by Bruce Walker
For the unaware, models have to endure more than just posing for the camera. They have to work in all weather conditions, face stiff competition from others seeking to gain a foot in the market and endure the downturns like any other industry.
Last week, model Sara Ziff unveiled The Model Alliance, a non-profit organization that advocates models’ rights. The near two-year-old foundation fights against an “unregulated industry” that partially consists of sexual harassment, eating disorders, child labor and drugs.
The successful model, who has appeared for such companies as Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole and Calvin Klein, has been an advocate of justice for models for quite some time now. Years ago, she offered insight into the exploitation of models in an award-winning documentary called “Picture Me.”
Recently, the organization released interesting statistics on the modeling industry as a whole. Some of the figures show that more than half of models begin at the ages of 13 and 16, more than two-thirds suffer from anxiety or depression and close to 30 percent do not have health insurance.
Indeed, like any other industry, it’s a tough business to work in. Akin to other lines of work, models have to be cautious, know their rights, find the right place to work in and make the proper inquiries.
“I don’t think that most people in this industry are malicious. I think a lot of it just has to do with awareness, as corny as it sounds,” Ziff stated in an interview with New York Magazine.
Another establishment that is connecting models from around the world in a positive manner is Model Management, an online directory for modeling jobs, agencies, castings, photographers and the latest news, styles and fashion trends.
The website, which offers memberships for models, agencies and photographers, maintains a significant number of members. At the present time, there are 3,663 agencies, 75,982 models and 13,176 photographers from various locations, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Spain and other countries.
Since its foundation, the website has had numerous success stories. After being discovered on ModelManagement.com, some models have been featured by Armani, Elizabeta and Elle, while others have made an appearance on “America’s Next Top Model.” For anyone wanting to enter the modeling industry, perhaps Model Management is the premier venue to do so.
Model Management has been so instrumental in the industry that it was recently announced that it is partnering with FashionTV, a television channel that highlights everything from the world of fashion.
For those looking to understand more about the fashion and modeling industry, it provides a comprehensive blog that lists tips on how to break into the business, interviews with international models and how to stay on top of the latest news.
If you’re unsure whether or not you should attempt a career at modeling, then perhaps the latest projections may be encouraging. According to the Business of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for models are expected to grow by 14 percent over a 10-year period from 2010 to 2020, an average figure for most other occupations.