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The secret to a long-lasting modeling career

 I’ve heard many times people in the industry talking about how certain model’s career will finish after she become pregnant,  or because she gained weight …  There are too many reasons people could say a model’s career is over. But what is the secret to a long-lasting modeling career?

As a model working for several years in the fashion business, I’ve learned people can talk too much and change their mind very quickly : today’s special face will not be so special anymore tomorrow … it can happen so fast – it could be next season… So I feel nothing is guaranteed, and nothing is so unique and special anymore. I have an absolute respect for the industry I’m working in, and that’s the reason I had to find a way to take the most advantage of my opportunities and to develop a way and face all these ‘ups and downs’ every model’s career has. So what is the secret to a long-lasting modeling career?

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When my first French magazine cover came out – standing proud in front of the newstand

 

If you are reading this as an aspiring model or a new face, or if you’re just out a curiosity ( it can suit you too ), I ask you to pay close attention and do not misjudge my words. Modeling is a tough path, only suited for tough girls and boys. It takes a lot of work, commitment and mentality. The faster you learn how to bring out the best of you, the faster you will succeed finding your value in the fashion industry. Nowadays, because of internet, everything in Fashion has gone as fast as the speed of light. For agents and fashion directors becomes easy to find a new spectacular face within seconds from all over the World, a new exciting new model who is ready to rock all the catwalks and social media platforms…

I think I come from a different generation, where I saw fashion as a mysterious World , you did not really know the moment a  fashion show finished what was the designer inspiration and best looks… You were discovered by a model scout, or send in some pictures to a modeling agency by mail. Photographers took Polaroids and did not know what the real pictures would turn out to be until they were developed. You waited for it to be revealed in the magazines. The magic of the pictures of world-famous photographers, accompanied by the words of the most renowned fashion experts. But today everyone’s competing for what’s new, what’s hot – who said it first, who saw it first, and who posted it first.

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As a new face in Milan – makeup and hair tests before the ETRO show at Milan Fashion week in 2004

 

On instagram, I get to see the same image that until a few minutes ago was ‘new’, all over again on at least 5 other different accounts… so the magic only lasts a few seconds… Before you know it, it already is old news.

Now, the reason I am writing this article, is to share the secret of of a long-lasting modeling career, with the rules of the Fashion industry as they are now. The key to deal with all that “fast fashion”, is to reinvent yourself. You must be willing to change, to show a new face of yours , a new side of a better you, every time. Surprise people with yet another side they didn’t see before. Does that makes sense ? For me it fits perfect… For instance, I’ve seen the transitions between analogic cameras to digital , I’ve seen photographers who used to shoot with film, now holding digital cameras and asking their assitents to hand them SD cards… These photographers also reinvented themselves. The industry has changed, and so the top models of our generation need to reinvent themselves too. And social media can help you with that.

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My manager Giovanni and I in Paris when we were both starting to work with the French fashion market. He’d also reinvented himself, after years working for IMG Paris he went to open the brand new office in Milan as he was  Italian , he liked to be near his family. His achievements improved on the years to follow : today he’s the director of another agency in Milan: MP management.

 

So how can you do this with pride, and without overexposing yourself? For me it is simple: Boys and girls, as today’s victims of social media, victims of the hyper exposure these channels are providing… be careful of what your showing! Ask yourself first before posting an image: Am I sharing something that’s worthy to be seen? Am I sharing too much, overexposing myself? Am I sharing positivity? Or am I just trying to stand out? Am I following what I believe, and what others believe to be right? Am I showing the real me the unique being that I am?

Because what you post online, will stay online forever, so it better be something good. It is a great way to share your personality, and different sides of you with your followers, that you are more than “that pretty face”. Because you  become more interesting with sharing your different layers of personality.

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Nathalie it’s a great example … when she was younger, I saw her face throughout Japan on magazine’s covers.. she had this beautiful doll face that enchanted the japanese market…

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… she grew to be this incredible bombshell with piercing eyes. Her ‘plus’? She’s an extremely talented artist , and she’s showing her creativity through her art of modeling and painting…

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Her talents merge into beautiful strong images ( like this one right here) , making it possible to others see the expression of the way she sees life.

 

All these questions can help you to improve your career as well. As a model going on a casting, I get little time to impress the client, to show something that might connect with the brand I am being cast for. There are more models, less time and everything needs to get decided and done fast. There is a lot of competition. But remember, everyone is special in their own way. The fashion people want to see something new, they want to be inspired by you. In a short moment you want to show your best you. The more you know  what that “best you” is, the better you are prepared to wow the fashionistas.

But if you can’t show your best, take a break if you need – and come back stronger another time.  For instance A lot of supermodels that got pregnant and left the industry for a while, came back better to an improved version of themselves. Because their lives became more fulfilled and they found more meaning to life, they have reinvented themselves as a mother. Recently we could see Gemma Ward’s returning after having a baby, and Sasha Pivovarova after giving birth to her daughter, she’s luminous and in every single campaign my eyes could reach. Caroline Trentini and Lara Stone are other examples of that, and even less known girls , are radiant after giving birth and are on their 30 somethings years of age, happy and with a bright future ahead of them…

But a reinvention can also happen if you come back with an amazing new photoshoot, a new haircut, or have a change of careers, like Nathalie who I mentioned above which gives your modeling career another push.

Another good thing with the ever changing fashion industry, is that due to photoshop, there is no age limit anymore. You can be 20 or 80 years old and work as a model. So don’t get stuck on one look, or one side of yourself. Explore your personality, and find out what things in life you find important or like to do. When you keep changing and reinventing yourself, like life changes all the time, you will always be significant in the fashion industry. The secret to a long-lasting career is to reinvent yourself, every day, every moment of your life and share that new YOU with everyone to see.

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Remember : everything changes so fast! Be the change you wanna see around you, that’s never out of fashion… unlike my sunglasses and swimsuit in this picture ;))

 

 

xo ;) carol



 

 

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