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What Models Do When They’re Not On The Catwalk

  • Freya Hill

Can you believe it? It’s been over a month since London Fashion Week took place. A month! People must think that models are having a whale of a time now; no runways to prance down, no castings to attend first thing in the morning, no backstage make-up sessions that make their skin go blotchy and their hair horribly knotty.


Sure, Fashion Week’s a massively busy time of year if you’re a high-end fashion model, the sort who finds him or herself walking down the runway twice a year, but there are thousands of models right across the country that are busy working elsewhere. The question is, what sort of work are they taking on?

Catalogue Modelling: This is a very popular style of modelling (but one that the average member of public often finds themselves forgetting about). Think about how many times you log on to the Internet to go clothes shopping, how often you flick open a magazine to pick out your next Saturday night outfit. Filling up the pages that are staring back at you are hundreds of men and women, children too, pictured wearing the latest dresses, coats, jeans, shoes etc. And those people are the catalogue models that we’re talking of.


Now that the seasonal catwalks have happened, models right across the country – in London, Birmingham, Manchester and so many more cities – are busy modelling all of the clothes inspired by those shows ready for selling on the high street. A lot of these models will be signed to a specific agency and contracted for an exclusive period of time or to a particular brand, thus making this a reliable and popular choice of work.

Commercial Modelling: Away from fashion – models aren’t lucky enough to model clothes all of the time! – and towards household and lifestyle items, a great deal of work can be found commercially.

Commercial models advertise a brand’s product, for example a bar of chocolate or a Play Station. They can be asked to pretty much model anything! If you think about the last advert you saw, can you remember a model showing the viewer how to use the featured product? That’s what we’re talking about, although we might see these models in magazines, on packaging or on a leaflet too.

Editorial Modelling: This line of work hasn’t got the best reputation for making money but it is a line of modelling that’s always pretty busy. Think about how many magazines are on the market now and how many of those feature high-end photographic editorials. You will always spot one model within these pictures, if not two or three.

High-end fashion models such as Lindsey Wixson and David Gandy will be taking on editorial commissions for magazines such as Elle, Vogue, 10 Men Magazine and Homme Magazine between catwalk seasons, whilst new models may be posing for FAULT or Fashion Insider Magazine.

Fitness Modelling: Much like commercial modelling there’s no specific time that fitness modelling gets really busy or really quiet. Men and women are used throughout the year to advertise gyms, sporting equipment, protein shakes, trainers, you name it, they’ll have it covered. The difficulty of gaining fitness modelling work is not what time of year it is but more orientated around whether you have the right body shape and look for a brand’s requirements.


Glamour Modelling: The same goes for glamour modelling. Unless you’re modelling for a lingerie or underwear brand, this type of work’s carried out all year round. With the increase of ‘Lad’s Mags’ (and ‘Lad’s magazines’ now taking to the internet) there are significantly more opportunities for this type of work, though a great body shape and killer confidence/personality is what will influence your success most.

Body Parts: Have you ever watched an advert and thought to yourself how beautiful a model’s face is not to mention her hands, her feet, her legs and her bottom? Believe it or not the likeliness of all of those features being her own are very slim, the same goes for men and their bodies. Most models that have a stunning face don’t always have the best hands/toes/bottoms, so agencies are constantly on the look out for men and women who have particularly beautiful body parts. You will probably find this line of work in the shoe, jewellery and make-up world, particularly for advertising campaigns and editorials.

The proof is in the pudding here; there’s a whole world of modelling out there that’s not just orientated around high-end fashion. If you’re interested in exploring it, fill out our online application form and someone from the UK Models New Faces team will get in touch with you to explain how we can help.

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Posted by Freya Hill

Freya is been writing for many years on fashion and modelling. Her hands are a bit too wrinkly for a 23 year old and she has worked with MTV, New Look and Vauxhall Fashion Scout.