness models are often used in magazine advertising; they can also in some cases be certified personal fitness trainers. However, other fitness models are also athletes and compete as professionals in fitness and figure competitions.
A promotional model is a model hired to drive consumer demand for a product, service, brand, or concept by directly interacting with potential consumers. The vast majority of promotional models tend to be attractive in physical appearance. They serve to provide information about the product or service and make it appealing to consumers. While the length of interaction may be short, the promotional model delivers a live experience that reflects on the product or service he or she is representing.
Spokesmodel is a term used for a model who is employed to be associated with a specific brand in advertisements. A spokesmodel may be a celebrity used only in advertisements (in contrast to a brand ambassador who is also expected to represent the company at various events), but more often the term refers to a model who is not a celebrity in their own right. A classic example of the spokesmodel would be Stephanie Courtney who plays "Flo" in television and radio commercials for Progressive Insurance ads.
A child model refers to a child who is employed to display, advertise and promote commercial products or to serve as a subject of works of art, such as photography, painting and sculpture. Artists have used children as models for countless works over the centuries. Child modeling has become a distinct activity because of the explosion of commercial media over the past several decades. Many young actresses, notably, Katherine Heigl, Lindsay Lohan, Zendaya, Bella Thorne, Liv Tyler and Brooke Shields began as child models.
If you're photogenic and enjoy posing for photos, you may have thought about becoming a model. Starting as a teenager is actually very common in the industry -- Tyra Banks began modelling at just 15! It's not an easy field to break into, though, and it's not all glamorous photo shoots and fashion shows. You'll need to be focused, persistent, and hardworking to make it as a model. If you are under 18, you need parental approval. Modeling can mean long shoots and last-minute assignments, so having your parents behind you can also reduce some of the stress and help you balance your modeling career with school responsibilities. Talk to your parents about your modeling goals and explain to them what their support means to you and to your modeling career.
Instagram models have become popular due to the widespread use of social media. They are models who gain their success as a result of the large number of followers they have on Instagram and other social media. The Instagram model concept originated in the late 2000s, when the boyfriends of fashion bloggers such as Rumi Neely and Chiara Ferragnibegan photographing their girlfriends in various outfits. Instagram models often attempt to become social media influencers and engage in influencer marketing, promoting products such as fashion brands and detox teas. High-profile influencers able to earn thousands of US dollars for promoting commercial brands
Podium models differ from runway models in that they don't walk down a runway, but rather just stand on an elevated platform. They are kind of like live mannequins placed in various places throughout an event. Attendees can walk up to the models and inspect and even feel the clothing. Podium Modeling is a practical alternative way of presenting a fashion show when space is too limited to have a full runway fashion show.
Atmosphere models are hired by the producers of themed events to enhance the atmosphere or ambience of their event. They are usually dressed in costumes exemplifying the theme of the event and are often placed strategically in various locations around the venue. It is common for event guests to have their picture taken with atmosphere models. For example, if someone is throwing a "Brazilian Day" celebration, they would hire models dressed in samba costumes and headdresses to stand or walk around the party.
Some models are employed for their body parts. For example, hand models may be used to promote products held in the hand and nail-related products. They are frequently part of television commercials. Many parts models have exceptionally attractive body parts, but there is also demand for unattractive or unusual looking body parts for particular campaigns.
Some models are employed for their body parts. For example, hand models may be used to promote products held in the hand and nail-related products. They are frequently part of television commercials.
An alternative model is any model who does not fit into the conventional model types and may include punk, goth, fetish, and tattooed models or models with distinctive attributes. This type of modeling is usually a cross between glamour modeling and art modeling. Publishers such as Goliath Books in Germany introduced alternative models and punk photography to larger audiences. Billi Gordon, then known as Wilbert Anthony Gordon, was the top greeting card model in the world and inspired a cottage industry, including greeting cards, T-shirts, fans, stationery, gift bags, etc.
Plus-size models are models who generally have larger measurements than editorial fashion models. The primary use of plus-size models is to appear in advertising and runway shows for plus-size labels. Plus-size models are also engaged in work that is not strictly related to selling large-sized clothing, e.g., stock photography and advertising photography for cosmetics, household and pharmaceutical products and sunglasses, footwear and watches. Therefore, plus-size models do not exclusively wear garments marketed as plus-size clothing. This is especially true when participating in fashion editorials for mainstream fashion magazines. Some plus-size models have appeared in runway shows and campaigns for mainstream retailers and designers such as Gucci, Guess, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Levi's and Versace Jeans.
Art models pose for any visual artist as part of the creative process. Art models are often paid professionals who provide a reference or inspiration for a work of art that includes the human figure. The most common types of art created using models are figure drawing, figure painting, sculpture and photography, but almost any medium may be used. Although commercial motives dominate over aesthetics in illustration, its artwork commonly employs models. Models are most frequently employed for art classes or by informal groups of experienced artists that gather to share the expense of a model.