In 2003, America’s Next Top Model captured the attention of the general public. We became transfixed by Tyra Banks, the drama, and this new dream job. With social media nowadays, we are more curious about modeling than ever before. There’s no one better to give insider info than Chloé Traichel. She’s a Canadian model who’s worked in the US, Mexico, Britain, and Japan. You might recognize her as “Starbucks Girl” in Logan Paul’s videos or the “Mystery Girl” seen partying with Justin Bieber and company (calm down Beliebers, they were just friends).
What you should know Chloé for is her passion for environmental causes, unique style from thrift shopping, and most importantly, the knowledge she has to share from 6 years of modeling.
Chloé dispelled the idea that modeling is easy by depicting the job. “You have to maintain your physique and your skin. Also, you have to know how to move in front of the camera well. You have to push to get your goals and dreams understood by people. Even be seen by the right people…There are so many girls. People think it’s easy, but it’s not,” she explained.
Another myth Chloé corrected was salary. She clarified, “One misconception a lot of people have is that we’re rolling in money, which is definitely not the case for everybody. Especially now, since the market became saturated. Obviously, there are top girls that are doing Victoria’s Secret or doing the Chanel campaigns. But there are a lot more who are fighting for a chance to be seen for a lot of these jobs.”
Many girls fighting for work opportunities sounds like a recipe for petty behaviour. Chloé disproved this catty stereotype by revealing her mindset. “It’s not personal…Somebody might pick someone for a job simply because they have maybe one physical trait that you might not have and vice versa…So, I think it’s a little silly for girls to get catty over things like that. I personally love seeing my friends succeed,” she said.
A supportive sentiment appears in an international network of models too. She admitted, “I have model friends from all over the globe.” Chloé acknowledged that with Instagram, she can connect with new people through mutual friends, which is especially helpful if she’s in a country where she didn’t know anyone.
Some models don’t like being called an “Instagram model” even though they post on Instagram, which gets confusing. Chloé simplified it for us: “What makes somebody an Instagram model is having a large following on Instagram and mainly doing brand deals. Sometimes these girls or guys are not signed models.” Brands select Instagram models for their large following. Some of which aren’t signed with an agency, therefore they have no agency to negotiate their salary. This causes many instagram models to accept free clothes or low payments instead. “Brands get used to that and expect to be able to get away with a really minimum payment or not paying at all when they try to book signed models.” This creates a stigma for Instagram Models.
Because of the saturated market of models and rise of social media, she commented that agencies are “looking for somebody who stands out or has the full package. So that would include maybe if you could act or if you have any other talent that could help you in the show business and fashion industry.”
Models are responding to the #MeToo movement as well. “There’s been a lot more precaution sending girls on jobs. Not that there wasn’t before but even more now. A lot of bad people are being called out and taken down so that’s been really great.”
However, there’s still room for improvement. Chloe brought up that clients have up to 90 days to pay models, causing them to wait for their wages. “This is something that I would like to see change.” Models should be paid bi-weekly like most people, so they can be financially independent. Thankfully, there’s Model Alliance, an organization that advocates for people working in the fashion industry. It started the Respect Program, which encourages fashion-related businesses to sign a legal agreement in following a Code of Conduct with mandatory consequences if not compliant.
ADVICE FOR ASPIRING MODELS
Chloé can see the challenges of a young model starting out, especially when they’re new to the country. “A lot of the times, it’s very easy for these girls to get taken advantage of because they want to make it so bad, they’re ready to sign, and maybe, if there’s a language barrier, they can’t fully read and understand the contract that they’re signing. I would definitely say do your research, do your reading, and be as knowledgeable as you can about what you’re signing.” Another helpful tip she shared was to get legal help with checking the contracts beforehand.
To find out more about the modeling life (plus new trends), follow @ChloeTraichel on Instagram.