Modeling means giving a face to a fashion brand, embodying the particular story that the collection is trying to tell; it means offering yourself as a symbol fundamental for the overall image of that particular fashion house. From the most famous supermodels of the 1980's to the promising new faces of the catwalks today, models have been and always will be the pinnacle of fashion marketing and brand promotion strategies.
The most important appointments for models revolve around the fashion weeks. Milan, Paris, London and New York are the showcases for new talent. Young beautiful girls walk the runways next to already famous supermodels, each representing one fashion house and associating a face with that brand name. Presenting at photo sessions, private events, and in showrooms are also part of a model's job.
The relationship between fashion designers and supermodels is generally very close and mutually beneficial. While the model contributes to the promotion of the brand, the designer, choosing a particular model, launches her (or him) on the international stage of the fashion world. Many top models have been muses for Italian fashion designers, inspiring their work and wearing what was appositely created for them.
But the modeling world isn't made up only of supermodels earning great sums for glamorous runway shows. Most of them are girls between 15 and 23 years old who, more than realizing a girlish dream, are trying to simply make a living. Modeling agencies recruit new faces to help launch them, but not all of the girls become famous models, in fact most of them do not.
To become a supermodel, talent and beauty are not the only things one needs. They are fundamental, but these two things alone are not sufficient to acquire top status. Luck plays an important role. To be in the right place at the right time is what has brought many young girls from living an ordinary life to realizing the dream of modeling for the most important fashion houses of the world. Also, there are new ways to be discovered. Online competitions and TV shows like “America's Next Top Model” have emerged alongside classical modeling agencies and talent scouts.
Modeling auditions are crowded with young, wonderful girls from all over the world showing their modeling portfolio and posing under critical eyes. While Milan is considered the place where designers pay the most for their models and supermodels, the showcase for excellence is represented by New York fashion week, the most important vehicle to reach international fame. Catching the right eyes on this occasion can open the doors of the glamorous world of modeling.
The world of fashion doesn't lack opportunities to become a fashion model, but a model's life is not as simple as it may seem. These girls have to work hard if they want to be competitive. They can be called for numerous shows in a very short time frame, and as a result must travel from one city to another, from one country to another in just a few days. Apart from maintaining certain beauty standards, they have to maintain a busy and unusual rhythm for their work and private time. This is the other side of the glamour.
Moreover, modeling has been criticized in recent years for the strict standards they require. Most models have to go on regimented diets to keep their weight at the standard measures, and this has been identified as a cause of anorexia for some supermodels and also for the girls who follow them as an example of perfection and beauty. Many Italian fashion designers and photographers, from Laura Biagiotti to Oliviero Toscani, have been promoting initiatives to fight this problem. There has also been concern about how young the models begin their careers, with many beginning in their early teens when they are essentially still children in many ways.
From the hidden and difficult world of the backstage to the brilliant spotlight, modeling can also be the starting point of a new career in film, music or television. From the Italian actress Monica Bellucci to the former French first lady Carla Bruni, many starlets and very famous women began their careers on the catwalk and have become important people in other realms. More than a simple platform, modeling could be considered a springboard for those who want to reach the top of international success in many areas.