Model Meaning, Definitions, Highest Paid Models & More

A model (from the Italian modello , which arose in Renaissance Italy as a diminutive of the Latin modus , “manner” or “measure”) 1 is the professional in the fashion sector who is dedicated to exhibiting, wearing clothing or other accessories ( shoes , bags , belts , etc).


The profession is usually associated with young women , however, there are also male models of all ages, including small ones ; The beauty with which the models are identified is a primary factor, although in any case the selection of the model always seeks a certain aspect , body and facial expression , anthropometric measurements and specific conditions ( height , height , weight , physical complexion) professionally defined to ensure that the items presented are attractive or cause a certain impact on the buyer or target to whom the garment or product line , advertising or communication campaign in question is directed.

In modeling , 2 it is possible to distinguish two large categories: that of catwalk models (who present the work of fashion designers , usually on fashion catwalks ), and that of advertising models (linked to advertising for any type of products and to photography , visual arts and other types of design ). Each of these categories require a specific profile. Thus, for example, the French singer Françoise Hardy and the French actress Brigitte Bardot were haute couture modelsand prêt-à-porter , respectively, but they only acted as photographic models and not on the catwalk.

Types of models

Gisele Bündchen , the world’s highest-paid supermodel 12 consecutive years from 2004 to 2016.
Supermodel is that person who works as a model with very high remuneration and who enjoys world fame. The term was popularized in popular culture in the 1990s . According to Albert Watson, one of the photographers of the time, everything was the result of competition between agencies, which began to demand that the name of each model be included on the covers. 6

They generally work for prominent fashion designers and prestigious brands. They have contracts, sponsors and million-dollar advertising campaigns, becoming celebrities . 7 ​8 ​9

They are distinguished from the rest of the models mainly by their worldwide fame, monopolizing a large percentage of the covers of the main fashion magazines. Although the rest of the models can enjoy great beauty, the supermodels use their greater popularity to get better contracts. Similarly, luxury brands hire supermodels to associate their fame with the products they promote. Especially in the 1980s and 1990s, some male supermodels or top models emerged, also acquiring an important role in the fashion industry.

Fashion models

There are different specialties in the world of modeling, the catwalk and photography being the most important.

The catwalk model must have certain skills and abilities that allow him to face the public and move harmoniously. His body measurements must also conform to the prevailing standards in the industry, usually over 1.75 meters tall, weighing between 50 and 60 kilos and a slender body. The minimum height is 1.60 m, although most are 1.65 to 1.70 meters. How much they earn depends on several factors: who is the designer, a Fendi or Chanel show is going to pay more than an unknown new designer; The model must also be known, Kate Moss or Abbey Lee Kershaw can earn thousands for a Versace show , while an unknown modelrookie in the same show can get zero if it’s their first show season; And where the show is , if fashion week is for example in New York , London , Paris or Milan , you’ll get much more money than a fashion show in a suburban mall. 11

Glamor models

Glamor models posing on the red carpet.
Main article: Glamor photography
Main article: Pin up
Glamor photography emphasizes the idea of ​​the model from a sexual point of view rather than the products, fashion, or setting. Glamor fashion is based on the model’s body and hints of sexuality serve to enhance a product’s appeal. These models can be used for massive editions of calendars in men’s magazines , such as Playboy . Among the most famous glamor models are Pamela Anderson , Katie Price , Holly Madison , Kendra Wilkinson , Dita Von Teese , Jodie Marsh , Lucy Pinder and many others.

A 2014 study analyzed the profiles of glamor models and estimated that the average measurements of female glamor models were 1.68 m (height), 54 kg (weight) and 0.73 (waist-to-hip ratio). 12

Fitness models

Models from fitness centers to exhibit an athletic physique. Fitness models typically have defined muscles like bodybuilders , but with less emphasis on muscle size. Their body weight is usually similar to (or slightly higher than) conventional models, but they have a lower percentage of body fat due to increased muscle mass relative to fat.

Swimsuit models

Bikini models stand out for their freshness on the catwalk, today there is no size in any sense, there is no longer 90 60 90 as in other times

Underwear models

They have to be attractive. They tend to be over 1.50 and are any size.

For men’s underwear models, it is required that they have an athletic and sporty body and a height greater than 1.50 m.

Artistic models
Main article: Model (art)
Art models are models who pose for photographers , painters , sculptors , and other artists as part of their artwork . Models of this criteria often become muses for the respective photographers and artists.

Part models
Some models are used for their body parts that are especially attractive. For example, leg models are useful for displaying stockings, and wrist models are used to display watches or bracelets. The best known part of the body is the hands which can be used to promote nail products and are often a part of most TV commercials. Some handheld models can make more than $1,200 a day. 13

Notable part models include, Ashly Covington, is a Top Hand Model in the United States , her client list includes Target , Maybelline and Miller Lite and she has been the hand of Adriana Lima , Charlize Theron and Brooke Shields . 14 Mia Crowe is described as a Supermodel by hand she has modeled for celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston , Charlize Theron , Molly Sims , Cindy Crawford , Valeria Mazza , Faith Hill , Penelope Cruz, Kate Moss , Claudia Schiffer , Eva Longoria , and many more. 15 16 Steve Altes is one of the leading male party models in the United States, his clients include Heineken , Coors , Miller Lite , Folgers , Mitsubishi , Domino’s Pizza , American Express , Jack in the Box , and Nikon . The model Marc Engelhard also shows different parts of the body. 17 ​18

The following models are recognized thanks to popular culture such as Kimbra Hickey who gains fame by being the hands with a red apple on the cover of the book Twilight . 19 Pamela Moses receives publicity covering the only imperfection of Megan Fox , who suffers from brachydactyly , appears in the famous Motorola advertisement that is seen by 90 million American viewers during the Super Bowl . 20 ​21

Other models
They are alternative models who do not fit into mainstream model types, and can include various genres such as emo , punk , gothic , fetish , tattoo models , or another different characteristic.

