Invest in YOU!

You gotta invest in you. You are your brand. You gotta be a well-rounded model.

I was inspired this weekend … I hosted a runway workshop with my friend Samantha Davis, CEO of the Bay Plus Show & Expo in Oakland, CA. Two of the models who attended my class had been modeling for 14 & 15 years! It was humbling for me to see that they trusted me with their runway training, and I was impressed that they even attended seeing that they’ve been doing this for so long. And what was amazing is that after the class I specifically asked them both if they enjoyed themselves, and if they learned anything … AND THEY BOTH SAID THEY LEARNED SOMETHING NEW IN MY CLASS!!

This just goes to show you that no matter how long you’ve been doing something, proper training makes a big difference! Invest in yourself and your craft! It only increases your value as a model.

Let me know your thoughts below … what kind of training have you had? Was it beneficial?

See you on the runway! 💋

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Shoes Made for Struttin’!

Shoes … they’re a great addition to every outfit! However, when hitting the catwalk, it’s important to have the right shoes (unless provided by the designer). Here are my tips for choosing the right shoes for the runway.

  • 3 to 5-Inch Heels are Best – Unless you’re a young girl, the kitten heel isn’t sexy. However, 6-inch stilettos are not ideal. The higher the heel, the more it affects your walk. In general, 3 to 5-inches is a good range that gives the right look without hindering your strut.
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  • Ankle Support Scores – A simple strap around the ankle can keep your heels from slipping out of the shoe. Simple ankle support is key, 1 buckle, or 1 zipper up the back to minimize time needed to put on or remove shoes.
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  • Simple & Strappy Stilettos – Simple strappy stilettos are always winners! They can be worn with party dresses, gowns, slacks, swimwear … they’re universal! But not too strappy that they distract from the garment. Also, stay away from wedges.
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  • Neutral Colors – Have a solid stiletto heel in black, nude, silver, and gold, and you’re set! Some designers may request a colorful shoe, however you can’t go wrong with these basics.
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  • Platforms – Platforms are definitely not necessary, but they provide extra support on the ball of the foot that comes in handy if you’ll be standing/walking same shoes for a long period of time.
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What to Stay Away From …

  • Too high heels
  • Multiple buckles/ties
  • Slippery/hard to walk in
  • Gaudy/distracting designs
  • Extreme platforms
  • Wedges

What are your favorite shoes to strut in? Let me know in the comments below!

See you on the runway! 💋

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I’m on Apple News!!

Y’all!!!!!!! I’m super excited about this! I guess people really do read my Runway Monday posts! LOL

I’d like to give a special thank you to Warith Niallah of FTC Publications for reaching out about posting an article based on my last Runway Monday post, How to Determine Your Model Rate. I’m juiced that this post resonated with him because I think it’s really important for freelance models to take charge of their ability to make money, and I hope that my post can help someone to determine how much they should be charging for their services. Know your worth, models!

So, Warith’s article is on two different platforms, which you can see below. Please check them out! 💋

Apple News

Medium

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HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR MODEL RATE

I’m asked all the time by freelance models how to determine your model rate. 💵 It’s tough to lock down a solid answer for this question because there are a lot of variable to consider:

  • How long have you been modeling?
  • What is your strength?
  • What type of gig is it, and what will you be doing?
  • Who is it for?
  • How many hours are required?
  • How far do you have to travel?
  • What benefits do you bring?

I believe freelance models should have a runway rate and a print/other rate. Based on your strengths, you can charge more for one rate over another. Also, determine how you will establish your rate (and this should be per gig) – hourly (if hourly have a minimum number of hours, i.e. 2 or 3-hour minimum), day rate (have a max number of hours for day rate, no less than 8 hours), half day rate (half day is generally 4-5 hours worth of work).

Runway shows are generally long days, so I suggest a flat runway rate. Where print/promotional or other gigs may be shorter, so I suggest an hourly rate. If you know it’s an all day gig, you can do a day rate, etc.

Do your research on who the gig is for … is it a small, local, up & coming boutique? If so, they may not be able to afford a high hourly or day rate. Know your worth, but if it’s a gig you want, don’t be afraid to negotiate. Are you willing to work for a lower rate plus an item of clothing? Or is this boutique so poppin’ that just being a part of this will give all kinds of social media exposure, and you’re willing to work for free? This is all subjective. Make it worth your while.

