Happy mid-week folks!
I get alot of texts and inboxes of people asking me how they can get into modelling etc and I either advice them on the little I know and/or refer them to the necessary people. I recently got another inquiry and I thought to do a post on the same that I would be directing all inquirers to.
Do check out her blog.
Here’s what she had to say on runway modelling;
Many of us who join the modelling industry end up there because a friend, relative or total stranger told us “You looked like a model”, “You are really tall, try modelling” or the infamous, “you look like Ajuma”. For me, I started modelling by chance. In 2009 I was thrown to the deep end at a beauty pageant in Machakos, just after high school. I was volunteering at the Red Cross Branch and they asked me to compete for the annual Miss Red Cross Kenya. I did not win, I was the 1st Runners up but that was the beginning of a lot more. I competed for a few more pageants, including the Miss World Kenya title before dipping my feet into high fashion.
The first runway modelling audition I went for was for a popular agency back then, Strut It Africa. The auditions were held in the CBD and so many people were on the line. I remember, the lines were so long and the sun was so bright and the fact that I had a class at the same time, was wearing me down. I actually almost gave up. The only reason I stayed was the gorgeous Nick Mwaniki, who was coordinating the models, and I remember thinking, if I get selected, are these the kind of gorgeous people I will be working with? And of course my curiosity got the best of me. I missed my class but I do not regret it. After a month of waiting and a series of tests and photo shoots, I was one of the 30 models selected for their lineup that year.
Over the years I have learnt a lot. These two industries are totally different. The pageantry world is about elegance and the never ending smile, while high fashion modelling is about fierceness, oozing sass and confidence and a very firm and strong walk. Everything I know about modelling has come from rejection, success and hard work.
Here are the things I learnt.
Modelling is not for the faint-hearted. It’s a venture for the bold. To be a runway model, first and foremost, you need to be your own cheerleader. Runway modelling, unlike commercial modelling, requires a lot of hard work and dedication. There is a lot of rejection in this industry so remember to keep your head up no matter what. Keep going for auditions and practicing your craft. It might take some time but you need to keep pushing.
It doesn’t matter what size you are as long as you are well toned. All those models you see strutting down the runway with their perfectly toned muscles and perfectly sculpted abs were not born with that body. They have had to work tirelessly day and night to achieve that look. There are plus size ladies on the catwalk these days so fear not. As a size 10 and above, you could still model.
Cheat: For an audition, you can wear a very light body-shaper under your tank top just to pass the first stage but this is not a permanent solution so (YOU’VE GOT TO WORK!)
Designers prefer taller models because their legs look elongated and outfits are draped well on a taller model. If you are short for runway, like I am, the higher your heels raise you, the better. Buy heels that are high but very comfortable to walk in. Most times runway shows last for a long time and you do not want to look uncomfortable on the runway due to ill-fitting or uncomfortable heels.
In order for you to learn, you need to read the instructions then stand up and do the practical bit. Are you ready? Ok!
Generally, the posture you should be in is a slightly bent backwards position. Rest your weight on your left leg. Keep your head held high, then push your shoulders back a little. Starting with your right leg, take long and strong strides to the end of the runway. This is where models pose for pictures to be taken, so you need to remember to pose for about 3 seconds, then very fiercely, turn and in the same manner walk back. You cannot get it right on the first go. Watch Fashion One TV, watch YouTube tutorials on runway walks and also spend 30minutes in your house every day in heels practicing.
THE AUDITION ATTIRE
You are in shape, you have practiced your walk, your fierce look and you are ready to go for your first audition, how should you present yourself? Some auditions are strict on the dress code while some do not specify. I would recommend a black or white tank top / spaghetti top and black tights or skinny jeans and 6 inch heels. Stay away from dresses, skirts or loose trousers because they do not allow the people auditioning you to see your walk properly. Besides, well-fitting jeans and top bring out your well-toned body and they will make you look taller.
I hope to do a sequel of the same with tips on how to start modelling, should you be signed or not, and just how do you stay relevant in this saturated and competitive industry.
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Till the next post…….keep it #TeamFnD :).