Models Life: the first steps

All those who think that a model’s life is just about taking some steps on a catwalk and doing a couple of poses in front of a camera, are terribly wrong! Let’s start to shed some light into this crazy and wonderful world of fashion as seen by its main protagonists – models.

We sat down for a chat with a 22 year-old Italian model with international exposure who is currently signed with one of the top Milanese model agencies and has four years of working experience behind her.

First of all let’s try and find out how it all starts, what characteristics are needed… to sum it up, how does one become a model ?
First of all it’s very important to know that in order to be a model there are a set of specific requirements: certain length proportions for chest and legs, measures of hip waist and chest which fit in a predefined interval… a pretty face won’t hurt (but it’s not necessary) especially because in the end a model is a real-life mannequin. The part that matters most is the physionomy and not so much beauty in an absolute sense.

So let’s say you have all those characteristics. What does a girl need to do in order to enter the fashion world?
The next step is finding an agency to act on your behalf and to manage your image. Until here it all sounds easy… but it’s only now that real “fun” begins

Tell us how does a model start to work after signing with an agency?
If you’re thinking that clients call the agency asking to work with you and only you, then you’re SOOOOO  wrong. If only… What really happens is that you have to fight each and every battle in order to try and book a job. It’s also true that certain models would do anything to get the job they want.

Would you like to share your personal story with us ?
Well, the story begins at the age of 18 when I took my first clumsy and insecure steps in the fashion world. I was young and full of hopes and dreams… but the cold shower came soon enough. I, like many others, believed that minimum effort is needed in order to start; my 1,82 m which might I tell you, did not make it easy for me to go through adolescence. I was a giant in a world of midgets. Not even mentioning that other than being tall I also had no womanly shapes whatsoever. It’s a bit like taking some uncooked pasta paste, shaping it into a little pile and stretching it in one direction (height) without giving it any width at all. This was actually happening while I was eating industrial quantities of food because my grandma’s words kept ringing in my ear – eat, eat and you’ll grow big!. I thought that the fashion world can be the right place for me as I wasn’t very talented in sports”      

So you had the right proportions and measures?
Yes, sure. And for this reason finding an agency was relatively easy: I just had to send some pictures by email and they contacted me immediately. That’s why I thought: how difficult can it be then to book a job?!

Exactly where we wanted to get. So how is it that you start booking jobs?
“By going to castings. The word “casting” is every model’s nightmare, always present in our lives and in our conversations. The number of daily casting is the first thing you talk about in the morning and the last thing you worry about in the evening (thisis  because the agency sends in the casting list for the next day in the evening).

Could you explain what a casting actually is?
Actually the word casting that we’ve borrowed from English is a cool version of saying… job interview. The castings are the equivalent of job interviews and we have plenty of them all the time. Sometimes you find yourself standing in an infinite line for hours and hours in unbearable heat or under pouring rain, waiting to have your shot at nailing the job. Ok, it’s true that the casting has really actually little to do with a real job interview and this is because one of the first rules during a casting is… Models don’t talk! Some of my friends actually lost some jobs because they were to “chatty”, but maybe this is not the right moment to talk about this.

Back to talking about castings… – to be continued –


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