Know what you bring to the table. I know I have a strong runway walk, years of experience, and a professional attitude and demeanor. I will have a higher runway rate. However, if I don’t do a lot of photo shoots, and I know I need to be coached, I’ll ease up on my print or promo rate because I’m not as strong in that area, got it?

Just as important it is to know your worth, you also don’t want to be overpriced for what you bring. If you’re brand new to the industry, have booked minimal work, and still have a lot of experience to gain, don’t expect to get paid the big bucks right off the bat. They’ll book the model who bring the most for the lowest cost.

Here’s a general range for aspiring freelance models (don’t forget to consider all of the above):

  • Runway Rate: $75-$300
  • Print Hourly Rate: $50-$300/hour (minimum 2 hours)
  • Half Day Rate (4 hours or less): $75-$300
  • Full Day Rate (8-12 hours): $200-2,000

Of course, if you are represented by an agency you don’t need to negotiate your own rate. However, if you are booking your own work be realistic in your pricing. You don’t want to do too much for too little, and you don’t want to be overpriced. Understand that it may take a few gigs to understand what exactly you’re getting into, and also know that if they didn’t go through an agency to book it’s likely because they don’t have a large budget.

Comment below to let me know how you’ve determined your model rate. Has it been helpful?

See You on the Runway! 💋

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4 TIPS TO AVOID WARDROBE MALFUNCTIONS ON THE RUNWAY

We live in a world where a nip slip or crotch watch can live on the internet FOREVER!!! No one wants to be caught on the runway with a wardrobe malfunction. Here are my top 4 tips for avoiding that embarrassment.

  1. Fashion Tape – If you’re familiar with my #RunMon blogs, you can see I love Fashion Tape! It’s inexpensive, simple to use, and easy to find at a local drug store. Plus, a little fashion tape can keep that deep V collar, loose strap, or weak buttons in place.
  2. Check all knots – Whether it’s a wrap top/dress/skirt, or even the knot on a tied shoe, check to make sure everything is tied tight and the knot isn’t about to untie. Double knot them if necessary. Once you hit the catwalk, you don’t want the movement of your walk to cause that knot to untie in front of everyone.
  3. Use your limbs – Let’s say you’re mid-strut and you feel that strap falling, or that knot loosening up. Don’t fret! Put a hand on your hip to hold that skirt/dress in place, or keep that loose strap from falling any further off your shoulder. Also, there’s nothing wrong with making a quick adjustment to keep those puppies inside of that top. An adjustment is better than exposure!
  4. Cover up – If you can wear undergarments with the outfit without obstructing the look (if you can see bra straps, panty lines, etc.), where them! Throw on some short bike shorts underneath a super short skirt. Protect yourself!!

Have you experienced a wardrobe malfunction on the runway? What did you do? Comment below and let me know.

See You on the Runway! 💋

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MY MODEL BAG SWAG

Okay, so I’m giving a rundown of everything in my model bag. These are the items I make sure to have when booked for a runway show or photo shoot.

  1. Heels – Neutral colored, strappy heels are ideal, but a nice pump is also useful. Don’t forget to bring any other colors requested by the designer.
  2. Robe & Flip Flops – Between all the fittings, hair and makeup going on backstage, it’s nice to have a robe & flip flops to throw on when you don’t want to go through the hassle of putting those jeans & boots back on.
  3. Face Cover – It’s important to have something to cover your face when changing into designer garments. This will help to prevent makeup from getting on the clothes.
  4. Scentless lotion – Won’t catch me ashy on the runway! But you don’t want any scents to get into the garments, so leave your Bath & Body Works at home.
  5. Clear Deodorant – So you don’t get white marks on the clothes!
  6. Wipes – To spruce up when things get hot & sweaty. There’s a lot of hustling backstage.
  7. Requested clothing items – Anything the designers have asked me to bring.
  8. Emergency items – Fashion tape, makeup kit, hair kit, masking tape – just in case! (see Runway Monday post from March 18, 2019)
  9. Business/zed cards – For when networking opportunities arise!

Comment below and let me know what’s in your model bag. I’d love to hear if you’ve added something based on my list, or even some things you keep in yours that I didn’t mention!

