There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Runway Walk

In order to be a successful fashion/runway model, you have to learn how to walk down a runway. The best advice in a nutshell is to watch fashion shows and take note of the various ways the models walk.

No two models walk the same and as you get more experience, you'll be able to own your own style or throw in a little nuance that will set you apart from the other girls. Of course there are a few basic rules of thumb that every runway model should know:


There's nothing glamorous about a runway model that is hunched over. Anytime you set foot on that runway, your whole body needs to be upright and alert but not so rigid that you look like a robot. While walking, keep your chin tilted down slightly but not in a way that your whole head is looking down. The audience sits below you during a runway show and you don't want them completely looking up your nose the entire time.

It's all in the eyes

Anytime you watch a fashion show, the model's eyes are always focused straight ahead and rarely look anywhere else. When you're on the runway, find a comfortable spot where you can stare straight ahead and don't let your eyes wander all over the place. Make sure you don't look down! It's a bad habit to continuously look down to see where you're stepping.

Try to break this habit and learn how to look ahead while being able to see where your feet are landing. To switch things up a little, when you reach the end of the runway, do your pose and let your eyes slightly look down and make contact with the audience. But do this without your whole head looking down--limit it to the eyes.

Keep your mouth natural

No one expects you to have a full-watt smile from the beginning to the end of the runway and back...this isn't a beauty pageant. Keep your mouth closed and smile naturally, whether it's a sexy smirk or no smile at all. Learn to relax your lips and you'll be fine.

Pay attention to your arms and hands

Your arms should sway naturally as you walk but don't swing them too much or you'll look silly. Keep your arms close to your body so that only your lower arms sway. Your hands and fingers should be relaxed. Don't ball them up or curl them up in any way. This makes for bad photos--you don't want to look like you're missing a couple of fingers. Keep your hands open and your fingers as straight as you can get them without it looking unnatural.

Be mindful of your shoulders

Your shoulders should always stay steady and shouldn't bounce or dip as you walk. Keep your shoulders still but not to a point where it's painful.

Your stride

When walking down the runway, don't take baby steps. To enhance your walk, you'll need to take longer strides than you normally would but avoid overdoing it to the point where you almost fall down. You have to find the perfect medium. Remember in a fashion show, the walk is paced in a certain way so that all the models have a steady tempo to walk to.

If you ruin that tempo, it throws everyone off. Place each foot in front of the other as opposed to side-by-side when you normally walk. As you place each foot down in front of the other, allow your hips to sway naturally.

Possess confidence and attitude

There is no way you can fake this on the runway. When you have confidence and attitude, it comes out in your walk and makes you the center of attention. Nothing is more important than having the emotional aspect in check. When you know you've got it, it comes through in an amazing way that all runway models possess.

Don't forget to pose 

In addition to walking down the runway, there is also your time to shine when you reach the end of the catwalk and pose for photographers. It is easy to get caught up in the moment and only spend a few seconds in that spot before walking back but remember, this is not only the time to show off the designer's clothes to the audience, but for you to get great images for your portfolio.

Photographers can't get a good shot if you're barely still once you reach the end of the catwalk. I find that it helps to do a 3-5 second count in your head. When you reach the end of the runway, strike your first pose and do your 3-5 count...then perform your second pose and do another 3-5 count. No more, no less.

This should be more than enough time for photographers to get a handful of decent images of you that are not blurry, show off the outfit and still keep with the pace of the show. With time and practice, newer fashion models will learn how to master this part of the process. Remember, only by continuing to do fashion shows can you really become comfortable with all aspects of being on the runway.


Anonymous said...

I was wondering..I am really young and wanted to get started in the modeling business but doesn't know how?. Also, is there any way you can become a model without spending any money?

Anonymous said...

Im a model for Barbizon and they're having me create a "Model Magic Magazine". Your runway tips are great but, do you have tips on how to walk with OTHER models on the runway ?? =]

Anonymous said...

Barbizon is a joke, stay away at all costs

Anonymous said...

hi i was just wanting to know i want to get started in modeling but i'm not sure if wilehemina moldeling is right for me i think i might start there could you help me out?

Dania Denise said...

Hello and thanks for the question! You'll find your answer in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #71."

Soul Siren said...

Thanks for the tips! We have a show for our class and all of us will be walking the runway. It's not a very big show, it's just for our school. But I don't want to take it for granted even if its not a very important show. So I also tried to practice my walk on a treadmill with heels and I feel like there's something wrong with how I walk with heels. I guess it's just a rookie thing.