How to become a shoe model

Shoe modelling is a great way for women to earn extra income. If you live near any major metropolitan city, chances are there are modelling agencies near you that are looking to submit applicants for seasonal shoe shows. Unlike runway models, which have to be extremely tall, most shoe models are petite in size and need not have a portfolio of photographs or a lot of experience in modelling. The money is generally very good, and the work, though not frequent, is reliable in that it comes at the same times each year, and many shoe companies will rehire models again and again. Here are a few things you need to know if you are planning to model shoes.

Contact your local modelling agencies to ask them about becoming a shoe model if you have a size 6B foot (or very close to it). Unless you are very tall, petite agencies are more likely to be interested in you for shoe modelling jobs (see Resources below). Shoe shows are the place where manufacturers and store buyers meet to discuss the newest looks in the product lines and to order shoes for next year’s season. In general, the shoe shows come to town twice a year--once in the fall and once in the spring, but some companies may have three shows a year.

Contact shoe-manufacturing companies directly. Ask if they need “fit models,” or when they might be hiring shoe models for shows. A fit model is a person whose foot is the perfect sample size for their company--sometimes 5½, sometimes 6B. The fit model stands for long hours as shoe designers and crafters discuss the shoe in its various stages of progress. It is not a glamorous job, but the pay can be very good, and fit models tend to work more often than models that do shows only.

Have at least one decent headshot taken, as well as a photo of your legs and feet (in shoes). Your photo should have all pertinent contact information on it and your statistics, including your height, weight, dress size, bra size and shoe size. A 5 by 7 contact card with three shots--a full body, headshot and leg/shoe shot--is most effective when seeking shoe-modelling jobs, but if you are just starting out, you can use any photo as long as your information is attached.

Practice walking in all different sized heals--extremely high heels, mid-sized heels and flats. Walk in a straight line, stop and demonstrate the shoe from each angle before moving back down the “runway.” Remember, the focus in shoe modelling should be the shoes. Don’t do anything to draw the buyers' eyes to your body or face. The successful shoe model works the shoe and nothing else.

Once you are hired for a show, be sure to show up early and dressed appropriately. Most companies will have a wardrobe for their models to wear during the show, but some will expect you to provide your own. Bring two or three outfits for their stylist to choose from, and have at least two pairs of fresh, clean pantyhose.

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