By Sofia Davis

Why do designer prefer tall thin models? people have been asking this question forever and with the rise of the “Real Looking Model”, its time someone explained WHY DESIGNERS PREFER TALL, THIN MODELS.

Before reading this, understand times are changing and designers are using more curvy, petite, real people models.  This is merely an explanation and an answer to the question models ask.

blue long dress

Here is the answer I learned while studying Fashion Design at FIT.

  • Designers make what is considered “sample size” because they don’t know how many orders they may receive from a store or Buyer; therefore, they don’t want to make many different sizes until they see what the sale ratio will be.
  • Designers like tall models because if everyone is “basically” the same height and weight it looks better in the presentation or runway show than if you have someone 5’5” and someone 5’10” tall. Example:  when walking the finale during a fashion show, if a model is 5’10” and walks in front of a model that is 5’4”, they may not notice the shorter models’ garments.
  • Why designers like thin models – If a designer makes a garment that can fit someone size 16 and that Model does not show up, no one else may be able to wear that garment. As we all know people are shaped differently.  You can have 3 people size 16 but depending on their body shape, may not be able to fit the same dress, even if that dress is a size 16.
  • Designers like tall models because when doing a runway show, it’s easier to see the creativity of the garment than on a short model. If someone is sitting high up in the stands, they can still see a tall model.
  • Designers like tall, thin models because the models should be mannequins, not showstoppers. Models should not upstage the designer garments.  This is why most professional people are HORRIFIED when models do the “lean back” or the back walk because it’s about the GARMENT, NOT THE MODEL, the model is a MANNEQUIN, a HANGER.
Beautiful fashionable women an unusual hairstyle in bright clothes and colorful accessories. Cuban style.

When all is said and done, it is up to the designer to decide what is the best way to present his brand to buyers/clients.  He may feel that a shorter or a plus size models can present his brand better, therefore he must do what is best for his brand.

Read on, here are what some other opinions:

Credits:  Wild Beauty World

  1. Thin is Youthful.

There is no denying that we live in a culture that is absolutely obsessed with youth, and youth is good-looking! But in a culture saturated with media images of all things youthful, things can get out of hand. Models as young as fourteen show up in New York from Eastern Europe and Brazil, and if they’re tall and have the cheekbones, they can make the twenty-year-old we expect to be modelling look fat by comparison.

  1. Fashion Models have Always been Thin.

Since the days of Erte, fashion models have been taller and thinner than the rest of us. Fashion illustration textbooks even tell budding illustrators to make them 30% taller than a normal person.  Not only that, at this point most of us in the Western world recognize the visual shorthand for Fashion Model: if we see a tall, thin young woman wearing glamorous clothes, we think “Fashion” immediately, without having to be told.

beautiful woman in long white dress posing fashion in the studio
Donald Giannatti, Photographer, Designer, Author, Educator

First of all – and this is important.

It has nothing to do with aesthetics, attractiveness in photographs, or any of those subjective things. Not at all.  So sorry that people think that.

The reason is when a designer starts to work on a dress, he has no idea if the dress will sell or not, only that he wants to create it.

So, a model is brought in as a mannequin for the designer to work with. Most of them are thin and 5′8″ – 5′11″ hips 35” and under.  All the designers use the same size models (the reason for which will become apparent in a moment).

The designer and his/her team then make 50+ dresses to be seen on the runway.

The runway is where the buyers see the dresses and decide if they want to order them, and in what quantity.

It is important to note that no designer goes out and makes 5000 copies of a dress based on the idea that the buyers will indeed buy them.

Once the buyers see the dresses (fashion weeks in NYC, Milan, London, Paris etc.) they place the orders and the dress is then made in different sizes and quantities to fit the order.

So that means the same dresses have to go all around the world and fit every model on every runway show. The dress you see in Milan is very likely to be the very same dress you see in a magazine editorial.

Blue Dress Runway

So, the model must fit the dress, not the other way around. Fashion agreed on the taller women because they are more visible on the runway. All designers use the same parameters, so all the models must be able to fit every dress.

THAT is the reason they are tall and thin. If they were all different sizes, it would make it nearly impossible to ever get the collection shown.

It really is not a bias against short models, it is a business decision based on a simple math. Eliminating the variables in model size and height makes it so much easier to bring the work to market.

Commercial talent can be of any size and height, but – and it is not fortunate or unfortunate, it just is, runway models must be tall and thin.

Credits: http://www.quora.com

Your comments are welcome.

fashion model wearing black dress and sunglasses

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