Publishers, such as Goliath, in Germany have allowed alternative models and the photography reaches a wider audience every time.

Different types of work in the modeling industry
Different types of models that work in the industry and the criteria for each one: 22

Haute couture model

Haute couture model.
Haute couture models are very tall figures who grace the catwalks and editorials of major fashion houses and designers. In general, women should be between 5’7″ and 6’1″, with a US size 4-6 (UK 6-8 ) , with a typical size bust of 34 inches. The age range can be from 17 to 25 years. For men it is more flexible and can be started from the age of 16 to their late 40s. They must be between 1.85 and 1.95 cm tall, have an excellent physique and a chest size of 94 to 106 cm and 76 to 81 cm in height. waist. Men tend to have longer careers if they take good care of themselves.

Modeling for editorials
It is the one that is mainly done for fashion magazines like Harper’s Bazaar , Vogue , Elle , etc. The standard requirements for these models are similar to high fashion and they must be very photogenic people. Very often the same models work in both fields, in editorial and on the high fashion catwalk. These publishers offer good exposures for the models even though the fees are sometimes relatively low. This is normal and it can take a few years to gain the experience necessary to get a better pay.

Modeling in commercials
Commercial ads are a huge market that encompasses all types of display advertising . This can range from advertising in magazines to products in supermarkets and billboards . The benefit of working in the commercial area as a model is that the target audience of advertisers varies considerably. Brands naturally want to attract and represent the people who buy their products, so there are plenty of opportunities here if you’re not the high fashion type.

TV commercials
Modeling in television commercials or advertising spotsIt does not have general criteria for height, size and age, since each commercial requires someone different and specific for that job. Usually it is necessary to have some acting skills, but this ability can be natural or acquired. There are many types of TV commercials, ranging from the stylized aesthetic to the more realistic aesthetic. The great advantage of television commercials for a model is that brands are continually looking for models, who can be easily identified by the general public. This opens the doors to almost everyone, who feels they have what it takes to work in this sector. Normally those represented by an acting agency have a better chance of appearing in television commercials.

Model catalog
Companies create catalogs (print or on the web) to sell their latest clothing lines and other products. It is the model’s job that the garments and products look good. In this area you will find great opportunities to represent the public of the different companies . This is very lucrative for many models as lately there are an increasing number of websites that require models to promote their products online.

Glamor modeling
It is modeling that emphasizes the sexuality of a model. It can range from lingerie and swimwear, to fine art and nude photography . The beauty of these models is usually described as sexy , and they are required to have confidence and a very outgoing personality. Height restrictions tend not to apply in this type of modeling.

Male models

David Gandy and Simon Nessman , most sought-after male models. 23 ​24
The most famous male models earn between $200,000 and $500,000 a year. Most make a less glamorous living from catalog work. 25​ Ad campaigns for fragrances and designer clothing are the most lucrative businesses. A model can earn anywhere from $8,000 to $15,000 for catalog shoots that last one day. 26 In 1996, the highest-paid model reportedly made $1 million per year. 27

Plus-size models
There is a new type of modeling for bodies of larger sizes, from size L to XXL. This type of model is booming and is a relatively new phenomenon. More and more advertisers are using plus-size models to promote their products in an attempt to appeal to a broader demographic. Plus-size models should have lustrous skin, good teeth, shiny hair, and have something special. Height requirements are kept to a minimum of 1.70m, like high fashion models.

Real-life models, film and television “extras”
Real life models are used in advertising or company campaigns, when they seek to represent an ordinary person, as in figuration ( movie and television extras ).

Model agencies
Main article: Modeling agency

A model in a photo shoot .
The modeling of clothing or accessories is part of the big business of fashion , where modeling agencies concur together with various activities, professions and industries such as: designers, producers, photographers, stylists, makeup artists, clothing brands; as well as the media ( general and specialized press – fashion magazines -, television , cinema , internet and social networks ) and even aesthetic medicine .

With the passage of time and the exaltation of beauty and image, models have become true celebrities that have become world famous, as well as clothing designers. The world of models is associated with fame, money and a glamorous lifestyle .

Their hiring is done through a model agency, but when the model is required to have something special, an in-person casting or online casting is usually done through a model portal. The essential instruments for the model are the book (album with her best photos) and the composit (cardboard in which five photographs of the model are collected; one of them in a bathing suit and where her name, height, measurements, color of eyes and hair, and name and address of the agency).

The Internet has also revolutionized the natural flow of searching for and hiring models; Nowadays there are several platforms (intermediaries) dedicated to connecting models with agencies that work all over the world.