I've been so used to almost everyone around me being on a somewhat traditional and set path (think: middle school to high school, high school to college, college to a job/grad school) that when I made the decision to move to New York and pursue a very non-traditional career, it seemed daunting to me - I liked having some structure. Still, even though there's no perfectly laid-out map, I've picked up some things over the years that have helped (and continue to help) me in the modeling world. While not everyone that reads Girl x Garment is involved in modeling, I thought it would be fun to share the top 6 things that I have found most helpful.
1) "In Fashion" by AnneMarie Iverson: This book is phenomenal for anyone looking to get into the fashion industry - whether it's to model, write, design, or anything in between. It also presents a brutal honesty that I think is necessary when tackling this kind of field. I bought this book years ago and it has really helped me to understand what to do and what to expect.
2) A great pair of heels: My standard black heels are perfect for whatever casting, job, or shoot I have. They are no-fuss, tall, easy to slip on, and easy to walk in. I always have these in my bag or on my feet and they are one of the best purchases I've ever made.
3) YouTube: Since there is no real "model school", I've found that YouTube is a fantastic educational tool. My runway walk has improved immensely since I started modeling at 18, and this is largely due to watching fashion show after fashion show on YouTube and studying what makes a good walk.
4) A pair of super-comfy skinny jeans: I. Live. In. These. When I go to castings, I feel confident in jeans that fit really well and are comfortable - I feel that they are bound to be flattering and will give the client a good sense of how their clothes would fit. A standard dark wash or black denim are my go-to.
5) Magazines: Like YouTube, there is so much to learn about and improve upon with the help of magazines. Not only can I stay up-to-date on what girls are killing it in the modeling world, but I can become familiar with other big names in the fashion industry (designers, makeup artists, editors, etc). Above all else, magazines have helped me to study posing and understand what looks good vs. what just looks weird or doesn't do the clothes justice.
6) Showing your personality: When I walk into a casting, every other girl in the room has striking features, is 5'8" or taller, and is extremely talented. At the end of the day, what can really set you apart (in a sea of models who would be perfect for a job) is your personality. Being yourself and having those unique qualities of yours that no one else has (as cheesy as it might sound!) can often be the thing that gives you that je ne sais quoi and makes your career. Think: Cara Delevingne.
I love learning what has been helpful or inspirational to other girls in the industry, so this list is definitely something that I will constantly be adding to and improving upon. Cheers!