Very few modeling hopefuls will ever rise to the super-model level. But here’s a not-so-well-kept beauty secret: They find a glamour spot anyway, through the many career opportunities that make the fashion industry tick.
NICHE PLAYER: Industry veteran Elena (Lainey) Sheridan-Young has combined hands-on modeling experience with additional education and training for her career makeover as a fashion consultant.
From time to time during the year, I am given the opportunity to speak to aspiring models and their parents about the modeling profession. The audiences grow with alarming speed because of the immense interest in this profession. As I study the eager faces, two statistics nag in my mind. The first is that only about 1 in 10,000 girls will actually approach super model status, and the second is that only about 1 in 1,000 will have all the requirements for a successful modeling career.
What else is there? Print work and other categories of modeling are excellent options, but if these alternatives are not appealing or are also too elusive, other opportunities remain for young men and women who want to play vital roles in the industry. After extensive research related to aspects of the business that offer lucrative careers, my advice to young men and women who are unhappy with their attempts to become successful fashion models is to find their niche in another area that will still keep them in the forefront of the fashion world.
I have interviewed several models who had reached the pinnacle of success as fashion models, but who, for one reason or another, had changed direction and found great fulfillment as model agents, bookers, stylists, photographers, makeup artists, writers, and television presenters. They demonstrate that some wonderful career options can offer the glamour and excitement of modeling without the demands and potential stress of a super model.
ELENA (LAINEY) SHERIDAN-YOUNG
English beauty Elena (Lainey) Sheridan-Young was an international model and top wardrobe stylist when she and two partners opened the famous Isis Model Agency in London in 2001. Lainey had modeled for 10 years, studied law for three, did production work on fashion shoots in South Africa, wrote for Greek VOGUE, was the booking agent for Russian VOGUE in London, and became a stylist for that magazine and the Sunday Times newspaper. She is currently involved in various pursuits, one of which is representing a very exclusive line of designer clothing. Lainey told me: “I’ve done so many things in the fashion world. I’ve been a stylist, model, and an agent, but consulting and public relations is probably what I should have been doing all along. I love it.” Lainey agreed that young women who want to be involved in the world of modeling should explore other options if they do not have the requirements for a fashion model. She said: “Ninety-nine percent of people who want to be fashion models are totally unsuitable.”
Occasional strolls down a runway may spark an interest in expanding into full-time modeling, acting or pageant competition. Whatever the case, here are some expert tips to help you take the next steps toward achieving your goals.
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