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Fit Modeling, Commercial Modeling, & More for Non-Size 4 Models

More on Fit Modeling & Commercial Modeling from Bicoastal Fitting Model’s Founder Malissa Young

If you missed Part I, Read Bicoastal Fitting Models

What size is a standard fit model? 

Standard fit models today range from size 4 to size 8, even size 10, with size 18 being the main fit size for the Plus industry and 32 or 34 waist for Men with a 40 chest being the Men’s standard. The most interesting thing I have observed over the years is the shift in the fit business from almost all Women’s Production fit being done on size 8s to the range of sizes now. Many contemporary brands led the way fitting on size 6 or 4 so a company could save money and have samples that were smaller and therefore thought of as “cuter” in the showroom by making the fit and showroom sample the same size. ¬†Alternatively, they could cut samples in an 8 for production and a 4 for sales (to hang in the showroom or shoot on the models) but these requires more work and therefore more expense. Fitting on size 8 was the standard because it was generally the middle of a size run… companies producing garments in size 2 up to size 12 usually. ¬†You would only fit on the one standard fit model, and then grade the pattern up and down for other sizes. ¬†By being mostly in the middle of the size run, the margin for error is slimmer between sizes. If you fit on a size 2 or 4, by the time you grade up to the 12 garment you are pretty far away from the body you made the clothes for and possibly not fitting those larger sizes as well. Though, of course, companies spend a lot of time determining the best math to perfect their grade.

 

Model Ashley Sumner

Print and Fit Model Ashley Sumner

How much does a fit model generally make and how often do they work?

We have fit models making great 6 figure salaries, and maintaining their careers between and after pregnancies into their 50s if they maintain there specs. Keeping your measurements consistent is a top job priority.  Represented Fit models generally take home anywhere from $100-$250/hour depending on experience level and location (prices vary dramatically in the locations we have booked fit models which include Boston, LA, NYC of course, and Hong Kong).  In NYC for instance, many fit models are making between $100,000-$250,000 year working anywhere from 8-20 hours a week on average.  Of course, there is travel time between accounts that is not considered in those hours, and time working out to maintain specs, and other general image maintenance (Mani-Pedis, Waxing, Skin care, etc).

Fit Model Joe Vollen

Fit Model Joe Vollen

Is there more flexibility regarding height and age for commercial models than in the fashion world?

The Commercial world has a huge range of requests and thus a huge range of talent. ¬†What we seem to lack on our boards would be professional models/actors who are 40 to 70. In the 20s market, there is a lot more talent and a lot more competition amongst talent. ¬†There are far fewer “older” models available for things like Pharmaceuticals, Insurance Companies, Cruise lines, and other ads we have submitted to (so better odds of being booked). The great thing about the commercial market is that anyone can roll the dice if they are near a market, such as NYC, invest in a good headshot, which can be as little as $150-$200, and find a good manager/agent to submit them. Why not? If you have the time or interest, there may be a casting director who needs someone just like you! But, making commercials or commercial print your main source of income is a bit more challenging and you are still statistically in the single digit chances of booking a job when most casting directors cast with a several reps and then call in dozens of options to pitch to their clients. Nonetheless, if you are selected it is generally high pay for a short amount of time so I would say think positive and explore this avenue to anyone who was interested.

Plus Model Suzette Green

Plus Model Suzette Green

Where are your offices located?

Our office is located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and we work from there on our bookings for both domestic and international clients.

How do you scout models?

We scout models all over… we have found models on the subway, on the sidewalk, in gyms, waiting on our table at Balthazar, via other models who refer their model friends, and via clients who refer models who need representation. It is always fun to start working with someone new! ¬†We get a lot of email submissions, as well.

Tell us about your modeling background?

I modeled here and there as a teen (think mall modeling) and then while in college found my first agent and began doing showroom gigs once a season. As a 5’8″ size 6/8 I was not going to book runway or fashion work, but I was referred into Fit. It took a while to establish myself as a fit model, but after a year of near misses I booked Ralph via Jones New York and Tommy Hilfiger and things snowballed from there! While pregnant and a new mommy I shot an ad or editorial or two, but I always ended up finding Fit work as my mainstay. I liked that there was longevity to it and that you were often expected to contribute to the process and really be a part of the team!

Advice for aspiring models?

Give it time. Test shoot as much as you can with reputable photographers… get to know your best angles. Stay positive. Stay in touch… we like when our models/talent email us to let us know they are eager and ready to work! And when booked, show up on time, hair/nails/clothing clean and look your best! ¬†Be friendly but don’t chat too much with clients, they are working and probably super busy so know you are there to help them do their job and your professionalism is also required.

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