By Georgia Hammerson

It may or may not be a known fact that models barely break even at the bank during fashion week. So how much do models really get paid during fashion week, you’re probably wondering? Spoiler alert: it’s not as much as you think.

It’s no secret that top models of the industry have the better end of the (designer made) stick, and unless models pass that around like a baton the cash money isn’t exactly pouring in like crazy. So what do emerging models waiting for that big break, and well-established girls alike, take home during the busiest time of their working year?

As previously stated, (and it doesn’t take a chartered accountant to do the math) the superstars of modelling earn a lot more than their less famous counterparts. It was reported on InStyle UK that a twenty-three year old Karlie Kloss was earning roughly $300 for a single step on the catwalk – that’s close to $10,500 just shy of making it to the first end of the runway. For the less elite there are factors you must take into consideration when banking – or rather, when your agency banks that check of yours.

If it’s even possible to arrive at a rough estimate you’ve got to break down the fine print and consider all the job variables, agency fees – sending your portfolio or comp cards back and forth, not to mention travel expenses and accommodation (of which the model is often expected to fork out). The general earnings range anywhere from $0-$1K, with a middle ground rate of $350-$500 a pop for a golden strut down the runway – but again, price and payment structure is totally dependant on your job, agency and client.

The models check can also vary if the designer of the show hosts an exclusive with a particular agency. With this type of industry-bartering the designer will get the models of their choice from the sole selected agency at a discounted rate. Some provide trade in exchange for the models services as a little extra bonus (aka free designer clothes – not too shabby).

Another way to make a quick, well, few hundred dollars – is in the lead up to fashion week where models can book jobs working directly for the designers testing looks for the upcoming shows. Some girls can make a cool $1k for a job like this (although that varies vastly job to job and expenses must be paid).

For many emerging babes in the circus that can be fashion, Fashion Week is more about exposure than anything else – walking that one show can mean game time earning crucial industry cred and is a sure fire way to get a face and name out there. More often than not the model is contempt adding the jobs to their books to use as experience for the impending carousel of shows in the next city.