Tuesday, 27 April 2010

How to become a model at 13-14

The idea of modelling at this age could seem glamorous and fun with thoughts of working with the big names on TV. However when looking towards modelling you must consider some questions, Why do I want to become a model, what type of modelling am I interested in and am I ready to face the ups and downs?

Becoming a model at the age of 13-14 is ideal as at this age most girls reach their final adult height and begin to mature in the face. It's also good to kick start modelling at a young age for a better break in the industry.

So, after having decided you would like to become a model you will need to take the following steps
  • Decide the type of modelling you are interested in. When thinking of which type you must bare in mind your look and choose which is best suited with your appearance.
  • The categories to consider are: Commercial (newspapers, magazines etc), Adverts ( tv, radio adverts etc), Fashion, body parts.
  • Then take good recent photos that show your different looks, height and body. Take measurements of: height, weight, hair colour, eye colour, shoe size, dress size, bust, waist and hips.
You will also need to have parental permission before approaching any agencies. Once you have a good portfolio you are ready to approach agencies. There are good children agencies which range in shapes and size this is something to strongly consider as a stepping stone.

Remember becoming a model is not done other night. It is process that will require time and patience to build. It's not just a pretty face that will see you through castings so be prepared for the harshness of the industry and always remain professional. Don't give up hope.

To help you become a model at 13-14

Research the type of modelling you want to go into so you have a clear insight on what is required. At the age of 13 the average height for a model is 5'1 – 5'6. If you are really tall and slim size 8 and below 5'7 consider looking into fashion modelling otherwise it's more likely you will be doing commercial work.

To find good modelling agencies you can search on-line however watch out for dodgy agencies that require upfront fees to join. Most agencies usually take 20% from paid work after having joined and not before hand. Look into directories and search for agencies or you can use websites such as modelsconnect.com which will evaluate your profile and let you know which agency is best for you at 13-14.

Don't forget when taking your photos make sure you wear no make up, have no friends with you in the pictures pulling faces. Don't pull silly faces or cheeky poses. Think to yourself this is a business matter and I must approach it professionally.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


Born in Poland, 15th January 1994, Monika Jagaciak is already known by one name: Jac. A catwalk veteran at 16 years old, Jac is fashion’s newest runway prodigy.

Jac’s career began in 2007 when she was signed to IMG Models at the age of 13. In July, she scored her first magazine cover with French magazine Jalouse, photographed by Elina Kechiecheva.

That same year, she landed an incredible coup, becoming one of the faces of French heritage brand Hermes. The campaign was shot by Peter Lindberg and Jac worked alongside established model Daria Werbowy.

In 2008, she travelled to Japan, and her mixture of youth and editorial appeal made her an instant hit, scoring her the November cover of Japanese Elle. Also appearing on the cover for Japanese Harper’s Bazaar, Jac’s career really took off in 2009.

Just a month after her 15th birthday, Jac hit show season with a bang. Chosen to both open and close the Calvin Klein show, she also opened the Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti show and closed the Marc by Marc Jacobs runway collection. In addition to these honours, she also walked for Bottega Veneta, Burberry, D&G, Gucci, Jil Sander, Marni, Prada and Versace.

But her appearance in the Herve Leger show really earned her the title of most talked-about newcomer. Halfway down the runway, she took an unexpected tumble: her knees buckled and she fell heavily to the ground. The knock would be galling for an established model, but even more daunting to someone yet to earn their stripes. But the 15 year old rallied, got up and finished the show.

Despite the slip-up, Jac was nominated as a Top 10 Newcomer by http://www.models.com/ and a rising star by http://www.style.com/. The accolades were well placed, as news followed that Jac had been signed to an exclusive contract as the face of Calvin Klein. Following the likes of Kate Moss and Jessica Miller, it was an extraordinary achievement. Jac filled the rest of her year with editorial work, posing for Teen Vogue in April, French Vogue in June and Italian Vogue in September.

September proved to be a particularly good month for Jac, as she was named Rising Star by Teen Vogue. Adept at spotting new talent, getting the nod from the queen-bee of teen magazines proved to be a powerful ally in Jac’s corner.

To those who doubted that Jac was capable of doing runway at a high-fashion level (after the incident at Herve Leger), Jac’s S/S 2010 season proved otherwise. She opened shows not only for Calvin Klein, but Marni, Bottega Veneta, Etro and Pucci. She was also picked to close shows for Alexander Wang and Gianfranco Ferre – hardly small fry.

But Jac’s standing as an international runway model was put on hiatus when she was denied the chance to take part in Paris Fashion Week. Any models under the age of 18 were banned from participating, leaving Jac (and many others) to sit this one out.

