Fashion Model: Types and Roles in Fashion Industry

Last Updated on 10/02/2023

What is a Fashion Model?
A fashion model is a person who displays clothing and accessories for prospective buyers, photographers, and the public. They typically work for clothing designers, fashion houses, and retail stores, appearing in advertisements, runways shows, and print media.

fashion model
Fig: Fashion model

Models may be used to display and promote clothing. Fashion models may also be used to showcase styles in magazines, catalogs, and online retailers. Fashion modeling may involve catwalk or runway modeling or editorial modeling, covering photography for magazine spreads, ad campaigns, catalogues, print etc. The emphasis of fashion photography is on the clothes or accessories, not the model. Fashion models may be used to display or promote various types of clothing, such as lingerie, swimsuit, bikinis, etc. Other models may be used in showroom, fit modeling, fitness or sporty modeling. Some are used for petite modeling or plus-size modeling.

The first person described as a fashion model is believed to be parisian shopgirl, Marie Vernet Worth. She was a house model in 1853, to her fashion designer husband, Charles Frederick Worth.

Different Types of Fashion Models:
Different types of fashion models and their requirements are given below.

1. Female body type:
Main articles: Size zero and Female body shape.

The British Association of model Agents (AMA) says that female models should be around 34-24-34 in (86-61-86 cm) and at least 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) tall. The ideal measurements used to be 35.5-23.5-35.5 in (90-60-90 cm) which were the alleged measurements of Marilyn Monroe. However, today’s fashion models tend to have measurements closer to the AMA recommended shape, although by no means all models have these exact statistics, and fashion houses may require other sizes for their models.

The unusually thin shape of fashion models has been criticized for allegedly warping girls’ body image and encouraging eating disorders. Organizers of a fashion show in Madrid in September 2006 turned away models who were judged to be underweight by medical personnel who were on hand. In February 2007, six months after her sister, Luisel Ramos – also a model – died, Uruguayan model Elina Ramos became the third international model to die of malnutrition in six months. The second victim was Ana carolina Reston. Luise Ramos died of heart failure caused by anorexia nervosa just after stepping off the catwalk.

2. Male body type:
The preferred average dimensions for a male model are a height of 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m) to 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), a waist of 26–33 in (66.04–83.82 cm) and a chest measurement of 32–40 in (81.28–101.60 cm)

3. Supermodels:
Supermodels are highly paid, high profile fashion models. These (usually female) celebrities, also known as cover girls, appear on top fashion magazine covers, in catalogues and in fashion shows.

The first model to pave the way for what would become the supermodel was Lisa Fonssagrives. The relationship between her image on over 200 Vogue covers and her name recognition led to the importance of Vougue in shaping future supermodels. Her image appeared on the cover of every fashion magazine during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s from Town & Country,Life and Vogue to the original Vanity Fair.

Model Janice Dickinson has asserted that she was the person for whom the term was coined, as she popped the term herself while talking to her agent at the climax of her career by saying, “I’m not superman, I’m a supermodel” In the 1980s, regulars like Gia Carangi, Carlol Alt,Janice Dickinson, Clindy Crawford, Christie Brinkley, Kim Alexis and Poulina Porizkova began to endorse products with their names as well as their faces, getting in front of everything from Diet Pepsi to Ford Trucks.

4. Glamour model:
Glamour models posing on the red carpet – Hollywood, CA 03/09/2008

Main articles: Glammour photography and Pin-up girl

Glamour photography emphasizes the model and the model’s sexuality rather than products, fashion or the environment. Glamour modelling often focuses on the body of the subject and insinuations of sexuality serve to enhance a product’s attractiveness. Glamour models may be used for mass-produced calanders, pinup and for men’s magazines, such as Playboy magazine. Famous glamour models include Pamela Anderson, Jordan, Jodie Marsh,Lucy Pinder, Megan Fox etc.

There are also different types fashion models in fashion industry:

1. Runway models: They walk the runway during fashion show, displaying the latest designs and collections. Runway models are often taller and thinner, with symmetrical features.

runway model
Fig: Runway model

2. Print models: Print models appear in magazines, advertisements, catalogs, and other forms of print media. They may also model for online retailers.

3. Plus-size models: They have a fuller figure and are used to showcase plus-size clothing and promote body positivity.

4. Petite models: These models are shorter in height and are used to model petite-sized clothing.

5. Commercial models: Commercial models appear in television commercials, advertisements, and other forms of media. They may also model for retail stores or product campaigns.

6. Fitness models: These models have toned and athletic bodies and are used to showcase fitness and sportswear.

7. Lifestyle models: These models demonstrate a particular lifestyle or fashion trend, such as bohemian or punk, in advertisements and other forms of media.

8. Parts models: These models have specific body parts, such as hands or feet, that are used for commercial or advertising purposes.

9. Editorial models: Editorial models appear in high-fashion photo shoots for magazines and other media, often modeling avant-garde and editorial-style clothing.

Role of Fashion Model in Fashion Industry:
The role of fashion model in the fashion industry is to showcase the latest clothing designs and accessories to the public, photographers, and prospective buyers. They are the faces and bodies that bring clothing designs to life, making them more appealing and desirable to consumers.

Fashion model plays a crucial role in promoting new collections and designers, as well as established fashion brands. They help to create interest and excitement around fashion by walking the runway during fashion shows, appearing in advertisements and editorial shoots, and modeling for retail stores and online retailers.

In addition to promoting clothing designs, fashion models also play an important role in promoting beauty and fashion trends. They help to define what is considered fashionable and desirable, influencing the way people dress and present themselves.

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