Runway Modeling

Runway Modeling

Runway Modeling Description

Runway models present the latest designer or manufacturer clothes and accessories walking down the runway in front of important audiences.

They play a key role by the way they walk, wear and present the clothes on their body, which may either make or break it for the supplier. Among the audience are important buyers, medias, editors, stylists, casters, photographers, bloggers and celebrities and so their role is to showcase the clothes and all the features with grace and bring it to life in order to attract sales.

Remaining Neutral

The main role of the model is to gracefully present, attract and bring all attention on the clothes worn, while remaining completely neutral themselves. With a very few exceptions, a runway show is mostly about the clothes, not the models, as it’s a business focusing on selling clothes after all.

Goodie Bags

Although the clothes are still needed for sales, production, editorial, and celebrity-dressing purposes, it’s not unusual for models to be paid in trade, which is the industry term for goodie bags, or clothes instead of actual pay, because of the potential exposure there is to gain for models in attendance.

In smaller market runway shows, not having the sufficient funds may be a more common reason to pay models in trade instead of an actual pay, which makes for this topic to be a hot current debate, which is frequently discussed in regards to getting a broader recognition for models to be paid as they should in normal currency.


Walking in fashion shows, however, is one of the best ways to gain exposure in the fashion industry, as many important guests among the audiences are scouting and looking for models for their next big projects.

Being scouted and booked from a runway show, could potentially skyrocket a new model’s career into prestigious editorials, prominent campaigns for luxury brands and make for an exciting future in fashion modeling.

Fashion shows are however highly seasonally dependent, which makes for uneven spikes of workflow.


Because prototype sample garments typically are extremely specific in regards to height and measurements, the physical restrictions for a model in this category is very high, demanding a slim frame and a minimum height of 5’8″ (173 cm) with most top shows expecting 5’11″ (180 cm) for women and at least 6’ (183 cm) for men.

Also, add to the fact that most deem the visual appeal of a runway show better when all the models are more or less of the same height.

The high fashion community is always on the lookout for the next new sensation and commonly scout for very young models, down to the age of 15 and up.

Because a runway show is conducted live in front of an important audience where no computer photo manipulation is available, it is required that the models have excellent, healthy skin and hair, with no or at least a bare minimum of tattoos and piercings.

Smaller Markets

For lesser known and more locally presented runway shows, requirements vary greatly and may even come down to just looking great in the clothes presented to qualify. The possible drawbacks of working in smaller markets however, may result in less work, lower pay and limited market and industry exposure.

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