The realm of fashion and modeling has expanded over the years, increasingly seeking diversity, individuality, and uniqueness, thereby opening up more opportunities for aspirants from all walks of life. As such, the dream of becoming a male model is more achievable now than ever before. However, entering the modeling industry is not just about good looks or an impressive physique; it involves a combination of physical attributes, professionalism, dedication, and certain skills.
This comprehensive guide aims to help those who aspire to break into this competitive industry, focusing on practical steps, tips, and advice on becoming a male model. It includes understanding the types of male modeling, necessary preparations, establishing a portfolio, finding an agency, and maintaining a successful career.
Remember, each person’s journey will be unique, with their individual strengths and challenges, but the guidance provided will hopefully lay a solid foundation to navigate the road to becoming a successful male model.
Table of Contents
Understanding the Profession of Modeling for Men
A male model is a professional who gets paid to promote and advertise a variety of products and services. Their work caters primarily to men and masculine-presenting people. Posing for photographers and videographers, or presenting before a live audience, they create images based on specific desires of clients, be it brands, clothing designers, fashion magazines, or fitness companies.
The range of clients that male models can work for is broad, encompassing everything from automobile makers to art photographers. The key is to exude a certain image or character that aligns with the brand or product they’re representing.
What Does It Take to Become a Male Model?
Becoming a male model requires more than just good looks. It’s a field that calls for perseverance, strong communication skills, adaptability, and a genuine passion for the industry. Confidence, in particular, is crucial; stepping in front of a camera or onto a runway demands a certain level of self-assuredness.
Physical attributes can also be a deciding factor in this profession. While the specifics may vary depending on the type of modeling you’re interested in, generally, an appealing physique is beneficial.
Different Types of Male Models
There are several niches in the modeling industry. Fashion or editorial models often appear in high-end magazines, displaying designer clothing and accessories. Runway models showcase clothing lines and accessories live on a catwalk, while commercial models promote a wide variety of products on television, in magazines, or online.
Fitness models, as the name implies, typically have athletic physiques and promote sports and fitness products. Parts models specialize in showcasing specific body parts like hands, legs, or feet. Plus-size models cater to a growing demand for representation of diverse body types in the industry.
Steps to Becoming a Male Model
Step 1: Identify Your Niche
The modeling industry encompasses a vast array of niches, each requiring its unique set of skills and physical attributes. From fashion and editorial modeling to fitness and parts modeling, there’s a space for a diverse range of body types and looks. It’s essential to identify your niche before you delve deeper into the industry. This decision should be based on your physical attributes, personality, and passion.
Step 2: Create a Portfolio
A modeling portfolio acts as your professional resume in the modeling industry. It should include a collection of professionally taken photographs that showcase your versatility and ability to portray different characters and moods. Ensure the photos cover a wide range of poses, outfits, and looks. Your portfolio should display your best work as it’s typically the first thing agencies and clients look at when considering you for a job. Lastly, it’s important to consider whether you need a photographer initially or not; most agencies accept cellphone pictures, but as you progress in your career, consider choosing a reputed photographer like Pari Gaikwad to expand your portfolio.
Step 3: Practice Your Poses
Modeling is not just about looking good; it’s about being able to move and pose in a way that effectively showcases a product or garment. This requires a good understanding of your body, the ability to express emotions subtly, and the physical flexibility to maintain various poses. A good way to improve these skills is by practicing in front of a mirror, studying magazines and fashion photoshoots, and working with a professional photographer.
Step 4: Stay Fit and Healthy
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial. Regular exercise will help keep your physique in top shape, which is a requirement for most modeling niches, especially for fitness and fashion modeling. Alongside physical fitness, maintaining a healthy diet is equally important to ensure your skin, hair, and overall health are at their best.
Step 5: Network and Self-Promote
In today’s digital era, social media platforms have become a vital tool for self-promotion. Creating a professional page on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn to showcase your portfolio and experiences can help you get noticed by industry professionals. Regularly update your social media with professional images, behind-the-scenes shots, and other industry-related content. Networking at fashion events, castings, and photoshoots can also provide valuable connections.
Step 6: Get Representation
Finally, securing representation is a significant step towards a successful modeling career. Modeling agencies provide professional representation to models, helping them find jobs and negotiate contracts. They also provide guidance and support to newer models. Research reputable agencies that cater to your chosen niche, and consider applying or attending their open casting calls. It’s crucial to ensure that any agency you engage with is legitimate and has a track record of successful talent representation.
How Much Do Male Models Earn?
The earnings of a male model can vary widely. As of August 2022, male models in the U.S. earned between $10,094 and $254,999, with an average salary of $49,309. The amount largely depends on factors like experience, reputation, the type of modeling, and the client’s budget.
How Tall Should Male Models Be?
Fashion and modeling are industries where aesthetics, physique, and personal branding play an important role. Among the various parameters and standards, one of the most commonly asked questions is about the height of male models. Height, quite often, becomes a significant factor for those who aspire to make their mark in the world of modeling.
