Modeling requires more than a striking face. You also have to walk down long catwalks at fashion shows. If you’re at the top of your game, you may even walk down the infamous runways of Milan or New York Fashion Week!
First, you have to learn the art of the catwalk. It’s not as easy as it looks. Plus, you have to do it in heels.
Learn how to catwalk in this beginner’s guide to modeling.
Table of Contents
Taking the First Step
Every aspiring model must learn how to walk a runway. There are a few ways to gain this experience.
Fortunately, you can learn to walk a runway without any money.
Social Media Tutorials
For starters, you can always teach yourself at home.
Many aspiring models learn how to “walk like a model” from YouTube tutorials, Instagram, and TikTok. If you become good enough, you could even start your own social media modeling career; many new models use social media as a springboard.
The next option is enrolling in a modeling school.
Make sure to do your due diligence with this one. Research the market rate for modeling classes before committing to an expensive school.
Read a mountain of reviews before settling on a program too. Avoid schools that make big claims or promises of modeling contracts.
Many famous models started out as Pagent contestants, even award-winning actresses like Halle Berry and Priyanka Chopra.
Pagent organizations may offer lessons or have free catwalk training on-site. However, most contestants pay for their own personal runway trainer or group classes.
The above point leads to the next option, personal one-on-one training. This route is perfect for models serious about catwalk careers.
Every modeling career path is different. Some models are even discovered without any experience! In these cases, a modeling agency would pay to teach the model how to the catwalk; this situation is often the case with young teenage models.
Learn How to Catwalk at Home
Practice makes perfect. Thus, you’ll still need to practice walking at home even if you’re taking professional classes.
First, you must learn to stand up straight (and stay that way.) This step seems easy enough, but you’ll be surprised by how much you’re still slouching, even when you’re standing. Plus, when you’re tall, you may find yourself slouching even more than others.
Remember to keep your shoulders back and keep them there. Look straight forward, too; find a focal point to hold your attention down the runway. Lower your eyes while walking, creating a captivating gaze for the audience.
Nail Down the Look
Depending on the mood of the fashion show, you may have to hold a serious or joyful gaze. For example, you’ll notice models at Haute Couture shows may look more stern or dramatic, while swimsuit models may appear lighter and happier.
Models should avoid smiling widely or opening their mouths while walking. Tyra Banks famously taught that models should learn to “smize,” which means smiling with your eyes.
Learning to Walk
Next, learn the basics of walking. Keep your shoulders back and your arms at your side. However, remember to swing your arms naturally as you walk, but not too much. Again, it helps to watch videos of professional models on the runway.
Put one foot in front of the other, just like you normally would. Yet, models take longer strides than pedestrians walking down the street. Identifying a focal point will help you maintain your gaze while keeping pace, as well.
Fortunately, fashion shows have music, helping models maintain their pace and rhythm. Have fun with this part. You could even make your own catwalk playlist!
Learn Different Types of Styles
Learning to catwalk like a seasoned model takes time. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t pick it up overnight. If you’re struggling, use your weaknesses to your advantage to create your own runway style.
Some runway shows call for more dramatic hip swings, while many high fashion shows prefer more understated catwalk styles. Every fashion show has a choreographer or manager on-site to instruct models on the proper walking technique for the show. Don’t exaggerate your movements while walking, but you can accentuate them.
Take a look at famous models like Naomi Campbell and Gisele Bundchen. Notice how they balance the following elements on the runway.
- Great posture
- Locked gaze
- Smooth stride
- Natural arm swinging
- Feet distanced apart
Also, notice how models rest their arms and hands by the sides. While walking the runway can be nerve-wracking, avoid curling your hands into fists or pointing them downward sharply. If you don’t relax your hands and arms, you’ll come across as robotic.
Strike the Perfect Pose
Of course, no runway walk is complete without the notorious pose. This part is the model’s big chance to advertise their outfit. Plus, a great pose could lead to more editorials, runway shows, or even magazine covers if all goes well!
Learning to pose is one of the best parts of walking the runway. If you’re a fashionista, even better! You could even take this opportunity to refresh your wardrobe.
Models need a variety of outfits in their closest. You can browse retailers like tashaapparel.com to learn more about different styles. For example, you should have a good swimsuit on hand for striking a pose in your mirror.
You’ll also need a full-length mirror to nail down different poses and facial expressions. There are a lot more poses than the classic hand-on-hip pose!
Don’t forget to buy a decent pair of heels too. Some shows may even ask you to walk in 6-inch heels or longer. You’ll need to learn how to walk in sandals and ballet flats too, which also comes with their own challenges.
Become a Top Catwalk Model!
You don’t have to compete on a reality show to become a top model. Get started right now by learning how to catwalk in your bedroom!
Don’t forget to buy a good full-length mirror, clothes, and high heels to nail down your walking techniques. Instagram tutorials and YouTube videos of world-famous models are also available to help.
Once you’ve learned all the necessary things to become a model, you can apply for fashion model jobs.
Don’t forget to bookmark the blog for more fashion and lifestyle tips!