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Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Answering a Reader Question #316
I noticed that you mentioned you did some runway work despite being a shorter model (which is awesome by the way ^_^). I'm only 5'5; However, everyone constantly says I have a stunning walk and suggest runway.Considering my height, print/commercial seems to be the obvious route, but I feel as though my walk would "go to waste" if I never included any runway work. I was wondering if you had any advice on how to get runway work as a short model.
Hi there, Anonymous! In your situation, I would recommend using freelance methods to find runway work for a model of your height. Although I have an agent for commercial/print, they never submit me for runway stuff (for obvious reasons) so I seek those opportunities on my own.
It's a matter of knowing where to look, as well as networking with the right people that are willing to take on shorter models. In this case, Facebook became a useful tool for me. I don't know what city/state you live in but here in Northern California (more specifically, the Bay Area), there is a huge group of models/photographers/makeup artists, etc. that are tight-knit. There are 2-3 Facebook "groups" that were created in order to bring all the local modeling industry folks together to not only collaborate on shoots but as a main go-to-place for people to post casting calls. I replied to one of the castings for runway models and got a reply back from the designer, who loved my look and didn't mind that I was 5'5". Before I knew it, she was using me in her shows. The same thing happened again through the use of those same Facebook groups with a handful of other designers. Now that I've tapped into that network, they know that if they're ever in need of a short model that knows how to do runway, they can contact me.
It would be a good idea to check out Facebook and see what professionals are in your area, especially fashion designers and photographers. You can always send them a brief message to introduce yourself and inquire about possible runway opportunities they know of that have flexible or open height requirements.
While it isn't as glamorous, you can also look into the local colleges that have fashion departments. Fashion majors are constantly putting on runway shows to display their work and they always need models. Many of them have open height requirements as well. They're usually not paid but often you can get photos of yourself on the catwalk for your portfolio and it's a great networking opportunity. Additionally, those count as "experience" and are worth putting on your resume.
Model Mayhem is another great site that has been beneficial in helping me come across runway gigs. I typically do a search for local designers using the site's "Browse" function. Then I'll look through the results and contact the ones whose work I like (I've been lucky enough to find 1-2 designers that specialize in petite fashions). I'll message them, introduce myself and let them know that if they ever need a petite model for their fashion shows, that I'll be available. When using the "Casting" feature to look for gigs, I've also come across fashion shows that are looking for shorter models.
So there are a number of ways you can go about finding such opportunities. Of course it takes constant searching and results won't happen overnight. It can be daunting in the beginning but all it takes is one or two shows and passing your contact info to the right people to be included for future runway projects.