What it Takes to Be a Lingerie Model

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Portrait of two young beautiful smiling women in white lingerie. Sexy carefree models posing at balcony in the early morning. They hugging and going crazy in sunglasses

While there may have been a slight decline in demand for lingerie models since the shut down of “lads mags” and page 3, that doesn’t mean lingerie models have become obsolete. In fact, underwear modelling appears to have had a bit of an upgrade, with premium brands and celebrities launching their own popular lingerie ranges. It means that, while the conventionally glamourous lingerie model may have less work, there’s even more demand for high fashion and commercial models for less sexualised underwear and swimwear modelling. 

But there’s a lot more to lingerie modelling than simply looking glamorous in bedroom or beach settings. Read on to find out what it takes to be a lingerie model.

Brands Who Need Lingerie Models

There are lots of premium and commercial lingerie brands out there who require lingerie models:

– La Perla

– Victoria’s Secret

– Agent Provocateur

– Calvin Klein

– Boux Avenue

– Pour Moi

– Bravissimo

– Marks & Spencers (Rosie for Autograph)

– Ralph Lauren

Savage X Fenty (singer Rihanna owns this brand)

– La Redoute

A lot of popular lingerie brands today are owned by retired supermodels or celebrities. Dita Von Teese, a famous burlesque performer, has her own range. Rihanna has a popular brand, Savage X Fenty, which has made her a hugely influential lingerie model due to the body positivity the brand endorses. Heidi Klum, an ex-Victoria’s Secret Angel, owns ‘Heidi Klum Intimates’. Elle Macpherson, another 90’s supermodel, has ‘Elle Macpherson Intimates’. Kim Kardashian created ‘Skims’, a shapewear brand. Ashley Graham, a plus-size model, has her own line with Addition Elle. The list goes on!

Requirements for Lingerie Modelling

The requirements for lingerie models change depending on which brand it is, and which niche of modelling the brand falls under. For example, premium lingerie brand Victoria’s Secret has been notoriously strict about it’s models requirements in the past. Models have had to meet certain height and body measurements that are unrealistic for the majority of healthy women. 

But Rihanna’s lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, are much more diverse with their model choices. They include models of every shape, size and ethnicity, as well as disabled models and models with visible skinimperfections.

You will need to do your research into what brands accept your build and height as a model. Most are looking for hourglass-shaped models with even proportions, but there are some brands who are more relaxed. Curves are thought to show off lingerie and swimwear more, so having a bigger bust may be an advantage. 

What Else is Needed?

Other things to consider include details that all models must take into consideration. 

Hair Maintenance

All models, both male and female, must think about body hair maintenance. Lingerie and swimwear models do not have much to hide behind, so they will often be required to remove their body hair before a shoot or show. How they do this is down to the model’s preference, though many opt for waxing as the grow-back tends to take longer. Men, too, must think about maintaining and trimming body hair. They must also pay attention to their facial hair to keep it neat. As for the hair on their head, model’s must make sure they get regular trims to get rid of dead ends. If a model has dyed hair, they must keep their roots covered as much as possible – having visible roots doesn’t look put together.

Hands and Feet

Both male and female models must look after their hands and feet. Feet in particular may be more seen because shoes aren’t likely to be worn for swimsuit shoots. Regular manicures and pedicures will help to keep hands and feet looking tidy, clean and neat. Models should regularly moisturise these body parts as they are prone to dryness. 

Avoid Being Clumsy

Lingerie and swimwear models don’t have the luxury of being as clumsy as other people. That’s because they must avoid having bumps, bruises and scars on their skin. While marks can be covered with make-up, this is time consuming – and therefore expensive. It’s better to try and avoid getting your skin marked if you can help it.  

Fake tan can help to cover marks too. You may be required to get a fake tan for a shoot as tans make the skin appear more even and glowy. 

Body Modifications

Tattoos and piercings can also be on the no-go list. While some alternative brands may welcome such body modifications, traditional brands (in particular premium brands) will avoid selecting models with these body decorations. If in doubt, don’t get any permanent markings to the skin – they may lose you work as you are no longer a blank canvas for the brands to work with. 

Famous Lingerie Models

There are many top models famous for their lingerie bodies, many of whom started out as Victoria’s Secret Angels. At the moment, these models are considered to be some of the best lingerie models around and can often be seen in the likes of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar magazines. 

– Candice Swanepoel

– Tyra Banks

– Adriana Lima

– Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

– Bella Hadid

– Alessandra Ambrosio

– Kendall Jenner

– Gigi Hadid

– Jasmine Tookes

How Much Do Lingerie Models Earn?

Lingerie model’s salares vary from model to model. It epends entirely on how in-demand they are, and who they are working with. 

The world’s top lingerie models can make thousands from a single image. Beginners can earn from as little as £100 for a photoshoot or show. Some models have been known to get paid in freebies rather than actual cash. This can be beneficial if the job it likely to provide more opportunities, but it’s not a good idea to work for free a lot – you do have bills to pay, after all. 

How Do Lingerie Models Prepare?

When preparing for a photo shoot or runway show (like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show), models must put in a lot of work to look camera-ready.

A lingerie model eats well and exercises year-round so their physique stays in shape. This routine will be more strict on the leadup to an important job – treats will be avoided and exercise routines will likely be amped up. 

Models will make sure they visit the hairdresser beforehand so hair is fresh with no visible root regrowth or split ends. 

They will also visit a professional tan artist to give their skin a healthy glow. 

A model will also visit a salon for a mani/pedi to ensure their hands and feet look good. 

How to Get Into Lingerie Modelling

The best way to get into the lingerie industry as a model is to join a modelling agency who works with the types of brands who require these sorts of models. 

It’s unlikely you will be scouted, so you’ll need to apply online. Nearly all modelling agencies have an online application form that you can easily fill out and send digitally. You’ll need to attach some of your best modelling photos along with the application. If you don’t yet have any photos, you’ll have to organise getting some; you won’t get far without them. Think about hiring a photographer for the day and their studio; this way you’ll get industry photo shoot experience, and you’ll be able to purchase your favourite photos for applications and to include in your moelling portfolio. (Interested? Why not register with us today and spend the day at one of our photoshoots!)

Social Media

Social media, in particular Instagram and Twitter, can be an excellent way for you to build a fanbase as a newbie to the industry. Famous model Alexis Ren got her start on social media and now has a lucrative career as a model.

It’s difficult to get into the fashion industry if you don’t already have a name for yourself. Social media gives you the opportunity to build a reputation and get your foot in the door.

1 Comment

  1. Nolwazi on January 2, 2023 at 10:54 am

    I need help on becoming lingerine model

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