As with many things, location is a key factor in the success or failure of a model. Proximity to jobs means you can get there faster and cheaper, and in the fast moving fashion industry, quick turnaround is often a deal breaker. You should always put yourself where the action is. As a general rule, big cities offer many more opportunities than smaller places, as the clients and agencies are concentrated there.
There are four major fashion capitals in the world: London, Milan, New York and Paris.
London has a long history as a trendsetter and leader in world fashion, and in recent years has been named as the number 1 fashion capital of the world thanks to the ascendency of Kate Middleton and the London Olympics. The vast majority of the international modelling agencies have their main UK offices in London and it is the base for hundreds of fashion photography studios and the supporting teams, including the best photographers for glossy magazines.
London’s fashion hub is located in Soho, in the centre of the city between Oxford Street and Picadilly Circus. This area is full of trendy shops and bars and has a bustling cosmopolitan atmosphere.
The major modelling agencies are mostly based in Central London, around South Kensington and Leicester Square, including: Elite, Storm, Premier Model Management, Models 1, BMA Models and Next Models.
In 2009 Milan was declared the top economic and media capital of fashion. There are a great many world famous Italian fashion brands which have their main headquarters located in the city, including: Valentino, Gucci, Versace, Prada, Armani and Dolce & Gabbana. Milan Fashion Week is held twice a year and is one of the Holy Grails for catwalk models.
The only recognised fashion capital outside of Europe, New York is a metropolitan city that never sleeps and is home to the cutting edge of innovation is style and culture. New York Fashion Week, branded Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek in 2009 is held in February and September every year – and was originally the first ever fashion ‘week’.
Paris has a long standing history as a centre of art and fashion and is home to several prestigious fashion houses. It is known for the classic timeless elegance of the designs that are born there. It has an up market high fashion shopping district where all the most exclusive labels can be found.