Amended 10/26/11: Please do not post a comment asking how to break into the fit modeling business, where to get fit modeling jobs or whether your measurements are ideal for this sort of work. These questions are answered in What is a fit model? followed by How to get a job being a fit model. Again, please do not comment asking about jobs etc on this entry or I will delete them. Likewise, if it seems obvious you skipped “what is a fit model” to post in the “how to get a fit modeling job” entry, that comment will also be deleted. Thank you for your cooperation.
“She has to be right in terms of specifications,” Goldschmied said. “The most important thing is she understands what your design direction is. A fit model can be a kind of muse in some ways. Basically, she has to represent your ideal woman.”
Byrnes, a professional dancer who had moved to Los Angeles from Scottsdale, Ariz., six years earlier, resembles the love child of model Peggy Moffitt and rocker Pat Benatar with her dark, shaggy hair and lean frame. The minute the 5-foot, 10-inch Byrnes walked up to Goldschmied in his company’s loft studio outside of downtown Los Angeles, he knew she was going to meet his specifications.
Wow, 5′ 10″? That’s far from average. And this has got to be a misprint but the article claims that her inseam is 27″. I’m five inches shorter than she is but my inseam is 32″. Hmmm. Perhaps that incongruity would explain why it takes Goldschmied 10 or 15 fittings to get it right.
In case you wonder, wages are not akin to what fashion models earn, not that Byrnes is complaining. She earns $75 an hour, working 10-20 hours a week. Apparently, fit model hourly rates run between $100-$150 in LA and $250-$350 in NY. The key is exclusivity; the specs of your fit model are something you want to keep under wraps.
Ya-el Torbati, designer and founder of Deener, goes so far as to call her fit model “a secret weapon,” and she won’t reveal the woman’s identity. “I want to call her Jane Doe. I don’t want to share,” Torbati said. “Fit models are so central. You’re altering a pattern to fit her body.”
Because a fit model meets the specific needs for a particular company, there is no perfect size, said Natasha Duswalt, owner of Peak Models & Talent in Valencia, Calif., who casts fit models for 10 to 15 denim companies in Southern California. “There are no magic numbers,” she said. “There’s a magic number for that company.”
Perhaps this will explain why companies will continue to resist employing standardized sizing. Every line will be unique. Many designers share Goldschmied’s philosophy that a designer brand is choosing its customer rather than the contrary. “It’s not my target to fit everybody,” Goldschmied said. Nor should yours be; the attempt will only ensure it’ll fit no one. Sizing -like lines- should be specialized.