In honor of New York Fashion Week hitting these city streets hard, I have decided to share what I call my Supermodel Survival Kit. After years of modeling experience and countless runways under my heels, I certainly know what it takes to be prepared once you book that coveted gig.
I’m in NYC right now and keep finding myself impressively prepared amidst the chaos. I now know exactly what to bring, and today alone I pulled things out of my Mary Poppins bag that surprised me.
The most important thing is to be professionally prepared for the casting and the show; book, comp cards, tear sheet, and business cards. I always bring my tear sheet to show designers because if you are a model who regularly gets published, I assume they want to see that! Yes, photographers shoot the designs that stand out but they also shoot the models who have presence down the runway. This is just a practice I have put into place for years and I always include pages of magazines I’ve been featured in inside my book behind portfolio pics. In regards to business cards I recommend getting a phone case that comes off easily so you can store your biz cards and can conveniently have them to give to photographers. It is very important to create relationships with the photographers so you can get your images and also so they will be sure to get your shot. On top of being prepared professionally I also had what everybody else needed! Nail file anyone? Don’t want to snag the lace. Did someone say deodorant stain? I actually carry around a deodorant removing sponge. Haha! It’s because I am a white girl with tattoos and long black hair, designers love to vamp me up, you can regularly find me in black wardrobe with red lipstick, deodorant everywhere.
Black & Nude. If you weren’t looking at the above photo you’d have a completely different image come to mind… HAHA. We’re talking basics here, these items are must-haves backstage at your next fashion show. High heels (nothing that stands out more than the clothes, keep them simple and HiGH), strapless bra, thongs, and pasties.
These are the pasties I use, I get them at Victoria’s Secret and they come in a travel case. Some models don’t mind their nipples showing, some designers desire it, but when the time comes when you do need them, they are good to have around.
The stuff. From top to bottom, left to right. Bobby pins, preferably matching your hair color. Safety pins, in case you find yourself in the dreaded situation of popping a button or ripping a zipper. Deodorant removing sponge, as mentioned before, it’s crazy backstage with the dressers both stripping you and clothing you in 10 seconds flat. Deodorant WiLL get on the garments. To avoid someone spitting on a piece of fabric and scrubbing, bring one of these, I bought it at Walgreens. Double-Sided Tape. You’d be surprised how few people have this backstage. When stomping down the runway you have to be fierce and fearless, not focused on whether or not your titas are gonna fall out. I give it out just as often as I use it, I feel like I’m really helping to prevent future moments of anguish for my friends! You never know, a photographer might use a photo you hate!! Next up, baby powder. This just got added to the list after a long day of stomping city streets with sneakers and no socks, my mistake. I got to the casting and couldn’t walk in my shoes because of sweaty feet! Gross, I know. One of them almost slipped off my foot and hit a casting director square in the face! Not really, but the scene did cross my mind. I didn’t book any of those shows and I knew exactly why. If I would’ve had baby powder I could’ve remedied the situation. I’d like to add that you shouldn’t use baby powder for it’s original purpose. This is similar to the deodorant and dark clothing situation, you don’t want to leave marks on the garments. Eye drops, make your eyes really shine by enhancing the white part of your eyes! Bronzer, this is only when the look is bronzed, don’t go adding it without mentioning it to the designer first. Nail file, to avoid tearing delicate fabrics such as lace and silk.
EMERGEN-C! I love this stuff and drink it regularly, in times like these though I am sure to drink it everyday. Keeping your immunity up is obviously important to looking and feeling your best, so don’t let stress and lack of sleep beat you down.
Stay hydrated! Sounds like a tip from my “How to Avoid Jet-Lag” article! Properly hydrated skin actually glows. If you traveled to get to your job, drink even more 😉
SLEEP OFTEN AND SLEEP WELL. Always have an eye mask & ear plugs so you can sleep when time permits which may be between castings and shows. It’s never ideal to force a power nap around 1pm but in this line of work, beauty sleep is part of the job.
This article is intended to help professional models be more prepared and therefore more successful in this industry. I urge designers and agents to refer models to this post when they hear the question, “What should I bring?”
Once again, hope this helps!