A fashion model’s career looks exciting from the outside, not least because of the seemingly glamorous lifestyles. Private jets, posh cars and designer clothes and handbags seem average fair for successful supermodels.
But supermodels are a rarity in the world of fashion. They’ve managed to land successful careers mostly due to good fortune and knowing or being related to the right people in the business.
So what exactly does a standard fashion model earn? And what can a fresh-faced, inexperienced model expect to make?
What is a Fashion Model’s Salary?
Supermodel Linda Evangelista once famously said she doesn’t get up for less than $10,000 a day. But her career and success are exceptionally rare; new faces looking to get into the world of modelling must be realistic about the type of success they can expect to see.
Firstly, let’s take a look at how models earn their money. It’s not like a typical 9 to 5 job; models work more similarly to a freelancer than that of a salaried worker. In fact, their “salary” – yearly wage – is likely to change constantly because it depends on the amount they have been paid as well as the amount and style of work they’ve managed to get.
How Do Fashion Models Get Paid?
So what is a fashion model’s salary?
Models get paid per job, or per contract. That means their monthly income can vary hugely depending on the amount and type of work they can get. Many aspiring models work part-time initially and have another main job so they can be sure they can pay their bills. Models only tend to go full-time when they are able to earn a decent amount each month.
A model who is signed to an agency will be introduced to work opportunities via the agency, whereas a freelance model will have to find the work themselves. A signed model will still have to go through an audition process to gain work, so even being invited to a casting call doesn’t mean work is a sure thing.
Models must also take work expenses into consideration. Many starter models will be expected to pay for their own travel and accommodation expenses out of their own pocket. More established models may have these costs covered by their agency.
Ensure you read contracts thoroughly before signing them as there may be unexpected hidden costs that can be taken out of your payment. It’s always better to check.
Types of Fashion Modelling
A fashion model’s salary depends on a number of factors. Some models will earn more than others just by being in a different genre or category of modelling. This can be due to demand as well as the type of clientele involved.
For example, high fashion models will tend to earn more than their counterparts because their work revolves around the highest-end brands and publications. However, even new high-fashion models can be paid poorly – some even claiming to be given free clothing in exchange for walking the catwalk at popular fashion weeks.
Commercial models can make a good living out of modelling, but their clients will not typically be the same high-end brands as high fashion, so costs and budgets will naturally be slightly lower.
The best way to get paid lots of money is to be as in-demand as possible. This is why most supermodels you see are related to famous people or are somehow already in the spotlight; they had a starting advantage because they already had fans, which brands and agencies will try to buy into.
How to Become In-Demand
Unfortunately, raising your profile in such a competitive industry is difficult, to say the least. That’s why so few models manage to make it to the top and be crowned as ‘supermodels’. However, there are plenty of things you can do to increase your experience and chances for success:
– Brand deal and endorsements; the more brands you work with, the more recognisable you will be and the more experience you will have.
– Looking for work with well-known brands
– Strong social media presence. This will help build you a fan base.
– Networking with similar people in the industry.
– Gaining experience wherever possible so you have a strong modelling portfolio.
– Looking for other media opportunities by attending award shows and fashion events etc.
How Much Do Fashion Models Earn?
A model’s rates could be hourly, daily, per contract, per campaign or per photo shoot.
An average model’s rates can start around £40 per hour. Day rates can vary from £100 to £1000. Supermodels can earn up to £10,000 for a single day of work!
The average salary tends to be around £25,000 to £50,000 for a model; wages depend on the style of modelling, your demand for work and your popularity in the industry, as well as the competition you face and the current fashion trends and whether your look fits into them.
A Fashion Model’s Earning Potential
Your earning potential relies on the following:
– Location. You need to be located in a major city like London, Manchester or Liverpool as these are where modelling agencies are located.
– Your work ethic. Brands and agencies want someone who works hard, who is able to prioritise modelling, and who always shows up on time. Being reliable is paramount.
– Your unique look. Fashions change and your unique look or style may come in and out of fashion.
– Business-minded. A model who understands the business and how it works will tend to do better than those who are ignorant to business. Do some research and give yourself a boost over the competition.
– Gender. Unfortunately, female models will have more chances for success than male models.
– Luck plays a big part in the success of a model. Being in the right place at the right time, having the right look, being fortunate enough to be able to pay the bills while chasing a career in fashion… working hard is only part of a model’s success.