Tips and Tricks on How to get Booked and Busy!

This week’s style crush Wednesday is 22-year-old commercial model, Monifah Lawrence. I fell in love with her style when I stumbled on her Instagram earlier this year. With a modern yet minimalistic approach to street wear, Nifah can make even the simplest item of clothing look super chic! You can blame me for wanting to shop her whole entire wardrobe!

Born in Port Shepstone KZN and raised in Dubai, the soft spoken, petite beauty balances getting dressed up while still keeping it casual well, remaining on trend the whole time. “I’ve always had a love for fashion, which is one of the reasons why I decided to pursue a career in the industry”

Starting out in the industry can be a challenge if you don’t have the right guidance, particularly with castings. Just like any form of employment, before you get hired you must be interviewed. In the modeling industry, such interviews are known as castings. These give opportunity to fashion designers, creative directors, photographers etc. to meet a variety of contenders to find the one who works best for their campaign.

As with any interview, preparation is key. When attending castings, you’re giving casting directors an idea of what you bring to the table, so it’s important to leave a lasting impression. Luckily, Nifah gives us tips and tricks on how to get booked and busy.

The night before:

This may sound obvious but read your brief and do your research. Firstly, make sure you know exactly where your casting is so that you don’t find yourself running around like a headless chicken. Do some research about the company you’re casting for. Check out their website as well as their social media platforms. Stalk the models they’ve worked with in the past so that you have an idea on what they’re looking for.

Photographers often expect someone with perfect skin and a great physique, practicing a good skincare routine is important and as a model, your face and body is your brand. If you don’t already follow one religiously, at least put some effort into doing some skin care the night before your casting. Also have a full grooming session. You need to be clean from head to toe.

Try get an early night’s rest so you can feel fresh in the morning. Directors need you full of energy when you get on set and want you to show off your personality and that will be challenging if you’re hungover or sleep deprived.

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What to bring:

Unless you’re underage, please leave the entourage at home. Your friends and family tagging along with you is inappropriate. You wouldn’t bring your whole family with you to a corporate interview so don’t do it for castings either. Please, these are not Idols auditions. For those who are underage, arriving with one guardian is enough.

Don’t bring anything unless they ask you to. I always bring the minimum. Don’t be carrying a huge bag and when you’re on call you don’t know where to put it, especially if you’re going to a casting where you don’t know anyone, you may lose your stuff. Just carry a little bag with essentials and make sure it’s not inconveniencing or distracting.

What to wear:

This depends entirely on the brief you would have received from your agent. If you’re casting for a bikini shoot, you’ll obviously be expected to be wearing one. You may also get a brief that says ‘wear something that represents your personality’.

*When in doubt just wear the standard casting outfit: Ladies – A little black dress or tight pants and a fitted tank top are the usual go to’s. Plain high heeled pumps and clean groomed hair are necessary. Gents – Skinny jeans, fitted plain tee and clean semi-smart shoes.

In terms of hair and makeup, keep it minimal. Hair should be out your face and makeup should be natural. If you have freckles, let them show! Save the full-face beats for a night out.


Casting directors are very busy people. They don’t have time to sit around and wait for you especially when you’re competing with plenty of other candidates. With that being said, always (and I cannot stress this enough) ALWAYS be on time or arrive earlier. Rather be remembered as the model who came too early than be remember as the one who arrived late.

During Casting:

Be polite to everyone. There’s nothing cute about being a self-glorified model. Castings are a chance to sell the best version of yourself as possible. Be confident!

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Ask the right questions. Very few models ask questions, meaning when you do ask, you’ll stand out. Which brings me to my next point; try standing out without stepping on anyone’s toes. Engage with casting directors about their brand.

For example – if you’re casting for Lord Quitera you could say “Congratulations on winning the Collection of the Week award at the Durban Fashion Fair Recognition Awards last season. Your show was so lively, you’re a genius!” This is a great way to sparkle conversation and you’re more likely to be remembered.

When you’re done, touch base with your agent to let them know you’ve come and gone.

Durban, you can put these casting tips to practice at an open model casting brought to you by the Durban Fashion Fair on Friday, March 6th and Saturday, March 7th. No experience is required and it will take place at the Durban Botanical Gardens Conference Room. It will start at 09h00 sharp for registration and finish promptly at 15h00 on both days.

For enquiries, please call Nokuphila Makhanya on 031-3114500 (ext 29971) during office hours  or email her on

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The Durban Fashion Fair will be hosting an open model scouting for #DFF2020 New Face Models. Date: 6 – 7 March 2020 Time: 9 am – 3 pm Venue: Durban Botanic Gardens Conference Centre FEMALES ■ Age: 18 – 35 ■ Height: 1.75 m with no heels ■ Hips: 90 – 92 cm ■To wear: Body fitting clothing (no jeans) Minimal makeup and bring heels. MALES ■ Age: 18 – 35 ■ Height: 1.83 m ■Trouser size: 30- 32 ■To wear: Closed shoes, fitted shirt or t-shirt, No trainers / takkies, must be in good physical shape. PLUS SIZE FEMALES ■ Age: 18 – 35 ■ Height: 1.75 m with no heels ■ Size: 38 – 44 ■To wear: Body fitting clothing (no jeans) Minimal makeup and bring heels. Tell a friend, Share this post #DFF20 #Fashion #Durban #LocalTalent #Local #FashionAffair #Models #NewFace #Freshface #Madeindurban #Plussize #Scouting #search

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