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! 💋
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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! 💋
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Clear Deodorant – So you don’t get white marks on the clothes!
- Wipes – To spruce up when things get hot & sweaty. There’s a lot of hustling backstage.
- Requested clothing items – Anything the designers have asked me to bring.
- Emergency items – Fashion tape, makeup kit, hair kit, masking tape – just in case! (see Runway Monday post from March 18, 2019)
- 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! 💋
As a model, there’s always a chance for last minute auditions, fittings, and bookings. You may not have time to head home to prepare. Here are a few things you should always keep nearby in a trunk or someplace easily accessible.
- Shoes – Models should always keep a neutral pair of heels or dress shoes so you’re ready to rock the runway, or audition.
- Makeup – To make yourself presentable on the go! It doesn’t need to be your full-on glam kit, but a little drugstore makeup to give your face a lil life is perfect!
- Zed/Business cards – To leave behind so that designer/fashion show producer/important person has a face and name to remember how professional and prepared you were at the last minute!
Comment below and let me know if you’ve ever been called last minute and didn’t have these items. What did you do?
See You on the Runway! 💋
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!
- 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.
- Masking Tape – Slippery runway? Avoid an embarrassing slip and fall by covering the bottom of your shoes with masking tape.
- 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!
- 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! 💋
I just want to take this Runway Monday opportunity to congratulate Tommy Hilfiger and Zendaya on an AMAZING Paris Fashion Week show last week. Zendaya presented her first line for Tommy Hilfiger during PFW, in which all 59 models were African American, including icons such as Grace Jones, Beverly Johnson, and Pat Cleveland. So many shades of melanin, so many body shapes, so many hairstyles! Plus, what an age range, 18-70. Wow! And I really appreciate that these models are having a blast on the runway!!! Love, love, LOVE this!
Plus, I really enjoyed seeing these black iconic models still doing their thing after all these years. Grace Jones!! What energy … I would have never known she was 70 years young! Black don’t crack!
Check out this Huff Post article
Watch this amazing show below!
Now, some of these models could use a little refining… I’m just gonna put this out there: I would LOVE to coach this show next season!
Comment below and let me know your thoughts about this show!
See You on the Runway!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Raggedy arms are all too common as models strut down the catwalk. Here are a few tips I give my coaching clients…
1. Natural Arm Swing
It’s more common than not to see models walking with uneven arms, meaning that one arm is swinging harder than the other. The proper swing would be a natural forward/back sway at the sides of the body, or a smooth side-to-side sway behind the body. Either way works, it’s really a preference of the model. The key here is to watch yourself in a mirror or on video to see if you have uneven arms, and balance out the swing.
2. Hand on Hip
Hands on hips are very common at the tip of the runway, however some models like to walk with one or two hands on hips as well. I personally, do not recommend walking with two hands on hips for your entire walk to the tip because it then becomes a crutch. So, I suggest two options: One hand on hip with the other hand naturally swinging at your side, or natural arm swing and one or two hands on hips at the tip.
NOTE: Hands on the hip are generally on the waist, not the actual hip. Also, the placement should be solid and intentional, and not halfway. It’s either on the hip, or it’s not!
3. Pocket Placement
Placing hands in pockets is a great way to highlight a garment, and give you as the model something to do with your hands. Feel free to use one or both hands in the pockets while walking or at the tip (unless they’re back pockets on pants). Remember, to place the hands lightly — no one wants to see your balled up fists stuffed in the pockets. Slide your hands into the pockets, keeping your thumb on the outside, and elbows back. Can’t have those elbows swinging!
Comment below and let me know your thoughts on these tips for amazing arms on the catwalk! Hope they come in handy at your next fashion show!
See you on the runway! 💋
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.
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! 😘