In the modeling industry, perhaps nothing could come as close to the grandiosity and exclusivity of high fashion. It’s all about the skill and quality of making articles of clothing, and the kind of fashion produced herein requires a special kind of model to wear them.
In a way, high fashion or haute couture models aren’t all that different from other runway or commercial models—the main distincton is the kind of clothes worn. We are talking about specially crafted, exclusive designer sets here, tailor-fit for the wearer, meticulously designed, and made with the utmost care and attention to detail. Because of that, though, the requirements for high fashion models could at times be very specialized and peculiar.
When you do a quick image search for high fashion models, you’ll see what we’re talking about. Not only are the clothes different and distinct; the facial features of models in haute couture can also be very different compared to the commercial or runway models that we are most likely used to. There are many who fall into the more common archetypes of beauty, and there are also those who are more unconventional in terms of appearance.
What exactly do high fashion models do? As we’ve said, it’s not really that different from runway models. The bulk of the work is catwalk gigs for fashion week shows, where the top brands showcase collections for the respective fashion seasons. As these are custom-made, high fashion pieces, being able to model the collections effectively is an important facet of the work. That’s why only top-level talent will do.
A career in high fashion is obviously not for everyone; for starters, there are only so many haute couture brands out there, and they usually go for more established models. That isn’t to say that younger models don’t have a chance. For example, getting runway gigs at the different fashion weeks held in the world’s finest fashion capitals are great ways to get into a high fashion modeling career path. It’s even better if you get picked for an exclusive gig for one of the bigger names.
In addition, high fashion careers usually involve lucrative deals. Considering the relatively stringent requirements and the kind of talent required in this specialized field, it’s only fitting that haute couture models are paid accordingly. There might be a lull in terms of work after the flurry of fashion weeks in the respective seasons, though, so having a roster of runway gigs or even print work lined up for the off-season is a good fallback.
If you’re aiming for a career in high fashion modeling, then you need to work some special magic. You’d have to follow the same steps as everyone else—get your photos in order, send out comp cards and portfolios, sign with an agency, attend castings, get booked—then do your job well enough to get noticed by the top fashion brands.
Remember, these are special clothes, so special models are needed to showcase them. Not everyone is cut out to be a high fashion model, so if you’re lucky enough to have a shot at it, then make sure you give it your all. Best of luck!