The More You Know
Eve Matheson provides both the questions and the answers for potential models looking for carer advice
Over the years, a question I have been asked repeatedly by parents is: “My daughter has done a modeling course and has an agent – when can I expect to see her on the cover of Vogue?”
The likelihood of that happening is very remote indeed. In recent years, we have seen the opportunities for new models to appear on the cover of Vogue become virtually negligible. Here are some of the reasons why. It started back in the eighties and nineties when the era of the super model revolutionized the fashion industry. Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, and Cindy Crawford, among others, became household names around the globe, and everyone wanted to see them on the cover of the glossy magazines. Then Hollywood stars and showbiz celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez, and Sarah Jessica Parker pushed them aside when they became the darlings of the top designers who were looking for endorsement from new faces. Then came the daughters of rock stars such as Elizabeth Jagger (daughter of Rolling Stones Mick Jagger) and Theodora and Alexandra Richards (daughters of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards). Later, children of established models such as Cindy Crawford’s daughters Kaia and Presley Gerber moved into the spotlight.
The most recent crop of models to walk the European runways are the young royals of Europe. This new category has rocked the fashion world. Amongst them is Charlotte Casiraghi, granddaughter of Grace Kelly and daughter of Princess Caroline of Hanover and eleventh in line to the throne of Monaco.
Prince Nikolai of Denmark debuted in London Fashion Week last year for Burberry and is represented by Scoop Models, Denmark.
Lady Kitty Spencer, who bears a remarkable resemblance to her beautiful aunt Princess Diana, was born in South Africa but was not raised to become a royal. Among her cousins are Prince William and Prince Harry. She has become a seasoned fashion model and was named “the most beautiful girl in the world” by Ralph Lauren. She is signed with Storm Management in London.
Lady Amelia Windsor is the granddaughter of the Duke of Kent, cousin of Queen Elizabeth. She is also signed with Storm and is very much in demand.
Princess Maria-Olympia of Greece is the beautiful granddaughter of Constantine, the former king of Greece. She is also Prince Charles’s goddaughter and very popular on the runways.
There are only twelve covers of Vogue a year, and if most of these are awarded to celebrities, as has been the case in recent years, the likelihood of a newcomer being seen on the cover is remote. The reality of all of this is quite shocking. It is why new models and parents must be educated in how the modeling industry works.
Having done this research, I asked myself the
Q: What do supermodels, movie stars, celebrities, young royals, and a new model in small town U.S.A. have in common?
A: They have the same dream of becoming a model and the passion to make that dream come true.
Q: How long can a model’s career last?
A: Industry experts have always said five years, as by the end of this time, the girls have been considered in some cases to be too old (at 22 or 23!) to continue. Many models have been happy to enjoy the comparatively short lived career, make and save money, travel the world, and then move on to other careers such as medicine, law, working as a model agent, or getting married and raising a family. The super models widened the career longevity span when they broke through the age barrier. Naomi Campbell put it beautifully and was right on target in her acceptance speech when she was named the Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Icon for 2018 at the Council’s awards banquet in New York’s Brooklyn Museum. She said, “They told me I’d only last eleven years, but I’ve been here for 32.”
Q: What are the odds that a new model with little experience can eventually make it to the top?
A: The late John Casablancas, who founded the Elite agency, once said, “One in ten thousand” when asked the question. A former model agency owner in London told me, “Ninety-nine percent of people who want to be models are totally unsuitable.”
These are crushing statistics. They call for a reality check by parents and models. Both often have unrealistic expectations regarding this career. Unfortunately, technology, social media, and so-called reality shows make the whole career process look so easy. It isn’t.
Modeling is one of the cruelest and most sought after careers in in the world. As long as models continue to reach celebrity status, there will be hundreds of thousands of young men and women wanting to follow in their footsteps. While there is no magic formula or set rules for establishing a modeling career, there are specific requirements. To model on the runways of Milan, Paris, London and other international cities a female must be at least 5’9”, and a male 6’0”. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Fashion designers have always preferred to show their clothes on long lean figures. The longer, taller, and skinnier a model is, the better the designer’s clothes will look in photographs. Ideal measurements are 34-24-34 to 35” hip.
Men require measurements to fit size 40 Regular or Long jacket, have a 31”-32” waist, 33”-34” sleeve and 151/2” -161/2” neck.
A model must have even features, good cheekbones, perfect teeth, a long neck, wide set eyes, beautiful skin – and a great attitude! This is a business built on pictures. A model must be photogenic. Sometimes people who are beautiful in the flesh do not photograph well, while others who are quite unremarkable at first glance come alive in photographs.
Contrary to popular opinion, modeling is very hard work. Stamina is important. Good nutrition, a regular workout routine, and a sensible lifestyle will take care of this.