For specialty sizes: Better to use "average" models or ones which fit the specialty?

Discussion in 'Careers, Education & the Business of Fashion' started by writergal28, Feb 9, 2009.

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  1. writergal28

    writergal28 New Member

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    Over at petitefashionista.com a site run by a friend of mine, the owner of the Itsy Bitsy Bra Bar (a company which sells smaller sized lingerie) is asking whether she should use an "average" sized model or someone who is closer to the size her shoppers are (smaller chested)? According to the post, she has photographed a friend of hers, who is 5' tall, 95 lb and an A-cup wearing some of the pieces she sells on her site.

    The images featuring the friend include:

    Eberjey Lovestruck Chemise

    JLO Butterfly Kisses Chemise with matching Thong

    The images are amateur and and not touched up. I've suggested that she get a photography student to get a more professional look. If the images were more professional, would you go with someone that size over someone who is "model sized"?
     
  2. The_Ida

    The_Ida In Bloom

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    Of course you shouldn't use an "average" model, you should use a model that represents the specialty you are targeting.
     
  3. writergal28

    writergal28 New Member

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    But many would argue that it's easier to get a "standard" or "average" model over someone who fits the specialty the company is targeting. There are plenty of 5'10", 34B or C models, but not too many 5'0 30A girls who are actual models (actresses are different).
     
  4. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Image is the largest consideration in specialty sizing .... so they usually cheat and use models that are not the size of the consumer but something closer to an "ideal". It's true with straight sized modeling too ... how many average women are really 5'10" and wear a size 2 in the US?

    Retailers and designers often test the market by trying out customer sized models (real people sizes) and compare it to the sales figures when they us pro models who are not anywhere near the average customer's size .... and time and time again, I hear that customer sized models just do not sell merchandise. I think it all comes down to the fact that people are buying a fantasy ... they like to think that those clothes or lingerie will make them taller, shorter, bigger, smaller .... whatever the current "ideal" is. So they respond, in a very subtle way to models who are much closer to the ideal than they are.

    Not saying that it's fair or right ... just saying what they experts find, over and over again.

    So ... she might want to test this theory out and keep some stats and see what happens. Maybe she'll prove them wrong .....
     
    #4 BetteT, Feb 9, 2009
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Feb 9, 2009
  5. ~LovelyDay~

    ~LovelyDay~ New Member

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    ^
    oo that's very interesting.

    of course it shouldn't look very off. It should be a model that represents the store AND at the sametime have that beautiful idealistic appearance.
     
  6. kettlin

    kettlin New Member

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    I think a model who is tall, lean and small chested would be perfect. I feel that it would not only represent the market that she is targeting (small chested), however it will be modeled on a person who is the same height/size as most other models giving off the impression of being small chested as being a plus! If you look down the runway / many online retailers such as shopbop.com, the models are small chested and they look good! Definitely getting a more professional photographer would help make the product look more attractive, as well as the model :) Good luck !!
     
  7. daniellat

    daniellat Fashion Designer

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    its a hard one, but i think you should use the model that makes the clothes look the best. , you want people who look at your website and say "i want to look like that" , "i need that dress to look like her", its the same way with high end fashion, models arent like the average because designers want us to want to look like them, therefore buy their clothes. Taller and leaner girls look better in pics, nobody would know that the girl in the picture is 5 6" and not 5 0"
     
  8. writergal28

    writergal28 New Member

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    Right, but if a pair of pants has a 29" inseam, would you put that on a 5'3" girl or one who is a standard 5'10" model? We are talking about specialty lines/specialty size designers, not a "regular" line (or even an off shoot specialty division of a regular line).
     
  9. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    No ... you are correct. They would not put 29" inseams on a standard size model. But a designer for petites would very likely have a special, longer sample made for a girl who is about 5'6" ... which is the standard height of "petite" models.

    I've worked with designers of regular sizes who must lengthen their samples to fit the models (5'10 and above at times) at their photoshoots ... happens all the time. It's all smoke an mirrors ... it's the image that they are selling initially in the ads and sometimes the catalogs. Then ... for what they actually sell to customers, they will manufacture the cothes with the proper proportions.
     
  10. writergal28

    writergal28 New Member

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    I'll have to ask several of my petite designer contacts if they do that. All I know is that for at least two or three of them, the girls they use on their website are between 5'2 and 5'5", not 5'6"/5'7". At least that's what they told me interviews.
     
  11. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Designers who sell on websites don't usually pay pro agerncy models ... so it's not exactly the "standard", but I'm sure you are correct about them. Let me clarify ... I'm actually talking about major companies like Talbots and the department stores ....
     
    #11 BetteT, Apr 9, 2009
    Last edited by moderator Natasa: Apr 9, 2009
  12. writergal28

    writergal28 New Member

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    Actually, I don't think Talbots/Banana Republic/Ann Taylor/etc uses petite models, period, since they generally use the same images for their regular line for their petites. Petite models seem to only be used for petite-specific shows at department stores or for certain off-shoot petite lines (e.g. Joe's Provocateurs.) In this case, it seems that they don't make a different sample for the shoot, since the pants often look just a tad too short.
     
  13. BetteT

    BetteT Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Thanks ... good to know. That means even less work for petite models (pro or not) ... too bad.
     
  14. writergal28

    writergal28 New Member

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    This is exactly why specialty size models are needed. Check out Alterations Needed's post about Gilt Groupe's use of a standard size model for petite pants. Jezebel has caught the post as well.
     

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