However, male models are carving a larger spot in the modeling world, and many of them are becoming icons in their own right. If you’re wondering if you have what it takes, here’s what you should know to get started as a male model.
Modeling is not a job you apply for (apart from in the case of David Gandy, who applied for and won a competition on ITV’s This Morning nearly two decades ago). So how do you go about making it your career?
You Don’t Need Professional Photographs
Basic snapshots are all you need to get the attention of top modeling agencies. If you are interested in fashion modeling, be sure your pictures, or what the industry refers to as “digitals” or Polaroids, include a clear face shot (one smiling and one not smiling) and some full-length body shots with and without your shirt on.
You Don’t Need Modeling Classes
Modeling classes are not required to become a fashion model as most agencies are willing to provide the necessary training you need to get started. It is always recommended that both fashion and commercial models take some introductory acting or auditioning workshops.
The Professional Model Now
A decade ago male models were typically pigeon-holed into a particular kind of work. These categories – commercial, catwalk, fitness, and the like – still exist loosely, but growing industry demands and the growing number of brands offering a broader range of menswear have caused a shift away from the use of cookie-cutter types for particular modes of work.
Now, agencies and brands look for distinction: a model with a ‘look’ that will be less generic and therefore more recognizable to the public. Even age is in flux. “If we think we can manage a model and get them shooting regularly, age just isn’t a factor anymore, especially on the men’s side of the business,” says Baker.
Today the varieties of work are the building blocks of a career, and to more lucrative income: catwalk work and editorial work leading to high-profile commercial work.
Types Of Male Model
Fashion (Editorial) Model
Male fashion models, or what those in the modeling business call “editorial models” are the high fashion models you see in fashion magazines like Men’s Vogue, GQ, Details, and Numero. These models wear clothes well and work for top fashion designers like Giorgio Armani, Prada, Calvin Klein, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Burberry, and others.
Commercial models can be any age, size, and height. Commercial models do everything not normally associated with high-fashion such as product ads for houseware appliances, food products, the travel industry, tech devices, and so on. Before his acting career launched, Tatum Channing modeled for the J. Crew catalog.
Male runway/catwalk models have done some type of editorial or commercial work. They are a minimum of 72 to 75 inches tall, wear a 40 to 42 jacket, and have a 32-inch waist.
Runway models must have precise measurements so they can fit the clothes designers will be showing to their clients.
Male fitness models are models that represent two different body types—those who are very lean, fit, and toned, and those who are very athletic and well-built. Many fitness models start as athletes or trainers and then venture into fitness modeling.
Of all the categories, fitness models are most likely to be self-represented. But then they are also most likely to be self-selecting – because while a fitness model might not conform to conventional fashion industry standards of height or ‘good looks’, by definition, his musculature will be the result of nearly full-time dedication to exercise and diet.
Male underwear and swimsuit models, like fitness models, must be very athletic, fit, and toned. Many of the male underwear and swimsuit models started as athletes, fitness trainers, or bodybuilders.
They can also be slightly larger than male editorial models because they are usually not required to fit into a standard size 40 jacket. Something else to keep in mind is that your face may not be part of a marketing campaign.