To add to the list of reasons it's basically impossible to make money as a model, male or female: Condé Nast pays new models $150 a day. After a year, that rate increases to $250 for the day, according to Models.com managing editor and former agent Betty Sze. "That means if you are Gisele [Bündchen] and work for American Vogue 2 days in a row, you would make $500. Many editorials pay nothing," she says. These rates have not been affected by the economic crisis, as magazines like Vogue, Allure, and Lucky's ad pages for the month of April are all down around 30 to 40 percent each. With Condé's titles reportedly looking for additional ways to cut back even after the downsizing of Men's Vogue and the closure of numerous titles, model rates would seemingly be a logical place to start. "Condé Nast doesn't have to pay anything, I don't even know why they do," Sze adds. "Girls don't do editorial for money! Getting editorials and covers of French Vogue for example, drives up your rate for everything else and gets you noticed by the huge money clients like Lancôme and Estée Lauder. Simple. Editorials and covers are the path towards the real money."
Except getting noticed by Estée Lauder isn't exactly "simple," since there's one of them for every hundred billion models in the world. And they might hire celebrities people actually recognize instead of 17-year-olds known only within the industry. So you're more likely to make a better living waiting tables, bartending, working retail, programming computers, even blogging. Not to mention you can consume carbs, booze, and full-fat cheese to your heart's content.
Conde Nast Pays Models a Pittance In Trade for Prestige [Fashionologie]
Earlier: Male Modeling Not Lucrative or Glamorous. At All.