Fashion Week is just around the corner. As a model I find myself having to be prepared at all times for the unexpected when heading to a casting or when I'm backstage. Having a model bag packed with the essentials to get me through every show is a must. Contrary to what you may think models are at the end of the list of important details when it comes to a fashion show. Yes, you can't have a fashion show without models but when it comes to day-of preparations like production, dealing with guest, vendors, etc models are usually placed backstage in a corner somewhere.
You'll find yourself waiting for hours until showtime. So a well packed model bag will help the time go by.
Below you'll find the basic model essentials that's in my model bag.
Starting off with the bag itself. You want to select a bag that's not too big or bulky. Keep in mind, sometimes there is limited space backstage and the last thing a designer/event producer needs is a model with a big ass bag taking up space. Also select a bag you can spot easily. This will help you locate the bag quickly and will deter sticky fingers from "accidentally" picking up your bag and walking off with it.
One of the most important items you can have is a mini sewing kit. Being a plus model there are times when a designer has to do on the spot alterations. Having a mini sewing kit shows how prepared you are as a professional and the designers appreciate the gesture.
Next on the list in backstage attire. Packing a light silk robe and slip on sandals is a must. Most designers want you ready for a quick wardrobe change during rehearsals and run thrus. You don't want to deal with the hassle of taking off your street clothes and trying to keep up with them when your backstage getting ready to walk. Even while waiting for your time to walk you should be in a robe ready to make the quick change.
Snacks!!!!!! Most shows requests that the models do not leave the venue after your call time. Meaning, you are stuck there for hours before the actual show begins. Sometimes lunch or snacks are provided but for the most part they are not. So this means it is your responsibility to bring water and light snacks. My model bag is packed with granola bars, nuts, veggies, and fruits. One of the most embarrassing things is to faint backstage or ON THE RUNWAY from not eating. 🤦🏾♀️
The next 2 items are my all-time favorites and has saved me many times. About a year ago I came across the Venus Waterless Disposable Razors from Gilette at my local TJ Maxx. No water, sink, or shower is needed.
Its super embarrassing to show up to a casting and realize you forgot to shave your underarms or you missed a spot on your leg 🤦🏾♀️ Having the Waterless Razor on hand can save you so much trouble.
Next, is press-on toenails. Yes, thats right! I said it. Showing up to a casting or fashion show with jacked up toenails is a big no-no. Being a roller derby player I spend so much time with my feet in skates that it ruins my pedicure almost immediately. So remembering to get a quick pedi is almost impossible. But with Kiss press-on toenails I can have flawless toes in the matter of minutes.
Next up on the list is foundation! I've spent my fair share of time being behind the scenes as a makeup artist and model. And I have seen some of the best mua's struggle to color match models. I feel that it is quickly becoming a lost requirement. As an mua it is your responsibility to match any and all skin tones and types that comes across your chair. With that being said not all artists share my thoughts on the topic. So bringing your own personal foundation is crucial. The runway lights can be so unforgiving, literally shedding light on the artist's mistake. Especially women of color, do yourself a favor, bring your foundation with you. I actually had an artist tell me that she didn't have foundation for my skin tone 😤 It happens, so being prepared will never fail you.
Moving on to undergarments 👙 having a pair of shapewear and a nude strapless bra should be part of every model's bag, escpecially plus models for obvious reasons.
Next up, is toiletries...keep in mind after most call times you're on lockdown. You can't leave the venue so having a small stash of tampons, kleenex, mints, and meds on hand can help in those certain situations.
I seem to get headaches when I have a show. Being in a small space not being able to leave and waiting on a show to start seems to spark my headaches so having some advil on hand helps.
Lastly is your charger and mini tripod. Having a charger is your lifeline. An awesome way to kill time until the show starts is being on your phone. But not having a charger can kill your whole experience. Not getting that insta worthy BTS pic makes it almost not worth it lol. So having a charged device is so important. Also bring along with you a small tripod to get some amazing impromptu shots. I've found that some of the best shows I've walked in were held in beautiful spaces. Why not take advantage of the venue while you have access to it 🤷🏽♀️ Like the photos below.
Don't be overwhelmed by my list, my list was created to help me be better prepared to slay the runway or casting. Build your own model bag one step at a time. Remember the core essentials like your high heels, undergarments, makeup, and snacks.
Having a properly stocked model bag will make you much easier to work with and will convey to others that you are professional. So pack it carefully and remember to check it after a few shows/castings and restock as necessary. Remember your looks, your attitude, and your professionalism will either make or break you in this industry. It’s always better to be well prepared than unprepared. Add or edit things as you feel you need to but always keep your bag packed and ready to go at a moment's notice! 💗