As streetwear becomes more popular, more and more people are looking to break into the streetwear modeling scene. But what does it take to become a streetwear model?
And is it even something you can do if you don’t live in a major city?
Being a photographer myself, I’ve had the opportunity to photograph models who were in the streetwear niche. Owning a streetwear brand as well, NO CLOUT, we’ve had the opportunity to work with streetwear models.
In fact, it’s not that hard to become a streetwear model, in fact, anyone can be one, but being a successful one is a different story.
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
What is a Streetwear Model?
A streetwear model is a model who specializes in modeling streetwear fashion.
Streetwear is a type of clothing that is designed to be worn on the streets, and it often has a relaxed and comfortable style. While mainstream fashion tends to be more formal and structured, streetwear is all about individual expression and often features unique designs.
Streetwear models typically have a more casual look than traditional models, and they may also have tattoos or piercings. In recent years, streetwear has become increasingly popular, and it is now one of the most sought-after styles in the fashion industry.
If you are interested in becoming a streetwear model, you will need to have a strong sense of personal style and an ability to stand out from the crowd.
How to Become a Streetwear Model?
1. Figure Out Your Path to Growth
The first step when it comes to becoming a streetwear model, or any model for that matter, is to figure out your path to growth.
If you don’t plan anything, then you will have no direction or game plan to follow.
This is a recipe for failure because you will not be able to track your progress and see how far you’ve come.
There are two main paths that you can take when it comes to becoming a streetwear model, and each one has its own set of pros and cons.
The first path is to start modeling for local streetwear brands. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and build up your portfolio. However, it can be difficult to make a living off of modeling for local brands alone.
The second path is to start modeling for major streetwear brands. This is a more direct route to becoming a successful streetwear model, but it can be difficult to get your foot in the door.
Once you have decided which path you want to take, you can start taking steps to make your dream a reality.
This step is meant to just get you thinking about how far you want to take streetwear modeling and envision what your ideal place would be in your modeling career.
It’s easy to say “just start modeling for major streetwear brands” but how the heck do you even start? Well, the next steps lay out the game plan to get started.
2. Learn Posing and Facial Expressions
One of the most important aspects of modeling is learning how to pose and express yourself through your facial expressions.
A good model knows how to show off the clothes in the best way possible and also capture the attention of the viewer.
Posing is an art form, and it takes practice to master. There are a few key things that you should keep in mind when posing for photos.
First, always keep your posture in mind. Good posture will make you look taller, thinner, and more confident.
Second, don’t be afraid to experiment with different facial expressions. A good model knows how to use facial expressions to convey emotions and tell a story.
Third, try to relax and have fun. The best photos are often the ones where the model is relaxed and having a good time.
Finally, practice makes perfect. The more you pose for photos, the better you will become at it.
Study photos of streetwear models every day and take note of what looks good and what does not.
Now, this may sound narcissistic, but practice these poses and facial expressions in the mirror. Learn your face shape, what angle of your face looks the best in certain lighting, etc.
Study yourself objectively without being too harsh.
3. Start Taking Photos
Once you’ve studied some poses and facial expressions, start taking some photos.
Before even getting a photographer or using a friend as a photographer, take selfies both full body and half body.
Set up your phone on a little tripod or leaning against something and learn the basics of composition in photography so you also know how the photographer approaches an image.
Try to copy the exact poses and facial expressions of the streetwear models you studied. Once you take the photos, compare them and see what is different in terms of poses and facial expressions.
What you do not want to compare is the quality of the photo. You will have to remember that most photos streetwear brands use will be made with high-quality cameras and the photos will be edited to perfection.
So don’t compare the quality of the photo, only the pose, and facial expression.
Also, if you compare your photo to the model’s photo and they seem to look a lot better, also remember everyone has different poses that suit them best and different angles to their face that look better pointing certain ways.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself in that way, the goal of this exercise is to only compare poses and facial expressions.