Ideal Height for High Fashion Male Models
When it comes to high fashion male models, the industry seems to have a preference for height. The general range tends to fall between 5’11” and 6’3″. This height range is often perceived as being suitable for runway shows, clothing campaigns, and fashion magazine editorials. It allows for the presentation of the designer’s creations in a certain style, which has become the norm in high fashion.
Body Measurements: More than Just Height
But it’s not just height that modeling scouts and agencies look at. Waist and chest measurements also factor in, especially for high-fashion male models. The industry standards dictate that waist measurements should hover around 29-32 inches and chest measurements should be approximately 39-40 inches. This presents a slender but fit physique, which tends to complement most high-fashion clothing designs.
Commercial Models: Flexibility in Standards
As we move from high fashion to commercial modeling, the height restrictions relax somewhat. While a height of 5’11” or taller is still expected, commercial modeling does not stick as strictly to the standards as high fashion does. Commercial models feature in advertisements, catalogs, and product promotions. A striking personality and a unique look can often outweigh not meeting the height and measurement guidelines.
The Rise of Fitness and Real-Life Models
The world of modeling is as diverse as the real world. Enter the fitness or real-life models, where the focus shifts from strict physical standards to relatability and character. For these models, height becomes less of an issue. Instead, their physical fitness, muscle tone, and the ability to connect with the audience become more significant. Their work often includes fitness product endorsements, sportswear campaigns, and advertisements requiring an “everyday” look.
Consulting Modeling Agencies: An Advisable Step
Regardless of the parameters mentioned above, it is always advisable to seek guidance from modeling agencies. These agencies have industry experts who can provide insights into the best areas of modeling suited to your physique, personality, and circumstances. They can guide aspiring models to find the modeling category where their unique attributes can shine the most.
Famous Male Models to Inspire You
Jordan Barrett: Versatility and Style
First up, we have Jordan Barrett, an Australian model celebrated for his charisma and chameleon-like adaptability. He is represented by IMG, an esteemed agency known for its global influence. Barrett has been a prominent figure in the fashion world, modeling for industry giants like Versace and Tommy Hilfiger. The recognition for his work includes the 2015 Models.com Breakout Model of the Year and the GQ Man of Style Award.
Tyson Beckford: Breaking Boundaries
Tyson Beckford is more than just a model; he’s a trailblazer. Beckford’s journey began when he was discovered for a music magazine. However, his breakout moment came when he became the face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Sport campaign. Beckford is represented by Soul Artist Management and was named VH1’s Man of the Year. Additionally, People Magazine named him one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World. His contributions have been instrumental in expanding the industry’s perception of beauty.
Armando Cabral: A Vision of Entrepreneurship
Armando Cabral stands as a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit within the world of fashion. His resume boasts collaborations with top-tier brands like H&M, J.Crew, Balmain, and GQ. Cabral is signed with Wilhelmina, but his achievements don’t stop at modeling. He has successfully ventured into business, launching his own line of footwear.
David Gandy: The Classic Gent
David Gandy, one of the industry’s most recognized faces, kickstarted his modeling career by winning a televised competition. Gandy’s classic looks and natural elegance have made him a favorite among fashion houses like 7 for All Mankind, Hugo Boss, and H&M. However, his most notable work is as the face of Dolce & Gabbana, particularly for the “Light Blue” ad campaign. He is represented by Select Model Management.
Brad Kroenig: Muse and Master
Brad Kroenig, the muse of legendary designer Karl Lagerfeld, has been a dominant force in the fashion industry. He’s modeled for a spectrum of brands from Chanel and Fendi to Abercrombie & Fitch and Michael Kors. His work with these brands included sharing the spotlight with supermodel Naomi Campbell. Ford Models represent Kroenig.
Alton Mason: The Dynamic Presence
Alton Mason, initially a dancer, transitioned into the world of modeling with grace and agility. He has been a runway model for luxury brands such as Gucci, Michael Kors, Givenchy, and Louis Vuitton. Mason has the distinction of being the first Black male model to walk for Chanel. He was named Model of the Year by GQ Australia and is included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. Mason is represented by IMG.
Zach Miko: A Paradigm Shift
Zach Miko has redefined standards in the industry, becoming IMG’s first plus-size male model. Since signing with IMG in 2016, Miko has worked with various brands, including Dolce & Gabbana and Belk. He’s also launched a clothing line with plus-size options, ensuring inclusivity within the fashion industry.
Mark Vanderloo: A Timeless Icon
Mark Vanderloo, a Dutch model, has been a significant figure in the fashion world. Vanderloo has collaborated with major fashion houses such as Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Valentino, Armani, and Gucci. Represented by Wilhelmina, he was named the Male Model of the Year by VH1 in 1995.
Nathan Westling: Bold and Brave
Nathan Westling’s journey is one of self-discovery and courage. Before coming out as a transgender man, Westling was a sought-after model and worked on big-name ad campaigns like Marc Jacobs and Saint Laurent Paris. After his transition, Westling continued to work as a male model, collaborating with clients including British Vogue, Saks Fifth Avenue, Louis Vuitton, and Michael Kors. He is represented by the Agency Arizona.
There is no one-size-fits-all guide to becoming a male model. Every successful model’s journey is as unique as their look. However, by following these steps, you’re likely to increase your chances of breaking into this highly competitive industry.