The common trajectory for a model is 10 years.
It begins at 16 when they’re scouted followed by a few magazine editorials, runway shows and campaigns until they’re 18 and sent to Europe to live in model houses (where they more often than not develop their unhealthy relationship with food) to walk the catwalks of Milan and Paris.
From here, they’re now 21 and have either made a name for themselves internationally so call it quits ‘I’ve had a good run’ or move on to NY where they find themselves an apartment and really give it go.
Castings all day, everyday and parties at night. The New York way of networking to meet clients and get in the designer and photographers faces.
All of which, by the time they’re 25 they’re now walk for VS and grace numerous billboards, or are still struggling at castings as the ‘hang-up has been’s’ relying on their social media followings to help them along until they find a new path or business venture to capitalise on.
Now that’s not to say it’s the case for every model – but it’s a pretty standard outlook for most.
Modelling careers start early and offer so many perks that are attractive to a young individual that a lot of other careers don’t; business class flights overseas, couture clothing and the prospect of celebrity status at age 23. So much so, when they finish school, the idea of going to university or college is put on the back-burner.
The smart ones keep studying on the side or pursue additional interests. They make use of their position and abundant network with the understanding that their time is limited – they need a backup for when they reach the end of the runway.
However, it’s with the existence and expansion of social media, that models have now been able to prolong their careers as they mature in age. Some don’t even care for castings and campaigns anymore, rather opting to secure multiple sponsored Instagram content instead.
Brands that would have never been able to resonate with fashion are now tapping into a market of influencers. Cooking Even big name fashion brands are instead spending their campaign budgets on influencers and receiving more content than before at less than half the cost, with little to no effort at all.
The new platform has expanded consumer reach for businesses, both in distance and demographic so much that models are now able to continue their careers past the age of 26. You’ll see the older ones, who previously might have reached their expirary date, now tapping into the market of brands who previously, have never been able to resonate with fashion. They’re working with lifestyle brands, homewares, travel companies and small businesses trying to expand their reach locally.
Perhaps finding more work and earning more money, in this space than they had as a model.