However, Jac’s career continued to flourish, with editorial credits from W, Numero and Italian Vogue to finish off the year. In January 2010, she renewed her contract with Calvin Klein and shot an editorial for Italian Vogue with Steven Meisel.

Now aged 16, Jac progressed to haute couture, modelling for Armani Prive, Dior, Givenchy and Elie Saab, plus opening the show for Valentino. If the trip at Herve Leger had industry insiders questioning whether Jac was ready for a high-octane modelling career, her run of bookings silenced even the toughest of critics. Jac signed on to appear in a staggering 72 shows, featuring the very best of modern design talent. Walking for everyone from Balenciaga to Yves Saint Laurent, the list of bookings was proof that Jac’s career had come of age.

To be an established name by your 16th birthday is certainly unusual even by fashion standards, but it is by no means unheard of. Jac’s success may be treated as a novelty by the mainstream press, but starting early in modelling is nothing new.

Kate Moss was famously discovered aged 14; actress and model Brooke Shields landed the cover of US Vogue at the same age, and in 1988 Kimora Lee Simmons signed an exclusive contract with Chanel aged just 13 years old.

Even now, fashion has its fair share of early starters. Imogen Morris-Clarke signed with agency Storm aged 14; Hana Soukupova started modelling at 13; new model Amanda Norgaard is one year older than Jac and has already featured in shows for Chanel and Miu Miu. Rising star Keke Lindgard is the same age as Jac and is the face of Gucci eyewear.

Modelling is a high-stakes career but mastering the basics at an early age may not be the worst thing for a new model. The fashion world tends to be an easy target for criticism, but the reality is the image of fashion being a heady whirl of glamorous excess belongs to another age. Nowadays, it’s hard work and discipline running the show. The recession has claimed many top names, and no-one can afford to be caught slacking.

One of the most positive things a model can take away from the experience of modelling is a whole clutch of business skills. Learning how to work with other people; the value of being focused, on time and most of all leaving a good impression on go-sees and bookings can all be applied to the outside world.

Jac, as well as working with some of the most brilliant creative minds in the business, is getting a crash course in how to get ahead in the real world. The skills she has already learned – not allowing the fall at Herve Leger to faze her – are nothing short of invaluable. When Jac took a fall during the Herve Leger show in February 2009, far from damaging her career, 12 months on she booked an incredible 72 shows. Knowing that one mistake doesn’t equal disaster is an important life lesson at any age, but learnt young – it’s nothing sort of empowering.

To not allow someone to work because of their age, as happened in Paris Fashion Week, is a curious response to the ‘youth issue’. After all, athletes aren’t criticised for blossoming early, and are often encouraged to strive and achieve from a very early age, so why should models be treated differently?

Jac’s experience of high-fashion won’t always be positive – there will be tough assignments, difficult colleagues and unsociable hours. But it is the same with any job, any career. Some days the negatives outweigh the pay-offs: learning to push through an occasional bad day is something Jac can take with her when she decides to leave modelling.

Knowing how to handle the difficult parts of the job does take maturity, but maturity happens at different rates for all of us: setting an arbitrary limit on when someone is allowed to explore and develop their talent doesn’t take any of these factors into account. Someone may be ready to work at 15, and another model may not be emotionally or intellectually equipped by 19.

It’s clear that Jac has the potential to become one of fashion’s mainstays. She has proved herself to be someone who doesn’t give up at the first hurdle, and that is an instinct that cannot be taught. Already tipped to be the next ‘big thing’, the campaigns with Calvin Klein and Hermes are just the beginning.

As Jac enters the most crucial stage of her career, she is moving from ‘rising star’ to the ‘must-hire’ girl. With the world’s hottest design talent clamouring to work with her, the modelling industry should be prepared. Its newest supermodel has just arrived.


Sunday, 18 April 2010


Chanel Iman, born 30th November 1989, is fashion’s brightest trailblazer – turning barrier-breaking into an art form.

Named after her mother’s favourite designer, Chanel spent her childhood practising runway and studying fashion magazines. This early groundwork prepared Iman when she entered the 2006 Ford Supermodel of the Year contest. She came third, but signed to Ford Models immediately. In February that same year, she made her debut at New York Fashion Week, walking for Derek Lam, Anna Sui, Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler.

In September, she walked in the S/S 2007 shows, including Alexander McQueen, Derek Lam, Dolce & Gabbana, Nicole Miller and Stella McCartney. But her appearance in the Valentino show sparked Chanel fever when she worked her now-signature move.

