All Posts, Fashion, Modeling

Virtual Modeling

I know what you’re thinking…how the hell does one model virtually? I thought the same thing when my agent came to me about a month ago with a booking request. Over the past month, however, I’ve had 4 of these gigs, so I can officially fill you in on this weird, pandemic-friendly development in the fashion industry.

The Brand

The brand that requested these bookings was one that I’ve never worked with before. This was a little odd, but I had been to a go-see at their offices, like, a year ago. Anyway, I guess their usual model was quarantined in a different state, so they needed somebody local. (PS. A huge secret is that this is how a lot of clients are booked. Their usual model isn’t available, and you swoop in and dazzle them and pretty much replace their usual girl. It’s kind of brutal, but it’s the truth, and it’s happened a couple of times to me.) Anyway, the brand is a swimwear company (this is my niche, I’m finding out…swimwear and lingerie) with a bunch of different brands.

The Pandemic

As you can imagine, the fashion industry pretty much halted when the COVID-19 pandemic happened. Models couldn’t go to bookings, designers and account executives couldn’t go to their offices, and samples/clothes couldn’t ship in from manufacturing in different countries. Luckily, in the fashion industry, everything is pretty much designed a year ahead of time in order to get things ready for production for upcoming seasons. So stores and online shops weren’t empty, and sales didn’t halt completely. However, that means that as we are slowly making our way back into normal life, the industry has to work twice as hard to get all these things done in time for production for the upcoming seasons. 

The Gig

After the gig is booked, the company sends samples to my apartment. This can happen either by mail or through a courier that drops it off the day of the booking. The number of samples usually will range anywhere from 2 (15-30 min. booking) to 10 (1-hour booking).I’ll set up my computer on an elevated surface (the bathing suit top is the main focus, so I make sure you can clearly see the entire top, and that the view it is straight on, not from above or below). (If you were wondering, yes, it’s pretty much like video chatting with just my boobs…awk.) 

I usually open my curtains for some natural lighting and a ring light for some extra, directed light. I also shove all of my crap to the other side of the room to make it look like my room isn’t a complete mess…

I’ll then join the Zoom call with the fit team (4 people usually). They will discuss each piece, and ask me to turn to the side or back, whichever angle they need to see and discuss. The whole point of the call is to evaluate the fit of the top, so at times, they will ask me to make adjustments to see how it would look if certain changes were made, i.e. tightening the straps, lowering the neckline, taking an inch or adding an inch of material to the band, etc. (For more details on how Fit Modeling works, click here.) 

After the call is over, I use the ring light and self-timer on my phone to take 4 pictures per sample: front, 3/4 view, side, and back. These get sent to the fit team, and then I send the samples back in the mail!

It’s super simple, but definitely a weird concept to get used to. Zoom calls can be awkward as it is, but when your face isn’t even in the frame and you have a bunch of people staring at a screen with your boobs on it…well…it’s weird. 

All in all, I’m so happy that the industry is moving forward in any way that it can. It’s better than no fittings at all, so I’m here for it! I missed modeling during quarantine, and it definitely feels good to be back (ish)!

Click here to see my STATE Management portfolio. 

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