Disrupting age-old industries
Traditionally, designers and brands produced bi-annual collections - Spring and Fall. These brands produced campaigns, which often featured the most well-known, A-list models in the world. The rest of the work throughout the year provided a handful of lower-level models opportunities for a chance to step into the spotlight - fashion shows, advertorials, catalog work, etc. - were the most common and best-paid jobs.
Fast forward to today, and digital media and e-commerce mean that designers / brands across the world have the opportunity to showcase their creative output at a much lower cost. No need to invest a fortune to rent retail space, to buy billboards and pages in the most well-read fashion magazines. Setting up a website with basic e-commerce capabilities, combined with sharing content across social platforms on an almost zero-cost basis means that going direct to consumers is within reach for designers at a much earlier level in their brand development.
For consumers, this access direct to brands through digital media, plus the rise of the e-commerce giants such as YOOX-Net-a-Porter and Farfetch, and all combined with the explosion of fast fashion means that choice of a huge variety of styles and price-points is a win-win. These digital platforms bring access to million who previously may not have had the opportunity to explore and buy from brands all over the world.
How is all of this changing the modeling industry? All of this technology is creating opportunities for many to engage with brands faster than ever. The traditional model of twice-annual collections has shifted to quarterly collections, and now this is shifting to always on, continually releasing. This movement of fast fashion is disrupting the modeling industry as much as it is the fashion industry.
What we are seeing is a shift towards a greater number of shoots, requiring more models, for e-commerce and showroom jobs that are happening continually throughout the year, rather than just around the established Fashion Weeks. This means lower budgets for models on a per-job basis, but this is balanced against a higher volume of jobs. Where Ubooker fits within this shift in the ecosystem is that we can offer a wider selection of models to clients, who can search them easier than the traditional agency approach - and bookings can be made faster and more conveniently, which is crucial as the turnover of jobs increases. For our models, this shift means more availability of jobs - but these may be at a lower rate than previously expected, however this is offset by the increased exposure that models have to clients across our worldwide platform, and the greater speed in the booking process means that jobs are offered and agreed far quicker than in the past, so models can get on with managing their own work schedules more efficiently and profitably.
Do we have a crystal ball that allows us to see where all of this will end up? We wish! However, what we are sure of is that this disruption of the traditional fashion and modeling processes and structures will mean more opportunities for those of us who want to operate in an open and transparent way, and to take control of our own destinies.
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