Casting Confidence: ModCloth’s Take on Modeling

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At ModCloth, we act on the belief that fashion should celebrate and serve true individuals. This outlook defines our approach to modeling and the way we choose the models who grace our pages. We seek out and employ distinct, confident women, reject the traditional reliance on agencies, and move beyond cookie-cutter interpretations of beauty. Since we focus on people, not specific measurements, we’ve had tremendous success in finding models who are striking and inspiring, on and off camera.

We’re changing how fashion retail looks, and this is how…

Types of Modeling

To start things off, at ModCloth, we sort modeling into three different spheres:

  • Creative
  • Merchandising
  • Fit

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Creative models live front-and-center on our site. They’re that welcoming face on our homepage, the protagonists of our narrative-driven stylebooks, and the stars of our category page banners and other creative.

Model-Jacket

Merchandising models are the ones you see on our product pages while you’re shopping. These images live on a product profile forever, and are photographed in our merch photo studio.

Behind the scenes, fit models serve a critical role in helping our Quality Control team test new garments, and ensure that our growing plus selection fits perfectly. (We talked about fit models and our plus initiatives in July, and will be exploring that world further in the weeks ahead, so, stay tuned!)

Our Creative, Merch, and Operations crews are constantly scouting, checking email submissions (more on that later), and running casting sessions to find our next models.

How We See It

Growing up, we were told what fashion models looked like, and what the industry looked for. The industry’s singular definition of beauty – super-tall, super-slender – is one we continue to be fed today, although recent years have seen rising discussion and debate over the industry’s racial tokenism, the “shrinking of models,” and questions of why attempts at diversity feel less like true progress and more like gimmicks. The fact remains: When only one image is represented in the fashion world, it leads to detrimental stereotypes and leaves lots of women wondering whether they’re welcome at the fashion party.

ModCloth believes in giving all women a choice, a voice, and a great shopping experience. We’re intensely proud of our open and diverse community, and carry that over to our modeling practices. Our models are proud of their body types, heights, skin tones, hairstyles, tattoos, and other individual features, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Who Models?

'Our Take on Modeling' via the ModCloth BlogAspiring models pose during a ModCloth casting event in LA.

Instead of relying on modeling agencies, we discover much of our talent out in the real world. We find potential models while strolling down the street, spot them at local eateries or events, or find them through emailed applications.

Many of our models have no prior experience. While a modeling background is helpful, it’s also an asset to be a well-rounded individual who is ready to learn. As shown in our Model of the Month series, the women we work with are aspiring artists, chemical engineers, bloggers, students, and professionals, as well as on-camera beauties.

'Our Take on Modeling' via the ModCloth BlogBefore stepping on set for a photo test, a potential model stops for one last hair and makeup check.

'Our Take on Modeling' via the ModCloth BlogMembers of our Visual Merchandising team pick and choose the perfect product shot.

On the Merch team, new models are walked through a ModCloth orientation program, wherein they’re taught model basics, introduced to our processes, and welcomed to the company by our team. We respect our mentored models like coworkers, not mannequins, and take pride in helping them develop their talents.

ModelsSome of the radiant customer and employee faces we featured in past stylebooks!

We also cast employees and customers in creative and merch modeling roles (remember our Q&Amazing and Role Models stylebooks?). And every so often, celebrities, such as Neyla from The Lumineers or Kate Nash, will stop by and pose for our cameras, too!

Get Involved

ModCloth model casting via the ModCloth Blog

Want to model for ModCloth? Check out our modeling info page for details on how to submit your information. Our Creative and Merch teams are constantly looking for new talent and would love to hear from interested, ModCloth-loving ladies. Here are some tips from our team:

  • Be professional. Punctuality and a positive attitude will take you far. Modeling can be glamorous, but it’s also hard work.
  • Don’t forget the details. Keep nails neat and neutral, and care for your skin.
  • Take care of yourself. Getting a good night’s sleep, drinking plenty of water, and eating well keeps you feeling great and your photos looking fab.
  • Be familiar with the brand. Get acquainted with the company and the vibe you’ll be asked to convey.
  • Be confident. We look for women who celebrate their bodies, take constructive criticism well, and are ready to play, experiment, and create with us.