At the end of the runway, just before she was about to turn, she caught the eye of the audience and winked. The fun gesture won the crowd over, and Chanel was featured in http://www.style.com/ as the stand-out of the season – the studying had prepared her, but the impulse to stand out is what made her a star.

Chanel made it her business to exceed expectations early on in her career, receiving the Trailblazer Award from the Sankofa Group in April 2007, and in May became part of modelling history when she joined other top models to take part in the seminal US Vogue cover. A collective of new talent, Chanel joined the likes of Coco Rocha, Lily Donaldson, Hilary Rhoda and Jessica Stam to form a powerful declaration to the fashion industry. These girls were the future of modelling, and every model on that cover by Steven Meisel, went on to become part of the fashion landscape.

In September, Chanel’s career sky-rocketed with appearances for Alexander Wang, Dior, DKNY, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta among others.

2007 ended in triumph on the runways, but a question mark hovered over Iman’s rising fame. Landing catwalk and editorial work is one thing, but could Chanel take it to the next level and land big-name campaigns? This would then put her on a level playing field with her peers, and 2008 saw Chanel rise to the challenge with not just one, but four campaigns. Chanel did campaign shoots for high-prestige brands like Ralph Lauren and DKNY, plus budget-friendly names like Gap and Lord & Taylor.

In February 2008, Chanel’s status as fashion’s latest crush was established when Chanel, Karlie Kloss and Ali Michael appeared on the cover of Teen Vogue, photographed by legend Patrick Demarchelier. A magazine as influential as its grown-up counterpart, Teen Vogue tipped all three models for greatness.

Chanel’s year snowballed: in February, she landed an editorial with Russian Vogue, plus a stellar season walking for designers as varied as Bill Blass and Donna Karan, Jason Wu and Zac Posen. Her CV was maturing well with a mixture of old-school labels, cutting-edge talent and established names. Paired with Chanel’s appearance in the Dior and Jean Paul Gaultier couture shows on July, she had all four corners of the fashion industry covered.

July proved to be a busy month, as Chanel not only appeared in American Vogue with Jourdan Dunn, but also scored two additional editorials in Italian Vogue. However, this was to be a pivotal point in Chanel’s career. Italian Vogue took the decision to put together an edition that would only feature black models.

It was a powerful statement, but it was not without controversy. Many in the industry and press questioned Italian Vogue’s motive for doing this issue. Was it to be taken on face value, as a celebration of ethnicity, giving full-focus to new talent, or was it about something else entirely?

By shining the spotlight on black models to the exclusion of other talent (including models of other ethnic backgrounds), was this a step forward, or a giant leap back? Did such pointed inclusion do more harm than good?

Whatever the motivation, what is clear is that the Italian Vogue edition sparked debate. But debate without action is useless, and what is encouraging is that nearly two years on, a new raft of models including Tao Okamoto, Lyndsey Scott, Liu Wen and Hind Sahli are not only working but flourishing in an industry accused of having a less-than-stellar record when it comes to diversity.

Chanel’s career itself flourished after the Italian Vogue went to press, landing the September cover of Korean Vogue. She was also chosen to open the S/S 2009 Rock & Republic show. Appearing for Alberta Ferretti, D&G, Giambattista Valli and Sonia Rykiel, Chanel was becoming a hit in Europe as well as America.

2009 brought several accolades, rapidly establishing Iman as a go-to girl for not only runway work, but covers and editorials. She landed the cover of Italian Flair in February, the premiere cover of the Dubai edition of Harper’s Bazaar and the cover of i-D in May.

In September, Chanel appeared as a guest judge on hit TV show ‘America’s Next Top Model’. A spot usually reserved for designers or photographers, Chanel’s years of brushing up on fashion paid off, making her intelligent and insightful appearance a hit with fans. This was not just a model with personality and opinions – but someone who knew Pucci from Prada.

Chanel also landed a second cover of i-D, shooting a pre-autumn cover with Arlenis Sosa, Jourdan Dunn and Sessilee Lopez. The cover’s launch shows how quickly things can change in the fashion world. In 2008, Chanel’s appearance for Italian Vogue’s all-black issue was challenged as ‘agenda-pushing’. Just one year later, Chanel, Arlenis, Jourdan and Sessilee were presented, quite rightly, as cover girls at the top of their game.

Chanel’s trail-blazing continued when she surprised many by signing a 3-year contract with Victoria’s Secret. Chanel, while perfect for high-fashion, was not an expected choice for the uber-sexy lingerie brand. Some questioned whether her athletic frame could carry off the VS signature look, but Chanel’s personality-packed performance on the runway put all doubt to rest. In one fell swoop, she proved not only her versatility, but her ability to do the unexpected. This element of surprise is what gets Chanel re-hired time after time.

