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 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.
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.
Aspiring 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.
Before stepping on set for a photo test, a potential model stops for one last hair and makeup check.
Members 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.
Some 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!
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?