Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Ashton Kutcher, January Jones, Tom Welling, Sienna Miller—what do all these performers have in common? They all got their early start in front of the camera not as actors, but as models for clothing brands Hollister Co. and Abercrombie & Fitch, among others.
The road to success as a model or actor looks different for everyone, of course, but if you’re specifically interested in working as a Hollister or Abercrombie & Fitch model (the former of which is owned by the latter), we have some tips on how to get your foot in the door.
1. Get to know the brands. First and foremost, interested parties should know and love the brand that they’ll be selling. Look at Hollister’s different ad campaigns from years past and find the patterns in their style. With the rebranded Abercrombie & Fitch, what distinct message do you think it sends that sets it apart from its retail contemporaries? Hollister sells youthful casual wear and the easy, breezy California visuals that go with it. Abercrombie is now going for a playful, simple all-American aesthetic that’s perfect for a 20-something set. Studying up will also show you what kind of modeling is required of the brands’ hired talent. The ubiquity of these brands, in particular, lends itself well to prospective models because they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into.
2. Start young. Because Abercrombie and Hollister are directly geared toward the youth and young adult market (Hollister skews a few years younger than Abercrombie with preteen and teen customers), it’s best for interested models to start pursuing work with the brands while they still fit the picture of youth.
3. Practice. Work on your modeling poses, facial expressions, and looks. Try and match your style with what you see of Hollister and Abercrombie modeling in catalogs, on the brands’ websites, and on their social media pages.
5. Get a Backstage subscription. Not only will a Backstage subscription give you the opportunity to audition and apply for the latest modeling gigs, but you’ll also get invaluable industry insight from professional actors, trainers, casting directors, agents, and the knowledgeable staff at Backstage.
6. Get a modeling headshot. Before you apply to agencies, don’t forget your headshot. It is perhaps the most important tool for an aspiring model. It’s the first thing agents will see on a prospect’s book and composite card, and it must be eye-catching and make them want to see more. There are some similarities between acting and modeling headshots, but one difference is that with modeling, headshots don’t have to be as tight on the face. Waist-up or bust line–up are commonplace in the industry—something that’s artistic and flatters the subject.
7. Research modeling agencies in your area—and apply. Most name-brand modeling agencies can almost certainly get you in the running for retail campaigns like Abercrombie. Looking at models from their past campaigns, standout Hilary Rhoda was at Women Management when she began modeling for Abercrombie and Hollister, while Tom Welling was at Louisa Models when he started. Do your research on models that interest you and see where they got their start. Those agencies may very well be a good place to look first.