EP41 - The Dos and Don'ts of Hiring a Professional Model with Muriel Villera

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Hiring a Professional Model  | Fashion Brand Podcast
Photo by Flaunter on Unsplash 

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What is a model thinking when she gets reached out by a brand?

How are brands reaching out to models nowadays?

How can you get a model's attention to get her represent your product?

In this episode of the FastTrack Your Fashion Brand PodcastI had a conversation  with Muriel Villera, a professional model and a great friend. Muriel and I go way back! She was one of my models for my very first Nicolita show in Miami! I am so thankful she was willing to chat with me about the dos and don’ts of working with models and how we, as designers, can make models feel comfortable on set.

One of the major takeaways I hope we all hear in this episode is that models like Muriel are incredibly talented and want to work with us! But in order to build relationships with models we need to act professional and create an environment where models want to continue to work together. I love that Muriel is so honest and feels so comfortable sharing some of her experiences in working with brands that made her feel special and appreciated. She has so much professional insight that she has garnered over her years of modeling that I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on!


  • How to get the most out of your model
  • How to reach out to models for your shoot
  • What do branding shoots look like in 2020?
  • Nudity, how do models actually feel about it?

What Are Models’ Expectations for Brand Shoots?

Showing your care for them…

Muriel had so many great takeaways for me but one of the things I heard throughout our conversation, was that she responds so much better when a brand goes out of their way to make her feel appreciated.

This is so important and such an easy thing for brands to do that it baffles me hearing some of her horror stories from other sets on how she was treated. Showing you care can be so simple, like asking if the model wants coffee or something to eat. Or having the stylist take their time with hair and make up so they aren’t stressing out around the model. Because the last thing a model needs before going on camera to represent your product is to feel nervous or anxious. Trust me it will come out on the photos!

Shoots are stressful enough without people yelling and rushing the model to look perfect on command. Hiring the right people who can be effective and kind for your shoot will make the day so much more fulfilling for everyone!

What do photoshoots look like in 2020?

To wear a mask or not wear a mask, that is the question...

Pivoting is something that we have all experienced in some shape or form this year. One of the things that Muriel has enjoyed as shoots have adapted with the year is the more intimate teams and more time devoted to getting the mood right. She says she loves seeing call sheets whenever possible so she can mentally prepare and get excited for the “look” she’ll be getting the next day. In 2020 it seems that these kinds of practices are getting more adopted because of the specificity required to keep everyone safe.

On really big shoots where there are so many team members, designers, and stylists running around, it's sometimes easier to just say “we’ll edit in post” rather than capture the shot they really need. But if everyone is taking their time and enjoying the process the shots are more fun and less time needs to be spent in post.

How Do You Make the Model Feel Comfortable On the Set?

We all have insecurities and experiences that define how we feel in the workplace. For models these experiences can be especially vulnerable because they are consistently exposed on and off camera because of the nature of their job. Depending on what kind of shoot is happening or fashion show, there might be several models on set at once trying to change outfits quickly to maximize time and not mess up their hair and make up in the process. If I’ve learned anything from working backstage or on set it’s that every circumstance is a bit different.

When it comes to nudity designers should come in with zero expectations on how a model should feel changing. It’s their body and what they’re comfortable with is up to them. In the past I have brought changing tents or robes to set to help the model feel as comfortable as possible when they’re off camera. I always tend to stay on the safer side and give models options rather than have an awkward conversation about what they might need in the moment.

Muriel shared that it’s helpful for her to remember that it's a job. When she’s on set she is trying to be as efficient as possible to not waste anyone's time so she prefers to just strip down in the studio and change into whatever outfit is next. But when she’s home she prefers to be a bit more covered up because she’s relaxing and not “on the job.” It’s helpful to her to have two different mindsets about work and home, but everyone is different so just remember that nudity can be a sensitive subject and try to accommodate the model as much as possible.



08:25-16:15 - How to Work With Models

16:20-20:30 - Reaching out to Models on Social Media

20:35-22:55 - Pivoting in 2020

23:00-29:55 - Timelines and Call Sheets

30:00-38:15 - Nudity Do’s and Don’ts

38:20-44:25 - Recap!


INSTAGRAM: @nicole_di_rocco








INSTAGRAM: @murielvillera



Hey there FastTracker!

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