Models Guide to Milan
Perhaps one of the most prestigious fashion capitals of the world and a top destination on the list of most models. Milan can be a highly desirable city for models to travel to especially at the beginning of their career.
If you are given the opportunity to go to Milan, take it. Milan is a wonderful city full of things to do and home to the Espresso and brioche breakfast and some of the worlds biggest designers.
DISCLAIMER: All information contained in this article is written simply from my own point of view, from my own experience modelling in Milan, and from my own personal opinions. Individuals may encounter different situations and experiences. This post is simply meant to be a general guide.
Do I suit this market?
The fashion industry in Milan may be best suited to new faces. Newer models have the opportunity to find success here in Milan and launch their career if they can book a job with a good designer or other big client.
This market traditionally prefers skinny tall models. This is NOT a market for the toned and tanned more commercial model. Agencies here usually prefer their models slim but not too athletic.
Fortunately this means you mightn't need to exercise much in this market, but unfortunately you may need to manage your measurements through diet and light exercise/stretching alone.
Older or more commercial models can get good work here given they are here at the right time of the year, they have a very strong portfolio and a hard working agent.
What should my measurements be?
The smaller the better in Milan (within reason of course).
BUST They don't really matter here although having very large breasts may make it hard to fit into sample sizes.
WAIST 23" - 25"
HIPS 33'' - 35''
HEIGHT 5'9'' - 5'11''
This market prefers younger models. Under 20 years old is the ideal as this is a good market for new faces to visit in order to launch their career. New faces can gain a lot of traction in their career by booking a big show at fashion week or even booking an exclusive for a big designer.
Older models have the chance to work here, but they will probably need to lie about their age and they will need to be in top condition and have a VERY strong portfolio.
Types of jobs and rates
Showroom, Presentations, Editorial, Ecommerce, campaigns and shows.
Milan has a mix of all of your usual jobs, and although lots of models come here to build their book and make a name for themselves, I have not personally experienced there being many test shoots or editorial shoots around.
Rates for the jobs do fluctuate a bit but generally work like showrooms, presentations, ecomm and campaigns do usually pay well. On the other side of the coin, often editorials pay very little or nothing at all. Shows are not usually much better, but models can gain exposure from being in the right shows.
When should I go?
Avoid being here around Easter (April) as there are a lot of bank holidays and that can make it really slow in town. It starts to pick up after easter and get busy around May/June. So that may be a good time to arrive in town.
August is a dead month in Europe. Most places in Europe treat this as their summer holidays and many agencies will even close for the whole month. It also starts to pick up in septemeber for the Fashion week and so it is a popular time to be in town.
When is Fashion Week?
Spring/Summer - Womens Fashion Week - Late September
Spring/Summer - Mens Fashion Week - Early June
Fall/Winter - Womens Fashion Week - Late February
Fall/Winter - Mens Fashion Week - Mid/Late January
Here is a list of Milans top modelling agencies from models.com:
Brave Models, D'Management, Elite, Fashion, I Love Models, IMG, Monster, MP, Next, The Fabricca, Why Not, Women, Independent , Pop, Special, LAB, Urban, Women, Wonderwall.
Or view the page on Models.com here.
What is the best way to get around?
Getting around is easiest via public transport. There are trams, buses and a few different types of trains. In combination with a little bit of walking it is by far your easiest, cheapest and often quickest way of getting around to your appointments.
Get yourself a travel card and upload a monthly pass to get the best value for your money, and unlimited travel on all services.
TIP: Beware of the times google maps supplies you with. Sometimes travel times - especially for trams - can be wrong ( The tram can NOT stop at 15 stops in 4minutes... )
Always give yourself an extra half hour to get to your destination to give time for incorrect times, getting lost, traffic and cancelled services.
Getting To/From the airport
Taxis charge a flat rate to Malpensa airport of about 90Euros so don't be overcharged when you get into a cab at the airport.
There are trains and buses that go straight from the Airports to Milan city. These are a great option when trying to save money and they go quite regularly so you don't need to wait long for one.
Some friendly advice
Be careful where you step - unfortunately people in Milan do not really pick up after their dogs and there are a lot of dogs in Milan. Watch out for puddles on the sidewalk they are likely dog pee, and try to avoid stepping in dog poop, it's not a good look at castings.
Shopping is best done in the morning - If you wish you hit up Zara or another high street store, try to go just after they open. The italians love a good sleep in. After lunch time there will be so many people everywhere you will have to wait in line for up to half hour to purchase that t-shirt and there will be hoarded of people in the store. The early bird gets the bag, and the neat, tidy, almost empty store to peruse as they like!
Keep watch over your personal belongings - In a big city like Milan where lots of tourists visit all year long, unfortunately theft rates are high. There are a lot, and I mean, ALOT of stories of models being robbed or pick pocketed during their stay here. So always keep an eye on your stuff.
What Languages do they speak?
Italian & English.
Italian is the main language spoken here but a majority of people living in Milan can speak at least a bit of English. When you venture out of the city its becomes less common except in big tourist areas.
What are the model apartments like?
First of all YES there are model apartments in Milan. Which is fantastic, you will not be alone in this new big city! I recommend model apartments for your first trip overseas or at least for a portion of it.
Model apartments in Milan are mixed. There are some nice ones and some not-so-nice ones. Some are affordable and others are more expensive. It's all about finding the right apartment.
Always be sure to ask a few details about an apartment before committing to living there. You need to know the price and the number of girls living there. Some apartments can house up to 10 girls in two rooms, have no lounge room and charge almost 1000 euros per month. OUCH!
Milan may simply be a stepping stone in the path of your future career, somewhere to build your book, or it could be the city to launch your career - like Megan Gale, either way it is a beautiful city to be in and a great opportunity to any young model. Enjoy the experience and explore the city!