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Different Types of Modelling Jobs

  • Amy Bebbington

Modelling jobs vary depending on the desired initial intention and niche that you are working in. From high end editorial fashion magazine shoots in Vogue and Elle, to posing for a catalogue shoot for Very or walking in a catwalk show for fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen the demand for fashion models is high, which requires confidence and self assurance. Take a look at the different types of modelling available in the industry. It will help to guide your decision as to which opportunity would be suitable for you.

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Catwalk Show

Elite designers for prestigious high fashion houses present a runway show each season at either Paris, London, New York or Milan Fashion Week. A lot of money is invested into the extravaganza to ensure a powerful catwalk show. This requires runway models who are tall and slim with a unique look.

Travelling is a must for runway models, which means they could be in New York one day, Chicago the next followed by London just a few days later. The fashion industry is fast paced with fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle based across the globe as are model agencies. Therefore, editorial fashion models usually live from their suitcase.


This niche is extremely competitive with many high fashion models finding the challenge impossible or difficult to break. Fashion modelling is not an easy career choice but becoming the face of top brands and featuring in fashion magazines is worth the effort. Runway models past and present have worked extremely hard to build their career. Think Tyra Banks, Kendal Jenner and Naomi Campbell. It was no easy task!

Other fashion shows include events on a smaller scale such as local independent designers who organise a presentation to promote their creations or shopping malls who develop and deliver an interpretation of a fashion week. The competition is less fierce with a diverse outlook yet the amount of hopefuls is high making the chance of success low.

Fashion Shoots

Shoots for high end designers appear in elite publications or campaign imagery for a fashion house require editorial fashion models to capture the vision of the designer. Expectations are high to produce a creative shot that is unique and inspirational to spectators and industry professionals. Capturing the fashion designer’s or editor’s artistic vision is essential to success and can take a long time to perfect. Fashion editorials are not an easy gig, the pressure is on.

Again, typically tall, slim fashion models are hired for roles of this nature, which is slowly changing for a more diverse representation. The stereotype of editorial models is changing as is fashion modelling. The face of brands are no longer confined to a white, slim, tall brunette. Fashion magazines also reflect our diverse world with alternative models finding work in the fashion industry.

High street brands and independent labels require commercial models to capture the vision of the company each season via campaign imagery. A more accessible look is usually required. A print model is hired to promote their new designs in store and online.

Catalogue Shoots

Online and print catalogues include models wearing the brands latest designs captured from various angles. The aim is to showcase the item of clothing including a front, back and side view. Print models will pose in a simple way to avoid distracting from the promoted garment. A hand on the hip or a slight bend of the knee will suffice. Those cast for the catalogue shoot will have an even, accessible look to suit a variety of brands. Modelling agencies are always on the look our for print models with a commercial, natural vibe.

Commercial Modelling

Commercial models who have a talent for acting and are natural in front of the camera may be cast for a TV advertisement, music videos or campaign video. Moving effortlessly wearing the design to attract attention from female and male audiences is usually desired from the commercial models hired. Also, confidence is key and listening to the directions carefully is a must to ensure the itinerary runs smoothly. The commercial will be aired on TV for millions to see and therefore needs to be professional to provide a good first impression and reputation for the brand. Commercial modelling is the perfect way to get comfortable in front of a camera.

Fitting Model

Designers require fitting models to test out their garments whilst in the pattern cutting stages. The model will visit the studio to try on the toile (practice garment) so the creative can visually see how the design fits and adjust accordingly. The fitting model will be required to stand very still whilst the item is pinned, cut at and sewn into place. The chosen individual will visit the designer numerous times until the finished product is crafted to perfection. It is vital that the design fits perfectly so that the high fashion industry keeps its reputation for high quality, exclusive design. Fitting models are usually signed to fashion agencies who find them work.


Glamour Models

The more seductive, provocative side of the modelling industry is known as glamour modelling. Wearing lingerie and nudity is very common with mainly female models hired for the attention of the male audience. That said, male models can get jobs in the glamour modelling world but their is not as much work to go around. Think of the likes of Playboy to get an idea of the type of images created in the glamour world. Therefore, if you wish to become a glamour model make sure that you feel comfortable posing in this way. It is like the modern day fifties pinup models. 

Plus-Size Models

As mentioned earlier, the fashion industry is becoming much more diverse and open to different body shapes. Therefore, plus-size models are gaining work in the high fashion world as well as the commercial and catalogue industry. The best way to succeed is for plus-size models to sign with a modelling agency who specialises in this niche.

Petite Models

Smaller frames are also finding work in the modelling industry with petite brands wishing to promote tiny physiques. Also, the likes of swimwear, glamour and body part models are usually smaller as height is not an issue. Over the years we have seen many petite models find success in the high fashion industry. We’re thinking Kate Moss, Twiggy and Anja Konstantinova, to name a few.

Body Part Models

Hand models are highly sought after in the modelling industry and can make a great living out of a beautiful body part. Whether it’s your feet, legs, bum or eyes that stand out, the fashion industry needs you to either be a body double or to pose with your body part alone.

Modelling agencies that specialise in body part modelling will tell you to take great care of your asset to avoid any bruises, cuts, blemishes or scars. Therefore, a perfectly manicured hand, smooth, flawless legs and blister free feet are desired. Foot and hand models have to constantly think about their lifestyle choices and the weather conditions. Parts models cannot turn up to a shoot with a sunburnt hand as they will be most likely sent home. 

Fitness Modelling

Toned, muscular and strong physiques are required of those wishing to enter the world of fitness modelling. It is only available to the dedicated who are willing to spend hours at the gym every day creating and maintaining a figure that will be hired by sports brands. An athletic physique is needed to promote gym equipment and sportswear to their target audience. Again, modelling agencies within fitness modelling will be able to help you find work in this niche. They have connections and a valuable insight into the way the modelling industry works. 


Child Model

Children are hired to model for the likes of high street brands who cater for ages from 3-12 years old. At this age it’s a necessity that a child model is accompanied by an adult to guarantee safety. Child model agencies are available to find work for kids yet their mum and dad must be on board. Parents are needed to give permission to sign up to the agency.

Promotional Model

Finally, at trade shows and events promotional models are hired to help sell products. This kind of job requires live models to attract female and male audiences. Their job is to promote the item, which can range from cars, food or TV’s. A promotional model will be signed to a model agency. They will be contacted as soon as work becomes available to see if they are free or not.

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