We’re also frequently on the lookout for fit models, so keep on eye on the Operations section of our Careers page for updates!

Now, enough about us – what questions do you have about modeling, whether at or outside of ModCloth? What do you think of the state of modeling in the industry today?

anna

About Anna

Anna's the kind of don't-take-yourself-too-seriously gal who can spend an evening at Monday Night Raw and then turn around and write about nail designs and glitter with just as much sincere, unadulterated delight. She's a firm believer in cats' ability to see ghosts, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the fact that if she wishes enough, she'll never have to iron again.

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15 Responses to Casting Confidence: ModCloth’s Take on Modeling

  1. Cat Carney 08/27/2013 at 2:26 pm #

    This is fabulous! I am so proud to model for ModCloth. :) A huge shout-out to Brittney, Alyssa, Mindi and the entire team who make every model at every shoot feel fabulous so that we can always do our best. :) Go ModCloth!

    • Randi 01/28/2014 at 8:14 am #

      I love the clothing and style in this site and would love to know how to get into modeling for them. How did you get started?

  2. tb321 08/27/2013 at 3:59 pm #

    This is quite a refreshing post! I’m glad to see a clothes retailer march to the beat of its own drummer instead of just following what everyone else does. I suppose ModCloth is staying true to its indie roots. As a mom of a little girl (and a tiny baby en route), I think the celebration of individuality is something wonderful and inspiring. We all need to find who we are from within and learn to love our uniqueness!

    http://www.waronfrump.com

  3. Allison 08/27/2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I love that the models are beautiful inside and out and that they look happy and healthy. I also love the black pumps in the last photo. Where can I get a pair?

  4. Vicki Angela 08/27/2013 at 6:58 pm #

    Loving the hairstyles.

  5. Yesenia Delgado 08/28/2013 at 2:07 am #

    I’d love to model for Mod, I have only read this page and am so eager and would love to work for you!

  6. Adrienne B. 08/28/2013 at 7:13 am #

    If Canton, OH was just a little closer to PA I’d be ALL over this! Darn it!

  7. Meghan 08/28/2013 at 7:59 pm #

    I was reading through one of the articles, and realized that, with the exception of the waist by 2 inches, I have the same measurements as an industry standard plus-sized model, but I am very petite. I think that would be an interesting body type to style on Modcloth, because I have such problems with fit through the hips and inseam, as well as many dress sizes.
    I am always really excited to see your photo shoots and really anything your models do- they seem less like models and more like friends.

  8. Rose 08/29/2013 at 7:29 pm #

    You guys are amazing! Don’t stop what you’re doing, because you’re doing it all right. And if you’re ever looking for models in Austin, sign me up. :)

  9. lavenderpaws 08/29/2013 at 7:52 pm #

    For a post about diversity, there sure is a lot of white skin in these photos. You might consider expanding the racial diversity in your models.

  10. Louise 08/29/2013 at 9:38 pm #

    If only you would did model castings in Australia,

  11. Rowan 08/29/2013 at 10:43 pm #

    I want to model Modcloth clothing! it would be so much fun! :)

  12. Carissa 08/30/2013 at 7:37 am #

    I would absolutely love to model for ModCloth. It’s too badimso far away!

  13. Bike Pretty (@BikePretty) 09/07/2013 at 7:44 pm #

    This is awesome! I love seeing all different types of beauties get the model treatment.
    But I’m super intrigued by the blonde-stylist’s haircut. Can I get more pictures of her? I think I want the same cut :)

  14. Spindsay 09/08/2013 at 5:16 am #

    I love your models and how their personality shines through. However, there does need to be more racial and size variety in my opinion. The very slender white models are not a great leap from the pages of Vogue. It’s great that you employ actual plus-size models for the plus-size clothes instead of pinning them onto a size 10, but where IS the size 10 model? Where are all the Latina, black, Asian, and mixed-race models? Where is the average American woman represented?
    I like the IDEA you present here, but I think I’m not alone in wishing to see the reality. ModCloth is my favorite online shop and I am a devoted customer, but I certainly don’t see anything close to my demographic represented here.

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