Fashion & textiles

Fashion model

Fashion models advertise clothes and accessories by modelling at events like catwalk shows, and appearing in photographs for magazines, newspapers and digital media.

Annual Salary


Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours


Future employment

There will be 3% more Fashion model jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll often have to go to casting sessions with potential clients or agencies. You’ll also spend a lot of time looking after your appearance.

You could specialise in different types of modelling, like:

  • high fashion and catwalk
  • photographic editorials for magazines
  • advertising for magazines, billboards, websites, and social media
  • TV commercials
  • promotional modelling like music videos, personal appearances, leaflets and brochures
  • in-house live modelling for designers and clothing wholesalers

In fashion show modelling you'll walk along a catwalk, turning to display clothes in front of an audience. You'll work closely with stylists, hair and make-up artists, producers and directors.

In photographic, advertising and promotional modelling you'll:

  • take directions from photographers
  • pose for photographers in a studio or on location
  • act or deliver lines in TV commercials

If you’re working as an in-house live model, designers will fit garments onto you in the workshop, and you’ll show finished clothing to fashion buyers and private customers.

You can get into this job through:

  • applying directly

Volunteering and experience

You could develop your skills as a model by helping out with charity fashion shows.

Direct application

You'll usually start your career by going to a model agency in person or sending photographs and details of your measurements to them.

You'll need a good appearance and the right 'look' for the area of modelling you want to go into.

You should usually be well-proportioned for fashion modelling, with regular features and healthy skin, teeth and hair. For other types of modelling you would need to fit in with the look that modelling agencies want.

You don't need to do a modelling course or have an expensive portfolio of pictures. The British Fashion Model Agents Association has advice on what to expect from reputable agencies and how to avoid rogue ones.

More information

Career tips

There's a lot of competition for modelling jobs. You'll improve your chances of finding work if you build up a good portfolio and get experience and contacts.

Model agencies are not allowed to charge an up-front fee for you to join them.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join Equity for professional advice and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a fashion model from the British Fashion Model Agents Association.


Models are usually self-employed. This means you’ll work as a freelance model contracted through an agency, or you’ll work directly for a client. If you’re represented by an agency, the agency will usually earn commission from their client.

Your earnings will vary depending on your experience and reputation within the modelling industry. Rates can vary from around £50 to £1,000 a booking.

If you’re a model employed by a fashion house, you could earn between £10,000 and £30,000 a year depending on the number of hours you work.

These figures are a guide.


You could be modelling at fashion show venues, exhibitions, showrooms, stores or photographic studios.

The job can involve a lot of travel in the UK and overseas to attend castings, fashion shows and photo shoots.

Working hours could be long and irregular, and you’ll need to be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting around at castings and auditions.

There's a lot of competition for modelling jobs. You’ll improve your chances of finding work if you build up a good portfolio and get experience and contacts.

With experience, you could become a booker for a model agency or set up your own agency. You could also move into other areas of the fashion industry like styling or fashion journalism.

You might also find opportunities in areas like TV presenting or acting.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • the ability to work well with others
  • active listening skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • concentration skills
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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