When it comes to modeling, everyone immediately thinks of High Fashion Models, and why not? They work in the fast paced, always changing, lucrative modeling genre of Fashion. So if it’s so great, why don’t all models do it? Why don’t all models become high fashion models where they can make fat cash, travel internationally, and model as their full-time job? The answer is… most models can’t. High fashion models are, for lack of a better phrase, a breed of their own. They fall into a unique and specific mold that is admired by clients. They have specific measurements, looks, and personalities. But even with all that said, what really makes a high fashion model?
A high fashion model is a model with unique features, am not talking about to be a celebrity “Slay Queen” features. You have to have a height of at least 5’8 for the ladies and 6’0 for gentlemen with a lean body. You might say but I have seen shorter models than mentioned in our runways! It’s true some high fashion models are shorter even up to 5’3 not because they are prettier or talented but they have something unique to present as so many a times said “Any one can walk”. But! what makes you stand out? Is it your grey eyes? Your long legs or your edgy jaws? Or your large forehead? Whatever it is that makes you stand out and noticed in your next audition.
High Fashion models role include showcasing on the runway to either to promote, display, or advertise brands notably in fashion and clothing or to serve as a visual aide rarely to pose for photography. These models are featured in a variety of media from books, magazines, films, newspapers, to TV but more on runway showcase during fashion weeks and showcasing like the recently concluded JW Show, Mtindo Africa and Brads Fashion.
As a high fashion model in Kenya you can compete with celebrities from all walks who take up modeling as a side gig, You can see the scarcity of work you will have because the industry is already flooded with people who are known and favored yet the work coming in is scarce, you will have to compete with consistency, relevance and unique personalities every time.
Hence, What you bring on the high fashion table has to be excellent. You need to want it so bad but not disparately to do anything .A minority of upcoming models always want to take the easy way. This is through taking meager money or agreeing not to be paid just to show they got something going but in the long run they don’t know they are lowering the industry and their own status.
The modeling industry in Kenya is very small, don’t believe me? Just take a model’s phone and look through her phone book. She is likely to have contacts of at least five other models and if you agree not to be paid, word goes around real quick about that show you took up, but had no pay! Yet you still wonder why you never grow from your small pay or make a cut in the high fashion industry?
Another truth is, sex predators flood this industry especially in high fashion with ” lucrative” offers! But sleeping around never works just don’t do it, that just kills you as a brand.
High fashion modeling doesn’t pay as much in most countries in Africa. It’s not just a case in Kenya and let’s say high fashion gigs are seasonal, so to avoid being desperate do modelling as a side job and have your main job. And hey, enrolling in all agencies does not increase your chances of getting jobs but ironically it reduces and might just get you blacklisted. Imagine a scenario where your portfolio is submitted to a client by different agents. I thought so!
Have a thoughtful high fashion Journey!