I thought it would be a great idea to compile everyone's knowledge of different markets to create a "market directory." If a model is looking to travel for work, I think it would be a great benefit to have all the relevant information to see when the best seasons are for that area and how to plan the trips accordingly. For instance, I would tell any foreigners looking to come to CA or NY for work, to avoid the summers since that's when those markets are the slowest. Any market is welcome, whether it's your state or your country or region. All information deemed relevant is welcome!
I would suggest to those who post, that they have firsthand experience of the market, rather than just hearsay.
California (major west coast market of USA) -
Summers are generally slow, and should probably be avoided (most models travel during this time).
Peak time for work appears to be fall/winter with the impending Fashion Week and high amount of lookbooks/catalogs needing to be shot. (Most models are in New York at this time)
China (Shanghai) -
Catalogs/lookbook season is early in the year, typically right before summer.
Show season is later in the year around the end of summer and beginning of fall. The best time to travel there for work is early in the year.
Dallas, TX, US-- it's a commercial market with not many fashion jobs. Sample sizes run 4-6US with a small market for plus models as well. JC Penney's shoots here. Kohl's, Dillard's, and Neiman Marcus also shoot here quite a bit. There is also a lot of acting and filming jobs that come through here. The slowest parts of the year center around March and December, although the exact dates fluctuate and can push into other months. The younger models book more in the summer because they have time away from school and the clients start doing their back to school spreads. Houston also has a small modeling market.
Milan, Italy-- also a more commercial market, but there is quite a bit of fashion jobs especially around fashion week. Show season is February and September, the market completely shuts down in August, and slows in March. Show season is also very competitive with girls pouring in from all around the world for fashion week.
Hopefully I'm not forgetting anything. I have knowledge about the agencies in these areas as well if someone has specific questions.
Almost 100% commercial. No one really cares to follow the fashion industry or the happenings of it's legitimate market cities. Bridal work is kinda huge. A few of the agencies (Ford, Factor) obviously have fashion boards but a good chunk of the models are out-of-town, as one might think, so they are always looking for new girls to potentially develop for NYC or MIA.
If you're a model who's traveling here, you have a couple options. You can pay big bucks to shoot with one of the couple very skilled photographers (of whom an even fewer number focus on shooting models) or you can book tests through Model Mayhem. There are a lot of guys here who will pay you -- and I write this without even knowing what any of you look like. Those who are looking to get ahead will shoot you for free. And you may have to look far and wide for great photos at a reasonable price but don't discount your chance at succeeding in that endeavor.
Surprisingly I learned that in Asia taller men are the norm, like taller than the USA. The agencies in the US usually want models a little above average height 5'10" to 6'2". In china, almost all the agency models I saw were over 6'4" but when I go to castings in the US they say my 6'3" is too tall.
I'm Canadian but currently working Hong Kong. This information was part of the package my agency gave me (so will only apply to those models coming here under agency representation):
-There are jobs such as TV commercials, print advertisements, fashion catalogues, shows, promotional events, advertorials, and editorial work in the Hong Kong market.
-There may be more work for Asian or Eurasian models here but Caucasian people (especially with dark hair) work well here.
-General jobs rates for jobs in HK and China (in Hong Kong Dollars):
shows: $3000-$4000 HKD (including fitting, rehearsal)
fashion catalogues: 4-8 hours of shooting, hourly rate is $1200-$1500 HKD.
editorial: minimum 4 hours, $880-$1000 HKD
advertorial: minimum 2 hours, $1100 HKD
commercial: $10000-$50000 HKD
print advertisement: $2400-$12000 (depends on usage)
promotional events: $2500 HKD half day and $4000 full day
fitting: hourly rate $600-$800 HKD
Those rates are by no means set in stone. I've worked every single day I've been here so far and have earned considerably higher rates (sometimes 6 times more) than what is listed (except for editorial jobs...those universally don't pay well).
Something I've observed so far is that clients really appreciate a great attitude. Like REALLY appreciate it. Not that a good attitude isn't necessary or appreciated in other markets, but especially here being polite and enthusiastic will take you very far.
If you're represented by a Hong Kong based agency, you may also be booked for jobs in mainland China as well. Those jobs don't require you to attend castings. The clients will direct book you.
Singapore is generally a commercial market. If you wish to do fashion editorials and jobs only there are very limited number of agencies you can go to. If you are up for commercial jobs from print to TV commercials, then you'd have more choices.
Big shows like Audi Fashion Festival, Fashion Season Orchard and a few design school graduate shows are all in the first half of the year. If you're interested in runways, then you're encouraged to come here during the first half.
If you'd like to have more information about anything feel free to PM me.
Thank you everyone for your contribution! It's very valuable!
I have worked mostly the Florida market. I did well in the Orlando area
for commercial print, a lot of hair shows and some commercials and videos.
I moved to South Beach in the winter. It was a tough market for me.
It's a small concentrated area with TONS of beautiful models! The
competition if very high in the winter months. Models from all over the
world go to South Beach for the winters.
Two days ago I had a conversation with a photographer where we wished for a thread or an article on MM that discusses important info and the best markets out there for traveling. You must have read our minds!