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?
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.
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.
Simple & StrappyStilettos – 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.
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.
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.
What to Stay Away From …
Too high heels
Slippery/hard to walk in
What are your favorite shoes to strut in? Let me know in the comments below!
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! 💋
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!
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?
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!
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! 😘
At the start of each year, I imagine where I would be on December 31st of that year…
who will be in my life?
who will no longer be in my life?
where will I live?
what am I proud of?
what did I learn?
2016 had a few bumps in the road, but I made it through, I accomplished, I conquered, and I learned. As 2017 begins, I’m excited for the opportunities to come, and I challenge myself to walk in my strongest confidence, to be unapologetically me, trust my gut, and no longer care what others’ think about me. Those are my big goals for this year, and I expect be that and more! We can do it together! No more fear, stand strong, walk boldly, and take no mess! #STRUT #WalkInLifeLikeOnTheRunway
Check out my vid below. It is a reminder to me of the confidence I exude when I’m walking in my purpose and passion. This is how I will walk through life.