Young fashion designers who are just starting out in the industry offer a unique opportunity for beginning models. When it comes right down to it, you are both in the same boat – trying to gain respect by getting more work and increasing your exposure. And the relationship can be mutually beneficial. As a model, you get a chance to showcase yourself with an up and coming designer, and the designer is able to work with top-notch talent at a price they can afford.
To find up-and-coming designers, you’re going to have to be a little bit creative. Here are some tips for models who want to work with the next – big – thing:
Fashion Design Schools: Today’s students are tomorrow’s top designers. And chances are, they’re looking for models to wear their latest creations. Contact the local design schools in your area and find out the best ways to make yourself available to these rising stars.
Craigslist: Many aspiring designers will place ads on Craigslist looking for models. Be sure and do your homework though – as great a resource as Craigslist is, it is also the home to many internet scams. Check references whenever possible.
Boutiques and Small Clothing Stores: If you live in a city big enough to support small, hip boutiques, pop your head in and see if you can “network” yourself with the young designers who sell their stuff there. You’ll be seen as proactive and enthusiastic, and might just get set up with your next job.
Register with an online modeling agency like COACH Models – Many smaller lines and young designers can’t afford to book through the major agencies, so they spend a lot of time online, looking for a great models to showcase their wares. (Note: As with Craigslist, beware of scams. Do your homework and find the online agencies that have really helped their models achieve success.)
Finally, it is important that you manage your expectations when working with young designers. They don’t have the money to pay top-rates, and often are limited in the amount of exposure they can give you. But the benefits ARE there: you’ll get paid for your work, gain exposure and have some real work to add to your portfolio. And who knows, as the designer gains popularity, he or she just might take you with them along for the ride!
Make sacrifices if you can. If you feel that the designer has amazing product, and is destined to go places, then cut your rate to work with them. Go the extra mile. Be enthusiastic. When the designer’s ship comes in, you will be remembered and hopefully, rewarded for the “investment” you made in the business.