4. Find a Photographer and Build Your Portfolio
Once you’ve practiced taking your own photos and seeing what you look like on camera, it’s time to find a professional photographer and start building your portfolio.
When it comes to finding a photographer, you can either pay them or engage in what’s called a TFP (trade for print) photoshoot.
When it comes to TFP photoshoots, it’s all about being a reciprocal exchange so unless you have a big social media following or are a model who is seriously good-looking (like 10/10 looks objectively) then it’s best to just engage in a regular paying relationship with the photographer.
It wouldn’t hurt to first ask the photographer if they’d be open to a “TFP photoshoot” but be prepared to quickly say that you’d like to hire them instead if they say no.
When looking for a photographer to work with, look at their portfolio to make sure you like the type of images they take. You’ll also want to find one that you can build a professional relationship with as they could help you start your career in terms of networking and connections. They could also turn into your go-to photographer when you need more photos.
5. Build Your Portfolio
After you have some photos, then it’s time to start building your portfolio.
When it comes to a portfolio, you can either leverage social media or create your website (or both).
In the beginning, you will most likely just want to keep your image on social media and upload them there.
If you choose to do this, then this opens up another discussion of keeping your feed clean and professional looking. If you also use your social media profile as a personal page, then you may want to consider creating a separate professional account just for your streetwear modeling.
The reason for this is that if a brand or agency is looking through your profile and they see photos of you at the club or out with friends, then it doesn’t look very professional. Just like if you were applying for a job, you wouldn’t put photos of yourself partying on your resume.
So if you’re going to use social media to build your portfolio, then you need to make sure that your feed looks clean and that the images look good.
Another option is to create a website where you can showcase your images in a more professional manner. This also allows you to add other sections such as a bio, contact information, and anything else you may want to include.
If you do choose to create a website, then make sure you use a platform that makes it easy to create a professional-looking website without needing to know how to code. WordPress is a great option for this.
Once you have your portfolio ready, whether that’s on social media or your own website, then it’s time to start promoting it.
Leverage all the appropriate hashtags when posting your photos.
If there is a certain brand that you really want to work with (think smaller brands at first), then post photos with you wearing their merchandise and then tag them in hashtags.
Get feedback from friends and family on your portfolio, and be ready to accept criticism. Make sure you only get feedback from people who will be objective and also want to see you succeed.
Once you are happy with where your portfolio is at, start reaching out to brands that you think you could work with and send them your portfolio.
Go to their website or LinkedIn and find their marketing manager, head of apparel, or lead photographer and send them an email or message letting them know that you are an up-and-coming streetwear model and would love to model with them.
Since you are new, offer to model the session for free in exchange for a t-shirt or hat, etc. and if you guys work well together then the next sessions could be paid.
The biggest thing to remember is that you will want to go above and beyond just the normal promotion tactics of “hashtagging” the company in hopes that they will see your posts. You will want to do things that no one else is doing such as what I mentioned and finding the key person in the company that you need to be in contact with.
But also make sure it is the key person and that you aren’t contacting the CEO or anything like that.
7. Be Consistent
The last tip for becoming a streetwear model is to be consistent.
This means that you need to be posting regularly, whether that’s once a week or once a day. You also need to be promoting your work and reaching out to new brands on a regular basis.
If you only post every now and then or if you only do one photoshoot every few months, then it will be very hard to gain any traction.
You need to be constantly working on building your portfolio and promoting yourself if you want to be successful.
You want to be in the mindset that you want to be better every single day, so also keep researching other streetwear models, their poses, facial expressions, and the latest streetwear brands.
So there you have it, a few tips on how to become a streetwear model. If you are serious about getting into this industry then make sure you follow these tips and be consistent with your efforts.
Streetwear modeling is a great way to land some amazing brands and get paid to do what you love. So go out there and make it happen!
Nate Torres is the founder of no clout. With an interest in streetwear, he decided to start this blog and share his love of streetwear with the rest of the world. Outside of running this blog, he also has interests in photography, music, and gaming.