Ask Alexandra: Careers for the Model Obssessed

Ask Alexandra is my advice column. Have a question you want to ask me? Fill out the form here.

ask alexandra, fashion advice, fashion careers, jobs, models, casting agents

Karlie Kloss in a Marc Jacobs fragrance campaign.

Dear Alexandra,

I am a up and coming Senior and I was wondering what kind of career I should go after. I’m a guy in a small town filled with a mind of the modeling industry. I will watch about 5 fashion shows a day and this has been going on for a few years. If you could ask my friends anything about me, they would say “He knows too much about models.” I do! And I love knowing about it! I could name you all the top 50 women models in the world thanks to Models.com. I’m confused as to what I should major in. I love models! If you could answer this question, you would make my life easier.

ask alexandra, fashion advice, fashion careers, jobs, models, casting agents

Eniko Mihalik, on the cover of Vogue Nippon’s beauty issue, is one of my favourite models of the moment.

Hi Jose,

Interesting letter, you have obviously got a passion for something quite specific. I am the total opposite to you, I can barely recognize Karlie Kloss! I’d suggest you’d be best off working with a model agency (as a booker and eventually scout) or with a casting agent. I don’t know a ton about this part of the industry, but I am guessing the easiest job to start with would be to get in with an agency. Since you have a bit of time before you graduate, I’d start doing some research. Find some agencies (local, or in one of the big cities) and contact them. Tell them you are obsessed with models and you think this career path is your calling. Ask them what qualifications you need to get a job as a booker or another entry level position, and ask them if/when they take interns, and what they are looking for in an intern.

ask alexandra, fashion advice, fashion careers, jobs, models, casting agents

Stella Tennant’s career has had its “second wind” and she has been on many catwalks and in several big campaigns recently. (Image courtesy of Zara.)

Working for, and eventually as, a casting agent will be a bit more complicated, but getting into a model agency will be a great way to get your foot in the door, start meeting people, and figure out whether that is exactly what you want to do. You may be able to skip post-secondary education (although I can’t guarantee this) if you go straight into an internship with a good model agency and work your way up. If not, a degree in some type of fashion business, marketing, or similar will probably make most sense. Start contacting agencies, asking questions, and getting your name out there. Good luck!

For some further reading, here’s a great profile on Natalie Joos, a casting agent, from Business of Fashion. Her background is interesting, too.

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  • Brett2029

    I interned at a modeling agency during my senior year in college. It was a great experience. Before acquiring this internship I had completed a few editorial internships so I wanted to experience the fashion industry from a different angle. Like with any career path it does come with great and not so great things. You will find that booking agents are basically sales people (they need to sell the product a.k.a the model) so you have to have an outgoing personality for this type of position otherwise you will be chewed up and spit out in no time. Before working at the agency I had never really been enlightened with this not so glamorous concept. There are “glamorous” aspects to it for instance: you are placed in the VIP list at nightclubs, get to meet possible future super models, and you get to meet legendary agents who discovered Kate Moss and alike. Of course, as an intern you have to put in long hours and learn how to deal with talent that isn’t very grateful for all your hard work. Over all I would never change my experience there. I made great contacts. And, ultimately it made my CV well rounded which in turn led to me being accepted to a top fashion school. 

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Thank you for sharing your experience!