Although it is a competitive industry in every way, a fashion design school will teach you that there are different approaches to a professional career in the fashion industry. Aside from accessories and clothing designers, some specialize in merchandising, marketing, public relations, event coordination, brand development, trend forecasting, editing and fashion journalism, photography, and of course, modeling. While modeling is just one niche in the larger-than-life fashion industry, the inner workings of the modeling world have proven complex, with multiple specialized places of their own. There are different types of models and other purposes of modeling. Below are some examples of the different kinds of modeling, the requirements, and whether you can meet them.

High Fashion Modeling: This modeling is often the basis for the stereotype of a model that most people have in their heads. Mannequins usually work with elite fashion designers or luxurious makeup and beauty companies. What may have created the stereotype is that these fashion models have a very specific look that is considered the “ideal woman” by top labels. They are usually a minimum of 5’9 and are extremely thin (size 0’s are not uncommon). They model the most expensive, well-made clothes and beauty products, and top designers often design clothes with the body of the specific high fashion model in mind. High fashion modeling is cutthroat and competitive, but these models make the most money of any model in the industry,

Runway Modeling: Runway modeling often coincides with high fashion modeling. However, the emphasis is clearly on the model’s ability to gracefully travel down a runway, rather than just posing in still photos. Again, runway models are almost always tall, leggy, and extremely slim. They also need to be comfortable walking, dancing (or even running), and generally move around in very high heels and all types of clothing, often including lingerie. Designers rely heavily on their runway models’ ability to showcase their clothes during their runway shows. Hence, models who work for top designers are also extremely well paid.

Glamor Modeling: Glamor modeling is different from high fashion modeling because it puts an entirely different emphasis. There are no height and weight requirements for glamor models, and their work usually shows a sexual theme. For example, the models you see in Playboy Magazine are a prime example of glamor models, pin-up girls in calendars, or often bathing suits or lingerie models can fall into that category. Glamor models are used to sell ideas of sexuality and desire to promote a product, rather than as a canvas to showcase high fashion clothing that sells itself based on a designer’s reputation and skill.