The fashion week survival guide by Tessa Westerhof

picture by Laura Allard-Fleischl



Fashion week is around the corner: the most hectic and busy period for everyone in the fashion world. The next couple of weeks will involve a thousand castings, hours of waiting, plenty of rushing around and miles of walking.
Here is my fashion week casting survival guide.
Let the games begin!
  1. First of all, stay calm. Easier said than done but shows are very unpredictable. There is no guarantee you will walk a show even if you are in (exclusive) option. If they don’t take you it doesn’t mean they don’t like you. It might be that you simply don’t fit in the shows concept or that you’re not ready yet. So don’t worry, it’s nothing personal.
  2. ENJOY it. Casting directors cannot only smell fear but they can also see that you’re happy and enjoying it. Yes its tough, yes you walked 292323 kilometers but it’s a once in a lifetime experience. You will meet the crème de la crème of this world and you might walk for one of the best fashion shows.
  3. Don’t try to engage too much in speculative conversations with other models about castings. Some girls might have seen someone that you will see later that week, paradoxically, you might already have seen the casting director for a different show. You will stress about nothing! So put your headphones on and read your book.
  4. Walk in with your head held high, your shoulders back and look them in the eye! You got this. For inspiration look at how boxers walk to the ring. Of course don’t copy their walk but mentally prepare like they do in your own way.

      5.Print out your daily schedule and highlight the most important ones that you can’t miss. Never ever be afraid to ask your agency which castings you should prioritize. Look up the first one you will go to the next day and the ones that are close to each other.

6.Be prepared to WAIT. I mean waiting for 3 hours. Have something to do. From reading books, listening to podcasts, colouring books or sketching. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as it calms you down and gets you in the right mind-set.

7.Step up your fashion game. There will be a lot of street style photographers around which can give you amazing publicity. Again ask your agency for advice or check out what the top models wear.

8.Look your best. If that means doing a quick yoga session in the morning or 4 lattes to wake up. Do it! A lot of casting directors want to see you without make up and sometimes even ask to take any off. I would say wear a bit of concealer and curl your eyelashes. Stay natural but with a little help.

9.What should you bring in your bag? I’m sorry but it will be slightly heavy.

  • Hairbrush
  • Concealer + some other make up for any quick touchups.
  • Your book and a lot of cards (some clients can take 3 cards at 1 casting!)
  • Band-Aids (for all the walking).
  • Deodorant (for all the moving around, trust me you will need it).
  • A good set of heels (no platforms and you must be able to give your best walk in them).
  • A little mirror in case there is spinach between your teeth.
  • Some snacks.
  • An umbrella for rainy days (no wet looks welcome!)
  • Phone + charger + battery. You have to be on call 24/7.

10.Last but not least be yourself. There is no competition at castings because simply no other girl is you. You are unique and should never try to be someone else.

I hope my tips can help you, for any questions email me at and follow me on my instagram @Tessa.westerhof. See you next week with 10 tips on how to survive the shows!