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Modeling Tip: Runway Rundown

Fashion Week Models

Fashion Week is here for Spring 2014! Let’s start with this Fashion Week for Dummies Tip: Next season’s fashions are shown about six months ahead of when they will appear in stores, i.e. Spring 2014 collections appear on catwalks now, and Fall 2014 will debut in February.

The models who walk in the most shows during Fashion Week often are the same models who will garner the most tear sheets in fashion spreads this fall. The editors who go to the shows are reviewing the clothes and looking for the season’s hottest models.

The most renowned Fashion Weeks occur in New York, Paris, and Milan, but London has been a contender for decades and every other city from here to Tokyo seems to have launched their own version (Miami, Los Angeles, Scottsdale, Toronto, Montreal, Madrid, Barcelona, Berlin, Florence, Rome, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Moscow, Jakarta, Tokyo, Perth… The list goes on and on).

The Model Strut

The style may be a tad different from season to season, era to era (the sexy strut of larger-than-life supermodels, the trudge of the heroine chic girls…), but some things haven’t changed since China Machado walked for Givenchy and Balenciaga in Paris in the ’50s. Runway models must:

China Machado on the Runway

1. Exude confidence

2. Stand tall (and have long slender legs)

3. Put one foot in front of the other (literally)

4. Not hunch their shoulders

5. Make whatever they are modeling look fabulous

Model Money

Linda Evangelista once famously said that she did not get out of bed for less than $10,000. Those were the days. Few models make what the supermodels did doing runway shows. That’s because they were a select posse of girls (about 10 to 15, with Linda, Christy, and Naomi leading the way), whom every designer wanted. The masses knew their names, they had big personalities, their agents kept upping their rates, and designers paid, and paid, and paid, until… until, well, enough was enough. And celebrities started stealing some of the limelight on fashion magazines, weakening models’ clout.

These days models turn over faster, so few have bargaining power to demand huge rates. A small show may pay $200, or, more likely, pay in trade, i.e. clothing (probably an item or two, not a whole wardrobe). A big-name show may pay $1,000. Back when I did Fashion Week (a few years ago…ha), I made about $500 a show, or, in one case, nothing, as the designer just never paid. Who was it? Hint: A photo from that show is in this collage and it is NOT Alberta Ferretti

Fashion Week Shows

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