Fashion is a big industry that flourishes all across the world! It comprises clothing and accessories that contribute to a considerable percentage of sales in many countries.
To showcase them to the world to generate sales, what is required are models to wear and show them off to entice the public to purchase these things. You may feel that the job of a model is as easy as they need only to walk and pose. However, that is not the case. They need to face the public and be in the spotlight all the time.
Here are the First Steps to Becoming a Model As A Foreigner in Japan
New and bold fashion trends are synonyms to Japan. Many models wish to create their mark in the Japanese fashion industry. Honestly, it is a bit of a challenge for aspiring foreign models to make it big in Japan. They face challenges like the language barrier and the culture shock that they may face.
If you are a foreigner aspiring to make it in the Japanese fashion industry as a model, then the first thing that you should put your hands on is knowing the Japanese language fluently. However, there are a lot of other aspects that would play a tremendous part in the shaping of the modeling career of a foreign model in Japan. Some of them are their physical qualities, their r determination, and their willingness to do well by expanding their professional network and horizon. You must know that the modern fashion trends in Japan are a bit unique compared to the global fashion trends that we may be aware of. Thus, it is crucial that if foreign models want to make it big in Japan, they must familiarize themselves with the local trends in Osaka and Tokyo. Knowing and learning everything about the culture in Japan is also crucial for foreign models. If, as a foreign model, you know and understand what the Japanese people find attractive and “hip,” it would go a long way when you start your career of modeling in Japan.
As we have said that a foreign model should know the Japanese language, it is essential. It can prove to be a great asset in the industry to understand the language; however, the good part is that the foreign models do not necessarily have to speak the Japanese language fluently. If they can learn the basics that would be is required for the job then that should be enough. Remember that Japanese people in the fashion industry are also aware and already familiar with how they need to talk to foreign models who speak in English. However, as a foreign model in Japan, when you show a willingness to learn and understand the Japanese language, it is always a plus point. Another essential point to note is that before you put your application in Japan as a model, it is advised that aspiring foreign models search for a few local jobs too. This is definitely not a compulsion or a requirement for the job, but many highly recommend it. This is because modeling agencies in Japan put a great deal of time and investment in foreign models, and thus they may be a bit hesitant to hire a foreign model who has no experience in their resume.
Many aspire to become a model and get into the modeling profession, and for some, it may just be for fun or a whim to fulfill. Modeling agencies are aware of this attitude, and thus they want to see that commitment to the modeling profession in the applications received. Moreover, this passion and commitment is a must as the modeling agencies invest a considerable amount of money in foreign talents, including sponsoring and securing the talent’s work visa and accommodations. They need to make sure that the foreign talent would not quit in between after being selected. You should know that many modeling agencies in Japan specifically work with foreign models. Most of them would essentially have their own English website where an aspiring foreign model can put their application. It would be best if you were on a constant lookout for these model agencies in Japan as they have a good track record in hiring foreign models in Japan.
It is also crucial to understand beforehand what expenses are borne by these modeling agencies that work with foreign models. It usually covers the travel and accommodation expenses of the model. However, other expenses like food are the prime responsibility of the model. Thus this should be clear in your mind. We have shared this with you because then, as an aspiring foreigner model, you save up before making the trip. This also indicates that the models would still have enough money for the other expenses that they would have to pay for. This is especially important to note in the case of foreigner models who would just be starting their career as a model in Japan.
Well, you will be happy to know that multiple and famous magazines do look for models that have features that are different from standard Japanese looks. This is for obvious reasons to give the audience, which is the readers, something different that will attract and engage them as they see Japanese faces is something quite common and obvious staying in Japan everywhere. The general trend is that magazines tend to get attracted and hire the services of tall foreign models who have green or blue eyes. The goal presents a model with different and visually appealing features that set the model apart from the traditional Japanese look.
Challenges that Foreign Models may face in Japan
Japan pays well to the models for their assignments. However, this does not guarantee every foreign model with a constant source of income through modeling gigs alone. Everyone is not lucky! To become a stable model in Japan, there are certain obstacles or challenges that foreign models might have to face and resolve to make modeling their profession in Japan.It is imperative to understand that some talent and modeling agencies in Japan and in the West are a bit different in their work. The system in the West is that the agent t does the job for the model. However, it is different in Japan. It is the other way around. It is believed that agents get at least 50 percent of the amount of money that the studio pays. Thus only a small amount is left with the models.
Supply and demand is yet another problem that foreign models might face in the industry in Japan. So it works like the lesser the foreign model faces in the industry, the higher the demand and salary. The actual fact is there is an increasing surge of foreign models wishing to enter the Japanese modeling world that too at a small price. This results in a lack of modeling gigs that actually pay well can be challenging. As a model in Japan, you do make money, but you should know that a lot of the model’s agencies in Japan take at least two months to pay up. You will be surprised to know that some even take up to six months to pay out the models! That is why it is essential to save money before starting out to become a model. So when you don’t have any modeling assignments or your payment gets delayed, you are not stranded with your living costs. You can glide through that patch with your savings on your side. It helps a lot in alleviating this issue.
