How to Become a Runway Model

Becoming a runway model is tough, but with these tips you can get your runway modelling career off to the best possible start. Learn what to look out for here.

When an aspiring model dreams of their future, more often than not those dreams include a walk down the runway at one of the major fashion shows around the world. But making that dream a reality takes a lot of hard work and a little good fortune along the way.

Luckily for you, the team at Hunter Talent has worked with models who have lived that dream. And while we can’t guarantee that we can make a runway model out of you, we can set you on the same path as those who have been there and done that.

The steps listed below will not only put you on that path but will also give you an idea of what it takes to succeed in runway modelling in Australia and beyond. But before we talk about how to become a runway model, let’s answer a very basic question first.

What is a runway model?

To put it simply, a runway model is a model who primarily works at fashion events where they will model new clothes and accessories from either one designer or a variety. While runway models will also sometimes do print campaigns or catalogue work, their main focus is on live runway modelling at these events.

Also known as catwalk models, many runway models start working in the industry at quite a young age. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s no runway modelling work for older models. After all, runway models can come in all shapes and sizes or be of any age, but we’ll get to that later.

How do I become a runway model?

There are some basic steps that you’ll need to follow before you can start working as a runway model. But before we get to those, let’s take a look at the typical physical requirements for runway modelling.

Physical requirements

If you guessed that most runway models are tall and slim then you’re not wrong. However, as the industry embraces diversity, we are seeing many more shorter models take to the runway as well as plus-sized models both male and female. That said, shorter or plus-sized modelling is considered a niche by many fashion designers and clients. This means that clients who are looking for general runway models will request that they fall within certain height and clothing size ranges.

The reason for this is that designers will typically create outfits in a size that will need minimal alterations to fit runway models.

Generally speaking, these requirements are:

Female models – 5’8” or taller weighing around 59kg or less

Male models – 6’ or taller weighing around 77kg or less

Like we said though, you can fall outside of those requirements and still get work. It’s just that opportunities for runway modelling outside those ranges are harder to get.

Steps for becoming a runway model

Stay healthy

This should go without saying and to be honest, it’s true for all types of models and not just runway models — staying healthy is key to your success. Now, we’re not just talking about cutting down on all those morning coffees and we’re certainly not talking about skipping meals or anything like that.

A good runway model will eat a healthy and balanced diet and limit their intake of junk food. They’ll also get enough exercise and sleep each and every day. That’s all there is to it.

Learn to walk

Yep, you may have done this back when you were about 12 months old, but you’ll need to do it all over again if you’re going to be successful at runway modelling.

You’ll need to learn to walk like a model. This is harder to do than it seems so you may need to watch a lot of YouTube videos and record yourself or watch yourself walking in a full length mirror. Do whatever it takes because this is an essential part of runway modelling that you simply cannot skip. Walking like you’re out for a stroll simply won’t do.

Practise your poses

Now we’re not expecting you to come up with a ‘Blue Steel’ look like Ben Stiller in Zoolander, but you will need to have some basic poses down to a tee. If you’ve ever watched a runway show you’ll know that at the end of the runway, the model will stop and strike a pose.

You’ll need to perfect a few different types of poses so that you can pull them out without even thinking about it. And yes, that takes practice.

Create a modelling portfolio

A modelling portfolio is a client’s go-to point of reference for model castings. If you don’t have one, you have no chance whatsoever and that’s just a fact. With this in mind, you’ll need to make sure to create your modelling portfolio ASAP and that it has everything that a client or photographer expects to see.

Study up

And by study up we mean join a modelling class, read some books, or use the free resources (like this blog) that you’ll find online. Remember what we said about YouTube videos earlier? Well, they are a great way to learn all there is to know about modelling if you don’t have time for structured classes.

Sign with an agency

We may sound just a tad biassed here, but we’re going to go ahead and say that this is the most important step in your career as a runway model. Finding an agency that has a good reputation and an extensive network of industry contacts is crucial. Pick the wrong one and your career could be over before it even begins. Yes, it’s that important.

Do some research and ask any models you may know for recommendations. Then give a few agencies a call to see what kind of feeling you get from them. Your gut instinct is often right about these things so see what kind of vibe you get from the agency and go from there. Just remember that the agency must have a proven track record of working with big names in the industry.

Be thick-skinned

Almost as important as choosing a runway modelling agency is learning how to be thick-skinned. You see, as a model you will face a lot of rejection and that’s perfectly normal for this industry. Some clients will have a very specific look that they’re after and you may not be it.

But you’ll also need to learn to listen to people talk about your appearance in a matter of fact way. And sometimes this might feel like it’s taking a negative slant. For example, a client or photographer might talk about your cheekbones being too pronounced or your hair being the wrong colour for a show. Just remember that this is not personal, they are merely stating facts about how your appearance may or may not suit a project or event.

And there you have it — our straightforward steps on how to become a runway model. Of course, as we mentioned earlier, following this advice won’t guarantee you success as a runway model, but it will certainly put you the right path.

If you’re interested in becoming a runway model and are in need of professional model management, then look no further. We’d love to hear from you regardless of your size, height, or age as not only do we get requests for typical runway models but we often have briefs looking for diverse models too. So get in touch or apply to join us today and let’s talk about your runway modelling career.



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