Best Age to Start Fashion Modelling

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Modelling is an industry understood to favour the young, but what exactly is the best age to start fashion modelling?  We explore why starting young is advantageous but why it isn’t the be all end all of the modelling game.

By Samantha Beckwith

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The general consensus is that there is no such thing as “too young” to start modelling. However, the ideal age is for both male and female fashion modelling is sixteen. This is because the model is considered a young adult at this stage. Starting young is also looked upon favourably because a modelling career can take a while to pick up momentum. Furthermore, the modelling industry supports education and feels that below the age of sixteen is too young to be balancing modelling and school.

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The girls versus the guys

There isn’t a real difference between the genders when it come to the best age to start modelling. For both male and female models, sixteen is considered the ideal age. This being said, female models may find themselves more popular than their male counterparts at a younger age. This is because male models are considered to get better with age, and have more success well into their thirties and even forties.

The Photo Studio Fitzroy; Fashion; Tyrone Logue; Alex De Gabrielle

When is late too late?

Though certain types of modelling have a wide window when it comes to the age of the models, it is understood that late thirties is probably too late to begin a fashion modelling career.

Models who successfully broke the rules

  1. Drake Burnette is an American model, who was signed at 25 years old. She has walked for Celine and landed huge modelling deals with internationally brands Topshop, Missoni and Rag and Bone.
hmgoepprod
http://www2.hm.com/en_gb/life/culture/top-model-secrets/drake-burnette-_-not-your-standard-model.html

2. Kati Nescher is a Russian model who was discovered and signed at 27 years old. She has walked 63 shows in her short career, modelling for the likes of Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent.

septimiu29-Kati-Nescher-Vogue-Germany-March-2013-12
http://fabfashionfix.com/kati-nescher-for-vogue-germany-march-2013/septimiu29-kati-nescher-vogue-germany-march-2013-12/

3. Aymeline Valade is a French model who was signed at the age of 26. She was approached multiple times when she was younger, but prioritised her studies. Despite her late entrance into the modelling world, she walked for Chanel, Chloe, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana and Gucci in her first Fashion Week.

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https://models.com/mdx/aymeline-valade/

Consider commercial modelling

Different types of modelling can determine how important the age of the model will be. Commercial modelling is the promotion, display or advertisement of commercial products (often clothing). Commercial modelling requires models of all ages, starting from babies and spanning all the way to mature age models.

Is there such a thing as too young?

Child models range from a few weeks old to the age of fourteen, so there isn’t a “too young” limitation on modelling. The best age to start fashion modelling is as soon as you can! You can begin as a child model and progress through to fashion modelling. Any experience you have in front of a camera prior to being signed to an agency will be looked at favourably.

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The long and short of it

Height is important and regarded highly in the modelling industry, but is more of a prerequisite for certain types of modelling: namely catwalk. A teenage model has not normally finished developing and height could be difficult to determine at the age of sixteen. If the model is already tall for their age, this is a good indicator that they will be tall enough to do catwalk modelling. There are plenty of other types of modelling available for shorter models, which you can read about in our article

 

The Photo Studio Glebe; Fashion; Natasha Killeen;Maddison-Jane Edward-Innis

Keeping things age appropriate

Being under the age of 18 in the modelling industry means that certain laws apply. Parents must be present at every photo shoot booked by persons under the legal age of 18. With child modelling it is important to keep things age appropriate, namely make up and outfits. Child models are also legally not allowed to work more than 10 hour days.

How does Australia compare to the rest of the world?

Age requirements doesn’t really differ internationally from that of Australia. The only real difference is height and body types for different markets. For example, Asian modelling agencies have shorter height and smaller body shape requirements than Australian modelling agencies do. As a general rule, the modelling industry nationally and internationally will seek out fresh faced, unique beauty!

It’s never too late to start

Age isn’t everything in the modelling industry – mature age modelling has seen a surge in recent years. It has become such a popular niche that modelling agencies that only sign mature age models now exist all over the world. Australia’s Silver Fox MGMT Group represents both male and female commercial and fashion models above the age of 30.

The Photo Studio Glebe; Fashion; Natasha Killeen; Sharon Featherstone

So despite what you might think, youth is not everything. The modelling industry is constantly evolving to include all looks and ages. No matter if you’re in your teens, twenties, thirties – if you’re interested in modelling, there’s no time like the present.

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