Taking the walk
Kathmandu: Modelling today has become one of the most sought after career options for youngsters in Nepal. This is one of the most lucrative professions for both males and females equally, though earlier only females dominated the field. With the expansion of consumerism and media there has been a fabulous boost in the ad industry. This, alongwith the upsurge in the fashion industry, has made modelling an attractive career option. It has generated a large and continuing demand for fresh faces and personalities to launch and promote a variety of branded products or show off a garment to its best advantage. Modelling is, undoubtedly a glamorous field, which offers tremendous opportunities to travel and meet various classes of people. Moreover once established, it is a highly paid job. However it also involves lot of hard work, dedication and perseverance to be successful in this field. It is a highly competitive and shortlived career. Modelling is of various types. It can be broadly classified into ramp modelling, television modelling and print modelling.
There is no specific qualification or age limit to enter this field. The first step for making an entry is to prepare a portfolio. This consists of a series of photographs taken by a professional
photographer. The portfolio can then be shown to an advertising agency, a model coordinating agency or a fashion designer. Another way to enter this career is to apply for the contests sponsored by magazines, cloth manufacturers, cosmetic companies, etc., and participating in beauty pageants.
The main attributes required to become a model is their height. The fashion industry criteria for the best models are 5’7” to 6’ or 6’ plus. For a man, height should be 6’ or 6’ plus and he should be muscular. Being photogenic is the single most important quality to have for a model.
Apart from this good knowledge of acting, a camera friendly attitude and a great amount of self-confidence will reward success in this profession. Models must also be open to criticism. Girls aspiring to be fashion models should ideally be above 5’ 7” or 5’ 8” in height and the perfect 10 in vital statistics with good hair and skin, expressive eyes, even teeth with a complete lack of self-consciousness.
“Training centres are flourishing at the moment but I feel Ramp Modelling Agency is the best among all,” says Vinay Shrestha, model and actor. Training programmes include instructions on beauty care, make-up, hairstyling, diet and exercise, how to walk and carry yourself elegantly and so on. These training programmes include guidance on how to make a portfolio,
a contract and other technicalities.
Modelling is one of the few industries where the earning power of women is higher than that of men. This is because men’s fashion and fragrance markets are considerably smaller than women’s. The media has only recently turned its attention to the new generation of male models as well. Supermales are fast heading towards celebrity status.
Modelling can be mainly classified into:
Television modelling: This involves modelling before the movie camera, for television commercials, cinema, video, Internet. This requires some acting or dancing skills.
Print modelling: Models generally pose for still photographs, to be used in the press advertisements, brochures, magazines, catalogues, calendars etc. Models for print media work along with ad agencies and photographers.
Show room modelling: Models work generally for the exporters, garment manufacturers and the big garment retailers to display the latest trends of fashion to the buyers.
Ramp or catwalk modelling: Requires models to display the garments and accessories in front of a live audience. Performing in a live show before an audience can be very stressful. It requires tremendous confidence and poise. Ramp models should have a good posture, walking style and body language.
Remuneration: “The amount of money paid to models depends upon how prestigious the show is and who the organisers are. For a company who hires the models, the lesser they pay the better. But it all depends on the model. It can start with Rs 3,000-8,000 for a music video and Rs 15,000-25,000 for an advertisement,” says Shrestha.
Pros and cons
Modelling is, undoubtedly, glamorous and lucrative. In addition to this, the opportunity to travel and meet people is tremendous. Success, however, is not guaranteed and it is wise to plan an alternative career because modelling is a short-lived career.