Our Phoenix Bloggers, Libby Allnatt & Rachel Bouley, collaborated to discuss what designers should look for when picking models to show off their clothes. Thankfully there was more catwalk talk than catfights. Here’s what they came up with.
LA: "It’s not what you wear; it’s how you wear it.” That’s what comes to mind when I think of the importance of models. The whole mantra suggests that even though the quality of a piece is important, it’s the way it’s presented that can make or break it. And obviously it’s important for shoppers to see designs on an actual person instead of just a hanger.
RB: Yeah. After months of working on a collection or piece it deserves to make a lasting impression. You want your potential customers to be able to relate to the model’s look and see themselves in your design.
LA: So to start you have to consider the model’s individual style and vibe.
RB: I agree. Think of your target audience and choose a model that embodies what your brand stands for.
LA: Exactly. For example, if your designs are more classic and refined, a model who looks good with a fresh face and simple makeup would work best. If your designs are more playful or edgy, pick a model who can rock glitter eyeliner and blue hair (laughs).
RB: I also think they should be confident no matter what you throw at them. A good model is comfortable in different designs and is willing to work hard to sell them. They also should be happy with their body. Very important.
LA: Yeah different body types are important too. Runway models are generally super tall and thin. Having a lean frame puts the focus directly on the designs so it does have its benefits. But certain silhouettes, fabrics or prints may look better on curvier bodies. Think about your designs and decide which body type works best for them.
RB: It’s really important to have a fitting and practice show with your model, not just base your choice on their portfolio. Their whole personality has to work with your brand as well as their body-type. You have to see how they walk and pose on the runway. Also, it doesn’t hurt to choose someone who has a nice smile and pleasant personality. So much easier to work with.
LA: Don’t forget to consider “the little people”. Don’t always go with the popular or successful models in your area. Be open to undiscovered talent. If you know a friend or see a cool person on the street who embodies the style of your brand, don’t be afraid to approach them. They’ll be really eager to work with you if they’re just starting out.
RB: Yeah. Audiences relate to “normal” people. Having a variety of body types will appeal to a lot of people. Just always make sure you choose people that are comfortable in front of a crowd. Not everyone can model. You have to find a good balance of professionalism and individuality.
LA: No matter what approach you choose, remember that models are there to speak to audiences about your brand. You want the models to match how awesome your designs are!
RB: Happy model hunting!
Got the models and the designs- Learn how to pitch your line to boutiques next.
By Libby Allnatt & Rachel Bouley