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Commercial vs. Fashion Modeling

Although similar in the way that both types of modeling are used for storytelling and expressing certain aesthetics, the style and platform used alter the objective and message of the brand or service. Understanding the different types of modeling is important not only for the models themselves but also for those who have to work directly with them. From posing for photoshoots, strutting down runways, or promoting a product, commercial and fashion models are part of our everyday lives – the question is, what is the difference between the two?

Commercial Modeling

Commercial models serve for the creation of marketing materials in order to promote products or services. The goal is to display relatable content using the product or service, providing a clear visualization for consumers. Commercial models are often used in the following types of advertisements:

  1. Magazines
  2. Billboards
  3. Catalogs
  4. Brochures
  5. Websites
  6. Television commercials

Fashion Modeling

Fashion models are typically recruited for artistic photo shoots and runway shows. They are the platform in which brands display their clothing or accessories. With enough publicity and reputation in the fashion industry, models can move up to presenting designs in magazine editorials or representing a brand as their spokesperson. It is possible that a commercial model can be discovered and transitioned into fashion modeling with the right amount of publicity and the unique physical appearance often searched for in fashion.

The Difference Between

The overall concept of both types of modeling is related in terms of promoting a product or service, although one tends to be more luxurious and high-end while the other’s purpose is to be relatable to the general public. Similar to the idea of both commercial and fashion modeling, the path of becoming either or does vary but with various resemblances.

Education

Both types of modeling don’t necessarily need education requirements. Models often just follow the directions and vision of the designer, photographer, or brand representative. Where other careers may require formal education, the modeling industry measures experience. Over time, models in both fields learn and adapt to what is needed of them to elevate the product or service.

Salary

The average salary for a model is $72,400 a year. Because of the fame that comes from fashion modeling, the pay may increase over time alongside the model’s reputation. Whereas the salary for commercial models may fluctuate depending on the employer brand, type of advertisements, and platform.

Requirements

  1. Height: The average height for female commercial models is between 5 feet 6 inches and 5 feet 11 inches, and for males, it is at least 5 feet 9 inches. The minimum height for fashion models is 5 feet 8 inches for females and 5 feet 11 inches for males.
  2. Age: Commercial models tend to be more diverse in age depending on the products or services being advertised and the targeted demographic. Fashion models, on the other hand, are often between 15 and 29 years old.
  3. Physical appearance & build: Fashion models usually have similar body shapes and facial structures to match or complement the garments they wear, typically slender frames. The look for commercial modeling may vary in appearance in order to appeal to audiences in a relatable manner, depending on what’s being advertised.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of a commercial model and a fashion model are relatively similar as the main thing that sets them apart are the types of advertisements and the platform they work on. Some of the responsibilities that overlap for both types of models are:

  1. Discuss objectives of photo shoots with the designer or brand
  2. Posing per the photographer’s or director’s directions
  3. Appear in images to display products
  4. Learn brand or designer in preparation for jobs
  5. Wearing merchandise during a photo shoot
  6. Add new content to portfolios

Environment

The work environments of both models tend to be the same for the most part. Photoshoots could be held in front of a screen to achieve a clean aesthetic or with a natural indoor or outdoor background for a more complex or comfortable look. The models will normally be required to dress in a certain way to match the purpose of the shoot as well as look presentable with hair and makeup. The difference between commercial and fashion models is in the case of a runway show where the environment is much tenser as everything is live and runs on a tight schedule. Runway models are also required to travel if the show is outside of their reading area. Runways also have an audience that photoshoots typically don’t.

 

Date: May 25, 2023

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