This summer our 9th and 10th graders received some tips and tricks from an international model who has runway shows of Chanel, Givenchy and Armani under her very stylish belt.
Bing began modeling locally at the age of 15 and by 19 she was modeling runway shows at Milan Fashion Week. She continued modeling for many years afterwards, which was rather unusual in an industry where the average runway model lasts four or five seasons. Specializing in runway modeling, Bing shared runways with Claudia Schiffer, Kate Moss and Tyra Banks. She demonstrated her “runway walk” (designed to draw attention to the garment) to the girls, and coached them in walking gracefully and with confidence.
Bing went back to school after retiring and now works in real estate and with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where the professionalism from the fashion industry has carried over.
The girls were also exposed to the less glamorous aspects of modeling. Bing described the heartbreak of being rejected by clients and learning not to take it personally. Sometimes having to bring your own food to twelve-hours shoots and trying hard to enjoy a day at the beach while making sure there are no tan lines that could spoil an up-coming photo shoot.
“Never sacrifice your values, and choose your friendships carefully,” Bing told the girls, warning them that what you do off the runway is just as important and clients take that into account as well. She also encouraged them not to be afraid of setting boundaries and standards. Often if she felt a garment was too revealing she would let her client know and they would respect to her requests.