Young Ladies, Moms and Other Tales of Modeling©


Model: Adriana Lima Age 15 (Ford Supermodel) - Speaking with Her Mom at a Ford Models Party

Daniela PestovaFashion models are starting at around 14 years of age. If you are over 20 and have not done magazine work,  most top agencies wont pick you up. I mean Elite, Ford, Wilhelmina, and IMG. Though they have new faces divisions in some cases, most  should be called young faces and not new faces. I have a hard time with this, since models who are 14 are not old enough to buy cigarettes let alone go on a photoshoot alone.  So moms are big backers in New York fashion. Some can be seen  around the runways, and on the sets of big pro productions.  The model at right tends to have her mom around a lot.

I feel strongly that your family is the backbone of your career in the New York modeling world. Without a supportive mom or dad, your chances of becoming a hooker, drug user, or homeless person are far greater than your chances of becoming a pro model here.

By the time you are 20 years old, you should have done 4 or 5 seasons of New York fashion work. Your books should be full, and if they are not, talk to me and we will fill them for you. Fashion starts here, with go-sees for NY designers holding open calls for their upcoming lines.

Couture designers will produce long gowns, thus the need for a tall 5'9" or better girl. If you are working anything but couture, you can give it a try if your less than 5'9" - you may make a few less bucks than your taller sisters, but theres plenty of work out there.

Be prepared to do intimate apparel work even if you are under 18. Again mom needs to help you with this. If its not for you, good luck as you will have a hard time showing a book without any lingere looks. Supportive moms should work with their daughters to keep their self esteem high, and to prepare the model for difficult situations. But know yourself. If its not for you dont do it.

Model : Ivanka Trump Age 17 (Elite Celebrities Monique Pillard) - Mom Is In The Audience

Ivanka TrumpMany times you will walk out of an open call with a great feeling that you know you got the job, only to sit by the phone and wait without any rings... You will always walk out feeling good about yourself. Its the job of the casting directors (or a good one) to make sure that you are feeling good when you walk out. They will compliment you on your good looks, and on your better shots. They will avoid talk of your shortcomings. You will never know why you didnt get the job.

Once youre in with a designer, you have your career on a good starting path. You can look forward to runway, fit, showroom, trunk shows, catalogue, and look-book work from any one designer. Since there are two main seasons in fashion, you will have your jobs coming around twice per year.

Magazine editorial work will come from your agency, but you can get designer work without an agent. Mom needs to do some work for you, since you are simply too young to really coach yourself at this point. Regardless of your age if you have a great designer portfolio, agencies will take you on, so dont worry so much about being signed by Ford yet.

One of the very best New York agencies with a great track record for getting their new girls on the runways would be NeXt at 23 Watt Street in New York. Here are their requirements: 5'9"-6'0" age 15- 21 weight 110-120 size 6-8

Dont worry too much about your face. Faces come in a lot of variations but have a few common characteristics agents and photographers want - for example: Eyes need to be evenly spaced and in a straight line with the forehead...Ears need to be even at top and bottom. lips should be full without being fat, and nose should be straight without arching too much and must be relatively small.

Model: Lyndsey Hartley Age 15 - (Seventeen Cover Girl) - Mom is Backstage

Lyndsey HartleyIf you can fit yourself into 75 percent of the above requirements  you can work in New York, and again NeXt is a great place to start. A few of my other suggestions for good agencies are Karin, Marilyn, Company and Metropolitan. Between Marilyn, Karin, and NeXt you will have 75 percent of the working runway girls in New York.

IMG, Ford, Elite, Wilhelmina are doing less runway than ever before, however a few of their better models are booked for show after show. These high end agencies specialize in celebrities, and models who have been doing the Fashion circuit for a few years, and have become well known, or requested by name. In my opinion you are better off to start with Marilyn, get two or three seasons under your belt, and then show your book to Ford.

Even if you dont meet their requirements for new faces  you may be picked up on the basis of your past performance.  You will also be entering as a pro working model as opposed to a new face. They will want you to reshoot a portion of your book, but will put you into situations where you will have a chance to test in editorials. You may now be doing less runway work, and more commercial work for designers, cosmetics companies, and non fashion companies. The tearsheets you walk away with are invaluable in your climb up the industry ladder.

Last word. Regardless of who you shoot with, spare no expense. Choose photographers because they are busy, and anxious to work with you. Shoot with as many people as possible, and get your moms support. Dont worry so much about what photographers have done in the past. Get them to do their best for YOU. If your shots are lousy, its in large part due to YOUR abilities or inabilities. Moms take your daughters out into the fashion world, take them to sample sales, showroom openings and castings. Send out  photos to designers and tell them your daughter is available. Drag them out to shoot with people... If time passes, it can never  be brought back.

Good Days To Ya...
Andrew Richard



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