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High Fashion Models are required to have specific body measurements, but why are the measurements so specific and what exactly are modeling agencies looking for? When agencies scout new faces for their roster, typically they look for that “it” factor. Some people may be physically beautiful, and while this is a plus, they may not be model beautiful. There is a difference between the beauty that is seen in everyday life, and the beauty that is seen in models.
The “it” factor consists of the confidence, coolness that models can give off while casually walking down a runway. It is hard to explain what this truly is, but you can’t learn it- you either have it or you don’t.
Physically wise, for runway, women need to be.. I would say, 5’7, minimum- or taller. I say 5’7 because Barbara Palvin and Cara Delevigne were around that height, and they were quite successful. It’s rare, however, at that height. Most female runway models are approximately 5’9 and up. Of course there’s Kate Moss, who broke that rule a while back, but there hasn’t been another successful model around her height recently.
For males, no less than 5’11. Most well known models I see who walk the runways these days are at least 6 ft. The agencies and casting directors are very prudent on height.
Face-wise, symmetry is key. High cheekbones, as usual, and eyes that stand out. Unusual features such as teeth gaps, wide or far apart eyes, “bee-stung” lips, anything that is unusual, but not in a way that makes them any less beautiful. A good profile, well defined face is good. You can find more on the facial attributes of models here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAwYZUyYWwM
Models need to fill a certain requirement when it comes to weight, waist, bust, hips, etc. This is where the longtime idea of models being on diets come in. It doesn’t have to all be the same, but relatively similar measurements would be a pro. I am not sure if bust matters so much anymore, as a lot of designers like their models without much of it- in order to not draw unwanted attention to the models in a sexual way and keep attention on the clothing they designed. Surprisingly, a lot of models aren’t on diets and eat a lot of junk food. Many agencies scout people who are already relatively thin, and don’t need to be put on rigorous diets. It saves the model time, and makes things easier for the agency. That being said, some models are on diets. Sometimes models have to stuff their feet into shoes two sizes too small, or a pair of jeans that are size zero when the model is a size two.
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