The “showroom” (the same name is used for car showroom) is the place where brands sell their collections in bulk or to special/vip clients. Each brand has either its own showroom or it uses a third party “multibrand” showroom that handles sales for several brands.
The model’s work, in this case, consists in trying on clothing items that are part of the collection several times a day in order to show the clients how the collection actually looks when it’s being worn. Compared to buying products based on a catalogue with images of a collection, the showroom offers the possibility to see the clothes worn by the models. When the showrooms “open their doors” the clients have to book their sessions in order to get to see the collection. At the end of the viewing session they usually fill in the order for the clothing items they wish to acquire. The classical “clients” in this case are represented by multi-brand store owners or well off people that want to see the product being worn before completing the purchase.
The showroom season is pretty challenging for the models as it might require their presence for one to two months, time in which they give full availability every day, all throughout the day. This could be considered one of the most “stable” types of job for a model as it provides a fixed salary for a known period of time at the beginning of each season. Know that nothing is certain when it comes to jobs in the life of a model so the showroom is a good way of having some steady income.
“I’ve had several years work experience in showrooms by now and I must say that it can be a bit boring compared to other types of jobs. Every day the same routine: dress-up, get out of the changing room, pose for the clients to see the clothes, get back to the dressing room, put on the next attire and so on… all day long. I have to try on so many clothes in one day that when I go shopping for myself just thinking of trying on clothes makes me nauseous. That’s why I have come up with this ingenious system: I have a younger sister that has more or less my same measurements when it comes to clothes; so I turned her into my personal try on model. She dresses up with the clothes then I decide if I like them enough to buy’em. In other words, I do the exact same thing that my clients in the showroom do with me. Sometimes she whines about it but I always tell her – now you see what it means to be a model?!
The showroom where I work is women only: it’s us the models, the dressers and the sales personnel, all women. Dressers are very important in easing the job for us models because some clothes would be impossible to put on or to zip-up without their precious help… Other than giving a hand with changing attires they also keep the clothes on display in the showroom in perfect order. The salespersons have the mission of trying to read the customer’s mind and propose the right clothing items from the collection so as not to bore him or her with products that are uninteresting. Even if at times there are arguments between us, we work together as a team and we’re all very professional in front of the clients.
My advice to models who are about to start working for the first time in a showroom: always act polite, be punctual, professional and… mind your own business. If you follow these basic rules you’ll be working for a long time even for the same brand! If a brand showroom likes you then you’ll get confirmed season after season. [Insider secret] That’s because they don’t go crazy for castings either… just like us models!”