2010 is set to be another busy year for Chanel, with a full couture and RTW season under her belt. Walking for designers like Aquascutum, Dior, Givenchy, Thakoon and Gucci, Chanel’s list of credits defies the expectation that a black model would struggle finding work. Chanel’s career is an important lesson for models coming into the industry: place limitations on yourself at your peril.

Have a look through a recent fashion magazine: the percentages of ethnic to white faces could be better, but the numbers are not as dire as people seem to think. The argument that fashion only allows one black model to be the ‘top girl’ at any one time is clearly no longer the case: Chanel, Jourdan, Sessilee and Arlenis are all getting coveted editorial and runway spots, with Joan Smalls and Rose Cordero rising through the ranks. While it is clear that fashion has a long way to go before equality can be stated as the norm, the notion of a closed-off industry is also somewhat wide of the mark.

While Chanel’s career is still on the rise, what’s encouraging is her awareness that she is flying the flag for future models, whatever their ethnicity. The message that fashion recognises excellence is an important one for the next generation. Fashion’s consumer-base is becoming more cosmopolitan, and as a result, our expectation of seeing diversity better represented on the runways and in magazines is starting to be met.

The fact that one of Chanel’s first covers was for Teen Vogue says it all. She wasn’t being treated as the token ethnic model: Chanel made the cover because she (along with Ali and Karlie) were fashion’s brightest new models. When it came to the cover, Teen Vogue wasn’t indulging in a box-ticking exercise: it simply wanted the best.

The recession has been a huge wake-up call for the industry, and has resulted in fashion rethinking its entire approach. Fashion, as a whole, is becoming more democratic. Runway shows are being broadcast live on the internet, so you can see the latest collections at the same time as Anna Wintour, and bloggers such as Bryanboy (http://www.bryanboy.com/) and Tavi (http://www.thestylerookie.com/) are being taken seriously as fashion commentators at large.

Modelling is also becoming part of this radical rethink, and this new directive is just the beginning. Still not convinced? Watch Chanel’s progress over the next five years: the future is already here.


Sunday, 4 April 2010


Born in Belgium on the 8th of October 1988, Hanne Gaby Odiele was spotted at a rock festival when she was 17 years old. Hanne’s modelling career took off when she signed to Supreme Management agency in 2005: in September that same year, she made her runway debut, walking for designers such as Thakoon, Rodarte and Marc Jacobs.

2006 also started well with editorials in Italian and British Vogue, plus campaigns for Topshop and Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, but Hanne’s blossoming career flatlined in December 2006, when she involved in a serious car accident in New York. Odiele was knocked down by a car running through a red light, and the impact of the crash was so severe, that Hanne ended up with two broken legs, plus other fractures. Hanne’s doctors advised her that due to the severity of her injuries, recovery would take at least a year.

Hanne was left bedridden for several months and had to endure several surgeries and months of intense physical therapy. But just 10 months after the accident, Hanne made a triumphant return to the runway, turning in appearances for Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Paul & Joe, Prada, Rick Owens and Vera Wang.

It was a personal victory for Odiele, and her return to modelling was lauded by designers and editors: magazine Marie Claire named her one of their Top Ten New Faces, and Hanne became the face of Vera Wang, even modelling some of the designer’s clothes on a special edition of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’. 2007 ended triumphantly with an editorial in Italian Vogue, proving that the promise of Odiele’s early career was no fluke: Hanne was in it for the long haul.

Hanne’s star continued to rise in 2008, with the announcement that she would join forces with Maryna Linchuk in a campaign for Mulberry, photographed by Steven Meisel.

February saw Odiele put in appearances for the Autumn / Winter show season including Balenciaga, Chloe, Marios Schwab, Jonathan Saunders, Richard Nicoll and Proenza Schouler. Hanne’s affiliation with fashion’s bright young things was a signal to everyone watching that her potential was something authentic, and not to be underestimated.

Odiele also began landing major campaigns and cover-space, signing a contract with DKNY Jeans and making the Spring / Summer edition of French fashion bible ‘Revue de Modes’.

In August, she scored a third editorial with Italian Vogue (this time shot by Richard Burbridge) and another outstanding runway season in September. Walking for the likes of Calvin Klein, Burberry, Dries Van Noten, Prada, Rebecca Taylor and Temperley, Hanne was starting to rise through the ranks, getting the attention of big brands too.

Hanne finished the year with editorials for 10 and Numero, and in 2009 she was announced as one of the faces of Balenciaga’s new campaign.

