I’ve noticed a growing number of models participating in high- and low-profile fashion shows in the Chicago market for free. Exposure is a great thing–if you’re modeling in New York Fashion Week–but to be honest, most shows in Chicago lack the glitz and glam of New York Fashion Week and rarely garner local press or attention from local influencers. True, some models in high-profile markets often work for no pay, but there is usually a pay-off. For instance, models who are not paid for walking, may receive free clothes, photos or other bartered product or service.
In Chicago, free usually equals free, meaning no pay, no clothes, no pics and no opportunities for exposure to industry movers-and-shakers. In short, the trade-off is usually not worth the time and energy donated by these poor models.
So, if you’re a Chicago model, what’s the best way for you to turn down a non-paying modeling gig? Chicago Fashion Designer offers great tips on doing so firmly, yet professionally.