Forums > Model Colloquy > Commercial or Fashion? Please help?

Model

Markana

Posts: 20

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I have a question that has been wrapped in my brain for a while but I need to do some explaining first.

Last month I went to the Ford Modeling Agency in Toronto to see if they were interested in signing me on to become one of there international runway models, but I cam up an inch too short. This of course devastated me for a while since I trained and reached my fitness goal for that interview, But they said I should get into acting or commercial work. A photographer friend of mine said that I should do Editorial print work and forget about runway.

Is 5'8" really too short for international runway or was Ford being too picky? Can a commercial model become as successful as a runway model?
And last, do you have any suggestions for me for my direction with modeling?

Thank you
Also Happy 2013 everyone!

Jan 11 13 04:47 am Link

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Model

Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

5'8 is on the short side for runway. The taller the better really (as long as it's under 6'1), especially in competitive market. ofcourse there are always exception, and you could try other agencies and see what they say, but if you keep getting the same responses there is probably some truth to it.

if you want a feedback on your modelling, that can only be given in "general feedback"

Jan 11 13 06:22 am Link

Model

angel emily

Posts: 1020

Boston, Massachusetts, US

MarkanaM wrote:
I have a question that has been wrapped in my brain for a while but I need to do some explaining first.

Last month I went to the Ford Modeling Agency in Toronto to see if they were interested in signing me on to become one of there international runway models, but I cam up an inch too short. This of course devastated me for a while since I trained and reached my fitness goal for that interview, But they said I should get into acting or commercial work. A photographer friend of mine said that I should do Editorial print work and forget about runway.

Is 5'8" really too short for international runway or was Ford being too picky? Can a commercial model become as successful as a runway model?
And last, do you have any suggestions for me for my direction with modeling?

Thank you
Also Happy 2013 everyone!

Ford does have models that are 5'8", but perhaps not in the division or city where you applied.  Ford is way up there, so if taller is preferred (and it is) and they already have a selection of beautiful girls who are 5'9"+ dying to get signed to Ford (and they do), it's unlikely they'll sign a girl who is even just an inch outside of the requirements.  It's very competitive.

All I can say is, don't give up.  You're 19 and you have a great look.  You might want to try again with Ford's commerical division, as suggested, or another agency.

Commercial models can be just as successful as fashion models, even more so.  But it depends how you define "success".   There are always the big names everyone knows; they are the exceptional. Some fashion models transition over into commercial, too, if they have the right look.   A lot of prestige is placed on fashion models, but commerical is the area with the most work and the most longevity.  And many of the world's best commercial models are signed with the world's best agencies.

Honestly, if Ford told me, "We suggest you pursue acting/commercial modeling" -- I'd be like "GREAT, how do I start?" Because it wasn't a "NO, we're not interested.  at all.  go away." your look actually warranted a response that  suggested you might be successful in another genre.  And these people know, they work with the world's best.

I think it might help you to expand your view of what commercial modeling is.   A lot people think it's cheesy and hokey, and it can be, but you can get some really great work, too -- and eventually you'll need to either realize you're never going to be an international runway model and decide to pursue the next most viable best option that one of the most prestigious agencies in the world told you to pursue or keep trying to do runway at a potentially much less successful rate.

I suggest you post in Critique for more specific feedback.

Jan 11 13 06:56 am Link

Photographer

AJ_In_Atlanta

Posts: 12835

Atlanta, Georgia, US

+1 for Emily.  If you want to model you should do it.  Its true Ford is not going to give an inch when they don't need to, so many 5'9 and above girls to choose from.  Another agency may, but the fact is the big clients are not likely to.  So another may sign you but that doesn't mean you will get runway work.

Find a great agency commercial division and get modeling.  You will be in print before you know it.

Jan 11 13 07:12 am Link

Model

Markana

Posts: 20

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thanks for the feedback everyone smile

Jan 12 13 05:51 am Link

Photographer

Mark

Posts: 2893

New York, New York, US

not fashion maybe commercial

Jan 14 13 02:29 pm Link

Photographer

Catnapping

Posts: 3774

Lakeville, Massachusetts, US

model emily  wrote:

Ford does have models that are 5'8", but perhaps not in the division or city where you applied.  Ford is way up there, so if taller is preferred (and it is) and they already have a selection of beautiful girls who are 5'9"+ dying to get signed to Ford (and they do), it's unlikely they'll sign a girl who is even just an inch outside of the requirements.  It's very competitive.