What is important is to reach out to the best Japanese talent agencies. You will find many credible modeling agencies in Tokyo and Osaka that would provide their models with good salaries and benefits. When it is good, there is terrible too. On the other hand, there are modeling agencies that are waiting to take advantage of foreign models who are starting their modeling careers in Japan.
The Top Agencies for Models in Tokyo and What are they exactly looking for?
Tokyo being the capital of Japan is the city that offers excellent opportunities, and there are many of them. As a result, many famous international modeling agencies open up in the metropolis to look out for aspiring fashionable models, both local and foreign. Because these agencies carry a name for themselves, quality products, international commercials, and brands and campaigns are usually guaranteed to models.
If a model is lucky enough to get into one of the top talent agencies in Tokyo, then indeed, their career is set. These agencies provide perfect photo productions and videos that models can have a part in. Their expertise comprises of organization of changeable models for ad campaigns, photoshoots, and advertising films.Well, there are many factors and parameters that these talent agencies consider before hiring a foreign model. Punctuality, motivation, and ambition are a few of them on which you are judged. If you don’t have these qualities then making a successful career in modeling can be a dream in the long run, and hence they are important. These qualities need to be assured and showcased to be able to convince customers to get certain products. That is why all foreign models should imbibe and adhere to these factors to be able to book a job in these agencies.
A planned photo shooting requires satisfaction with the job at all times. The detailing involved in these shoots is of utmost importance. All aspects of the project need to be perfect to achieve the desired result that the team wants. Well, one needs to understand it is not an easy job, it is a tough job for everyone involved, also for the models.That is why flexible solutions are common for local and foreign models. The teams in the project work hard to ensure they get the best out of the models in order to get the desired result. The models need to be flexible and adaptable to adjust to any type of challenge coming their way during a photoshoot for ad campaigns, cover shoots for magazines, or walking the ramp for a fashion show.
Bravo Models is one of the most recommended modeling agencies in Tokyo. They look out for both male and female models. They have worked with several international models, as you can see on their website. This agency is situated at Hillside Terrace H-301, 18-17 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku.The most famous modeling agency in the world has an office in Tokyo too. The name of the agency is Wilhelmina Models, and it has talents from various parts of the world with its bases in New York, Los Angeles, London, Miami, and Chicago, again multiple cities! They also feature foreign models in Tokyo. They can send them overseas depending on the project. The agency is situated at 204 3 Chome 4-6 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
If you are looking out to get assignments that represent luxury brands as a foreign model in Japan, you need to get in touch with Donna Models. This agency is very well-known that covers foreign models. It also has a record of working with various designer brands like Gucci, Coach, Carven, and Margaret Howell. This agency is situated at #603, 1-15-3, Jinnan Shibuya-ku.Another modeling agency that you should look at is the Stage Tokyo Model Agency. They pick models with different features and faces. This means shape, color, and features. A hot pick for a lot of foreign models in Japan and a very professional modeling agency too. It is situated at R&M Bldg. #402 3-5-17 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku.Last but certainly not least, aspiring foreign models can check out CDU Models. This agency has talents from all over the world. It has provided talents for several famous fashion magazines such as Bazaar, Elle, and Marie Claire. The agency is located at Al Bergo Nogizaka 508 9-6-28 Akasaka, Minato-ku.
A short list of places to start:
What It is Like to Be A Foreigner Model in Japan
Tokyo fashion is very unique, and it may look strange to aspiring foreign models going to Japan for the first time. So the wisest thing to do is to familiarize yourself with the different Japanese fashion trends before flying to Japan known as the Land of the Sun. Some foreign models say that Tokyo fashion tends to move towards models who look almost perfect and without wrinkles. Well, the good thing is that despite you being a foreign model, the local Japanese models are found to be respectful and friendly to them. They do not look at the foreigner models as competition. Instead, they think that some clients at times just choose specific features that they want on their projects. So both are like two different categories of models and hence there is not much competition.
For modeling assignments, clients look for different kinds of styles and personalities in a model. Hence, it works best for foreign models to display an individual personality of their own by adorning on themselves what they like best and are most comfortable in. You need not worry just because you are a foreign model; both you as a foreigner model and the local Japanese models are treated relatively well in the Japanese modeling industry. One of the most attractive features that make the foreign models in Japan stand apart is that they are always on time. The culture is such that Japanese people like punctuality and they frown upon you are late. At times, the models may have to wait, so patience is yet another skill to develop. Further, you should read the contract properly to avoid any legal problems in the future. A quick tip that most foreign models in Japan give to aspiring models is always to be friendly to everyone.
Suntan is not welcome in Japan, and thus, being a foreign model, and please avoid it at all times! In Japan, clients do not like an uneven skin tone on models at all. Also, you should be dressing up for castings. You don’t need to overdo your dressing; a lovely dress and high heels are good enough to make an impression. What is appreciated by clients in Japan is a natural look, and thus, foreign models should avoid putting on heavy makeup as Japanese clients do not enjoy it. Last but not least, just be yourself and comfortable in your skin and body. What you need to crack these model gigs is sheer confidence!