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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Catwalk Killa!

Let’s evaluate what’s RIGHT about this photo…

Moschino Spring 2019 Ready-to-Wear fashion show
  • This gorgeous model is walking one foot in front of the other
  • Her arms are controlled and intentional
  • She has her hand lightly placed in her pants pocket with her elbow held back
  • She is holding the clutch from the top and down to her side
  • There are no distracting undergarments (bra straps, panty lines, etc.)

Beautiful!

What do you love about this photo? Comment below to tell me your thoughts!

See you on the runway! 💋

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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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3 THINGS A MODEL SHOULD ALWAYS CARRY

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.

  1. Shoes – Models should always keep a neutral pair of heels or dress shoes so you’re ready to rock the runway, or audition.
  2. 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!
  3. 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! 💋

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Runway Workshop

Join me as I host a runway workshop with Bay Plus Show & Expo CEO, Samantha Davis in Oakland on June 8th! Register today!

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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3 Tips for Amazing Arms on the Catwalk

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! 💋

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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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