When I tell people that I am a fit model they either assume I work as a fitness model or they mishear me and think I said foot model. I am definitely not either of these- my lingering gymnastics muscles are misleading and there is nothing small and dainty about my feet. Fit models are a very distinct breed of models, essential to the fashion industry while flying somewhat under the public’s radar.
Traditionally known as “fitting models,” fit models work as living mannequins. Because of this, we are required to maintain a specific set of measurements (or “specs”), just like our lifeless counterparts. One brand I work with measures 52 points (to the ⅛”) on my body once a month. Some of these numbers are areas human beings can control like waist and hip circumferences, but genetic measurements (such as arm length and shoulder width) can make or break a fit model’s career. So, if a model is fortunate enough to obtain these magic numbers, she is then able to work closely with designers as a fit model.
All brands use fit models. EVERYTHING you are wearing right now was developed and perfected on a fit model. If I walk into the retail store of a brand I work with, I will have tried on every style displayed, along with even more styles that were never produced commercially. Designers and clothing manufacturers hire fit models to make sure their garments wear as they envision. During a fitting, the model also tests to make sure the clothing is comfortable, easy to wear and is user friendly. I test pocket bags, hood shapes, embellishments, leg openings and overall ease of garments. Have you ever tried to put your hand in a pocket only to find that it is awkwardly placed or the bag was too tiny? This is the result of an inadequate fitting (or inexperienced fit model).
Partnering with so many creative professionals every day is inspiring. Fashion has been an integral part of my life as long as i can remember and I am so happy to make my mark on one of the most crucial parts of the industry. I love my job, even if most people don’t really know what it is.