There are many facets to the fashion industry, depending on which direction you want to go. For this reason, what a model or a model earns can vary a lot both from the sector and from the level reached in the profession.
We’ll analyze the various work sectors to understand how much the salary of a model is.
Before we can even discuss compensation, we should start by defining the two main ways people get jobs in the industry. The first is through an agency, a concept you have probably already heard of.
The model has an agent who is assigned the task of finding engagements. A customer will contact the agent and request a specific type; it is therefore the agent’s duty to offer models that they deem suitable for the brief.
If the client likes you and you’re available, you might get the job. However, you will need to give some of your commissions to your agent in exchange for their work.
The other type of modeling work is freelance. If you are a freelancer, your job is to find your job. This means that it may be necessary to take extra time to find the job, since it is likely that clients will not come directly to you at first. You will have to look for opportunities and castings and present yourself there for them. The advantage, of course, is that you can keep the entire compensation that is paid to you.
It is questionable whether a model can earn more as a freelancer or with an agency. It may be that it depends on a personal preference or the possibility of being able to be represented by an agency.
In general, the highest paid models in the world work with agencies. After reaching a certain level, you may be working so hard that you don’t have time to look for opportunities. This is the time when it will help you to have an agent do it for you!
Now let’s see the salaries of the models according to the type of work.
Earnings of models by type
You can choose from a large number of sectors. We’ll do our best to cover as many of them as possible here, although keep in mind that there may be even more if you want to find a very specific niche.
- Model rates for catwalk and fashion show
These models parade on the catwalk during fashion weeks or fashion events with designer clothes. Your job will likely take several hours, from hair, to makeup, to rehearsal and then to the show itself, which can be done in a matter of thirty minutes or less. The average fee is € 350-1000. Some supermodels are paid up to $ 20,000 for the show.
- Model earn for editorial work
When you open the pages of a fashion magazine, you will see editorials that are used to tell a clothing story or show new trends. Editorial models are subject to different requirements than runway models and will be paid differently. You can expect around € 100 per hour if you are a professional. The salary of starting models could be much lower, even € 20 per hour, and at first you may have to work for your portfolio for free.
- Compensation for commercial work and campaigns
This type of work can be very well paid, with an average of € 200 per hour. Again, you may be earning less for smaller brands or more for national campaigns. A smart agent or experienced model can make a successful ad campaign continue to pay off longer in relation to what is shown.
- Rates for Catalogs and Lookbooks
When you shop online or through a catalog, you will see models wearing the clothes to show their fit. This can be a very constant job as you will be called up for new product designs and will be able to shoot hundreds of looks per week. Normally these jobs are paid several hundred euros per day. You have to conform to standard size and usually a more generic look is preferable, so if you have a striking or extravagant face, you may be more successful in editorial work.
- Pay for fit models
Fit models are used to determine the fit of clothes and make sure they are correct. You may be able to associate this work with catalog work. For a fit model, your face is not important at all, just the precise sizing of your body. They can earn around € 200 per hour
- Models for body parts
Hands, feet, arms and legs, lips, eyes, hair, even torso parts – body parts models only work with a small part of their body rather than everything else. They can cover more than one part or focus only on the most attractive part of their body. The salary of a “hand” model could be very different from a “foot or hair” model, so it is difficult to average. It is usually a well-paid job and requires a lot of body care.
- Rates templates for live events
Live events such as car shows, exhibitions and trade shows often need models to attract attention. Sometimes known as grid girls (at car events), promo girls, promotional models, hostesses and so on, they will work long days and are not always paid well. You are expected to pose for photos with audience members and smile at all times. In Milan there are many events of this type, such as the EICMA
It’s not as common as it once was, but television games sometimes feature an attractive glen to showcase the prizes. Although we do not know the compensation, they are likely to be paid well, even if not as a TV host. The job can only last for a short period of time, which also means that the overall salary may not be as high as expected, but it guarantees greater exposure.
- Models for underweae
Lingerie models are worth noting as a separate category because they can often earn twice as much money as their fully clothed counterparts while doing the same type of work (such as runway, editorial, commercial, etc.). The salary of Victoria’s Secret models is one of the highest in the industry.
Factors affecting model salaries
There are many factors that can affect your modeling salary. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Gender – Male models tend to earn less, as a rule.
- Time spent working – You may not even work one day a week or you may work seven days a week, depending on how good you or your agent are at getting bookings.
- sector level – Indies and small brands will certainly pay less than the big fashion houses that are already established with a good budget, which means that you cannot earn that much at the beginning of your career.
- Location – Working in one of the fashion capitals of the world (London, New York, Paris, Milan, etc) will likely earn you a higher model salary than in a place where fashion isn’t as established.
- Your appearance – You may be judged more or less worthy depending on how well you fit your appearance and the required measurements.
- Negotiation skills: If you negotiate a good contract, you can earn a lot more. If you don’t negotiate at all, you may end up getting paid under your potential.
- Agency – If you are a freelancer or if you have an agent who has a commission, then you may get paid more or less.
- Labor costs – Models often have expenses taken out of their salaries. These can include things like flights, taxis and cars, food, accommodation and so on, especially when you need to travel to another city.
As an aspiring model, you need a great photography portfolio to start your career. This is your chance to make a great first impression on agencies and clients.