In the fashion industry, physical catalogs are pretty much nonexistent now that we have moved to a digital world. So while you can no longer get a catalog book from brands to shop from, you can now view any brand’s products online. Luckily for models, this means that the need for catalog models still exists even though the books are long gone.
Models that were once referred to as catalog models are now often called E-Commerce models, but their roles are the same. Read on to learn more about how modeling fits in the e-commerce world!
So, what is e-commerce? To put it simply, e-commerce (aka electronic commerce) is the selling and buying of products online. As an e-commerce model, much like the catalog models of the past, they help promote and sell products such as clothing, jewelry, accessories, etc. This is not an entirely different role than the ones that commercial models play; however, unlike commercial models, they usually act as human mannequins and display a product. When an e-commerce model poses for an online retailer, their faces are often not even shown in the photos. Instead, it’s just their bodies or specific body parts showing how the product looks on the human form.
There aren’t many restrictions when it comes to e-commerce modeling like there are for fashion or runway modeling. Since brands have a wide variety of audiences they try to appeal to, they often have a diverse lineup of models that they use on their websites to sell their products. Instead of general across-the-board requirements, brands will have specific requirements that models must fit to get booked by them. Strong posing skills and body awareness are a must, as posing to show off specific products is much different than the more free posing that models would do in non-e-commerce photoshoots.
While it is always possible to get e-commerce bookings as a freelance model, most brands will go straight to agencies when they’re looking to book for their projects, so it can be challenging to get an e-commerce booking without agency representation. E-commerce bookings also generally pay well, so it’s a job many models like to get. The days can be long, though, and involve lots of clothing changes and many hours standing in the studio, so that is something to keep in mind!