fashion industry icons share their experiences and advice for the next generation

With fashion week around the corner, we asked the best in the business their top modeling tips for the fresh new faces about to take the world’s catwalk by storm.

by Tish Weinstock and i-D Staff
09 February 2017, 2:49pm

Lights, camera, runway. Whether you're a fresh face or an old pro, navigating the industry during fashion month is a tricky affair. What if your nip slips at a go-see or you trip over your tumbling train? How can you walk when your shoes are too small or breathe if your dress is too tight? A tricky affair indeed. But fear not, ye models, we've called upon the best in the business — from Freja Beha Erichsen to Amber Valletta, Guinevere van Seenus to Joan Smalls — to help you get through this. With decades of experience, these are the icons of the industry whose looks, personalities, poses, and attitudes have defined an era of fashion. From no-sees to go-sees, here they share their experiences and advice for the next generation, just in time for Fashion Month.

"I regard modeling as a job. I try to portray someone else's vision to the best of my ability. I feel lucky to be able to do this for a living." Freja Beha Erichsen, 28, modeling for 11 years

"Stay humble and grounded. Work your ass off and enjoy the ride." Joan Smalls, 28, modeling for 8 years

"Be you and love what you are doing. Fashion is more than a trend or Instagram, so educate yourself." Amber Valletta, 42, modeling for 27 years

"Don't take rejection personally, which is incredibly hard to do. It took me years to learn that." Kirsten Owen, 46, modeling for almost 30 years

"Appreciate what is beautiful and unique about yourself. Learn to embrace, love it, and share it." Guinevere van Seenus, 39, modeling for 25 years

"Be yourself." Jamie Bochert, 32, modeling for 9 years

"When you're young, you aren't as aware of your body so you have more insecurities. When you get older it's easier to know how to pose." Carmen Kass, 37, modeling for 23 years

"The older you get the more comfortable you are with how you look and who you are as a person. I think that shows in your work." Liya Kebede, 38, modeling for 20 years

"Given how many very talented and beautiful models are around and how many get to be full-on working girls, my tip would be to keep in mind there are very few rules after all. I am convinced a huge factor is to be lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time." Christina Kruse, 40, modeling for 23 years

"Kindness, kindness, kindness." Jessica Miller, 32, modeling for 18 years

"Luck, for sure, like everything in life. A lot of dedication and the way you look." Karmen Pedaru, 26, modeling for 10 years

"Modeling has a lot to offer but it's important to remember it's a business, so always be professional and don't take things personally." Vivien Solari, 37, modeling for 19 years

"The camera doesn't steal your soul. I don't transform much, I'm just being myself." Sasha Pivovarova, 31, modeling for 11 years

"Modeling is quite strange, and sometimes you feel quite silly, but with age and experience I've been able to let that go and just go for it." Mini Anden, 38, modeling for 28 years

"Some of the pictures I did as a pre-teen, where I posed too maturely, bother me to look at today. I hate the idea of anyone looking at my own child in a way that isn't appropriate. " Milla Jovovich, 40, modeling for 29 years


Photography Amy Troost
Fashion Director Alastair McKimm

Fashion month
Alastair McKimm
Female Gaze
The Female Gaze Issue
amy troost