Model

   A model is a person who is paid to wear a garment or product for promotional purposes such as in a fashion show or photo shoot. The historical origins of formal "showings" of clothing began with the House of Worth in 1858. Wealthy women would be invited to watch as "models" would present a designer's designs each season. As more designers opened their couture houses, competition increased the need for publicity, which in turn prompted the need for more fashion models. Model agencies were established to recruit women. In the early days, women were chosen from well-to-do families as the images they portrayed evoked a sophisticated, genteel aura. While the invention of photography came in 1839, fashion photography was not fully realized until the late 1850s when it was used to document the increasing number of designers' works and replaced the fashion plate. The invention of the halftone printing process made it possible to reproduce photographs and sell them to the burgeoning magazine industry beginning with Harper's Bazaar (1867) and Vogue (1892). The first successful black model was Dorothea Towles Church (1922-2006) who broke the color barrier in the 1950s by modeling on the runways of Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior in Paris. During the 1950s, models such as Suzy Parker and Dorian Leigh became famous not only for their modeling careers but also for their extravagant lifestyles. By the 1960s, the modeling profession would be turned upside down with the entrance of Twiggy in 1966. Twiggy, with her waif-like look, opened the door to alternative forms of beauty and paved the way for other models to come. In the early 1990s, at the height of supermodel mania, models Niki Taylor, Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Karen Mulder, Stephanie Seymour, and Tatjana Patiz—and later Kate Moss, Tyra Banks, and Iman—were earning upward of $10,000 per day, with some models asking as much as $25,000 a day.
   In 1995, the same designers that helped catapult these models to fame (Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld, Gianni Versace, etc.), reacted to their overinflated prices and overexposure by ditching them for a new crop of less-expensive models. Once the designers realized that the models were getting more attention than the clothes, the era of the supermodel ended. Today, models are discovered by fashion photographers and models agencies and through worldwide model open calls. In 2005, the reality TV series America's Next Top Model, hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks, attempted to revive the supermodel phenomenon.
   Recently some models have gone into the fashion business with their own product lines. Examples include Christy Turlington, who designs a line of yoga clothes for Puma called Nuala, and Kate Moss, who signed with Topshop to design a line specifically for the retailer.
   See also Model agency.

Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry. .

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