See You on the Runway! 💋

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MODEL 911 KIT

Fashion shows almost never run smoothly. It’s chaotic backstage, and there’s not enough time to do everything. It’ll have you singing like Wyclef Jean, “Someone please call 911!” But no need, because after years of experience, there are a few things I recommend models have in case of a model emergency … and since you’re reading this post, you’ll be the one to save the day!

  1. Fashion Tape/Safety Pins – Simply because many times no one else has fashion tape or safety pins. If you have it, you don’t have to worry about a wardrobe malfunction while you’re strutting the catwalk. These also help with garments that are ill-fitting, not hemmed, or too long.
  2. Masking Tape – Slippery runway? Avoid an embarrassing slip and fall by covering the bottom of your shoes with masking tape.
  3. Makeup Bag – Because sometimes the MUAs aren’t very good, or may run out of time before you can get your face beat. Have your full glam kit ready to go because you need to do (or re-do) your own face!
  4. Hair Kit – Have whatever you need to do your own hair in case there is no time for your hair to get done before showtime! So, if that means products/accessories, hair irons, or even a good ponytail or wig, everything needed to get you runway ready.

I suggest keeping these items in your model bag because you never know when a model emergency will arise!

See You on the Runway! 💋

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How to Prepare for a Runway Show

Congrats! You booked a runway show. Now, what do you do?

Pack Your Model Bag

Prepare your model bag with all of the things you know you’ll need: shoes, appropriate undergarments, face cover, baby wipes, fashion tape, clear deodorant, scentless lotion, makeup. Of course, also include anything specifically requested by the designer or show producer.

Body Prep

Be sure to shower, and moisturize. Don’t forget to shave in the appropriate places! If you’ve already gotten your measurements taken or done a fitting, do not gain or lose weight before the show. The designer is counting on you to be the same size to fit the clothing.

Hair/Face Prep

Always arrive at the show with clean hair and face, unless instructed otherwise. It will be more work for hair and makeup team to have to undo what you’ve done in order to prepare you for the show.

Other Prep

Bring zed cards, business cards, photos, etc. so that you can network with other models, designers, or show attendees. Your next gig may come from someone who saw you walk that night!

Comment below and let me know how you prepare for fashion shows. Did you learn anything new from my tips, or am I missing something vital that you always do when you book a show?

See you on the runway!

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My Runway Tips vs. Naomi Campbell

When I think about a supermodel, Naomi Campbell is the first name that comes to mind. She is known for her walk, so let’s put her up against my regular runway technique tips.

Naomi Campbell rocks the runway

First thing I notice when I watch Naomi is that she walks with intent. She has a lot of life throughout her body and face.

She walks at an even pace with a long stride.

The movement is in the even sway of her arms, and her consistent strut – not in her head and shoulders.

She uses her pockets!

She stops at the tip for her photos. (Although I instruct models to stay for 3 sec, Naomi doesn’t spend much time there.)

She’s confident, and having fun!

Comment below and let me know what you think of Naomi’s runway walk. Until next week … see you on the runway!

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Biggest Mistakes Amateur Models Make

Hello There! 👋🏾

Runway modeling is not a hard industry to break into. Especially, if you live in a big city there are countless opportunities for aspiring models to hit the runway. However, a booked show does not equate to professionalism. Check out the list of biggest mistakes amateur models make. If you’re doing any of these, you most likely have some learning to do.

Bringing improper shoes

Inexperienced models often bring their highest or trendiest shoes, but these aren’t always the easiest to walk in, or slip on and off quickly. If providing their own shoes, models should bring shoes that that can be changed easily, and will allow for a strong strut.

Wrinkling/soiling designer  garments

Returning a designer garment with makeup or deodorant stains is unacceptable. And, sitting in a designer outfit after it’s been freshly pressed is another no no. Once dressed, STAND backstage until it’s showtime, and bring face guards to protect the garment from makeup and other stains.

Improper pacing

Walking too slow or too fast is another common mistake new models make. Unless directed, it’s not necessary to walk to the beat of the music, however a nice, even pace is always appreciated.

If you find yourself doing any of the things listed above, you’re still on your way to becoming a professional. Don’t fret! Feel free to contact me for runway coaching, and stay tuned each week for more Runway Monday! 😘

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