Column: Nikita Anand

FROM THE RAMP TO BANKABILITY

Of all the careers available to choose from, the modelling path is, perhaps, one of the most exciting and adventurous roads to travel. The fashion industry is often glamorised. When one thinks of the lifestyle of a fashion model, one often imagines that it is what we see on televisionópictures of beautiful women in exotic places with fancy cars and millionaire boyfriends. Or, one may think all fashion models get to be on the cover of magazines, receive round-trip tickets to Paris, stay at the best hotels and go to the best clubs, get free clothing and wine, have good-looking men worshipping your feet and have agencies flooding you with offers of shooting for the countryís biggest brands. That is what most of us think.

Itís a known fact that immense interest in this profession has resulted in thousands trying to be a part of the fashion industry. Then why canít we boast of many successful models? Why are there such few successful and bankable models? 

Do you have the right look and attitude to achieve supermodel career success from what might have started out as a hobby?

In order to be a successful fashion model you must fit the bill. You need to be at least 5íí7,í have striking features or be the classic beauty, and you need to wear a size 2 to 6 and no larger. You also need to be well groomed, have good skin, good nails and good hair.

But before you step into this profession, take a moment and ask yourself a few questions. Are you tall and slender, have striking features and are better looking than most others? Beside looks, do you have the tenancy, patience, aptitude, interpersonal skills, communication skills, stamina, confidence, business skills, etc? If you think you do, then go for it. Interestingly, statistics demonstrate that only 1 in 10,000 girls will actually approach super model status, and only about 1 in 1,000 will have all the requirements for a successful modeling career. And there are a few reasons for this. 

It is very important to understand the basis of modeling, that is, fashion. Fashion is all about clothing, itís all about selling clothing. It is a business and the model is a living mannequin. Models must give a top performance, once a client books them, no matter how they might feel on a particular day. 

Being a professional model means keeping a positive attitude and reporting to work on time, and it also helps to show courtesy to the client and the photographer. If others find you to be easy to get along with and clients enjoy working with you, your chances of being requested to work on future modeling assignments are great. The relationship between the model and the agent also is very important, because your rapport and attitude will determine how aggressively the agent will market your talent.

The true reality behind any successful modeling career is governed by a single fact: Modeling is a business. It is a job, which means there is work involved. 

Another important aspect of being a model is that one has to realise that oneís health is very important and one needs to treat their body like a treasure. Itís your body, and your life. Keep active, eat healthy, and get plenty of sleep. Yoga, dance and workouts are a great way of keeping in shape. Strictly, no drugs or alcohol, please.

One needs to believe in oneself, have self-confidence, but also be realistic. Assuming you have a beautiful face and body, they are still not enough to ensure success. There are certain things you need to succeed in this field, and thatís a right attitude, punctuality and passion for your work. Those who never give up a chance to learn from somebody in the business are usually people who succeed.

May 2006

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