With the amazing Accra Fashion Week 2016 on it’s way, AFWk in conjunction with FashionGHANA.com will bring you designer tips from time to time. The Accra Fashion Week which is scheduled to take place at the Trade Fair Center is said to feature a host of international designers from around the globe in and outside of Africa.

The main purpose is to create a business hub that can satisfy the creative and employment desires of the fashion industry and fashionistas of Ghana. With the growth of fashion in Ghana we have decided to bring forth weekly tips for those who wish to get involved in the industry.

This week, we look at a few pointers to consider when choosing your model. Choosing the right model in a country with very limited competition and standards that can be questioned is not an easy task to the untrained fashionista, especially when the top designers are also getting it wrong. Despite our recent articles regarding the chaotic model industry, a few agencies are getting it right with some wonderful fashion faces, such as Gold Models, Spice Models, Confidence Models and 5 Star whom have discovered some great faces. So, incase you are making your selection with or without agencies, here are some tips to help make your decision….

Unless you are an international designer with the capacity to book international celebrities, please do yourself a favour and avoid them. Yes their popularity can serve a great deal locally, but most of them are not known outside your region. And to such people who don’t know them, you actually come across as a designer making a bad choice with a weird looking model. Example, if you are a designer in Ghana and say you used Stephany Benson for your look book. That potential boutique, buyer or international magazine that might have wished to contact you regarding your designs might not look twice based on your bad choice of a model as they have no clue about her musical status.

Friends are even worst. Just because they say they are models or they want to model doesn’t mean you should sympathize with them. This is a business, you need to grow your brand. There is no point giving hope to someone who has no future in a business they are doing just for social fame, all whilst destroying your business.

It’s easy for the brain to play tricks on the mind. Seeing a face that has been used on various look books and shoots might not catch the attention of others as it may reflect on something they have seen lots and lots of times. Even if they are fans of the model. The selected model is here to help your design get the attention it needs. When your designs become one of many things the model might be seen in, it is easy for potential admirers to ignore it assuming its something of the past. Yes, it’s up to your creative team to give your work a new look, but It really is easier to go with a face that reflects what you are going for, yet eye catching and new. Don’t worry how professional at posing she is, that is the job of the photographer to get her best side. You images will surely be remembered.

Yes most people will hate me for abiding by the stereotype. Thin models are not used because some European Greek god came and struck that rule upon the world, they are used because their tall lanky figures are least likely to take attention away from the dress, unlike a plus size model or a well rounded lady that could trigger questions in the mind. I’ve come across many cases where ‘sexy’ models were used and people have spent more time talking about the model used than the clothes on the model. Thin figures also makes it easy to expose the various angles of your designs from trouser splits to sleeves and more. Also, being that thin models are widely used around the world, catering your prototype clothes for thin tall models would mean you are least likely obliged to make major alterations when your clothes are requested for shoots or for fashion shows. For male models, try using a girl magnet by looks, be it slim or athletically built.

In a world with very little helpful agencies, a model’s success is 90% social skills. A model with great social relations is very likely to be successful, and when she does succeed you can reflect back on your images as bragging rights. There is nothing better than a model that can also contribute a great amount exposure on the work she did for you. Also if there are decent genuine model competitions in your country that select winners that do look like models, it could be beneficial to use them. There is no need to explain that this is can help with branding and popularity as well.

Do not use models that are well branded for doing free work. Even if you are paying them, get to know them and avoid this. We all know every model has started off somewhere doing free work or done one or two things for free, but then there are also models we know who live a career executing free work on runways and shoots continiously. Avoid using those models, they set a low standard to your personal brand within the fashion circles and even at times outside of this.

Do consider someone whose facial characteristics fits your brand, ie when you see them outside their modelling careers do they look like the party type, or the quite type, or the edgy type. This is what the subconscious minds of your viewers can pick up on. It also is very easy to see the beautiful girl around your way, whom you can not resist using for your fashion needs. In many cases beautiful girls do not always reflect well in photography. Sometimes as people we pick up on people’s beauty via their personality, or their well done make up. The photography pics up on facial expressions, angular edges on the faces, the age of the individual and then tension within that individual. After a photoshoot, you could end up realizing the girl you thought was beautiful really doesn’t produce good results in images. You can question any professional photographer about this…..Remember PROFESSIONAL.

Thank you for reading. Once again if you are seeking to launch your career in the best way possible or establish yourself from a known brand to a mass selling brand showcasing at Accra Fashion Week might just be what you need to elevate your status. Visit Accra Fashion Week.org and register right away.

Featured Image Credits:
Helen Dake (Spice Models) shot by @1grandberry
Sandra (Gold Models) shot by @1grandberry
Rexy Knight (Confidence Models) shot by Charlene Asare