Much like glamour modelling, lingerie modelling is a booming section of the modelling industry. But there is much more to it than modelling in small attire. Read on to find out what it takes to succeed as a bikini and lingerie model.
What is a Lingerie Model?
A lingerie model is someone who poses in lingerie, bikinis or underwear for different brands. Some of the most famous lingerie brands include Victoria’s Secret, Agent Provocateur, La Perla and Wonderbra. While some brands have strict requirements, others are far more relaxed – it all depends on their target audience.
What Are the Requirements for Lingerie Modelling?
The requirements for lingerie modelling differ from brand to brand. Victoria’s Secret are very popular and they have very strict requirements for their models, who must all reach a certain height and most have a very low body fat percentage. Their ‘angels’ (catwalk models) are all considered to be supermodels and a lot of young women aspire to this level of success. However, it is a very difficult brand to get accepted by and competition is fierce.
For other brands with a more relaxed attitude, models should have nice and proportional figures and attractive faces. Male underwear models need a certain amount of muscle, while female lingerie models should have minimal fat. An hourglass shape is usually desired; many brands also like their female models to have a good bust size to show off bra sets. Curves show off lingerie well, so having a small waist and peachy bum is always a positive.
Other things to consider are:
– Maintaining hair (no visible roots or split ends)
– Looking after hands and feet (mani’s and pedi’s)
– No habitual bruises, burns or scars
Other traits, such as piercings and tattoos, consider entirely on the brand you are working with. Some brands (e.g. alternative brands) may prefer models with large visible tattoos and body modifications. Others may prefer a more natural look.
Height is not of huge importance unless you are looking to become a runway model.
Which Top Models Are Victoria’s Secret Angels?
A Victoria’s Secret Angel is often thought to be one of the world’s best lingerie models. You will likely recognise many of them as they tend to become household names, with most featuring on the cover of Vogue.
Famous VS models include:
– Candice Swanepoel
– Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
– Adriana Lima
– Tyra Banks
– Alessandra Ambrosio
– Romee Strijd
– Gigi Hadid
– Bella Hadid
– Jasmine Tookes
How Does Lingerie Modelling Work?
Lingerie modelling is very similar to normal forms of modelling. Models must obviously be very comfortable wearing little clothing and they may have to pose in different ways to regular modelling. A model may be asked to look seductively at the camera.
Swimwear shots may be taken on the beach while lingerie shots may be taken in a bedroom (or on a set that is made to look like a bedroom).
How Much Do Lingerie Models Get Paid?
Like all models, lingerie models will likely not get paid a huge amount when they are first starting out. As their popularity grows and they become more in demand, they will see a rise in their payments.
Top models like those working with Victorias Secret can make thousands for a single image or show.
How Do Models Prepare for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show?
All the models who are selected to walk in the VIctoria’s Secret Fashion Show are naturally tall and slender, but they all put in a lot of work during the lead-up to a show.
A lingerie model eats well and works out a lot throughout the year in order to maintain their figures and keep their skin and hair healthy. This will all be amped up on the lead-up to an important photo shoot or runway show.
VS models tend to work out up to 4 times a week generally, but they will increase this to every day. They work out with personal trainers so their unique body shapes have a catered workout plan to tone muscles and elongate limbs. They all need to build muscle as the VS wings that they wear during shows are notoriously heavy.
VS models will also consult a nutritionist to receive a personalised eating plan. This will avoid all junk food and treats on the lead-up to a show. VS models have famously stated that they get burgers and pizza after the show is complete as a treat for all the hard work and strict dieting they did.
Celebrity Lingerie Models & Brand Owners
Lingerie is a category that may celebrities have created brands in.
– Dita Von Teese, a burlesque dancer, has her own eponymous range.
– Singer Rihanna has also created her own line known as Savage X Fenty. She has become a hugely influential lingerie model in her own right and regularly promotes body positivity in her images and shows.
– Kim Kardashian created ‘Skims’.
– Heidi Klum has ‘Heidi Klum Intimates’.
– Ashley Graham created her own line with Addition Elle.
– Elle Macpherson has ‘Elle Macpherson Intimates’.
Staying Safe As a Lingerie Model
While it’s important that all models stay safe, it is vital that lingerie models in particular know how to protect themselves.
A model should never feel forced into a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. That is why it is very important that an underwear model joins the right agency who protects and supports all their signed models.
If a model is ever approached online it is vital that the model does some research to verify whether the offer or contact is legitimate. Never follow links send by strangers online and never phone numbers or email addresses that are sent to you. Instead, research the company the person claims to be from and use the official listed email or number.
If you are ever unsure, do not pursue work with someone you can’t verify. A real company or person will always be more than happy to point you in the right direction for their proper credentials.
Unfortunately, the lingerie industry attracts a lot of scam artists and it is the model’s responsibility to ensure she/he never endangers themselves. Always read contracts fully and do your research. Even the world’s top lingerie models must ensure their safety, not just beginners.
For more information on how to stay safe as a model, read our comprehensive guide.
How Do I Get Into Lingerie Modelling?
Just like all forms of modelling, lingerie models will find most work by joining an agency.
You should research agencies who work with lingerie brands and who specialise in working with underwear models. You can apply to as many agencies as you like as many times as you like.
You should also utilise social media, in particular Instagram (many models also use Twitter as a way to communicate with fans). Some models like Alexis Ren became famous purely because of social media. It is a time-consuming tool but can ultimately lead to work, fans and money.
The fashion industry is a difficult and challenging industry to get into, so it requires a lot of patience and tenacity to succeed. Make sure you have a great portfolio to show off your skills and experience as a model.
If you are just starting out and have yet to gain any experience, it’s a good idea to book a professional photoshoot. Not only will you gain experience in front of the camera but you will also be able to purchase your favourite images to include in your portfolio. A model’s portfolio is like their CV and they will take it with them to any brand and agency interviews. It is therefore very important that the portfolio is professional and stands out from the competition.
To summarise, here are the top things a lingerie model should do:
– Feel confident. An underwear model must feel confident in their own skin and this must come across on camera.
– Work on their body. As your body will be on show, you must eat well and work out regularly.
– Work on your skin and hair. You should have a good skincare routine for your face, but don’t forget your body skin – it should be kept smoothed and hydrated.
– Practise posing. You don’t have clothing to hide behind, so make sure you know your best angles.
What to Bring to a Casting
If you get accepted to a brand or agency casting, there are a few vital things you should take with you:
– Nude g-string. You will likely be asked to pose in sample underwear so they can see your figure. You will likely not be the first person to try this set, so bring a nude g-string to wear underneath for hygiene purposes. Make sure it isn’t too tight as you don’t want it leaving any visible lines.
– You may want to visit a waxer or learn how to shave your underarms and your bikini area. Most models are required to be smooth from the neck down so make sure you check the brand requirements before showing up to a casting.
– Learn how to do your own make-up. If you have bruises or undereye bags, learn how to cover these with concealer.
– Breats constantly fluctuate in size. This can be from weight loss/gain, illness, stress or hormones. You need to check your size every 6 months and update your modelling information so brands are updated of your size.
– A tampon or menstrual cup are vital for female models as you will likely be required to pose in underwear or swimwear when on your period. Obviously pads are out of the question as they are visible, so make sure you have some tampons or a menstrual cup with you at all times.