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Girl Model

Premiere Date: March 24, 2013

'Girl Model' in Context

Finance and Career Longevity

Girl Model explores the supply chain providing Siberian models to the Japanese fashion market. The global industry has long practiced self-regulation, so there is little official information on standards and practices for either region, and only recently has the U.S. fashion industry become proactive in finding ways to benchmark itself.

  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median pay for models in 2010 was $15.83 per hour or $32,929 per year. Average earnings are difficult to predict, however—salary ranges can vary widely within a single modeling agency, where there may be one model making $100,000 a year and another who is $20,000 in debt to the agency.

  • In the 2012-2013 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts that the employment of models will grow by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020.

  • Modeling agents and managers typically receive a 10 to 20 percent commission on each model’s earnings.

  • Sociologist and former model Ashley Mears writes in her 2011 book Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model that a day-long fashion shoot for the magazine Vogue pays a model $150.

  • According to The New York Times, a fashion model typically has a career that lasts for three seasons.

  • The New York City Economic Development Corporation reported that in 2011 the city’s fashion industry employed 165,000 people and generated $9 billion in wages, $1.7 billion in tax revenue and $55 billion in sales.

Caption: Model casting in Siberia.   Credit: A. Sabin

» Aleksander, Irina. “Expanding her efforts to be a role model.” The New York Times, August 31, 2012.
» Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook.”
» Krupnick, Ellie. CFDA Health Guidelines for Models Released, Focus on Age & Eating Disorders.” Huffington Post, January 27, 2012.
» Mears, Ashley. Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model. University of California Press, 2011.
» The Model Alliance. “Child Models.”
» New York City Economic Development Corporation.
» Nikas, Joanna.
Documentary Is Another Voice in the Underage Model Conversation.” The New York Times, April 9, 2012.
» Schama, Chloe. “The Skin Trade.” New Republic, September 19, 2011.
» Springer, Sarah. Can There Ever Again Be an All-American Beauty?” CNN, April 6, 2012.
» Wilson, Eric. “Checking Models’ IDs at the Door.” The New York Times, February 8, 2012.

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