High street brands require teen models to promote their designs for this age range. Popular names such as Next, H&M and Marks & Spencers all have departments that cater for adolescents for both girls and boys. With many turning to online shopping, it is even more important that the clothing is modelled on a teen to show the fit and style of the garment.
Stores also require campaign material to display in their window, hang around the teen department, post to their social media accounts and to upload to their website. Typically, the advertising campaigns follow the seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter however, with the turnover of clothing increasing quite considerably there are many shots needed throughout the year with brands looking for new faces regularly.
Apply to a Model Agency
To be hired by a high street label you must be signed to a modelling agency that specialises in teen modelling and has these kinds of brands on their list of connections. There is very little point in approaching the company directly as they will be too busy to reply. Organisers of the shoot will contact the agencies that they usually work with and ask to see a range of models that fit their vision for the campaign or series of product shots.
Therefore, it is important to be signed to an agency that works with these companies. Although brands are present in countries across the globe, their head offices are based in their country of origin where the campaign material will most likely be captured. For example, H&M is a Swedish brand and will conduct most of their core photoshoots in their headquarters. A teenage model with their parents may be flown to Europe if they fit the brief yet make sure you know who is footing the bill. Luckily, for those living in the United Kingdom there are many brands based in London.
The Application Form
To be in with a shot of finding modelling work it is important that you apply via the online application form or attend walk in sessions held by many London model agencies. They are always on the look out for young models that will be suitable for their clients as the demand of the high street fashion industry is so huge these days.
Apply to more than one agency to keep your options open and if you choose to fill out the form make sure you are honest and every aspect is correct. You will more than likely will have to attach a headshot so that the agency can assess your look easily. Be prepared to not hear back or wait a while for a reply.
The Walk In Session
If you would prefer an instant reply the walk in option is more suited for you. Meeting face to face is a more direct approach with a truthful answer from the agent immediately. It is nerve wracking to be judged on the spot yet it is a great experience that will be useful throughout your modelling career. Make sure you check the times on their website as turning up unannounced will be a waste of your time. Agents are extremely busy and cannot drop everything to meet you. Again, schedule a few so that you have more chance of being signed.
Once signed to the books you will be expected to attend a lot of castings to secure work, which is mostly likely for a studio or location photoshoot but could be for a TV commercial or a catwalk show that is showcasing a high street brand. However, fashion shows are more common in the high fashion industry. There will be a lot of waiting around so make sure that you take a book to read to pass the time.
When your name is called you will be expected to stand in front of a panel of experts who may ask you some questions and take your picture. Make sure you are confident, enthusiastic and friendly to make a good impression. The brand will usually feed back to the agency that will deliver the verdict to you.
If successful you will be invited to the photoshoot where images will be captured for their latest campaign. In the commercial modelling world teen models are expected to act their age bringing a fun, youthful attitude to every shot. You may have to interact with other models also. There will be a number of looks to shoot. A stylist will be available to make sure the clothing looks on trend. It could be a long day until the winning shots are captured and therefore, demands young teens to be professional and mature.
Parents Must Be Present Every Step of the Way
To keep teens safe, a guardian or parent must always accompany those under 18 during every meeting with an agent, contract negotiation, casting attended and photoshoot organised. Reputable high street brands that we all are familiar with will follow the rules and ensure that your mum and dad are present. However, be careful of agencies or brands who are not abiding by the guidelines put in place to keep innocent young people safe and away from danger. Parents are there to protect you and make sure you are treated fairly. They are your voice as many adolescents are shy or not as cautious as older, more mature adults.
It is very clear that to become a teen high street fashion model you must apply to a model agency rather than emailing or phoning directly. Agencies are the negotiators and cut out a lot of the work for brands. They will have built a strong connection over the years that work well and benefit new models. Do expect for agencies to take a percentage for their role in finding the work but do not be conned with a large deduction. Do remember that parents or legal guardians must accompany teens at every stage of their career.