February’s show season saw Hanne scoop more honours, including opening shows for Christian Lacroix and Rue du Mail. She also walked for Alexander McQueen, Chloe, DKNY, Lanvin, Marc Jacobs, Matthew Williamson, Prada, Thakoon and Valentino. To cement Hanne’s growing status, she landed the March cover of Italian Vogue, photographed by Steven Meisel.

In September, Hanne’s clutch of runway credits proved particularly telling. Walking for designers such as Alberta Ferretti, Carolina Herrera, Donna Karan, Herve Leger, Louis Vuitton and Nina Ricci, Odiele had now graduated to old-school European labels and power-house US brands, such as Marc Jacobs and Michael Kors. No more a budding talent, Hanne was winning her fashion stripes.

October saw Hanne appearing in editorials for Dazed & Confused and Italian Vogue, and in December ’09 Hanne claimed a spot alongside names like Lara Stone, Natasha Poly and Gisele Bundchen, in the famous Twitter-inspired editorial in Italian Vogue.

The new decade promises to be a good one for Hanne, with an Alberta Ferretti campaign upping her profile even further. Posing alongside Kasia Struss, the advert is a frothy confection of ribbons and pleats, bringing the label front and centre for the next generation of high-fashion consumers. Every designer needs to find that next customer, and Ferretti’s youthful new direction is indicative of where fashion’s head is at.

Hanne’s youthful look plays right into fashion’s latest obsession with blondes, but Odiele’s niche (high-fashion-meets-cool) paired with her ability to be approachable on camera is translating into major kudos for Hanne, who has sealed her reputation modelling for high-street giants, Benetton, MAC and Topshop.

For brands like Topshop, striking a delicate balance between desirable and achievable fashion is crucial for its success. A 15-yr-old girl isn’t going to spend £40 on a dress if she isn’t convinced the dress is going to look as good on her as it does the model – or as near as damn it with the help of some clever styling.

This age group has its own spending power, and hiring the right model for a campaign can mean the difference between a good year and a great one. It’s one of the toughest age groups to please as teenagers are no longer intimidated by high-cachet labels and a campaign for H&M has to have the same production values as Prada, if it’s to convince teenagers to part with their cash.

With the success of magazines like Teen Vogue, this generation of teenagers are probably the most fashion literate to date, and their influence is starting to rub off on the entire industry. With the recent press attention on Christopher Kane’s revival of Versace’s diffusion label, Versus, the line between ‘young fashion’ and ‘women’s fashion’ is becoming increasingly blurred. Scan the stock of any e-boutique and try to guess which age bracket a Lanvin jacket is suitable for, or a Marc Jacobs sundress. It’s not as easy as it used to be.

No-one, regardless of what it says on their birth certificate, wants to be accused of dressing ‘old’, and the move towards trans-generational fashion: fashion for all, at any age, is something that Hanne is a part of. She’s just as comfortable modelling for Oscar de la Renta as she is for DKNY and that’s why she has continued to be so successful.

What makes Odiele special is her evergreen quality. To be relevant after several years on the circuit is no small achievement. Hanne has spent years working for diffusion labels like DKNY and Marc by Marc Jacobs, and only recently graduated to prestige labels like Valentino and Chanel. It’s all part of fashion’s game plan: make it young, make it cute; make it desirable.

But every model, no matter how successful, needs a back-up plan for when her career eventually comes to a close: Hanne has said that she wants to work as a stylist. Her sense of style has been well-documented on sites like http://www.whowhatwear.com/ and http://www.fashionising.com/ and she was even spotted by Scott Schuman, owner of the famous Sartorialist website. A brilliantly simple concept, the Sartorialist website (http://thesartorialist.blogspot.com/) scouts cities across the world for stylish people. Schuman takes their picture, and uploads it onto the site. It’s a new technology version of the fashion scrapbook, documenting all the different facets of modern style. Schuman spotted Odiele, and asked to use her photo on the website, having no idea who she was. If you get the seal of approval from The Sartorialist, you must be doing something right.

This February, Hanne enjoyed her biggest show season yet: getting hired for 63 shows is a pretty powerful indication that fashion can’t get enough of this gutsy blonde. Walking for prestigious names like Chanel, Chloe, Marc Jacobs, Sonia Rykiel and Thakoon, Odiele’s full-to-bursting itinerary proves that second acts in fashion are possible.

Hanne has won over the fashion industry by being one of the most enthusiastic and hardest-working models in the business, and with her career in the ascent, Hanne’s name is about to get a whole lot more familiar.


Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Easter