All I can say is, don't give up.  You're 19 and you have a great look.  You might want to try again with Ford's commerical division, as suggested, or another agency.

Commercial models can be just as successful as fashion models, even more so.  But it depends how you define "success".   There are always the big names everyone knows; they are the exceptional. Some fashion models transition over into commercial, too, if they have the right look.   A lot of prestige is placed on fashion models, but commerical is the area with the most work and the most longevity.  And many of the world's best commercial models are signed with the world's best agencies.

Honestly, if Ford told me, "We suggest you pursue acting/commercial modeling" -- I'd be like "GREAT, how do I start?" Because it wasn't a "NO, we're not interested.  at all.  go away." your look actually warranted a response that  suggested you might be successful in another genre.  And these people know, they work with the world's best.

I think it might help you to expand your view of what commercial modeling is.   A lot people think it's cheesy and hokey, and it can be, but you can get some really great work, too -- and eventually you'll need to either realize you're never going to be an international runway model and decide to pursue the next most viable best option that one of the most prestigious agencies in the world told you to pursue or keep trying to do runway at a potentially much less successful rate.

I suggest you post in Critique for more specific feedback.

Spot on advice.

An inch or two really does make a difference; I'm 5'7" and posed with a girl around 5'10" today. We had similar measurements otherwise and the photographer made it work for the shoot, but for runway I would stick out like a sore thumb. Any tiny difference between models is very noticeable, which is why the requirements are so strict.

Jan 14 13 02:34 pm Link

Model

Estefania Silva

Posts: 16

Lisbon, Lisboa e Vale do Tejo, Portugal

Gurrrrrrrrrlllllllllllll, are you really saying "no" to commercial modelling? The money is THERE, not in the runway world.

Jan 16 13 08:07 am Link

Model

Virginia P

Posts: 469

Los Angeles, California, US

I think you have a great face, and would be suited for beauty and commercial work. Only pursue acting because you want to though, not just for the heck of it.

Jan 19 13 10:22 am Link

Model

V for Victory Modeling

Posts: 436

Roseville, California, US

I've always though agencies in general are picky and unrealistic about height...that's just my opinion since very few women are 5'9"+. I would shoot for commercial if you cannot do fashion.

Jan 19 13 11:29 am Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Homme

Posts: 3207

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

vbabe wrote:
I've always though agencies in general are picky and unrealistic about height...that's just my opinion since very few women are 5'9"+. I would shoot for commercial if you cannot do fashion.

Agencies have so many girls who are 5'9"+ to choose from that they turn many 5'9"+ girls away.

Jan 19 13 11:34 am Link

Photographer

Shon D.- Homme

Posts: 3207

Virginia Beach, Virginia, US

Chamoa wrote:
Gurrrrrrrrrlllllllllllll, are you really saying "no" to commercial modelling? The money is THERE, not in the runway world.

Exactly. OP, don't be discouraged about commercial work. Get in where you fit in!

Jan 19 13 11:34 am Link

Model

AllyssaN

Posts: 6

Detroit, Michigan, US

You make so much more money modeling for website stores and lifestyle, such as weddings and or toothpaste, then you ever would do editorial spreads or magazines. I mean Unless you worked for something like Chanel or Prada.

Jan 19 13 11:42 am Link

Photographer

Lucas_Smith

Posts: 215

Los Angeles, California, US

5'9" is the baaaaare minimum. That's a universal. I don't mean to come off glib, but I'm really surprised you didn't know or at least research that before you busted your butt to reach your fitness goal.

But also, I think your mindset is that runway is some kind of glamorous thing. Not to dog on any of you runway gals, but runway is widely considered, in the agency world, 2nd string. No, of course I'm not talking about super-models or big deals like NYC or Euro Fashion Week (those are pedigrees). 

However, most of all, stock-runway pays terrible.  Like really really low-rates.  Commercial print is truly where a working-class model (meaning non-super models) can really rake in the bucks.

...so many girls dream of being in Vogue.  But it's doing Target campaigns that can pay for your college 2'x over.

Jan 21 13 07:32 pm Link

Model

Markana

Posts: 20

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thank you for all of your input.

Its not that I didn't know the requirements, its that I thought there was some percentage of Models who do beat the odds and they are 5'8" and on high fashion runways.

I'm not turning down the commercial side of modeling. It just wasn't the original choice. smile I understand that commercial models make more money and runway isn't as glamorous as people may think.

All I wanted from this thread was to get an answer and I did, so thank you again.

Markana

Jan 31 13 01:59 am Link